Finding Your Diet Niche
The word “diet” has many negative connotations associated with it. When you think “diet” the first thing that probably comes to mind is being miserably hungry, eating foods you find tasteless and unappetizing and gaining back the weight you lose when you’re finished. If you think of this when the word ‘diet’ is mentioned you may have to start by learning the basics of nutrition before you can successfully change your eating habits.
It is almost always going to be better for you if you change the overall way you eat and maintain it for a lifetime. Even though being on a short-term “diet” is not the best method to achieve your goals they can be useful and even necessary in some situations.
You could use the short-term diets to help you achieve extraordinary goals related to aesthetics or athletic completion. This being said, a lifetime healthy nutrition plan is always going to be superior to even the best diets you come across in your lifetime.
When is a Best Time to Start a Diet Program?
Unfortunately, most people cannot be in the best shape of their life at all times.
Sometimes it takes a little jump start to get you going with healthy eating habits. If you remain in decent shape most of the time, dieting can be helpful for short term goals such as toning up for a beach vacation.
However, you do not want to get in a situation where you have to lose a bunch of weight in a short period of time. Even if you use one of the best diets out there, there is no real instant result diet so to speak, and in fact, many that claim to give you super fast weight loss results are actually unhealthy ways to lose weight.
Why is it Hard to Know Which Diets are the Best for Your Goals?
There are many diets out there. Some of the best diets are backed by clinical studies which they were based on. Others are based on the opinion of either an expert nutritionist / dietician or a self-proclaimed expert in nutrition.
There are even some diets based on celebrities such as Oprah and how she lost 5 pounds. Do you really think what helped Oprah lose 5 pounds is going to help you?
It is hard to know which diet is best for you because everybody has a different metabolism, food likes and dislikes, schedule and behavior patterns. There is really no way to see if a diet will work for you unless you try.
Best Places to Seek Advice about Which Diets are Best for Your Goals?
You can find diet advice everywhere but some people are definitely better than others for good advice.
The American Dietetics Association (ADA) defines a Registered Dietitian (RD) as, “a food and nutrition expert who has met the minimum academic and professional requirements to qualify for the credential RD.”
An RD or Registered Dietician is the very best person to talk to if you look to find a diet which suits your goals. They have been through years of school are have the knowledge and experience to prescribe you with a very specific diet based on your goals.
An RD will usually provide you with a detailed menu which tells you what to eat and the quantities of what you should eat. They try to create the best diet for you using information which they collect from you such as journals and surveys. An RD is your best bet if you’re looking for an effective diet to help you reach your goals.
Some nutritionists are actually Registered Dieticians who call themselves nutritionists because the public may identify with the name more.
Before you meet with a nutritionist you should research to find out their background. The ADA has no credential and there is no legal term which constitutes a nutritionist. Many nutritionists use computer programs to prescribe a diet for you which were developed by RDs.
Personal training certifications are not a substitute for nutrition credentials. Most personal training certifications have a very brief section about diet and nutrition.
It should be a red flag if your personal trainer prescribes you a specific diet. Only RDs are allowed to do so. An exception would be if your personal trainer gave you a diet which was from a computer program created by an RD.
The good thing about personal trainers is they generally have a varied experience and have probably dealt with people in situations similar to yours before.
For the most part a personal trainer should give you tips and pointers about diet but not prescribe a specific diet.
Your doctor is usually a very busy person who has specialized in one thing for most of their life. Unless your doctor has a background in nutrition, doctors are usually not the best person to seek dieting advice from.
It may be a good idea to ask your family members about any diets that they may have tried. The advantage of asking family members about your diet is that they share similar genetics to you. The disadvantage is you probably have a completely different lifestyle than family members. It may be worth a shot though.
The In-Shape Guy/girl at the Gym
Usually the person in the best shape at the gym are bodybuilders. Bodybuilders follow a very strict nutrition and regimen. You could seek advice from bodybuilders but there is a high chance that the typical bodybuilders diet will not be the best diet for you.
Many of the magazines and websites out there are written and published by bodybuilders so there is a lot of information out there which can be confusing. You should realize that there is no chance the information was created for you and your specific goals and so you should look elsewhere for information about diets.
You could look for the best diets in your latest copy of “Muscle & Fiction” magazine but you should immediately be weary of the information which is 50% advertisement 50% information at the best. Most fitness magazines are owned by supplement companies. If their motive to publishing the information was solely to help people, they would be out of business. Take the diet advice you read with a grain of salt. Most of the time fitness magazines promote diets such as the HCG weight loss program which are based on little if any true scientific information and controlled studies.
How to Choose the Best Diet for Your Goals
It is a process. The first diet you try for whatever goal you have may work and may not. The best way to find a diet for your goals is to analyze yourself and your habits before you choose a certain diet. There are so many diets, some which fit your lifestyle situation better than others.
1. Write Things Down
Keep a journal of your food and liquid intake as well as your activity, rest and mental state. If you go to a dietician or a good personal trainer the first thing they will ask you is to start a journal.
Instead of waiting to meet with a professional to tell you what to do, why not get ahead of the game and start a nutrition journal. Your journal should include what you ate/drank, when you ate/drank it, and how you felt after eating it.
2. Analyze Your Journal
You don’t need a professional to tell you that the cheeseburger and milkshake was bad for you. But you may need a professional to explain why you get an incredible stomach ache every time you eat a salad.
A journal will help you and your professional whether it be a dietician, trainer, or book narrow down your food selection and timing. This will help you save time on the next step.
3. Use the Process of Elimination
Einstein defined insanity as “doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” If you keep a nutrition journal and periodically analyze it, you will avoid the insanity which is trying something over an over again without knowing with failing results.
By using the process of elimination and this 3 step process you will not only be able to choose a better diet for yourself but you will add value to any professional’s services you choose to use.
More Information about Diets and Nutrition
- Fat Loss Diets
Do you look to lose fat? If you want lose fat join the club. Some studies have shown up to 70% of American people are overweight. Overweight usually equates to overfat. Learn the difference between losing weight and the best diets for losing fat.
- Muscle Building Diets
If your goal is to put on lean mass check out the basic scoop on building rock hard lean sculpted muscle.
- Slow Carb Diet
Learn how by making simple choices and choosing the proper carbohydrates you can eat less, lose weight and avoid binge eating.
- Why Nutrition is so Important
Learn why it may be easier to change your lifestyle instead of going on a “diet.” Learn which foods have positive effects on your metabolism and how you respond to training.
- Unhealthy Ways to Lose Weight
An overview of the weight loss methods which some people have used to lose weight which are detrimental to their own health. Unhealthy ways to lose weight include dangerous supplements, eating disorders, drugs and more.
- Nutrition Myths
If 100 people tell you the same thing will you believe it? Most people would, that is what created all the misinformation about diet and nutrition that is everywhere from the gossip in the locker room to newspapers, TV and magazines.