There’s a lot of chatter out there in the world about which diet is best. You see this play out on social media where proponents of one diet will bash another diet, and then proponents of THAT diet …
My name is Patrick McGilvray, and I’m an experienced marathoner, ultra runner, Sports Nutritionist, Master Life Coach, and weight loss coach for runners. I’ve dedicated my life to helping runners just like you properly fuel your body and your mind. So you can get leaner, get stronger, run faster and run longer than you ever thought possible. This is Running Lean.
Hey there, and welcome to episode 94 of Running Lean. My name is Patrick McGilvray, the weight loss coach for runners and today, which diet is best? So there’s a lot of chatter out there in the world about which diet is best. You’ll see this play out on social media, especially where proponents of one diet will bash another diet and then proponents of that diet or bash the other one and then on and on it goes.
And with all of this conflicting information out there, it can be very difficult to make an informed decision about which diet is best for you. How do you know which is right for you? What happens if you’re wrong? So in this episode of the podcast, I’ve decided to make things a little bit easier for you.
I’m going to explain, first of all, why there’s so much conflict around which diet is best and offer up some actionable tips on how to make the right choices to help you reach your particular health and fitness goals. Cool. Awesome.
But first, if you like this podcast, please come check out the Running Lean podcast community on Facebook. This is a group that I created that goes hand in hand with podcast. We do some coaching and training over there in the group. It’s a positive, encouraging, motivational, inspirational group of people that share goals like wanting to lose weight, wanting to become a fat adapted runner, wanting to run without bonking just running to run faster, or maybe just want to run more.
Whatever goals that you have around weight loss and running around health and fitness. We’re here to support you. So come and check us out. It’s a fun group and I do some weekly coaching and training in the group and people get a lot out of it. At least that’s what they tell me. Just search for Running Lean community on Facebook, and you’ll find it over there. Cool.
And then here’s another five star review of the Running Lean podcast and this one is from Lance and Lance says:
“Running Lean is easy to understand. And it works. This podcast does a great job explaining complex subjects by using everyday terms. The podcast uses updated studies in science nutrition debunking a lot of methods. The vast information out there is the vast information is out there for all of us, but Patrick takes all the information and gives us the Cliff Notes and it works for me. Love that. I read nutrition food labels an entirely different way. Now I eat entirely differently and it works for me. My hunger pangs are gone over the past two months, I feel full I’m losing weight without some crazy calorie counting. And I get my nutritional needs met. Keep up the great work you are my nutritionist for exercising. Best, Lance.”
Thank you, Lance. That is awesome. I love this. I am your nutritionist, Lance. I love that that’s so fun. And if you feel like it, if you want to leave a review, that would be awesome. You can just go to iTunes or wherever you listen to your podcasts and leave a review. Leave some feedback. I love getting messages like that. It just lets me know that the message is resonating with you guys. And that you’re you’re getting something out of this. So cool, awesome.
And then people ask how they can work with me. And there’s really two ways. So I have the Running Lean coaching group. And this is a group that meets once a week we do a group zoom call. And we talk about what’s going on we talk about how was your your weight loss goals going? How is your running goals going? How is your health and fitness goals guide? Like how are things going for you?
And it’s a place where you get support encouragement and you get to ask questions and get questions answered. I do some coaching and teaching in the group. I bring in special guests to do some coaching and teaching in the group. I have an entire online library of training materials that you have access to.
I have a private podcast that you would have access to with all the replays of all the trainings, you never have to miss anything you can take this stuff on the run with you. And it’s just really a great way to help you reach your goals and get some support doing it. So that’s number one.
Number two is you could hire me as your coach I’m a coach, this is what I do. This is my jam. working one on one with a coach is probably the best way for you to get your to get to your goals. And I’m not saying that like oh yeah, I’m the only one that can do this for you.
Now there are lots of coaches out there. But if you ever want to really like supercharge your your goals and really get there faster and easier and more efficiently than hiring a coach is a great way to do it doesn’t have to be me, it can be somebody else. There’s lots of great coaches out there.
So if you’re interested in working with me, you can just go to runningleanpodcast.com/apply, and you can apply for coaching. And if you’re interested in joining the group, the monthly coaching group, just go to runningleanpodcast.com/join. So those are two ways of working with me.
