I don’t follow any particular diet and believe in a certain amount of flexibility, according to individual preferences. Any diet that just prohibits has no chance of working. My approach has been to gradually substitute tasty healthy options for the harmful foods, rather than an all or nothing approach that many diets preached. Following this approach and the guidelines below have caused my weight to drop from 75kgs to 65kgs in less than a year and to complete two ultramarathons in the space of 3 weeks.
1. Reduce refined sugar in all its forms to an absolute minimum. Healthier options for me are honey, agave syrup or stevia. I occasionally eat dark chocolate only.
2. Reduce starchy carbohydrates to a minimum also. I avoid white bread, potatoes, white rice, pasta, cakes etc. Some useful alternatives which are healthy include quinoa, sweet potato, wild rice, gluten-free seeded bread (in moderation).
3. Choose real foods instead of processed foods.
4, Eat unlimited amounts of fruit and vegetables. Some say that eating too much fruit is bad because of the fructose content, but I will live with that personally.
5. Avoid all fizzy drinks.
6. Personally I avoid all meat but eat quite a lot of fish which I find a lot easier to digest. I also eat lots of eggs.
7. Eat until satisfied but not until bloated.
8, Drink unlimited water, fruit juices in moderation, tea in moderation and the odd coffee.
9. Select foods that are most colouful where possible.
There are nutrionists I’m sure that will disapprove of some of these but I don’t really care. These guidelines work for me, but within these I am always looking to move towards healthier substitutes without compromising taste. I will no doubt think of more to add to this list later.
What are your own guidelines, if you have any? This is a constant learning process for me because I probably ate one of the worst diets on the planet until I was in my thirties at least.