Diet, it’s probably one of the most, if not the most overused word in the fitness industry (or even outside of it). The word gets thrown out there so often that we have forgotten what it really means and stands for. The definition of a diet is this: The sum of food consumed by an individual on a temporarily basis in order to get to his or her goal. Now, I may have come up with that specific definition but you get my point here. We can use the word however we’d like but at the end of the day a diet is not called a lifestyle for a reason, because it’s temporary. Basically, all diets come down to the same principles that we’re about to discuss. Yes, they have different names and yes, they look different from the outside but if we take a closer look, you will see that the outline is pretty much the same but the substance might be a little bit different. There’s one diet that stands out from the crowd, it’s still temporary (because it’s a diet) but has lasting results if used the right way. The diet I am talking about here is the elimination diet and that’s the first topic we’ll get into here.
The Elimination diet
The elimination diet is the only ”diet” that is not out to get you somewhere temporarily. No, this diet exists to find out what foods work well for you and which ones don’t. Usually, this diet is used to find out if your body responds better by not having: lactose-based products, nuts and seeds or even seafood in your life. I personally would add things like bread, pasta and rice to that list as well. Basically, you’re trying to figure out what foods make your body run smoothly by eliminating and reassess every so often. In other terms we’d call it anti-inflammatory (good foods) or pro-inflammatory foods (bad foods).
The basic structure of the elimination diet is to cut out 1 or 2 different foods or products for a certain amount of time to see whether your body responds well to that or not. If you don’t notice any significant changes you could add those foods back in before cutting out 1 or 2 different ones. Something to be aware of here, we never want to cut out too many things or add them back in too soon because we’ll lose track of what is working and what is not. If we cut out 6 different food at once we still don’t know what is making you feel better or worse. Obviously, you’re free to use the results of your elimination diet any way you want to, but it seems silly to go through all that time and not use the information to better your overall health.
My tip: I would eliminate 1 or 2 things for at least a week and reassess afterwards. This was you keep track of what’s working and you also give your body time to adjust and give feedback on what is happening inside your body. Since it takes time for your body to adjust and clear out all the left over from the products you have just cut out it’s important to give it time to do so.
If you want to save yourself the time and trouble of going through all that, there are different companies out there that can accurately determine what foods you could better avoid.
The Beach Body Diet
Now before continuing on, I want to make clear that I am not against any of the principles used by these diets. They all play their own role and there’s a time and place for everything. I am actually a big fan of certain principles that some diets are using, just not in the diet form. Eventually you’re the one that has to decide what you want out of your health, whether that’s long-term and lasting results or short-term and temporary results. I just want to explain the difference between a diet and lifestyle and what those things can do for your health. Now let’s get back to it.
If you really think about this for a second, every diet (excluding the elimination diet) can be linked and traced back to the beach body diet concept, let me prove it to you. Yes, all of these new diets have fancy names etc., but what lays at the core of every diet? Temporary changes, no matter what the name of that diet is. In simple terms all a diet is: limit or add certain things for a period of time, whether that’s calories or overall macronutrients. The ”outline” looks like this: you make changes based on the diet you follow, after a set time you’ve hopefully reached a pre-determined goal, you go back your ”normal” way of life or adjust to your new way of eating and make it a lifestyle instead.
This overall picture is the same for every diet but it’s easiest to describe by using the “beach body diet” as an example. With this diet you temporarily cut out enough calories, eat a lot of protein while keeping fat and carb intake low to get your body fat percentage down to where you want it.
If you follow my chain of thoughts here for just a second, it’s the same process for every other diet. You temporarily add or reduce, get to your goal (if that), go back to your normal lifestyle and go back to where you were before as a result of it.
Let me show you by using some popular diets as examples:
”The paleo diet”: This diet is focused on bringing us back to the good old days of eating like a caveman (literally). The paleo diet emphasizes whole foods, lean protein, vegetables, fruits, nuts, and seeds, while discouraging processed foods, sugar, dairy, and grains. These are all great things to consider no matter who you’re.
The difference lies with the word diet, if you don’t sustain this way of eating you might enjoy the benefits for a little while but we all know what happens to results if we don’t keep up the work, it goes away little by little.
”The keto diet”: This diet is getting more popular by the day and for good reason. You’re lowering your carbohydrate/sugar intake while upping your fat and protein intake. At the same time, you’re more likely to stay away from processed foods that contain loads of sugars and other crap. You’re thinking, how can you go wrong with this? If your body agrees with this way of eating, you’re more than likely able to enjoy this while not experiencing any ”side effects”.
We’ve got to remember that our body needs time to adjust, so what do you think is going to happen to your body when you have cut out all of these carbohydrates and start adding it back in out of nowhere? Your body won’t know what to do with it because it has adjusted to your new ”normal” and carbohydrates are more likely to be stored as bodyfat.
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