Diet fads, trends, and philosophies can be found anywhere. There are books, blogs, communities, and products designed for each one and then some.
It almost seems as though nutrition has become a category almost as unregulated as fitness. The job of licensed dietitians and nutritionists is completely undermined when someone can just go online and find a new diet.
Now sometimes these diets provide some really good ideas on paper but when executed it becomes extreme.
A lot of diets promote the following:
1. Monitoring of one’s food intake
2. Eating vegetables, fruits, and other unprocessed foods
3. A source of information and basic education
Now these three topics are all great. I cannot argue with those values but the problem lies in the specifics in each diet and the lack of individualization. What works for someone does not necessarily work for everyone.
A nutritional plan needs to allow for fluctuations among different people. The people that usually find the most success are the ones that consider themselves “mostly wheat free (for example), but_____.” This is usually where they insert the comment of how they break that plan.
Hardcore followers of that diet, for example, might throw a hissy fit over a comment like that, but in reality it is the best strategy.
Finding a diet/nutritional plan is all about what works for each person. Personally, I feel better when I eat minimal grains but I am not about to go Atkins due to that. Instead, I am going to minimize my grain intake and go from there.
Some people may have the same thing with dairy, excessive fruit, etc. It does not matter if it is a popular method of weight loss or energy increase, you should enjoy doing it. If you hate, what you are doing how long are you going to stick with it?
Borrowing ideas from multiple sources and sticking with it for a few weeks is important because these diets do not know your lifestyle. A strict set of guidelines that cannot be broken is not the way to go.
There are also some diets that could be catastrophic for certain populations.
The Atkins diet and other low carb diets are not optimal for athletes. Carbohydrates are necessary for performance.
Should someone with high blood pressure eat a high fat diet? I am not a doctor but I would guess no.
If the biggest flaw with diets is that they are unsustainable, the second biggest one is that individual needs have to be considered.
For people that are not losing weight because they are underfed to begin with, cutting out half of their foods is a recipe for disaster. This kind of person needs to be eating more instead of putting restrictions of what they eat.
We are learning more and more about nutrition everyday but there are some things that have not changed. One plan does not work for everyone. It might work for a lot of people but that does not mean that we can make blanket statements.
Take the time to figure out what gives you the most success. What foods make you feel good? Not so good? These are the choices that you need to make yourself.