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How to figure out the nutrition strategy for you

Thoughts about nutrition are a part of our life, both from a personal and professional standpoint. Every day we focus on our nutrition and the nutrition of other people. At the same time, we regularly review new nutrition “trends” and nutrition strategies (or diet plans, if you prefer) while also revisiting nutrition related topics or strategies with which we are familiar.

We do this to make sure we are informed and providing ourselves and out clients the best nutrition advice possible. We don’t want to ever be able to say we gave bad advice, let alone bad advice because we were not informed. At times we will not be up to date with certain nutrition information, but we want to limit these occurrences.

It is this pursuit of knowledge and our regular utilization of nutrition techniques that allows us to be successful and helps others. A question you might have is how do you figure out the best nutrition strategy for you? That is a good question and there are many possible answers.

Let’s revisit content from a blog post and newsletter we published last year, which was titled “The best diet for you is the one that works.” That is the simplest and most straightforward answer we can provide. Find the program that works for you, stick with it as long as it works, and if or when it does not, find the one that does.

Of course, that is easier said than done. Understand a few things we said in that post are still relevant today including,

Any change makes a difference.

Consider for a moment a person who eats crap all day. This person's diet consists of sodas, pizzas, and donuts. Assume for a moment that the individual has related health concerns such as diabetes, high blood pressure, and weight gain. Now consider that person picks any one of the previously mentioned diets and sticks to it for 12 months, with a compliance rate of 80-90 percent. Would you expect the individual in questions to see results? Of course.

Regardless of the diet chosen it will be better than the diet the person was using. Over the course of 12 months with high compliance, the person should see results regardless of the option chosen, because he or she is making healthier choices. Some level of progress is all but inevitable.”

Process of elimination

Often the simplest way to find the nutrition plan that works for you is to begin making small changes. Think of it like this:

  • Identify problem areas, such as too many sweets or too many fatty foods

  • Consider how to eliminate or minimize these things

  • Implement that strategy

  • Repeat for the next area that needs improvement

Following this simple approach you might find that chips, alcohol, and chicken wings are staples in your diet that need to be minimized or eliminated. You might find you consume each of these items at least three times a week and that you eat excessive amounts of each when you do. Start with the first item, chips, and begin to cut back on that food. Once you’ve accomplished that, move onto the next. Keep this process going. As you do, replace those items with reasonable portions of healthy food items.

Doing this and sticking to it will take time, at least a few weeks but likely a couple of months (maybe longer). The thing is as you eliminate these foods and do not replace them with other bad options while adding in good for choices, you’ll start to notice change and you’ll begin to find the nutrition strategy that works best for you.

Give that diet a try

Intermittent fasting, Paleo, veganism, if it fits your macros, and many other diet/nutrition strategies work—for the right people. While many people will extol the benefits of each approach, others will vilify each approach. To some people this seems odd, since in their minds, a diet cannot both be effective and not effective. These people are wrong, or perhaps misinformed is the better word.

While veganism can and does help millions of people lose weight, improve health, and perform better, not all persons can deal with eating only vegan foods. That’s why there are different degrees of veganism, though anyone in these degrees are referred to as vegetarians. Vegans eat nothing made from something that has a face, while vegetarians may eat fish, eggs, or other products based on their preferred approach. This allows person to eat primarily fruit, veggies, nuts, etc. and benefit from the approach, but still have some animal products in the diet.

Still, even being vegetarian does not work for everyone, often because a person likes meat. In this case, a person may opt for Paleo, as the Paleo diet allows for meat, but minimizes or eliminates other food sources such as legumes and processed foods. For individuals who like meat, but can do without processed foods, legumes, and certain other items, Paleo can work well for them.

We could go on, of course, briefly noting how each strategy works for some people but not for others but the point we’re trying to make might be missed. The point is—find the strategy that works for you. If it’s Paleo, great. If its veganism great. If it’s IIFYM, Atkins, or some other approach great. It may even be a combination of approaches and that is great, as long as it works for your improved health, weight, and performance.

So, give Paleo a try for a few weeks. Make notes about what works and what doesn’t. If at the end of those few weeks, you feel it is not for you, try another strategy, such as veganism. Once you try this with a few strategies you should find the one that works for you or find aspects of each that you can combine into your “custom” strategy.

Determining the best diet for you

As we said in “The best diet for you is the one that works” The process is going to take:

  • Research

  • Trial and error

  • Consistency

Research means taking the time to look into different approaches and seeing what works for you. Trial and error means you will try different approaches and find some things that work and some that don’t. For any strategy to work, you must have consistency. If you're not, no nutritional approach will ever work. So get out there and find the strategy that works for you. If you want help, let us know.

If you want to learn more about our services, visit the homepage for our site here: We offer a variety of services for training and nutrition. Just visit the page, read the write-up, and visit the links to the service pages to learn more and sign-up.

Nathan DeMetz holds degrees in Exercise Science, Business Administration, and Information Technology as well as certifications in strength and conditioning, sports nutrition, run coaching, and other areas. His credentials come from organizations such as Indiana Wesleyan University, Ivy Tech College, and the International Sports Sciences Association. Nathan has 17 years of personal and professional experience in the health and fitness world. He works with people from across the globe, including locations such as Kuwait, Australia, and the USA.

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