Michael Kranak – @Krandaddy
Six small meals a day. Intermittent fasting. Carb cycling. Ketogenic diets. If It Fits Your Macros (IIFYM). The list goes on…and on… and on! With the amount of available information on diets and lifestyles, it can be challenging to decide which one is right for you. There’s supporting evidence for a multitude of diets and lifestyles; moreover, it seems like it’s a constant debate if one is better than the other! If you ask 10 different people, “should I eat more/less carbs or more/less fat?” chances are you’ll get 10 different opinions and reasons why you should choose one over the other.
So you’re probably still wondering how to pick, right? There are two simple words to help you choose: reactivity and sustainability.
There is not ONE specific diet or cookie-cutter diet/lifestyle, and it’s okay to try different diets during your fitness journey. Depending on your goals (e.g., cutting, bulking, general weight loss/health improvement), you have to pick the diet to which YOUR body reacts bests! Everyone’s body and metabolism is different; just because a high fat diet works well for one person doesn’t mean it will work for you. Same goes for people who can crush a high amount of carbs and not gain a pound – it might not work for YOU, and that’s okay. It doesn’t matter what works for someone else, or their opinion of your diet, as long as you’re eating and fueling your body with what it reacts to best.
You also want a diet and lifestyle that leads to continued success and health, a diet you can stick to for the long haul – a diet that’s sustainable. Take individuals who compete in figure or bodybuilding competitions. They go through 16- to 20-week preps consisting of specific meal plans. There’s a reason they structure diets for specified period of time – following such a rigid diet just isn’t possible for years at a time. Your ideal diet should be a lifestyle; something you can follow for the rest of your life that allows you to reach your goals and live a long, healthy life.
At the end of the day, it’s important to have a diet and lifestyle that allows you to reach your goals, as well as keep your sanity. A good rule of thumb is the 90/10 rule: 90% clean, nutritious food; 10% indulgence. Food is fuel and should be treated as such. Eat clean 90% (or more!), so when your friends ask you to come to brunch, grab drinks once in a while, or have some donuts you can do so with no guilt knowing you’ve already set yourself up for continued success.
Stay on track, keep your goals at the forefront, and train your ass off. The results will come to those who are the most consistent.