When it comes to nutrition, I am pretty easy about it. My philosophy is simply: get in everything and keep your daily calories in track (depending on your goals). When I mean everything, I don’t just mean the good stuff, but also, the stuff you enjoy. The stuff that keeps you, well, you know, sane, happy and sociable!
Really, it is the stuff that adds a bit of extra flavor and sweetness in your life. As long as you fit all this within your calorie allowance for the day, you will not only achieve your size, strength and fat loss goals, but also, keep your mental and physical health in tiptop shape. This is really all what I like to call flexible eating. Unlike most food trends that come and go, flexible eating is set up so that really, there is no end. It’s sustainable, healthy, allows you to enjoy life but at the same time, still keeps you right on track to achieving your goals. What is not to like! The best of both worlds, right?
Food Trends: The Fundamentals Don’t Change
One of the things I frequently hear from people when it comes to food trends is: O, I am on this food trend because specific foods (or food groups) are great for promoting fat loss, building muscle and giving me boosted performance (or the opposite argument). I don’t hate food trends, they do have their advantages: such as offering convenience, new recipe ideas, health promoting benefits, good for the environment, fall in line with certain moral principles and, recommendations for people with specific medical needs and conditions. Or simply, you could just say that people fancy trying different and new things. This is absolutely ok! But, from a size, strength and fat loss stand point nothing changes. The basics stay the basics and the rules of the game don’t change.
“From a size, strength and fat loss stand point nothing changes. The basics stay the basics”.
The problem with food trends is that many people crazy about them also believe that they provide new ways into fat loss, size and strength promotion. Many companies at the moment tap into these food trends and do well to market them for these very purposes! I don’t mind if companies promote food trends for the above reasons I mentioned. But, when you start telling people they do miracles for fat loss, size and strength because of specific things in that food trend, then you start putting people onto a risky path. As a consequence, people start getting caught up in stressing over certain foods, removing specific food groups and, avoiding certain stuff in the hopes of squeezing out extra gains.
Unfortunately, it just doesn’t work like this. One thing that happens is that people quickly loose sight of the basics of nutrition. The thing is, you could be following the healthiest, best health promoting food trend ever, but if your calories are out of whack with your goals, you won’t ever reach them.
“One thing that happens is that people quickly loose sight of the basics of nutrition”.
Food trends come and go, some people follow particular food trends for a whole range of reasons, and that is great! Particularly with a lot of discussion around environmental issues, people (and companies) are starting to look to ways to help reduce this, like veganism for instance. I have seen some great recipes from people who follow veganism and there is a lot of healthy stuff in their for health boosting benefits. This I can appreciate!
But on the flip side, I have seen discussions, arguments and clever marketing pop up saying: this is better for fat loss, better for muscle gain etc. etc. This is the point when a food trend goes from being sensible, to one that simply starts neglecting the fundamentals and confuses the heck out of people.
Trust me, I have seen countless books, papers and discussions pop up over specific foods, food groups, nutrients, what is good and not good is for fat loss, size and strength, and I can tell you folks, it adds nothing more than total confusion. What starts out as an innocent food trend for many great reasons, ends up in the end trying to pretend it’s the holy grail for peoples fat loss, size and strength goals. In the fitness world, food trends are great for marketing! Just don’t get sucked into it.
Don’t Get Distracted From The Basics/Fundamentals
Food trends bring new things to the table; things like new recipes, ideas, variety and, easier, more convenient ways of getting in all the good stuff your body needs for optimal health. All in all, they are great to try and incorporate into your nutrition. But, whether you are someone who follows food trends or not, the basics for fat loss, strength and size gains, do not change. It’s always going to be about making sure you tune your daily calorie intake to your goals and ensuring your getting in everything. There are no miracle foods, food groups, trends or diets out there that are going to give you the holy grail of fat loss, size and strength gains. They might do for general health, but not for your general fitness goals. If you don’t have the basics dialed in, then even the healthiest nutrition plans can work against you.
This is why I am always for flexible nutrition. Flexible nutrition means that you can include everything you want to (even the stuff you enjoy) while keeping this in line with your daily calories. Unlike most food trends, flexible nutrition doesn’t come and go. Why? Simply because not only does it allow for variety, and health promotion, it keeps your nutrition sociable and sustainable. No need to get all sucked into different food trends (unless for specific reasons) when you can easily follow flexible nutrition, still have everything, and, still reach your goals! Some people might say: But since starting this food trend I have lost so much weight!
Most of the time, this is not due to the food trend itself, it’s due to the fact that you have tightened up your diet (fewer empty calorie foods), added more structure and been more careful about your food choices all which, would have naturally led to a reduction in your daily calories. Again, if your intake of daily calories is lower than your maintenance, you will loose weight. Wait for it, the fundamentals! There is nothing wrong with food trends for many reasons in this article, but when it comes to fat loss, size and strength gains, nothing will ever beat the basics.
If you have any questions about the article or would like to discuss further some of the topics mentioned, then please feel free to leave comments down below!