Monday, September 26, 2016

The Wagon Wheel

Nutrition can be confusing.  I started "googlin" popular diet plans to follow and man... there were a ton.  Here is some of what I found.

In 1820, Lord Byron popularizes the Vinegar and Water Diet, which entails drinking water mixed with apple cider vinegar.

In 1925, the Lucky Strike cigarette brand launches the "Reach for a Lucky instead of a sweet" campaign, capitalizing on nicotine's appetite-suppressing superpowers.

In 1930 the Grapefruit Diet—a.k.a. the Hollywood Diet—is born. The popular low-cal plan calls for eating grapefruit with every meal.  Grapefruit does have a weird ability to blunt an insulin response!

The Cabbage Soup Diet promises you can lose 10–15 pounds in a week by eating a limited diet including cabbage soup every day.  This one seems to come and go... little devil!

In 1963 Weight Watchers is founded by Jean Nidetch.

In 1975 a Florida doctor creates the Cookie Diet, a plan where you eat cookies made with a blend of amino acids. Hollywood eats it up... literally.

1977 Slim Fast.
1979 Dexatrim launched.
1982 JANE FONDA!  Not a diet but gotta mention her right?!
1980's have way too many to list.  Liquid diets, don't eat carbs and fat together diets,  swim and eat veggies diet... not kidding!
1990's is home to the LOW FAT craze.  Fat was the enemy.
1992 The Atkins Diet!
1995 The Zone Diet! Blocks on blocks on blocks...
2003 South Beach Diet!
2006 The Master Cleanse!
2011 The HCG Diet!
2012 The Paleo Diet
2013 Intermittent Fasting
2015 Flexible Dieting/Macros

Others I may have missed, Sugar Busters, Nutri-System, and heck... folks go on Survivor/Naked and afraid and get lean!!!  Maybe not healthy, but they most certainly get lean.

I don't remember who told me the wagon wheel concept, hence the picture of the huge wheel at the top, but I never forgot it.  What lies at the center of the whole nutrition, diet, clean eating gig?  In my opinion it is two things: Good Health and Good body composition.

If we don't all agree on that, cool, its just my opinion.  But at the center of the wagon wheel, if you will, lies good health and good body composition.  What is the best way to get there????  This my friends is a grrrrreat question!

Enter Yoda speak- Many spokes the wheel has, to the center they all do lead!  (sorry, haha.)

I have personally witnessed people lose weight on a good bit of the above mentioned diets.  Family members of mine lost tons on Atkins.  My wife got SUPER lean on a low fat approach.  I lost 40ish pounds (229 to 181lbs) on Paleo.  A member of ours lost 70+ using Intermittent Fasting principles.  And I bet a ton of you out there have seen success either in yourself or others with Weight Watchers, South Beach and Atkins.

So whats the "right way"?  What makes these plans and others I may have forgotten work?  Success leaves clues, so lets take a look!

Successful Traits
  • Food Amount
  • Food Type
  • Food Timing  
Food Amount is a huge driver in getting to the center of the wagon wheel.  Its not the only thing, but its big thing.  What we recommend and what all these successful plans recommend is 80-90% whole foods: Meats, veggies, fruits, nuts and seeds.  These whole foods are low in calories but high in nutrients.

Food Type is another important factor when traveling to the center.  If you are counting macros and hitting your numbers, great!  But how are you doing it?  Are you eating powdered donuts to get in your carbs?  Are you always drinking shakes to get in your protein?  If you are, you are missing the fiber and micro nutrients whole foods contain.  The instagram account you follow probably doesn't show you the 90%.  You get the flashy 10%.  The boring 90% allows for better control of blood sugar, hormonal levels, and avoidance of foods that give us issues (allergies, gut issues, etc) by monitoring Food Type.  I can't stress how important food type is if you want to be healthy.

Food Timing is yet another way to get to the wagon wheel center.  I'm not going to get into this today because it can get really crazy.  We tend to refer to this as "Space Math".  If you are having trouble eating whole foods, why would you need to start counting carbs, carb cycling, back loading calories, bulk dieting, leaning out etc?  It is not what you know, it is all about what you can do.  So don't worry about the space math, worry about Food Amount and Food Type.

At Versus our stance is "There are many ways to good health and good body composition."  We have seen many plans work over the years.  What works best for you?  Take a look at it and I bet you will notice the food type is HIGH QUALITY and the food amount is monitored in some way.  Again, what we focus on is whole foods and their amount. If you are eating 80-90% whole foods by counting your macros or doing South Beach or going on survivor then you are well on your way to the center of the wagon wheel.

Lastly, what plan do you think you can stick with?  Do you think it is realistic to weigh and measure your food with a food scale every meal for the rest of your life?  Do you think entering food into my fitness pal for the rest of your life is doable?  Do you think living out of a drive thru is healthy?  You MUST find something you can stick with.  What we have found is whole foods are tasty, loaded with nutrients and dominate all of the successful plans throughout the years.  Why not give them a try for a week or two?

Remember, its not what you know, its what you can consistently do.

***forgive the typos! 

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