I think the sign of a good diet is whether or not it has evolved, even just a little bit, from when you started it.
When you first start a diet, you should stick to the guidelines laid out as strictly as possible because that way you know if the principles work.
But most of the time the guidelines laid out by that other person, aren’t perfect for you. So either you end up giving up on the diet OR you start evolving the diet to better work for you.
I started out doing the Primal diet as Mark had it laid out. But slowly I made my own changes.
At first apples and almond butter were a staple snack to replace the apples and peanut butter I had been eating. Now….I can’t even remember the last time I ate them as a snack.
At first I also didn’t eat rice and potatoes. I ate nuts and fruit and vegetables as my only carbs. But then when I wanted to really cut body fat, I stopped eating as many nuts (actually I basically only eat macadamia nuts now) and started carb cycling with rice and potatoes.
Recently though, I haven’t eaten any potatoes. Instead I’ve had a very little bit of white rice and homemade corn tortillas. Although corn isn’t recommended in Primal, I’ve found that having tacos with corn tortillas as kept me from really cheating otherwise. And my energy levels have felt great, my workouts have been intense and my body composition has actually improved.
I also used to eat a lot more cheese when I first started Primal. Slowly cheese became more of a treat and less of a staple. I no longer need the cheese each day to keep me sane.
That is really what experimenting with your diet is all about – staying sane while being healthy.
You don’t want to deprive yourself of something you love to the extent that you complete give up on a healthy lifestyle. Remember the 80/20 rule – perfection is only required 80% of the time to reach your goals.
You need to find what works for you.
How many carbs do you need? Do you crave sweets or can you not live without your cheese?
All diets can and SHOULD be adjusted to fit YOUR needs.
How has your healthy diet evolved since you started it? What changes have you made to keep yourself dedicated to an overall healthy lifestyle? What do you allow in your 20%?