In today’s world, it seems that everywhere you go there is someone telling you about a certain diet and how it will ‘change your life’. Usually, you ask yourself ‘will this be the solution to all of my problems?’. We have to admit, even some of the team here have fallen victim to these diets. Sounds good, doesn’t it? Eat 5 times a day and become Schwarzenegger overnight. This piece follows the GP theme in that we are not looking to tell you what to eat or what not to eat. We just want to give you our perspective on what is out there when looking at a diet, with a little bit of information to support it.
It’s refreshing to see that the popular diets today seem to be based on a much more balanced intake. Thankfully, gone are the days where The Atkin’s Diet was the height of popularity – danger averted! A remarkably popular diet that many people are using and getting great results from is the ‘5:2 diet’. A quick Google search will explain that over a seven-day week, you have two non-consecutive days where your calorie intake is limited to 600 kcals (500 for women so enjoy that extra PBJ cracker gents!). The remaining days are then balanced with the recommended amounts of food groups. The system has been supported by the society of sports nutrition with professionals stating that it allows your body’s metabolism to ‘catch up’ from those other days. It poses its risks, 600 calories don’t sound like much but if you’re savvy you can easily find yourself eating porridge for breakfast, a salad for lunch and a curry as an evening meal.
Discussions around carbohydrate intake have existed in the nutrition world for some time and no doubt will continue to do so. Issues around what type of carbohydrate to eat, when to eat it, how much to eat to name a few. Similarly, people talk about the use of ‘cheat days’ where training days may stop and a day every so often you let go! Elite bodybuilders are advocates of this strategy (explore Instagram and you’ll see bodybuilder’s tables with fast food stacked high). Again, both of these diet directions need to be suited to what you want to achieve and as with all diets, it needs to be something you’re willing to stick to in order to get the results you want.
Regardless of which diet, training programme or personal goals you choose, the one thing that remains is that your body (for all of its complex systems) is simple in its function. You burn fuel to create energy, the better the fuel, the better energy you produce. Equally, constantly filling your body with bad fuels is not going to give you the results you want, not in the short term and certainly not in the long term. Maintaining a stable diet is dependent on your ability to commit to it, if you cut out every treat from your life then your binge is more likely to last longer than you first planned!
As always we hope you enjoyed the piece, let us know what you think and keep your eyes open for similar features in the coming weeks.