30 Mar 3 Golden Rules to End Your ‘Nutrition Confusion’
I’ll be honest, nutrition is very confusing.
Determining the right foods to eat for your goals can be insanely complicated, confusing, and downright frustrating.
I mean, one book says one thing and then another book that says the COMPLETE OPPOSITE.
One expert says one thing and another expert outright opposes it. That’s ‘nutrition confusion.’ It’s really pretty crazy!
So, the question is, how do you decide what is right for you?
What’s the best nutritional strategy for you, your health, your performance, your body composition, and your energy?
I’ve read countless nutrition books and articles and I’ve heard many different speakers present on nutritional topics. Like I said, it can be very confusing and overwhelming. The bottom line is what will make you feel your best, look your best, perform your best, and keep you in peak health. Your eating strategies are determined by your goals, of course. But, I think we ALL want the same thing and I just mentioned what that was. I recently heard an innovative solution to ending the ‘nutrition confusion.’ Honestly, I can’t take credit for these rules, since I heard someone else basically present this concept (although maybe a little different). The point was so valuable, I wanted to summarize and elaborate on it for you. Here’s the 3 golden rules:
- USE COMMON SENSE. The first thing you should consider is, does this even make sense to you. For example, there are a couple of diets out there. I am NOT going to mention the names of these diets, but they read like this, “The X Diet.” You can fill in the X and think about some of the crazy diets you may have heard about. The first thing to consider is does it even make sense. If it doesn’t make sense to you, that’s a pretty good indicator about it’s possible validity. You can say the same thing about a nutritional principle. Just as an example, let’s take low carbs. Now, there are low carb diets and there are very low carb diets. Do they make sense? I am not here to get into a low carb discussion (that’s a lengthy discussion), but the point is, does it make sense to you? You will have to read and dig a little, but if things don’t make sense, then it’s probably not a good strategy for you. I hope that makes sense. Understand it from a common sense perspective.
- WHAT DOES SCIENCE SAY. The next big rule is what does the science say. Where is the data? I wrote a previous post on a nutritional sports supplement. In this article, I reviewed a published paper in a sports nutrition journal. The findings demonstrated a positive benefit with this supplement. I have nothing to do with this supplement. I simply came across the article and thought it was a well designed study that supported the supplement claims. The study revealed what the science says to support this supplement for certain ergogenic purposes. This is just an example. No matter what the topic, it should come down to what does the data say to support the claim or the promise. If there’s no data, no real evidence, than the science does not support a nutritional claim or even a dieting strategy, in my opinion. This part will require you to do more digging, have a little patience, and take a little time to find out if the science is proven. With all of the information on-line these days, sometimes you don’t have to dig too hard and the payoff will be worth it for you. So, when you’ve heard about a nutritional topic, do a little research to find out if there’s science or well controlled clinical trials to support it. And, if there’s opposing views on it, that’s where it gets interesting. You then have 2 choices: 1-go back to the common sense approach OR 2-determine what will work for you and the only way to do that is test it. This leads me to the 3 rule.
- WHAT WORKS (best for you). So, ultimately, it will come down to what works best for you. For simplicity, let’s take a look at the low carb diet again (and by low carb, I don’t mean ‘no carb’). If it makes sense to you, the science is there, and you’re still confused, the only option left is to ‘test’ it for yourself. This means exactly that. You do it, you implement the strategy and determine if it’s effective and something you could sustain the rest of your life. Anytime you implement a new nutritional strategy, you’ve got to think of it in terms of doing it for the rest of your life (unless you are using nutrition for performance enhancement for an athletic training event, that can be a different situation). Think Lifestyle, not short term fix. A reasonable amount of time to test a new eating strategy may be as short as a few days and as long as a month. Test it and see how you feel, what body changes you experience, how your energy and performance are enhanced, or whatever is it your looking to improve. When rules 1 and 2 are met, the only way to find out for sure if a strategy works is to try it out and decide if it’s right for you.
These concepts are brilliant. I really feel like this is such a great, simple set of rules to follow, if you’re confused about different nutrition information and advice out there. So, when you’re feeling a bit confused, use good common sense first, then dig a little and see if the science supports it or what the facts are, and then finally, try it and see how it works for you. End the ‘nutrition confusion.’
You can apply this to anything related to nutrition.