Well, they are.
Exactly how ‘shit’ depends upon the diet, and it also depends upon you.
There’s lots of ways to slice and dice ‘diet’. Counting calories, weighing and measuring, avoiding certain foods, or carbs or fats are just some of the ways we control our intake, and of course there’s hundreds of different diets out there to choose from. Nutrition science doesn’t offer much in the way of practical help, and in the absence of this how you choose to stay lean and healthy turns into a personal adventure.
Over the next year I’ll be experiencing twelve fairly extreme examples of different types of diet. I’ll be looking at how they effect me, using a number of different markers of health and happiness. The diets have been picked from a long list of about 80, and are chosen to represent the different ways we view and use foods, what’s healthy and what’s not. They’re mostly fat loss but there’s some longevity, and muscle gain ones in there as well, both are common goals.
The format is three weeks on, one week off throughout the year. I’ll be undergoing a month barrage of tests, including
- Body composition using a variety of methods including DEXA scanning, top line bioimpedance scanning, photos and so on.
- Health and performance with fitness tests and,
- Blood tests, looking at a wide variety of health markers
- Fitness and physical performance tests
- Non invasive health test like blood pressure monitoring, urine tests etc
- Psychological tests looking at cognition, behaviour and happiness.
I’ll be recoding and discussing the results here, including what impact a diet has on health and happiness.
I’m working with a hand-picked team who will work with me looking at the physiological and psychological changes, they include at Doctor with a specialism in nutrition, a Clinical Psychologist with an interest in body dysmorphia in men, an Exercise Physiologist and every month I’ll also be writing a column for Men’s Fitness as well, detailing the highs and lows for their readers. There’s also a bunch of companies that have made it all possible, providing equipment, skills and services so thanks to them.
More details and bios to follow.
So, what is the point?
I hope to learn lessons that will be useful for me and pass on the tips, tricks and tools that made my life easier.
The thing is this: diet and nutrition is one of the most talked about and divisive topics out there. The obvious reason for this is that we’re getting fatter, but the main reason is actually because there’s not a lot of useful info out there. There’s plenty of research, sure, but it doesn’t really add up to definitive guidelines that everyone can use in the real world. Hence there’s plenty of room to argue the details.
The more recent research shows that in terms of losing weight though, who is choosing the diet may be more important that what diet they chose. It is what your experience of the diet is like rather than what the diet is that seems to be key. Yes, it has to work but the food on the plate may not be the magic ingredient of the diet, rather how easily it fits into your life.