As a coach, one of the questions I am getting very often is: ‘What is the best diet?’
Well, there isn’t one. Due to the vast individuality that makes up who people are, what good nutrition is, and their own limiting factors, not to mention everyone differs based on body type, fitness level, body composition, dietary preferences or exclusions, budgets, preferences for organic versus conventional, nutrition knowledge, history of dieting, time availability, schedules, ethnic background, heritage and age.
You can see why it’s impossible to have a one-diet-fits-all approach. So, in essence, there is not a single nutrition philosophy. But if you look at a good nutrition programme, it should include the following
All good nutrition programs should cover these aspects:
- They ask people to care about their food and emphasize mindful eating,
- they focus on food quality to increase the amount of whole foods and decrease
- they eliminate nutrient deficiencies to improve health and wellbeing,
- they control appetite and food because naturally when you eat better-quality foods, make mindful choices and eat a varied diet, you feel more satisfied and end up eating a reasonable amount of food and last, but not least,
- all good nutrition programs promote regular exercise because we know that
nutrition and exercise work very well together.
Good nutrition is also about removing limiting factors. Most people usually have at least one limiting factor, and these can include:
- Genetics and epigenetics, both of which affect our ability to lose weight, gain weight and avoid chronic disease; however, genetics don’t always express themselves, which is where epigenetics comes in. Factors such as nutrition, stress and environment can strongly affect your genetic expression. Many health professionals have set variations of the following quote, “your genetics load the gun, your lifestyle pulls the trigger”.
- A second limiting factor is exercise. If you are currently not exercising, the way your body utilizes nutrients and your metabolism will differ from someone who is fit and active.
- If you have a have a hormonal or metabolic disorder or condition? Then you have a physiological limiting factor.
- Mindset. If you have the mindset of what they call a ‘Negative Nancy’ then this can affect your ability to transfer knowledge into action.
- he fifth limiting factor is environment. People in your life and people part of your support team as well as their daily actions and routines can affect your overall success in reaching your goal. This can appear as peer pressure or lack of support or, I guess, lack of the right support.
- Last, but not least, good nutrition looks for strengths and wins. They should not just want to point out to clients all of their barriers and limiting factors, they should also look for what’s already going well for them and perhaps how to improve on it.