Think of diets, such as keto or the plant based diet, and dieting patterns or strategies, such as intermittent fasting and IIFYM (If It Fits Your Macros), as tools in your toolbox. You can choose one tool over another depending on your objectives, lifestyle, and food preferences. When done properly, each ‘tool’ ie. diet and or dieting pattern, all have the ability to accomplish the same goals. Pick your ‘tools’ based on what your body needs, responds well to and what you can stick to for the long haul. Before we dive into some of the more popular ‘tools’, below are 4 principles of healthier eating that I’d like to share with you:
1. Healthier Eating Raises Nutrition Awareness.
Research shows that simply paying better attention to what you eat is a key factor in whether you’ll lose fat, get lean, and improve your health.
Whether your attention is trained on avoiding carbs, eating more vegetables, eating a high fat diet, avoiding animal foods, or avoiding processed food, it’s all good.
However what you focus on may not matter as much as simply caring more about what you’re eating in the first place.
2. Focuses on Food Quality
Every diet recommends eating whole, minimally processed, nutrient-rich foods, and that may be one of the most important nutrition principles of all, regardless of the protein, carb, and fat breakdowns.
For example, on the Paleo or Keto (high fat) diet, you eat more natural, free-range animal-based foods that are higher in protein, higher in fat, and are minimally processed.
Vegan and high carb diet plans focus on plant-based foods that are higher in fiber, antioxidants, and are minimally processed. Intermittent fasting is focused on the timing of eating, but the basic premise is that foods are nutrient dense and free from chemicals.
3. Controls Appetite and Food Intake
Eating higher quality ‘real’ food that is nutrient dense is more satisfying than eating processed junk. Timed eating, when you take a break from food for a designated time and only eat a few meals a day, is a way to control calorie intake and eat less than you burn. As a result, one will lose fat, gain lean muscle, and perform better.