Our town has a Facebook group that is often obnoxious. But, still I read it. Kind of like watching a train wreck…you just can’t turn away. One of the posts I like to see is something to the effect “Who is the best local house painter? ” The comments are often long, as everyone quickly chimes in with a painter, handyman, plumber or carpenter who has worked for them and why they are the best (price, time, doing what they say, quality of work, etc). Once in awhile someone will ask a crazy question like:
What is the best diet?
We are engrossed with the idea of “the best” and the relentless pursuit of finding it lest we miss out or seem ignorant. Who is the best boxer of all time? What is the best cell phone? What is the best place to get your hair cut? We want “the best”, but we aren’t sure exactly how to find it or how to rate it. We need a guide.
In the age of Yelp! we have learned to crowdsource our answer. The crowd has become our guide. If everyone else thinks it is “the best” then it has to be, amirite?
In nutrition, this has some drawbacks. The crowd is giving you answers based on their needs and opinions and not necessarily yours. Often the discussion is around macronutrients and calories. This simplistic look at food and nutrition is often misleading for many reasons.
The biggest reason is that food is not simply just a fuel source. It doesn’t just provide energy. It provides much, much more. It provides information.
Food is information
Food is loaded with information about you and to you. When you were a child were you rewarded with food? Was food used as punishment? Were certain foods withheld? When you got together with family what did you eat? When you get together with friends what do you eat? When you get together before or after church/religious events do you eat certain things? Do you have cultural foods that make you happy? Do you have foods you avoid because of religious reasons? Did your Mom cook? Are you really busy so you eat in a hurry? Fast food?
Food is also information to your body in a different way. When you eat you send a diverse set of signals to the cells of your body. Your food tells your body to release certain hormones and not release others. Your food tells certain proteins to express, others to switch off…even when you think smell or think about food different processes begin and chemical signals are sent.
Although food does provide the energy you need, food is also the building blocks of your body. Without certain building blocks you get sick and die. If you don’t have the right blocks you can’t build muscle, maintain bone, or fight disease.
So what is the best diet on the planet?
The perfect diet is the one that works with your body type, to accomplish your goals, meets your food preferences, provides the right nutrients for your body type, works with your schedule, fits in your budget, meets your ethical, moral and religious preferences, and is simple. Easy huh?
That is why we do Nutrition Coaching at CrossFit PTC. Eating is simple. Navigating the choices to achieve your goals is not. A coach helps you make a plan that works for you and helps you stick to the plan. It doesn’t need to be complicated. It just needs to work for you.
How do you find a plan that works for you? You sit down with a coach, create a plan and hit your goals. Schedule your Free Nutrition Consultation here.