What should I eat? How much can I eat? And when can I eat it?
These are 3 questions that always seem to pop up in a world where we all want a physical and mental edge in performance and having the perfect diet is a key component of that. Let’s explore some of the popular diets in the fitness world right now.
- The Ketogenic Diet aka “Keto”
Your body relies on glucose for fuel. If there’s no glucose easily available your body needs to find a new way to fuel itself. This happens through the breakdown of fats and proteins. Originally discovered back in the 1920’s as a treatment for epilepsy, the ketogenic diet has become widely popular as it can help practitioners lose weight quickly and provides mental clarity.
There are a lot of great high fat foods that can still be consumed (did somebody say bacon?!)
Limiting carb and protein intake requires some specific portioning of food. Measuring ketone levels through blood, breath, or urine is not the highlight of anyone’s day.
- “Whole 30”
This diet is completed as a 30 day challenge that allows only whole foods (meats, vegetables, some fruits, and some healthy fats). This diet focuses on the “What” you should eat but is less concerned with “How much” and “When” making it a popular option for novice dieters.
By eliminating processed foods from your diet you give your digestive tract a much needed break. Most folks report higher energy levels. No measuring of portions saves time.
You have to accept that you’re going to be a boring dinner date for the month.
- “Macro Diet”
Ignore the “What” you eat in all but the broadest sense. That is, you only account for the macronutrient makeup of food in terms of fat, carbohydrate, and protein. Focus in on the ratio or total number of calories taken in to hit a total daily macronutrient intake based on your training goals and calories required.
Eating donuts after a workout without feeling guilty can be a huge relief
Poor dietary choices could lead to micronutrient deficiencies. Frequent consumption of high glycemic carbohydrates could lead to insulin resistance.
- “Intermittent Fasting”
This diet focuses specifically on the “When” component of eating. Generally practiced by consuming all meals in a maximum 8 hour time window. This might look like skipping breakfast and consuming all calories between 12:00 pm and 8:00 pm followed by 16 hours of fasting. Many individuals pair this methodology with foods that would be considered “keto” or “whole 30” approved.
A smaller window of time to eat during means fewer calories consumed by most people. The long fasting period can lead to increased fat burning.
Some people have a difficult time adhering to the strict time windows that provide the alleged benefits.
- Vertical Diet
This diet focuses on the “What” you can eat with foods broken down into daily micronutrient required foods and daily macronutrient foods where steak and white rice help you hit your required caloric intake. Caloric consumption is increased based on training volume and goals. Additionally this diet eliminates some unique foods like legumes, onion, and garlic that are considered high FODMAP (fermentable oligo-, di-, and monosaccharide and polyol) foods.
This diet can be a great starting point for someone who has difficulty meeting macronutrient requirements or is new to dieting.
The extreme lack of variability in food choices make this diet a bit boring to follow. It’s very possible that micronutrient deficiencies could occur by following the same simple foods long term.
Visualization Leads to Actualization
Visualization, done right, can be extremely powerful in achieving any goal. As you think about your goals for the New Year, take into consideration the following…
Using your intellectual factor of imagination see yourself already in possession of your goal. Picture yourself with the healthy and fit body you desire, and literally feel what it is like to have it. You cannot achieve anything in your “outer world” until you first see it in your “inner world.”
Is Visualization for Real?
In one of the most well known studies on Creative Visualization in sports, Russian scientists compared four groups of Olympic athletes in terms of their training schedules:
- Group 1 had 100% physical training
- Group 2 had 75% physical training with 25% mental training
- Group 3 had 50% physical training with 50% mental training
- Group 4 had 25% physical training with 75% mental training.
The results showed that Group 4, with 75% of their time devoted to mental training, performed the best. “The Soviets had discovered that mental images can act as a prelude to muscular impulses.”
Creative Visualization is distinguished from normal daydreaming in that Creative Visualization is done in the first person and the present tense – as if the visualized scene were unfolding all around you; whereas normal daydreaming is done in the third person and the future tense. Using affirmations that begin with “I am so happy and grateful now that…” is an excellent way to begin programming your subconscious mind to move towards your goal.
Visualization is another tool that Olympic athletes use to get their minds in shape for competition. In this technique, athletes mentally rehearse exactly what they have to do to win. Sports psychologists say that visualization boosts athletes’ confidence by forcing them to picture themselves winning. It also helps them concentrate on their physical moves, rather than on distractions around them.
Visualize to Actualize
Remember, all things are created twice – first in the imagination and then second in the physical world. Study this excerpt from Napoleon Hill’s famous book, Think & Grow Rich:
The law of autosuggestion, through which any person may rise to altitudes of achievement which stagger the imagination, is well described in the following verse:
“If you think you are beaten, you are,
If you think you dare not, you don’t
If you like to win, but you think you can’t,
It is almost certain you won’t.
“If you think you’ll lose, you’re lost
For out of the world we find,
Success begins with a fellow’s will—
It’s all in the state of mind.
“If you think you are outclassed, you are,
You’ve got to think high to rise,
You’ve got to be sure of yourself before
You can ever win a prize.
“Life’s battles don’t always go
To the stronger or faster man,
But soon or late the man who wins
Is the man WHO THINKS HE CAN!”
Observe the words which have been emphasized, and you will catch the deep meaning which the poet had in mind. Somewhere in your makeup there lies, sleeping, the seed of achievement which, if aroused and put into action, would carry you to heights such as you may never have hoped to attain.
Just as a master musician may cause the most beautiful strains of music to pour forth from the strings of a violin, so may you arouse the genius who lies asleep in your brain, and cause it to drive you upward to whatever goal you may wish to achieve.
Tips for Success
- Create an affirmation statement and visualize yourself with your goal achieved
- Put your affirmation statement in places you’ll see it often like your bathroom mirror, car and desk. Put it on a card and keep it in your pocket at all times
- Create a Vision Board – cut out pictures of your goal (i.e., fit bodies, athletes, etc.) and make a collage that you can view often. Get emotionally involved when you look at it.
Want to dive right into your success? Contact a coach now!