You’ve probably heard it said, ‘you can’t outperform your nutrition.’ But what exactly does that mean? Everywhere we look these days there is some message that promises to be better than the next in the nutrition aisle….Vegan, Paleo, Gluten Free, Juicing, Smoothies, 21 Day Cleanses and then there’s the Everything-In-Moderation crowd. Who’s right? And more importantly, how much does choosing the right food really matter?
SO in one short blog post… I have the answer!
It depends on a multitude of factors and all of them add up to the total sum of you.
There are many very legitimate medical conditions that may warrant one type of eating over another. Also culture, preference, and often political/social views come into play when choosing food. Performance in the gym, for endurance training, or just wanting to rock out that wedding dress are also components of why we may have a certain bent toward one way of eating vs. another.
So how do we know which one to choose?
This is simple. Chances are, if you are exactly where you want to be physically and emotionally when it comes to performance, body composition and health then you know exactly which type of diet and food choices are right for you. Keep on keepin on.
If you are in a different camp then you have to some homework to do.
1. Stop, Collaborate and Listen
Really assess your goals, your total health and your nutrition choices and ask yourself in a completely honest way how much do you really want x , then adjust accordingly. Also reflect on the feasibility to maintain these changes long term.
2. Armed to the Teeth
Arm yourself with knowledge. This is two tiered. Asking that trainer at the gym with the nice guns to tell you how to eat may or may not be the best plan of attack. What you need is knowledge about you: your body, your life, your goals and the changes you are willing to make.
Doing a short term elimination diet is simply the best way to get information about Y-O-U. Forget the hype, the jargon, the whatever and test yourself. Eliminating all potentially problematic foods, giving your body a fighting chance to respond (enough time) and then reintroducing is a fabulous way to assess your nutritional choices and how they affect you both physically and emotionally. Whether you are Vegan, Vegetarian or Omnivorous taking 30 days or so to educate yourself on your nutrition will pay off in spades. A favorite of ours at Four-Fit is the Whole 30, great (and free!) program to help you navigate elimination. They have guidelines on how to be successful if you are a Veg-Head too and tips on optimizing nutrition while in the midst of your nutritional self-education.
And at the end of all of this if you are still just as confused as before you started here are a couple of things that ring true across ALL of these ‘diets’.
1. None of them suggest that anything that comes in a package is healthier than something natural.
2. None of them have ever proven that an increased sugar intake is good for your health, wellness or performance (read labels.)
3. With any kind of diet, excess consumption vs. energy output will weigh you down. 100% of the time.
4. And last but not least. If it’s not sustainable, makes you miserable, or just seems down right unnatural to you…. then it is not. going. to. work. Not in the long term.
If you are considering making changes but need camaraderie, support, accountability and game plan along the way, check out our Online Training Program! We would love to embark on your journey with you.