Is there such a thing as the best diet?

At our Norwich gym, we are often asked, whether by Thai Boxing competitors or hobbyists, BJJ competitors or fun-seekers or even MMA fighters here in Norfolk and further afield, 'What is the best diet?'

So, What’s the “best diet” for people to follow?

Despite how many times I have been asked this, I still don't have a quick answer and usually, it's answered with another question or mostly several probing questions.

This is why; I don’t believe there’s a single, 100% perfect diet for every person to follow for the rest of their life, there are too many potential variables to consider and these variables even change as one gets older, or sadly if people develop a health condition etc.
Simple things to consider;

• Body type: so many different shapes and sizes, stocky, thin and tall etc

• Dietary preferences & exclusions: Vegans, Vegetarians, Pescatarians, Coeliac, Gluten-Free by choice, no red meat, other allergies and everything in between

• Budget: Some people have a very low budget to have to manage, others come with an unlimited budget.

• Existing knowledge: Some people already have a huge knowledge of one particular way of eating/living healthy and are almost cult-like in their following of this. Others come with very little nutrition knowledge whatsoever.

• Time: Some people have huge amounts of freedom to spend time preparing and sticking to every corner of their rule book. Others come with very little time to devote to health and fitness (the latter I would question strongly).

"The best coaches don’t actually have a single nutrition philosophy"

If a certain way of living, such as Paleo or Vegan worked for you personally, that’s great. 
However, just because it worked for you, at one point in your life, under a particular set of circumstances, it certainly doesn't mean everyone else should follow the same program that's both short-sighted and a little crazy. Any good coaching is about being open-minded and accepting of different philosophies.
Our bodies are able to deal well with lots of different nutritional changes and envirnonments.
Just take a look at the nutritional diversity across the globe, in different tribes, this varies greatly. When doing my studying for my nutrional qualification, I saw huge variances, for example, in the food pyramids, charts, squares, trees or whatever each relative health organisation chooses to utilise.

For example,

  • The Arctic Inuit and African Masai eat traditional diets that are very high in fat and animal products with very few vegetables.
  • In contrast to this, in the South Pacific, a specific tribe eats traditional diets that are low in fat but very high in vegetables and starchy carbs.
  • The Tokelau near New Zealand eats traditional diets that are very high in saturated fats.

All are relatively healthy people with minimal incidences of cardiovascular disease, stroke, diabetes, inflammatory obesity, etc.

The human body can adapt and is able to across a wide range of nutritional conditions.

So hang on a minute, you have read all of this and there is no conclusion as to what is the best diet for you? Nope, there is as I said from the start, another set of questions that are fired back to you. However, let's start with a demand from me first. 

Get to the root of the issue!

If you are not happy with your current diet then what about it is making you unhappy? As in what results are you getting or not getting and that is/are making you dissatisfied?

Answer this first, then we can start a food diary before you start to make any changes. 

If you are based in Norwich or Norfolk and you would like some free nutritional or specifcially, martial arts nutritional advice, and want to make some changes, either by losing weight, gaining muscle, toning up, getting ready for a competition, wanting to get stronger for either an MMA fight, Thai Boxing bout or BJJ competition. Then contact us either via any of the social media platforms, telephone or email.

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