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Are Trendy Extreme Diets Worth It?

Every few months or so it seems there are brand new trendy diets circulating the atmosphere. They also all include an essential marketing component: extreme ideology. That is they contain some form of singular-minded solution to all your fat-loss dieting needs. Whether that’s eliminating a laundry list of foods or focusing on just one food category these “diets” are chock-full of nutritional flaws. I like to refer to them as elimination diets – their selling point is based on extreme subtraction.

We’ve all had that one friend who’s on the extreme end of things. They go hard and fast, but then end up burned-out before they ever make any real progress. I’m a huge believer in moderation and diet is no different. Trendy diets normally yield quick false results while those who stay steady reap the best outcomes.

For example, some of these diets will eliminate carbs. The result is a massive loss of water weight. This is psychologically satisfying. But much of the loss is water from muscle tissue and not real body fat. The alternate is to take the long, but effective road.

 

A Few Advantages of Taking the Diet Long Road

  • No extreme measures necessary. You simply stick to a plan and see it through.
  • Few eliminations. Aside from avoiding junk in your diet you will still eat real whole food.
  • You avoid diet hopping. No more starting over every month on the “latest and greatest” plans.
  • Peace of mind. You know you’re getting in enough nutrition to support exercise and life.
  • Peace of mind (part 2). You are no longer stressed out regarding keeping up with the newest trend.

 

What You Should Be Focusing On: Nutrition

  • Ample protein from numerous sources. Don’t just think of beef or supplements exclusively. Think broader. Go with fish, chicken, turkey, eggs, Greek yogurt, and beans spread throughout your day.
  • Complex carbs. Include all types of complex carbohydrates such as brown and white rice, sweet and white potatoes, whole wheat bread, wheat pasta, organic oatmeal, green veggies, and even a variety of fruits.
  • Keep your fiber in check. As most of us don’t get in enough fiber (the stuff makes you feel fuller longer) be sure to include carbs that are high in fiber like those above. if you find it difficult to get in enough try supplementing.
  • Healthy fats in moderation. Don’t go overboard with fats since they are rather calorie dense. Olive oil, avocado, a variety of nuts, and nut butters are a good start. But use sparingly.
  • Stay hydrated. This both a no-brainer and a boring piece of advice, but I can’t stress it enough. Try cutting down on sodas and get in some good-ole-fashioned H2O.

 

Devise a plan, any plan, stick with it, and then adjust from there. Whatever you do establish a starting line. Without it you’ll be diet hopping, frustrated, and right back where you started.

 

Happy eating!

By Brad Borland

Cancer Survivor, Military Veteran, University Lecturer, Strength Coach, Natural Drug-Free Bodybuilder, Husband, Father

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