And you know, I’m always here for you, my my goal in life, like, my purpose, my mission in life is to help as many runners as possible to get healthy, to, to get fitter, to become stronger, to become just better overall human beings. And it takes a little bit of work to get there, you know, so I teach some stuff on the podcast, but really to take a deep dive and, and really almost guarantee that this is going to work for you, then you can do some some coaching. Cool.
Awesome. All right, let’s get into this topic of which diet is best. So I want to say this before I start, because I’m going to use the word diet today a lot. And I usually don’t use that word, because I don’t like the connotations that brings up because when we think about a diet, we think about something that is temporary, or something that is, you know, just for the purpose of losing weight.
Like saying I’m on a diet to lose weight, and then it also implies that somehow you’re going to go off the diet. So that’s not how I’m using the word diet today. What I’m using the word diet today is just to refer to your food plan, your protocol, your nutrition program, the types of foods that you eat, whatever you want to call it, okay? It’s like the way you eat.
Okay, so, you know, we can, here’s some examples of diets like vegetarian, pescatarian, ovo, lacto, vegetarian, vegan plant based carnivore, low carb, high fat, Paleo, keto, high carb, the standard American diet, the Mediterranean diet, like there’s all these different types of diets out there. Okay.
So that’s kind of what I’m referring to in the course of this episode today, okay? So when I talk about diet, and what sparked me wanting to talk about this today, I’m a little fired up about this subject, because I see so much information out there, where people are, you know, they’ll talk about their, their particular diet, the one that they believe is the best.
And they sort of like put it out there as if all the other ones are terrible. And this is the only way to do it. And I’m right, and you’re wrong. And I’m just kind of like over that, you know what I mean?
Because clearly, there’s lots of people that that do things like, vegetarian or vegan that, like don’t eat meat. And then there’s people that do things like carnivore that eat only meat, and both groups of people seem to be pretty healthy. You know, I mean, like, I think there’s a lot of evidence that would show that, like, you can be very healthy on either side of that equation. Right.
And for us to argue with each other about this, I think is it’s an exercise in futility. Because, as I’ll get into in a minute here, the science will tell us that this one is, is the better diet, and then the science will also tell us. No, this one over here is the better diet and they conflict each other and it’s like, why is this? Why is this happening?
And I got a message recently from someone who said, you know, hey, I’m kind of confused about all this because every, you know, nutritionist that I follow or dietician or coach tells me that as a runner, I need carbs, like, that’s the only way I can fuel my running, and I have to have carbs or I can’t, you know, run a marathon or whatever.
And you’re over here telling me that low carb is, is something that’s possible, and it’s a better way to go. And so which is right, is that everybody else? Or is it you? How can the science support both of these views? And I’m going to get into that in just a second. Like why the science is so conflicting on these matters.
But I just want to say that sometimes we get into what’s what’s called a bias. So we have this, this bias as to what our beliefs are. So we tend to believe something like, like, I tend to believe that a low carb diet is a good way to go. I’m not saying it’s better or best. I’m just saying that this is a good way to go. And so I read a lot of information, and I follow a lot of people, doctors and elite athletes, who talk about the low carb diet as a way of enhancing your performance of losing weight of becoming the healthiest person you can possibly be of reversing chronic diseases like obesity and diabetes and heart disease and things like that.
And so I’m following all these people in the world. And I’m very connected to a lot of people in the low carb sort of community. And so for me, I see this everywhere I see evidence of this low carb being effective, I see it everywhere.
Now, if you’re the kind of person who believes that, you know, the traditional sort of high carb approach to running is the way to go, you’re probably going to be following people that talk about that. And that’s why you might say to yourself, like, well, everybody that I see and hear and talk to, says that you have to have carbs, well, you’re just not following the right people, or you’re just only following this small group of people over here, okay.
So just know that we all have this sort of perception bias, like when it comes to our own beliefs, you know, so we believe something. And so we tend to gravitate towards people towards resources towards podcast or its books, towards literature toward studies and all that stuff that supports our viewpoints.
