optimal nutrition

Optimal Nutrition V Sustainable Nutrition

Have you ever considered that the optimal way to lose weight may not be the best?

For the most part when people trying to lose weight or get healthy hear the word nutrition, there’s normally a sharp intake of breath. Why? Largely down to the complexity of language that fitness industry professionals use when talking about nutrition. If you’d no experience in the area talk of macros and protein portions can be confusing. Add to this that the general message relied is along of the lines of bad food is bad for you and good food is good for you and you how problems can arise. Convincing people that if you eat cake, you’ll get fat and if you eat spinach you’ll get lean is not a holistic way to approach health or weight.

What’s the alternative?

The reality of this is quite harsh. Mostly because what’s being conveyed is that if you’re on a healthy nutrition plan deviating at all will undo all your good work. I have seen so many plans for weight loss filled with food that the average person is not accustomed to eating or a way of eating that’s alien to the majority of people. 

This is not to say that these plans don’t work. They absolutely do. But they’re so extreme that it can be hard for people to stick with them.


Let’s try put this into context. Imagine you’re someone who has never trained before. Never done any sort of exercise but  now you’re looking to lose some weight. So, you ask a professional to write you a program to help. The trainer writes you out a program that he was previously used to Usain Bolt. It is the BEST and most effective exercise program ever written and if you can do it, you will lose weight and become healthier. Do you think you could do it? Well, these weight loss plans are using the same principle. 

What’s the best option?

The most optimal way to lose weight is very seldom the best. Everyone has certain experiences with food. So it’s important to consider the person’s history before planning their programme. Just like somebody who’s never trained before would struggle to complete Usain Bolt’s training program, people new to nutrition will rarely complete these meal plans successfully.

The reality is, you can have a diet that consists of 85% good food; veg, fish, meat, rice, potato, grains etc, and you can fill the rest with 15% bad food; cake, chocolate, ice cream, burgers, pizza etc. As long as the majority of the food is GOOD, the diet will be GOOD.

This sort of unrestricted and more palatable nutrition concept is definitely not the optimal way to lose weight or get healthy, but it is much more practical, achievable and easier to adhere to. The person who gets the best results is the person who can stick to a plan. Let’s give them a plan that they want to stick to.

If you want to know more about nutrition, check out some common myths over here.

Luke Heaps works as Fitness Lead with Aura Leisure. Aura Leisure if the official gym partner of WellFest 2018. For more information and to book you ticket, see wellfest.ie


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