I came across THIS article on the good ol’ internet the other day and it was really interesting. It’s called Man vs. Food by John Bradley and it is an article in Outside magazine about six different types of diets. Bradley writes about the pros and cons of them, what they are about, how they began, and what their ultimate goals are. The reason he knows so much about these diets is because he tried each one of them, for a full year.
Six diets, two months each, with hardly any cheating or straying from the intended “diet philosophy.” He decided to find out what all of these fad diets were about and why 95% of dieters ultimately don’t succeed in their goals. He became the human experiment of dieting and he wrote one of the best pieces of diet advice ever and one that I am calling the backbone to my nutrition philosophy.
The diets Bradley tried included the The Abs Diet, Paleo Diet for Athletes, Mediterranean Prescription, Okinawa Program, Nutritionist, and MyPyramid.gov. A couple of these I hadn’t even heard of (Okinawa??) but many of them are thrown around so often in today’s society that it has become the norm to be on some kind of diet. You can read the full article for yourself but what Bradley learned was ultimately what every single dieter will eventually learn… there is no ONE diet that works for everyone, and if you are sticking to whole, unprocessed foods, with lots of leafy greens, lean proteins, and healthy fats, you are probably on the right track.
Bradley included a chart of some interesting measurements that changed over his dieting year. His weight stayed relatively the same, which he says, shows how little the measurement of weight really tells about your picture of health. One of the diets shot his cholesterol up so high that his doctor threatened intervention if it didn’t come down after the next diet phase.
A lot of diets have specific goals, but lots of them are really short term goals. There are two week diets, there are 4 week diets, and there are plans that run for a year or two, but people tend to live a lot longer than that, thank goodness. If you think about your life goals, and what you want to fill your body with for the rest of your life to fuel health and happiness, it probably won’t be protein powder and kale juice. This one little line from the article stuck with me and I am calling it the best diet advice ever. Actually not even the best diet advice… the best LIFE advice.
Moderation of everything, more than elimination of anything.
The taper is still going strong. Today was my typical rest day but before I was stuck indoors all day working, I snuck out for a lovely walk with my mom in the fresh air. We headed out onto the back roads for a peaceful start to our morning. They had just sprayed the roads so there was no dust flying everywhere and I only managed to drop my phone in the mud once.
It was a little humid but it was nice. It feels good to slow it down at least one day a week. We walked for about an hour and chatted about my mom’s upcoming trip to Europe with my dad. I am uber jealous and would really love for her to bring home some pizza for me from Italy. I don’t think it’s that ridiculous of a request. My mom is paranoid that she is always wearing this blue workout top in my blog so she wants you to know she has more than one shirt that she exercises in. It was a good start to our morning.
I really do love that dieting quote but it applies to so much more than food. Moderation of exercise, moderation of driving, moderation of watching movies. Instead of doing things in excess, or eliminating something altogether, just enjoy it in moderation 🙂 Far too many diets are founded upon the elimination of certain foods, or even food groups, and it does more harm than good in most cases. Moderation of everything, more than elimination of anything.
What is the best piece of healthy living advice you have ever received?