And I’m telling you that I do the same thing, I totally do this, I follow tons of podcasts and read tons of books on, on how the low carb approach to endurance sports is a great way to go. And, and I feel really, you know, convicted in my beliefs, I feel very strongly about my particular beliefs. Okay.
I also have to say that what I believe is not necessarily true for everyone. And this is kind of the point I’m trying to make here today is that there are a lot of people out there that say, like, there’s only one way to do it, and this is the way to do it. You know, plant based, you can’t eat meat, because it’s killing you. It’s killing the plants, killing everybody.
And then there are other people, they’re like, listen, we’ve been eating meat for 2.5 million years, I think we’re gonna be okay, you know, why all of a sudden, do we need to stop eating it? You know what I mean? So, and both people have valid points, and both people can make the claim that you know, that they get good health results from eating this way.
And so we’re going to get into why there’s conflicting information and all that stuff here. So let’s talk about this a little bit here. So science, I love science. I am a fan of science, I’m a logical thinking sort of like science person, I want to see the facts. I don’t take much on just face value, you know, I’m not much of a man of faith, I’m more of a man of science, okay.
And when we get into studies, and we get into scientific studies, especially around food, the science can be conflicting, and the science can contradict one another. So the studies can kind of contradict each other. The problem with the way they do science in the in around food. Is that is that the science is not perfect when it comes to food. Okay.
So there are different types of studies. And there’s two main types of studies that I’m talking about here and they they have good and bad points. There is a study called a randomized controlled trial, RCT. And then there are what are called observational studies. And I want to explain what these two things are. And I’m going to just take a dive into this just for a minute here. If you will allow me, will you allow it? Thank you, because I want you to understand the difference between these two types of studies.
So randomized controlled trials, or RCTs, are the most straightforward of studies, to design and to interpret, they’re often considered to be the gold standard of clinical and epidemiological studies. This is because if they are conducted properly, it is often possible to be fairly sure that the results are correct, at least for the type of people who took part in the study.
In a randomized control trial, two or more groups of people are compared. So there’s an experimental group who receives maybe a new treatment or a different type of food or something like that. And then there’s a control group who receive the current standard treatment or the current standard food, whatever it is.
Information from the control group allows the reacher researchers to see whether the new treatments are more or less effective than the current standard. It is important that in a randomized controlled trial, the two groups have people that are as similar as possible except for the treatment they receive except for the diet they’re getting.
For example, this is very important because it means that the researchers can be sure that there aren’t any outside influences that are skewing the results. And they call it randomized because the decision about which treatment each participant gets is random, it’s based on chance, rather than decided by the participant or by a doctor or something like that. Okay.
So, randomized controlled trial, the gold standard, you’re basically taking two identical groups of people, and you’re controlling all of the factors, you’re controlling everything except for one variable, like the food that they’re eating, okay?
Then there are things called observational studies. So in fields like epidemiology, social sciences, psychology, statistics, and observational study will draw inferences from a sample to a population where the independent variable is not under the control of the researcher, because of maybe ethical concerns or logistical constraints.
So these are called observational studies, because the investigator observes individuals without mean manipulation or intervention, they’re just sort of observing what’s happening. Okay? This is in contrast to randomized controlled trials where investigators do do intervene and look at the effects of the intervention on an outcome.
Although randomized control trials are useful in determining causal relationships, between treatment and outcome, there are often instances where randomized control trials are not appropriate or ethical, right? So observational studies are needed. Observational studies are good for things like you know, long term effects of food on a population.
Like you can’t control every aspect of an entire population, you can’t make them all do the same thing, live in the same, you know, neighborhood, work, the same job, have the same level of stress, have the same type of relationship status, like all these things, you know, factor into your health and things like that, right? So it’s very difficult to do randomized control trials with food studies. So I’m just going to put that out there. Okay.
Randomized control trials are considered the gold standard, because their goal is to prove causation, what is causing the problem, if we remove all the variables, if these two groups of people are exactly the same in every single way, except this one thing, like one person’s eating high fat, one person’s eating low fat, does this food cause obesity? Does this food cause diabetes? Does this food cause heart disease? This is what we’re trying to get to.
