Definition of Diet: a : food and drink regularly provided or consumed. b : habitual nourishment. c : the kind and amount of food prescribed for a person or animal for a special reason. d : a regimen of eating and drinking sparingly so as to reduce one’s weight <going on a diet>
Now of course if you are chatting with your co-worker at the water cooler and mention you are on a diet there is really only one conclusion. That you are limiting what you eat in an attempt to lose weight. Similar to the thinking that you get a cold being out in the cold. Or that you can’t get burnt when it’s cloudy out.
Granted, most people that change their diet are doing it to lose weight. Most diets are based on caloric restrictions. Reduce the amount of calories you are intaking and increase the amount of calories you are burning enough so that there is a daily caloric deficit and you will lose weight. Do this enough to burn 3,500 calories more than you have consumed and you loose 1 lb.
But look at the definition of diet, it simply defines what we eat and drink. Good or bad. Body builders do the complete opposite of what I described in the last paragraph during the building phases. High protein high calorie diets so they can pack on muscle mass. People with diabetes have to mold their diet in certain ways, others may have issues with gluten which is in so many foods that they have to alter their diet drastically to avoid stomach issues.
The point I am going after is that we all have our reasons for how we model our dietary plan. A year ago I lost 50lbs in about 3 months by not only changing my diet but my lifestyle as well. I was able to maintain that weight loss all year until I had a nagging injury and fatigue that sidelined me for about 5 weeks. I gained about 10 lbs during that time. The sudden lack of training itself was worth around 15,000 calories per week.. so even if I kept my diet the same, I was bound to gain some weight.
As I healed and got back to training, I assumed I would shed those extra pounds in no time. But for some reason, over 4 weeks in January while I was training for a marathon and eating a gluten free diet I didn’t loose a pound! I felt myself getting a little leaner since I started adding strength training to my endurance training, but the weight I hoped to lose just wasn’t going anywhere.
Enter the Paleo Diet. I came across an article written for usatriathlon.org by Nell Stephenson in regard to Paleolithic eating for the endurance athlete. The information about how grains, legumes and dairy all could be having a negative effect on my diet, health and performance really caught my attention.
"Enter a race. Train to become faster and stronger. Honor the commitment. Reap the rewards." - me