Is there such a thing as The Perfect Diet?

TL;DR answer is: No.

After many years of being hyper-focussed on nutrition for various purposes including:

  • tackling my own obesity (I tried everything)
  • supplying energy for international kettlebell sport competitions (I learned a lot)
  • and for body composition goals in natural bodybuilding competitions (not sustainable)

I’ve found out there are many ways to skin a cat, some better than others.

My own book ‘Don’t Eat for Winter’ makes the case for avoiding carb+fat combinations, separating them so that you avoid autumnal eating. I believe this combination drives susceptible humans hyperphagic (once you start you can’t stop).

Is it perfect, no. It is a compromise, because we live in a world where all of these foods are available, which is both a blessing and a curse.  We have to figure out how to navigate our environment and be able to eat these foods without becoming obese and unhealthy, so I do suggest eating both carbs and fats, just separate them where possible, because the evidence shows that carbs+fats together are the most valuable to humans (which has to be instinctual). You only need to look at what is served at the front of shops to realise we are addicted to high carb+fat junk (cakes, chocolate, ice creams, crisps/chips and so on).

So what is the perfect diet?  Is it Keto, Carnivore, Vegan, Atkins, Low Fat, High Protein etc., or any of the other plethora of diets out there?  I mean, like religion they can’t all be right can they (lol, not going there!!!)?

Here is a fundamental fact:

Nature is dynamic.

In some parts of the world, you cannot get carbs in spring, unless you dig under ice and snow for roots, which aren’t exceptionally tasty.  In other parts of the world, there are magnificent crops of fruit and grain multiple times a year, but typically meat from livestock isn’t that fatty there.  Even in these places, there are wet/dry seasons.

Why then do all of these diets recommend a static way of eating 24/7/365?

The standard food pyramid is carb heavy. Where I am from (Ireland), you cannot grow sugar or starch in winter.  You can store it, but how long would that have lasted in the past, when hunger set in and with their natural shelf life it wouldn’t have lasted and we would have resorted to hunting (unless extremely organised and safe).

The perfect diet, in my opinion, is one that shifts, is dynamic, and is in tune with nature and that matches an individuals heritage.  For someone like me, perhaps winter is carb light/fat heavy, and summer is carb heavy/fat light. In between we simply adjust the levers appropriately.

Food for thought!

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Cian Foley is a Software Engineer from Waterford, Ireland and also a 2 time European, pan-American and World amateur kettlebell champion. Cian was a 115kg (256lb) obese 35 year old and has completely transformed into to a fit and healthy 78kg athlete through his 8 year journey of discovery around nutrition and exercise. He now competes as a natural bodybuilder at the age of 43 to prove that it is never too late to get into great shape without the use of steroids.