But it’s very hard to do, because it’s hard to control everything in two groups of people, right? That’s why there are so many observational studies around food. Okay, so the best we can do. Sometimes a randomized control trials are possible with food. But the most studies around food are called observational studies. Observational studies cannot prove causation. That’s the thing you have to understand they can they can cause they can show correlation but not causation.
So correlation is where like, let’s say, everyone in this group who ate brussels sprouts had a 90% higher risk of lung cancer. So you’re inferring you’re making a correlation of lung cancer to brussel sprouts, okay? You’re inferring that the brussel sprouts caused the lung cancer, but you can’t prove that the brussel sprouts, you’re not proving causation. They didn’t cause the lung cancer. They didn’t factor in that maybe all those people smoked cigarettes. Okay. So that’s what the difference between an observational study and randomized control trial.
So the bottom line with me talking about all this stuff is just saying like the science is not always 100% perfect when it comes to food. And that’s why you can find studies that show that a high carb diet is the only way you can run long distances. And you can have other studies that show the completely opposite effect that a low carb diet is just as beneficial for endurance athletes.
And I’ve talked about some of these studies in the past, you know, like the faster study is a great one that showed groups of elite athletes, one group who did the traditional high carb diet, the other group did the was on a low carb, high fat diet for a period of time. And they had them go through all these, you know, rigorous exercises and things like that, and then they measured their blood glucose levels and their performance and their output and all this stuff.
And both groups were very, very similar. The high fat group, the low carb, high fat group was burning tons more fat than the other group. But besides that, like their performance was almost exactly the same. And so what that tells me is like, either way is is going to work. Like there’s not just one way, there’s not one way is better than the other necessarily, okay.
And I’m not saying that the science is bad, or it’s wrong or shouldn’t be trusted, but I’m saying is that science can be skewed a little bit based on some of these types of trials that they do. Also, this is very important. Sciences is often biased, you know, by who’s funding the study. Or science can be incomplete, you know, making so they’re making assumptions, you know, they’re jumping to conclusions sometimes.
But unfortunately, a lot of science is biased, because it’s bought and paid for by, like the big food industries with deep pockets. They pay for these studies to support the results that they want to get, like, they want to say, like, let’s show sugar is not the problem. So let’s pay for these studies that support this outcome. And you better show us the results that sugar is not the problem here.
Here’s an example in 2015, The New York Times revealed how Coca Cola was funding high profile scientists and organizations promoting a message that in the battle against weight gain, people should pay more attention to exercise, and less to what they eat and drink.
In the aftermath of that investigation, Coca Cola released data detailing its funding of several medical institutions and associations between 2010 and 2015. From the Academy of Family Physicians to the American Academy of Pediatrics, all told, Coca Cola says it gave $132.8 million towards scientific research and partnerships that supported the message of you need to exercise more and don’t worry so much about what you eat and drink, but they paid for those results. This is not uncommon. This is just one example. Google this, you’ll find all kinds of examples of the food industry, paying for studies that support whatever their particular views are.
So you can see how it can be sort of hard and a little frustrating to sift through all the science out there and come up with anything that is like perfectly irrefutable. Alright. So I just want to like wrap up this whole science piece by saying, like, there is a lot of great science out there, there’s no doubt about it.
But do your, like research, do due diligence, you know, look for yourself, who’s funding these studies? Are they epidemiological studies, like observational studies? Are they randomized, controlled trials? How big are the studies? Because oftentimes, the larger the study, the more sort of accurate the results will be.
So it’s a good idea for you to just kind of do a little bit of like research on your own and just kind of come up with, you know, like, if you see a study was, you know, funded by, you know, Nabisco or like Hershey’s, or something like that, I would be very wary of something like that. Okay.
There’s a lot of medical studies out there that are funded by these big food companies, too. There’s tons and tons and tons of them. They saturate the market with these studies. And they do it on purpose. They do it to make things complicated and confuse us. Honestly, they do.
Okay, so there was a little bit of rant I just went on about the science. If you’re still with me, then let’s talk about which diet is best. Okay, so according to the science, they all are, right, every single one of them will work for everybody. But here’s the fact – there is not one perfect diet that works for every human being on the planet, there just isn’t okay.
