Thursday, June 06, 2013
"There is so much conflicting information out there on what diet is best. Whom do I believe?"
"Is my diet really the best for me?"
"I think I am making an informed decision, but how do I know?"
I once believed that the low-fat diet was the tried and true healthy diet. It was scientifically sound (supposedly). However, on closer inspection, a few key principles fell apart. The United States has become fatter and unhealthier since the government began pushing it. Scientists began blaming compliance. "Obviously people aren't following our guidelines, so it's their fault, not ours."
The low-carb people say it's not the fat, but high sugar that is fueling obesity. The standard American diet is a high grain diet, and grain is broken down into sugar. This is the side that I currently lean.
However, I do not think it is necessarily the best diet for everyone.
I think a high-carb diet is more suitable for high performance athletes. If you're burning 5,000 calories per week, then you should be eating more carbs AND calories overall. The problem is most people combine high performance cardio with a low calorie diet thinking they will lose more weight.
Calorie in versus calorie out. Problem solved.
Well, wait a minute. Government stats show that more Americans ARE trying to get more exercise, but we have made zero progress on reversing the obesity crisis overall. A non scientific observation of Spark dieters shows people ARE exercising and reducing calories.
And yet, here we are. There shouldn't be a SparkPeople, Weight Watchers, Jenny Craig, or Nutrasystem. They should have been written out of existence a decade ago because we were supposed to all be successful.
Here's what happens on a high cardio/low cal diet. Your metabolism drops and you stop losing weight. Then you cut back more calories. The same thing happens. You start eating more calories, and you start gaining weight. In a panic, you start cutting calories again. Deathly afraid of gaining weight, you desperately cling to the low end of your calorie range.
Sound familiar? Yeah, I did that too.
I am not a high performance athlete, nor do I intend to be. I get a moderate amount of recreational exercise per week.
With each new study that comes out that proves this or proves that, whom do I believe?
I ask myself a simple question: "Is what I'm doing right now working for me and my goals?"
If Yes: Keep doing it.
If No: Do something else.
The tried and true thing I know is banging my head on brick walls only ever leads to a headache.