And the Best Diet Is…
Drum roll please…
I know, I know that’s a terrible answer and probably not the one you were looking for. But stick with me and I’ll show you why it actually “depends” on who you are, what’s currently going on with your body, and your performance goals that determines the best athlete diet for you.
It’s impossible to make a blanket statement and say, “The (fill in the blank) diet is the best diet for (this type of person)!” AND if you hear a coach, nutritionist, or blog post claiming this…run away as fast as you can.
Yes, you’ll probably see headlines like:
“Best bodybuilding diet for fat loss”
“Best diet for bodybuilders”
“The Best Diet for Drug-Free vs. Chemically-Enhanced Bodybuilding”
“Best Diet for You, to Sleep or Workout, Fasting & CrossFit”
(Yes, these are actual headlines to articles on the internet.)
Yet, if you were to read these articles, the suggestions they give are all different.
Since we are all a little different, there are many factors to consider: lifestyle, goals, hormones, fat and muscle distribution, activity levels, etc and that’s why a diet that may be working great for your gym buddy, might not work for you.
The first step to determining what diet is best for YOU is to figure out what’s really going on with your body.
What’s really going on with your body?
As a specialist who works primarily with high performance athletes, bikini/physique competitors, and crossfitters, I often see athletes who suffer from G.I.L.F.F.
Well, first you might be wondering what the hell G.I.L.F.F actually means.
It’s a term I coined for what I experienced after competing in a physique competition (& I know a lot of you experience it too after competitions (and maybe even during the prep stage) – don’t lie to me)
Gut ==>> severe bloating & reacting food that I’ve never before had a problem with
Insomnia ==>> reaching for meds & supplements just so I could get the fuck to sleep
Low-libido ==>> terrible for my psyche (& girlfriend at the time)
Fat ==>> rapidly gained weight, despite being a strength coach
Fatigued ==>> used caffeine as a crutch to keep me semi-sane
Despite numerous doctor visits, unhelpful prescriptions, a supplement cabinet that looked like a drug store AND rigidly sticking to a Paleo diet I quickly learned that modern medicine and a “miracle diet” couldn’t help me heal the damage that had been done.
What did help me was finding out what was the root cause of all the underlying problems. I completed in-depth lab testing (that your current doc doesn’t have) and found out that my adrenals were completely burned out and I had candida (yeast) overgrowth.
So I changed up my diet to support my body in the way it needed rather than just giving it what I thought it needed.
And while you may not be experiencing ALL of these, even if you are experiencing one of the above, it can affect how a certain diet will work specifically for YOU.***
This is also the reason why maybe you’ve even done many different diets and none of them have worked (like how the paleo diet didn’t work for me).
In fact, often when a client start’s working with me they ask “WHY didn’t (insert diet) work for me”. So what’s really going on?
Well, first off I know that as a high performance athlete it’s usually not the case of not being able to “stick with it.” You’re used to disciplined eating regimes.
And honestly it depends on what “deeper issues” are going on. Maybe you’re suffering from a part of (or all of) G.I.L.F.F.?
Whether it’s gut dysbiosis. Or stressed out & imbalanced hormones. It’s unique to you and a diet that works for your workout partner (or coach) might not work for you if you have stuff that’s going on beneath the surface.
So what is the Best Diet?
If you know your body very well, you may be able to determine which diet and nutrition program is best for you, but if not, it might be time to get some help…asap if you’re wanting to perform optimally.
If you’re tired of struggling with which diet and nutrition program is right for YOU, maybe it’s time to take a step back and look at the overall picture.
As a functional medicine practitioner, I work with people just like you all over the US (through virtual appointments) to find out what these blocking factors are through specialized lab testing so that we can get to the root of the problem rather than simply “guessing” what your body is telling you.
If you want to find the best diet for you to perform optimally, reach out and schedule a free 15-minute consultation HERE.
You don’t have to be sick or even facing any particular issues to benefit from working with a functional medicine practitioner.
In fact, some athletes choose to include a functional medicine practitioner on their team to ensure they are in prime condition at all times (before, during, & after training for a competition).
Rich Jacobs is a Board Certified Integrative and Functional Nutrition Practitioner who specializes in resolving gut, insomnia, low libido, fatigue and fat issues. He uses a holistic approach and functional lab work to identify root causes such as hormone imbalances or gut pathogens that could be impacting your health.