In order for you to find out what works for you, you’ve got to get into some trial and error. Okay. I talked about this idea of being an experiment of one we are all an experiment of one. We call this an n equals one or n of one. N means the number of people involved in the experiment. So if it’s an n of one that means there’s one person involved in the experiment, you, you get to try whatever you want. You get to experiment on yourself, so to speak, and see what works.
Now, here’s where most people sort of get this wrong. So let’s say you want to try something like you try, like, I just want to go plant based, I keep hearing everybody talking about plant based whatever. So like, you go read a book, or you watch some YouTube video and you’re off to the races, you start, you know, stop eating meat and you start eating more tofu or whatever, right?
And you’re doing this for a while, you might lose some weight, you might feel pretty good. But then it stops working. And you know what, it really doesn’t matter which diet you pick, like, most diets will come to a point where maybe it stops working for you, or you need to change something and you just don’t know what to do.
And so, but here’s the thing, most people at this point, they just quit, they give up. They say that diet doesn’t work. ‘Oh, I tried that. It doesn’t work for me.’ I had somebody tell me this the other day, they were feeling really good. They were, you know, kind of like doing the low carb thing. This is somebody that I’m working with. And she’s like, “Oh, man, I’m feeling so good. I’ve lost some weight. I’m just feeling it got a lot of energy. And somebody at work was like, oh, yeah, I tried that for a while. And it didn’t work after awhile. It just stopped working.”
And she was a little concerned. She’s like, well, what if this stops working for me? I was like, hey, you know what, that person, you don’t know what that person was doing? First of all, they could have been doing something completely different. They could have been like totally cheating.
Most people, when they say they tried it, and it didn’t work. Most people aren’t doing it 100%. Like most people are sort of cheating. Unless you have somebody holding you accountable. It’s very easy to just sort of like, half ass the diet, you know what I mean?
And we know we don’t half ass anything, we full ass everything we do, right? So most people just sort of don’t do the right way. So this person probably was trying to be helpful, I don’t know. But it’s kind of a jerky thing to say to somebody, in my opinion, it’s like, let this person figure it out for themselves. Like so it didn’t work for you, that’s your experience that has nothing to do with you.
It has nothing to do with whether this is going to work for another human being, you know what I mean? But that’s where most people get to they get to this place where they’re like, Oh, I tried that diet, it doesn’t work. So they just quit. And then they go on to the next one.
Oh, the Mediterranean diet. Let’s try that one, you know, and they just keep doing this, and they just keep getting the same results? Because I don’t know, maybe they’re not sticking to it. Maybe it’s just not the right diet for them. Maybe they aren’t doing it right. Or you know, they’re not doing it 100%.
Or, you know, maybe they just need to tweak it a little bit. And that’s where I do a lot of work with my clients. This is where we we tweak things, like we’re always kind of making minor changes to your nutrition plan and to the diet, because I don’t know what’s gonna work for you, and neither do you. Like, we don’t know exactly what’s going to work.
It would be amazing if there was just one simple, straightforward way and one diet that works for everybody. But it’s not it’s not straightforward. It’s not simple. It’s complicated. We’re all different human beings. We all have different complex systems at play here. We all have different genetics, different metabolisms, different goals, we have different tastes, different likes and dislikes.
We have different lifestyles, we come from different cultures, we have different families we have, some of us have allergies, we have different body types, and we have to fit factor all of these things in when we’re deciding which diet is going to work for you. And you have to sort of try different things and stick with it, you know, instead of just giving up, you have to like just make some minor changes, just like you would an experiment.
You make a minor change to one thing you try for a while. And then if that doesn’t work, you try something else. You don’t give up. You keep going. And if there was just one thing that worked for everybody, this would be so much easier. I gotta tell you, I could just write a book and give it to you guys and just be like, here, I’m done. This is exactly what you do. This will work for you perfectly.
But it’s not that easy. I’ve read a lot of books on diet and nutrition. And a lot of these books come with, like menus, they’ll say like, here’s what you do, here’s what you eat. And week one, week two, month, one, month, two, whatever. But like, what if you don’t like that food? What if that doesn’t work for you? Like, you can’t possibly write a book with pre written meal plans that will work perfectly for everyone. You just can’t do it.
