The Perfect Diet- I Don't Believe
I first became interested in diet and exercise back when jogging was considered a fad and people looked at you weird if you ran down the street without someone chasing you. I was about 16 and I was somewhere between a jock and a nerd.
It wasn't until I was in college that I really got into it though. I had a job as the chief of maintenance at a Ramada Inn and I was sitting in my office and realized that I had been taking vitamins for years and that I actually had no idea what they were. About a million pages later I had discovered vitamins, minerals, enzymes, and a bunch of other things that I didn't even know that I didn't know.
I developed a diet from my study that seemed to be the perfect diet for me. The principle was that I worked out the exact amount of protein that would be required for the weight I wanted to weigh and then adjusted the rest of the nutrients to that amount of protein. There were a bunch of additional actions, such as, I always took a spoonful of polyunsaturated oil and lecithin with every meal but the main thing was the protein.
This produced amazing results and almost without any effort I weighed my targeted weight, seemingly overnight. The results were so dramatic that dozens of people were after me to give them my secret.
This was in the days when computers filled rooms, not desks and the mathematical calculations I went through to plan one meal were beyond most of these people, and those who could do it thought it was way too much work. Everyone asked but not one would try it once they found out what was involved.
20 years later the Zone Diet came out and it seemed very similar. After studying it I found that while similar it was completely different and so I tried it. Well for me it produced slightly less than average results, but others were having great success with it.
How the Search Began
So how did I get into examining diets. One day I was having a discussion with a coworker, and the subject came up of low carb diets. I never heard of these before, but my coworker had worked in the gym were low-carb diets were used in some of the members programs. I laughed because this idea seemed to violate everything I knew about diets.
A bit later I read an article in muscle and fitness magazine, where the author described the miraculous benefits of a low-carb diet, and while the editors accompanied the article was disclaimer stating that they do not necessarily support the ideas of the author, the article got me to think that perhaps there might be something I didn't know about diets.
About this time due to the fact that the scales started to tip at 290 pounds, I began to look for diet. I came across the metabolic diet, diet developed by a Canadian doctor as an attempt to help natural bodybuilders achieve results without the use of steroids. It wasn't as offensive as the Atkins diet, because it was five days of low carbohydrates and two days of carbohydrates. This way I felt that my body probably wouldn't be denied any essential nutrients.
The first week on the weekend I ate an entire pizza all by myself, and lost 6 pounds. I was in heaven, I knew I found the perfect diet for me. Over the next three months I dropped 60 pounds, but after that something went out in my metabolism and the weight loss stopped. It seemed like something changed in my body and it didn't seem like it was for the better. Since at the time I had 180 pounds of lean body mass, I wasn't terribly bothered, but my weight loss panacea was gone.
Over the next few years, I read up on many diets but I never really found the perfect diet for me. I did find one concept however in the blood type diet, which led me to believe that every body is different and that there are factors in each of us that make one diet work for me and not work for you and vice versa. After all this I have come to the belief that there is no perfect diet for everyone, but that there is a perfect diet for each one of us.
What Makes the Perfect Diet
Well the first thing is, you need to select a diet that you will follow. The most perfect diet in the universe will do you no good if for some reason you are unable to do the steps necessary to make it work. For example, you can't do the Atkins diet if you hate meat or you can't do a vegetarian diet if you don't like vegetables.
Believe it or not, all diets must essentially follow one basic rule, you have to use more calories than you consume. Now some people try to achieve this by starving their bodies, but this doesn't work because your body is no fool. If it thinks you're trying to starve it to death, it'll fight back and use very few calories.
I experienced this only a few weeks ago, and even though I knew it to be a fact, I was amazed at how slow the metabolism could go. I had started the diet a month or two ago and I was down to, what for me, was a very low calorie consumption per day. I was on a lazy man's diet, a prepackaged MLM diet that a friend had sold me on our year or two before, and I was just trying to get rid of the products that I bought. It turned out that the diet was really pretty good, but that's another story. The point is that I was so busy working on the computer sitting in my chair that I didn't exercise for a week. Up to that point I'd lost about 25 or 30 pounds. That week I gained 5 pounds. My metabolism had slowed to the point that my body thought I was up to no good, and actually stored fat to protect me from myself. The next week I added exercise back into my daily routine and the weight loss started again.
So no matter what diet principle you're using, it is vital that you keep your metabolism up so that you can use more calories than you consume. Now of course every diet has their own theory of what additional factor is the secret to weight loss, but they can't ignore that one. So whether you're trying to train your body to burn fat, or cleansing it so that it metabolizes your food better, or eating things in combinations that will digest better, or whatever diet you doing, don't forget that one point. Some form of exercise has to be part of it.
Now that doesn't mean you have to do a split routine and go to the gym at seven days a week, or start training for a marathon, but it does mean you have to do something. It should be something that you don't hate, because if you hate it you probably won't do it. The one time success of the exercise industry, depended on the fact that people would buy gym memberships, and not use them, so find something that you will do, or at least not hate doing.
Now sometimes something happens in your life, and you can't do some form of exercise even though you enjoy doing it. For example I had an automobile accident in 2002, and broke my leg in seven places. Up to that point my favorite form of exercise was running. I no longer could do that and within a year or two my weight skyrocketed to 350 pounds. I failed to replace running with something I could do. Recently I have been walking and using the elliptical machine at the gym. I had once considered these wimpy forms of exercise, but in the last month or two I've lost over 30 pounds, because I did a form of exercise that I could do, and that I didn't hate.
Whatever diet you choose it shouldn't conflict with your lifestyle. For example, this lazy man's diet that I've been doing fits my lifestyle now, but it didn't when my friend tried to get me to do it. It requires shakes, that need to be made fresh, and if you're driving around all day is very difficult to keep this in. Now being semiretired, it's easy to go make a shake when I get hungry. Now on the weekends I find this diet hard to follow-so I don't. I only do the diet five days a week, but in spite of this I lose 2 to 3 pounds a week (sometimes a bit more) and this is a relatively safe pace for weight-loss. I suppose I could give them a plug in spite of the fact that I'm not really in favor of MLMs, but it is a good diet. It is called Isagenix, and I have exactly 0 people in my downline.
So the perfect diet is something that you will follow, that allows you to consume fewer calories than you expend, and something that doesn't conflict with your lifestyle. Now while I know it is possible to change your lifestyle, that isn't easy and you are already under the stress of trying to lose weight. Of course building good habits is well worth while, but don't bite off more than you can chew. Hopefully you don't get into a situation like mine, I am down to 290 but I still have a long way to go.