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  • Jordan Olenginski

My Take on All 'Diets'

I have had many people ask me questions about certain diets. Jordan, what do you think about Keto? What do you think about Paleo? Vegan? Mediterranean? My answer will always begin with… it could work, but it depends. There isn’t one best diet. There is no ‘one size fits all’. This is important to remember. We are unique individuals with unique goals. One person may thrive on keto while another person may feel sluggish with that low of carbohydrate intake. One person may swear by Paleo, but another person may find it too restrictive. Here’s what I don’t like about ALL ‘diets’: There’s always some form of restriction and there’s almost always a short-term focus. Let me elaborate…

If you have been reading my posts from day one, you know that I am an advocate for sustainability. I quite honestly don’t see much value in doing diets for 30-day challenges or anything like that because it implies an end. What will happen after that time period? You will probably go back to old habits and put the weight right back on. Sometimes a 30-day challenge could be a good way to start implementing healthy habits, but most of the time after the challenge is over, people feel lost. The sacrifices that were made in order to see changes usually aren’t sustainable. The results may be incredible, but people end up feeling lost about where to go from there. And when they’re lost, they revert back to old habits and find themselves back at square one. My question for you all is…. Can we get off this vicious cycle?!

My general answer to all of these diets is yes, they all can work…if done consistently. They can make you lose weight, put on muscle, feel better, be healthier, etc. But my question for you is do you see yourself able to sustain this lifestyle a month from now? A year from now? If not, I don’t think it’s the best route. Instead, I encourage people to toss out the idea of eating one certain way, unless they have allergies or intolerances. For 95% of people, there’s no reason to complicate things or focus on the nitty gritty details. Most people will see results by practicing simple, foundational nutritional behaviors consistently. There’s that word again…consistently. Because that’s the problem with our society as I’ve mentioned many times before. We crave the quick fixes. We want results NOW, and if we don’t get them within a short period of time, we think our plan isn’t working. When people say, “it’s not working” my question would be…well, how long have you actually been doing it consistently?

Now, I said I recommend tossing out the idea of eating one certain way if you don’t have allergies or intolerances. What do I mean by that? I mean let's stay away from the quick fixes and short-term restriction diets. Instead, try to focus on eating mostly whole, minimally processed foods while still enjoying your favorite foods in moderation. Why is this a better approach? When you restrict certain foods, it often creates (1) a bad relationship with food and (2) tempts you even more to binge on your favorite things. On the flip side, if you focus on a diet based on whole, minimally processed foods without any restrictions, you will find yourself (1) eating clean more consistently and (2) looking forward to those days where you get to enjoy the foods that aren’t so good for you. Additionally, this prevents the guilt we feel when we fall off the wagon and eat something we technically weren’t supposed to. We’ve all done it. We beat ourselves up over it and our self-confidence goes down the drain, possibly leading to even more binging. Instead, allow yourself to eat the thing you crave. I do want to emphasize that when I say a diet without restrictions, I mean in moderation. Enjoy that pizza on Friday night! But try to do so in moderation, say two slices instead of seven, if you want to see results and stay in control of your health journey.

I know the overall concept of eating ‘real’ foods may be confusing to some people. In a future blog post I would be more than happy to break down what foods I’m talking about when I say whole and minimally processed. For now, think fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans, legumes, poultry, lean meats, fish, seafood, nuts and seeds. I will elaborate in a future post, but to wrap this post up: We are unique individuals and there is not one best diet. All diets can lead to results if done consistently. But, if you don’t have allergies or intolerances, I recommend switching your mentality from restriction --> addition. Add more whole, minimally processed foods while enjoying your favorite foods in moderation. After all, a life without any ice cream or pizza is a life no one wants to live, am I right?!

Until next time,

Just a Sprinkle of Jordan :)

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