When I write my book, which I’m thinking about doing here, and I’ve got, you know, sort of an outline going already, so I’m working on it and let’s just say the book is in progress at this point. I’m going to instead teach that you have to figure out what works for you, instead of just giving you like, here’s what you do. Because when you learn how to do it yourself, this is a much better way to go.
This is one of the main reasons why I don’t like just tell my clients what to eat, I make suggestions, I might tell them what to avoid, like, don’t eat sugar, that’s bad for you. That’s just a no, nobody should be eating sugar. I’ll say that, okay.
But I offer guidelines offer a blueprint, a framework, but not like done for you meal guide, right, you need to learn what works for you, you need to learn how to make your own decisions around your diet. And I’ve talked to several people recently tell me they’ve worked with like a dietitian in the past and this person gave them a menu each week.
So each week, they would like send them a menu of here’s what you’re going to eat each day. And you can’t deviate from this, this what you have to do. And then after months of working with this person, they had developed zero skills, they couldn’t make their own decisions, they didn’t know what to do, they had no idea what to eat, because somebody was just like figuring it out for them and just telling them what to do.
They weren’t telling them why they should do it, or what’s the theory behind it? Or, you know, why would you avoid this? Or why should you eat that instead, they were not empowering their people, you know what I mean? They weren’t in control of their, you know, these people weren’t in control of their own health, they were like relying on somebody else, to make all their decisions for them.
Okay, so my approach is different. What I do is I help you learn what works for you, I teach you how to make your own food choices, I teach you how to make good decisions, I teach you why we’re doing this stuff. And you’re gonna make some mistakes along the way. That’s good. That’s actually part of the process. That’s how you learn. That’s how you develop good skills.
That’s how you begin to intuitively learn what to eat that works for you, as an individual human being, and what doesn’t work for you. The best diet for you is the one that works for you. And it doesn’t have to be paleo or keto or vegan or carnivore or anything like that. It could be whatever the heck you want it to be.
Now, let’s address the big ole lean elephant in the room. So I have a bias towards a low carb approach. The low carb diet, I think works for the majority of people that I have worked with, I would say like probably 98 out of 100 people have gotten really good results with a low carb approach.
And we’re not talking about you know, necessarily like keto, or paleo or anything like that. I don’t like to put labels on it. But the reason I think the low carb approach works for a lot of people is because when I switch runners to a low carb diet, if their goals are to, you know, lose weight and to improve their health and fitness and improve their running, when they make this switch, they do lose weight, they feel better, they have more energy, not less.
Their hunger levels go way down, their cravings for junk food just go away. Their endurance improves, running becomes easier, they become bonk proof, they can run for longer distances without hitting the wall. Most of the time, they get faster and they recover faster from these hard workouts. They start sleeping better and waking up feeling more rested. They have way less inflammation, the bloating goes away their clothes fit better.
People tell them how amazing they look. They love how they look in the mirror, they feel better about themselves, they have more confidence. And if you’re experiencing all of these amazing positive benefits, why would you go back to like a standard high carb approach? I say do what works for you.
And if this this approach that I just described the low carb sort of approach to to overall health and fitness. If that works for you, do it. I don’t think it works for everybody. Or I don’t think everybody well, honestly, I don’t think everybody wants to do it first of all, but I think there are other ways to do it.
I know people that eat a very high carb diet, lots of sugar and pasta and bread and stuff like that. They seem to be in very good health. Okay, great that works for them. A lot of us we’re sort of carbohydrate intolerant, we can’t tolerate carbohydrates very well and so we get bloated, we get inflamed. We gain weight, it starts to affect us in a lot of negative ways, okay?
You know, when when you eat high carbs, you also increase your blood glucose levels, which means you have high insulin levels, which means you’re in fat storage mode, which means you end up like having less energy, you become more hungry, you gain weight.
Your intense cravings for junk food tend to go up, running gets harder, your recovery time becomes longer sleeping is more erratic, you feel more bloated, inflamed, your clothes keep getting tighter for some reason. And you don’t feel good about yourself. Like, that’s what happens with a lot of people who who eat a very high carb diet.
