We are constantly bombarded by diets and eating habits that are aimed at optimizing health and performance. One approach will definitely not work for every single individual, nor does anyone have to restrict themselves for long periods of time. But if we are looking at improving our performance or body composition, changing the way we eat and adjusting portion sizes will be necessary.
Below is a list of a few but not all of the experiments I have put myself through.
A few you may have encountered are listed here:
- Ketogenic: an attempt to reach a “ketogenic state” whereby the body uses ketones as a source of energy. Proteins and fats are broken down in the absence of carbohydrate consumption. I’m pretty sure I did not actually reach a fully ketogenic state as I did not measure the level of ketones in my blood. Although I lost the most weight eating this way and managed to maintain my level of strength +/- 10%. Definitely a -100/10 on the fun factor scale.
- Intermittent Fasting: this is where you allow yourself a certain eating window. An individual training fairly hard and consistently will typically set an eating window if 10 hours while fasting for the other 14 hours. This was the most sustainable and successful way of eating for me, allowing me to gain, lose, or maintain a certain body-weight in a pretty intuitive manner. For social and cultural connections to food, this was great. The only con was the hunger I felt while in the fasted state. Obviously.
- Macro-Oriented or “IIFYM”: how I started this one was simply using an online calculator to find my target macro-nutrients (proteins, fats, carbohydrates), and simply trying to eat the target numbers for each category. This involved measuring and portioning my food, which became cumbersome about 8 months in. However, a great takeaway from being so meticulous with food was learning how to look at food and be fairly accurate at estimating the portion size.
This is just a small idea of the three popular ways of eating I have experimented with :). What I have comfortably landed on is intermittently fasting for about 5 days out of the week while staying within a close caloric range. This works really well with me and has become a natural progression. My next mission is to gain 30-40lbs. So this will include an aggressive increase in the amount of calories I eat throughout the next few months.
What are your goals and what do you find has worked for you? Leave a comment or feel free to e-mail me at email@example.com