Nutrition seems to be one of the most debated topics in the fitness industry. I’ve had numerous discussions or debates with other trainers about the value of tracking your food intake using some form of journal or nutrition diary. I argue in favor of using a journal or a free app like My Fitness Pal to track your calories and macronutrients (protein, fats, and carbs), or to at least have some awareness of portions and approximate macro intake. Those who oppose tracking often recommend just “listening to your body” to determine how much to eat.
One of the things I’ve frequently noticed in interviewing new clients, speaking to other trainers, and communicating with other fitness freaks online, is how many different opinions there are and how much confusion there is related to fat loss nutrition. Some people are just completely clueless, while others are so devoted to a particular way of eating that their diet becomes like their religion!
People have some pretty strange ideas about their diet.
With so many different fad diets and nutrition protocols out there, it’s no wonder people get confused. For example, you’ve probably heard about: Paleo, Keto, Atkins, Vegan, Gluten-Free, Low Fat, South Beach, The Zone Diet, Volumetrics, Raw Food Diet, Dr. Bernstein, No Carbs After 6:17PM, etc. That’s not even getting into tracking systems (calorie / portion control plans) like Weight Watchers or Nutri-System.
Now, I’m not saying that all (or any) of the above nutritional strategies are necessarily bad… there are probably positive aspects to most of them. But how do you know which ones are right for you, or which ones work best? And if it works, why? Part of the problem is that people don’t understand the basics of nutrition for fat loss and they start desperately grasping for a trendy quick fix plan to get results. Another issue is that many of those “diets” can not be sustained over the long term.