Okay, so that’s just my observations and sort of my bias, you know, so I do have this bias. But I think when it comes to my recommendations for runners, especially runners who want to lose weight, I tend to recommend a low carb approach. Now, it can be low carb and plant based, it can be low carb, and carnivore, or it can be low carb and somewhere in between.
And we’re really talking mainly about sugar being the number one offender here. And other concentrated forms of carbohydrates like flour, you know, white flour, that kind of thing, right? Will this approach work for everyone? Probably not. There’s no guarantee that this approach will work perfectly for you or everyone, but I think it’s a very good place to start.
And, you know, remember that low carb doesn’t mean like an all meat diet, like lots, lots of runners do amazingly well, eating low carb, who do like maybe some fish or they’re, they’re vegetarian or even vegan. I’m just a little biased, because I’ve just seen way too many runners do amazingly well with this approach. And as long as it’s working, I’m gonna keep recommending it.
Okay. Now, for me, personally, I’m always experimenting with my diet, with what I eat. I tried different things to see what works best for me for my buy for my running and stuff like that, right? I started out, I lost a lot of weight, doing sort of a kind of a paleo-ish diet, like no sugar, low carb, some fruits and lots of veggies.
And that works pretty well for me. And then I switched to a very low carb, maybe carnivore type of diet for the first part of this year. Basically, all animal products, no vegetables. And I did this during the training for my marathon I did in the spring of this year. And you can I did an episode all about that. And you can listen to that it’s Episode 71, zero carb marathon training.
And I had a really good experience doing that. But then I kind of went back to eating my more paleo-ish way, you know, eating more salads and veggies and stuff like that, then I switched back to carnivore again. Now I’m back on the salads, again, I mean, some berries here and there. And, generally, you know, more carbs than I’ve been doing for most of this year. And I’m just trying this approach.
This is more of like a paleo type of an approach, if I had to put a label on it for this particular marathon, so I got a marathon coming up here in about three weeks. And so I’m just trying this approach, because what I like to do I like to experiment and then be able to share this stuff with you guys be able to share with you like, how did it go? How was your training? How was that marathon? How did you feel? How’s your week been? Like, all those kinds of things.
Okay, so I’m gonna report in on that after the marathon at the end of this month. So this is all my approach. This is what works for me, you need to figure out what works for you. And how do you do that? Well, you just try something. For starters, I would say, try cutting out sugar and flour and processed food and vegetable oil, like those things are terrible for you, right? And just start eating real food, see how that goes for you.
Maybe try increasing your protein intake. A lot of runners don’t get enough protein. I think if you aim for something around 30% of your calories coming from protein, you’re off to a much better place. Okay? But whatever you do, it has to be sustainable for you.
Most diets operate with this idea of like, restriction or deprivation or, you know, temporary, it’s temporary. Most of these diets sort of make you feel terrible. So they’re not really sustainable. So whatever you choose for yourself has to be something that you can do going forward it has to become part of who you are, and what you do.
And the real secret here to making all this last and making it permanent is just don’t quit. This is not well, ‘I tried this one thing it didn’t work for me, so I’m done’ situation. This is a I’m going to stick with it no matter what situation. And then you’re going to make incremental changes along the way.
How are you feeling? Is this making you feel good or not so good? Is this you know, giving you more energy or less energy as you’re running, improving? Or is it sucking more? You like you just have to like figure it out as you go. Only you can make those decisions for yourself, okay?
The best diet is the one that makes you feel good. The best diet is the one that helps you to become the healthiest and most badass version of yourself. The best diet is one that supports your weight loss goals, your running goals, your overall health and fitness goals. The best diet is the one that feels easy for you and practically effortless.
Your diet can’t stress you out, it has to be something that’s just easy to do. The best diet is the one that’s sustainable for you because it’s something you have to be able to do from here on out. And there’s only one person that can decide what that is going to be for you and that is you. Cool.
And listen, if you’re looking for a little help with all of this, this is what I do. I can offer you the guidance, the support the encouragement, the accountability, may be a little tough love that you need to make this work for you. No matter what your goals no matter what your lifestyle no matter what your tastes. Just go to runningleanpodcast.com/apply and we’ll see if coaching is good fit for you. All right, you guys, that’s all I got for you today. Love you all keep on Running Lean. Talk to you soon.
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