What is the best diet?

table of vegetables

And why everyone is arguing about whose diet is the best!

So I’ve said in a previous post ‘nutritional obsession‘, that I had completed the yo-yo cycle of dieting many times over the years. At first, you don’t really question it, you are so chuffed at losing all that weight that you quietly go on your way (excuse the pun), putting those pounds slowly back on and before you know it, generally after Christmas, you are back to where you started, or worse, even heavier.

I’ll save how I have broken the cycle, for another time, what I really want to discuss is all the noise about exactly which method you should use to achieve very similar results. I can certainly say I’ve tried a few, high protein, low carb, high carb, low protein, high fat, low you get the idea. Then, of course, intermittent fasting, of which there are umpteen variations. F-plan, no plan, what on earth do you try?

The problem is so many are motivated by cold hard cash that it’s their way or the highway. And now we have the battle of the bloggers, battle of the doctors, experts say this, the media say that. To say it’s not been confusing, would be an untruth. And then, of course, you have the ulterior objectives from the food industry, the pharmaceutical industry, the list goes on and so does the confusion.

Much of it is a deliberate attempt of misinformation, depending upon agenda. Dodgy and biased research studies that get regurgitated by equally ignorant news media and many so-called health writers. It literally has become a complete mess to wade through.

The arguments used for and against can be so complex that in the end people just give up. This is why a friendly smile and a well-written food plan is often the ‘meat and gravy’ (attempted pun), to getting new clients signing up, and pointed in the right direction, possibly even on a treadmill.

With Nutrition, and actually anything that involves a ridiculous amount of research studies. There comes a moment where many roads lead to the same place. Generally, this is how us humans find the truth, what is right, or wrong. But for some reason, nutrition seems to be just ‘an opinion’. I think it’s now becoming very clear for many, what freeways we should generally travel, some are less travelled depending on your genetics or the environment you live. But there are certainly, guiding principles that the majority are starting to agree with. There is light appearing.

Those with an agenda are finding they either have to shout louder or partake in even more dastardly deeds to distract the general public for their own financial gain. Although for most, it’s still too noisy to know what to do next and what is really, the best for them.

So how do you decide?

hand drawn light bulb idea

A bit of logic is required, some evolution, biology, a lot of scientific research and a crazy quantity of statistical analysis. Luckily we don’t need to have done that as individuals, but as a species (of the humankind) many people have been continuously collecting, sifting and writing summaries and theories for what seems to be hundreds of years.

We used to pooh pooh that our ancestors didn’t know what they were doing, the next generation always knows best. But now we seem to have hit a so-called science threshold that is now proving that much of what our ancestors were doing was correct in some way or other.

Not everything, but generally, information passed from parents to siblings, village to village was beneficial to us leading a relatively healthy life. Short of an early death with a blow to the head with a club, or the plague, the ‘real’ average age would have been much higher. Taking in to account that populations really did not suffer from many of the diseases that populations across the globe suffer now.

I’m not going to get into the debate, well just yet, about the benefits or weaknesses of the swathe of diets there are to choose from, rather its going to be what works for you at the time. I will definitely argue the case of what might be overwhelming evidence to support long term health benefits of certain combinations of diet and methods thereof, but the important thing is to have the motivation long enough to make a difference to your health.

I can tell you what I did, to push my weight down, to push through those annoying plateaus. But I realise that those methods are to be looked at as short term tools. After all, a diet of eggs and bacon, every day, does not constitute a good idea in anyone’s eyes. Except the ones on the diet who are losing weight.. well for now, oh wait, it was too hard! “I’ve stopped for a break!”

Even with a crazy unhealthy diet, initially… I realised that many of my initial problems of continuous coughing throughout the day, with the postnasal drip at night, trouble breathing and interrupted sleep, simply disappeared after losing somewhere around 10kg (1.5st). For me, that was so profound. At that time, I had dropped from 105kg to around 95kg but it was enough to wake me up to the idea that I had spent a year trying to get diagnosed and prescribed pills for something that took probably around 1 month plus, to fix. Not forgoing a bit of will power thrown in.

I wasn’t being very clever, I hadn’t looked very far. It was a method, I had used it before, high protein, low carb. But it worked, as far as that part of the journey was concerned. I was just doing what I had done before. I am personally led by science, and the science said it was so. But I might add, there are definitely easier and healthier ways to achieve a similar result, no one would disagree? surely! 

We now we have better science, better techniques and discoveries occurring every day, I’ve spent the past several years obsessively experimenting, researching and exploring not just if things work but, how and why, what are the real effects on the body and the mind. Is this a good idea or not, based on current published knowledge and statistics. 

From where I’m standing (sitting actually) the more you learn the more you realise how complex the body is, how we are only just starting to scratch the surface, gaining new insights into genetics, ‘what is the microbiome‘ and, what seems to be, infinite interactions with our own biological pathways that can either be in near homeostasis or lead to the bolts loosening from any number of wheels and one of them eventually falling off. 

It also becomes very clear that the addition of relatively untested medication in whatever form that may take, can equally have a roll-on effect that bursts a tyre or two leading to complications in what seems at first to be totally unrelated areas. Requiring additional repair with more medication and the cycle goes on.

To find the ideal diet for you, it depends on you!

falling dominoes

If you have Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) or maybe so-called ‘SIBO’, you may feel great pain if you just jumped into a ‘high fibre diet‘ and in response say, that’s not for me. A fast adjustment to any diet will involve biological changes at every level throughout your body, it’s a domino effect. This is one of the reasons why a doctor will always err on the side of caution depending on your medical history. Known or unknown to yourself. Especially if you are already on some sort of medication.

This does not mean you shouldn’t do research and piece together an understanding based on all the facts you can gather. Proceeding with caution, take time to sift the wheat from the chaff. At least you can make much more informed decisions about your own health and keep moving forward to your healthier goals ahead.

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