Posted by Man Bicep
While I enjoy ripping on vegetarians quite frequently (sorry vegetarian readers), I do just as often admit that there is no “one size fits all” when it comes to dieting.
Different diets are going to work for different people.
End of story.
And while I don’t think this means that there is truly someone out there that can eat junk food and be healthy, I do believe that there is a range of things that will work for different people.
Which is why I was interested in attending our nutritional workshop about Metabolic Typing today at the gym.
“One man’s food is another man’s poison.” – Hippocrates
What works for you may not work for your friend or family member.
Had that happen to you before, right? Had a friend say to you, “I followed ______ diet and felt great and lost 20lbs!” And then you went and tried the diet only to find out that you felt crappy and gained weight.
And it wasn’t that you didn’t do the diet correctly. It wasn’t that you didn’t follow the directions to a T.
It’s just that each of us have slightly unique nutritional requirements and different environmental factors that affect our gene expression. Our genetic make-up and our environment play a huge role in determining what “diet” works well for us.
There are a ton of studies out there about cultures that have a high number of centenarians. Researches have looked for that perfect diet that promises a long and healthy life.
But what they found wasn’t one diet. It was a variety of diets.
Of course there were some commonalities between the diets, like a lack of crap processed foods, but each diet was DIFFERENT.
Because there is no magic prescription, no one size fits all.
Trust me, I know. I had to test out a few different diets that have worked for other people before I found the one that worked best for me.
Over the last few years, I’ve experimented with a variety of diets and macronutrient breakdowns. I’ve done low-fat and high carb. Low-fat and low-carb. High fat, high protein and low-carb. Carb and fat cycling…
I’ve messed around with grains, dairy, fruits, nuts, organic, local, grass-fed. I’ve experimented with a ton of different variables.
Some things have worked. Some….some well…didn’t.
But instead of worrying about what SHOULD work, about what worked for other people, I focused on what actually worked for me.
And the things that worked, I kept. And the rest, I discarded without looking back.
By running my own experiments, I’ve found a diet that works for me. That doesn’t mean, however, that I’m not constantly learning and still always making micro-adjustments.
Because let’s face it, your environment doesn’t always stay the same.
And my perfect diet isn’t the same as Ryan’s perfect diet. I’ve found that I need more carbs than Ryan. Be it my genetic requirements or the way my body reacts to my workouts or a variety of other factors, I need more carbs.
As the guy who came in today and did the Metabolic Typing workshop said, “We are as individual as our fingerprint.”
Each of us will have slightly different nutritional requirements.
And while I do believe that if we all live by the principle “eat whole natural foods” we will all be pretty darn healthy, I do think that to reach our full potential we need to consider our own unique needs.
Have you done any self-experiments? What diet works for you? Ever tried a friend’s diet and had it completely backfire?
NOTE: Now whether or not I agree with the whole questionnaire that supposed reveals your metabolic type is another question and a post for another day. Dr. Oz has a four question metabolic typing quiz that shows you how it works. I do, however, believe that your genetic make-up does affect exactly what variation of a “whole, natural foods diet” is right for you and that genetic testing can be valuable. I just don’t know if a questionnaire can really determine it….