Food can make or break your fitness goals as you may well know. Eating a poor diet of primarily processed food and you will probably feel tired, lazy, and will eventually gain weight or have difficulty losing the excess weight you already have. Anytime you eat healthier, weight tends to drop much easier and you feel healthier in general whether it is in the form of increased energy, feeling lighter, more positive, etc.
I read an interesting article by fitness guru Tony Horton. If you're not familiar with who he is, he is the creator of one of the most popular home fitness programs on dvd: P90X and P90X2. The article talked about his rules for nutrition. In it, he discussed how he was a vegan for many, many years and after some time, he realized that having such a strict diet no longer worked for him. He was running low on energy and so he changed up his diet to accomodate the rigorous workouts he was performing. One of his rules stated to not treat food like your religion. Meaning, some people are so strict with their diet, that they are probably lacking specific nutrition that could help enhance their health. For Tony, it was a boost in energy.
Some Strict Types of Diets
People choose to eat in specific ways for various reasons. Some for ethical reasons, others primarily as a health choice. The most common stricter type of diets include:
If you follow a somewhat strict diet but primarily for health reasons, would you ever consider changing up your diet to include items you may not usually eat? For example, the paleo diet excludes items such as grains, legumes, and dairy products. Any strict diet falls under some type of scrutiny. You can find tons of articles for and against any type of diet. How anyone chooses to eat is a personal choice. Anyone who wants to eat healthier will often hear the most common sense approach: cut back on sugar, salt, fat, and calories. However, some may feel the only way they can eat healthier is by taking it to the extreme and following a strict diet. Sometimes it is easier to stay motivated when you are involved in a group that eats or works out the same way you choose to.
Can Strict Diets Be Harmful in the Long Run?
While it is important to eat a healthy diet in general, opting for a super strict form of eating could mean missing out on nutrition that could help boost your performance, help build muscle, increase energy, as well as other potential positive effects. If a former vegan like Tony Horton realized that his strict diet no longer worked for him, is it something to consider for yourself as well?
You probably won't truly know until you experiment with various diets and discover what works well for your own body. What do you think? Have you treated food like a religion in the past and changed your approach later?