Embarking on a quest for sound nutrition often lands individuals in a maze of conflicting advice, fad diets, and unending lists of dos and don’ts. However, at the heart of a truly nourishing diet lies the concept of Nutritional Optimisation – a simple yet profound approach that shifts the focus from restriction to intelligent choice.
This approach nurtures a deeper understanding of how to efficiently use available foods to meet the body’s nutrient requirements, all while aligning with personal goals and preferences. Dive into this enlightening piece to explore how Nutritional Optimisation paves the way towards a diet that is as unique as you are, transcending the one-size-fits-all notion that pervades the dietary world.
Through insightful data and an exploration of modern nutritional pitfalls, this article elucidates a path towards not just a better diet but a better relationship with food and a healthier, more vibrant life.
- What Is Nutritional Optimisation?
- Why We Get It Wrong
- We Can Now Precisely Optimise YOUR Nutrition
- The Power of Big Data
- Profit vs Health
- Fad Diets vs Nutritious Food
- Your Diet Needs to Adapt to Your Changing Goals
- Enter: Bio Individualised Nutrition
- Optimising Your Macros
- Optimising Your Micros
- Take Out the Guesswork with Nutrient Optimiser
What Is Nutritional Optimisation?
Nutritional Optimisation empowers you to use the foods you have available and enjoy, to obtain the nutrients your body requires in the most precise, efficient, and effective manner.
Nutritional Optimisation empowers you to give your body the nutrients it needs without excess energy, in a way that can be tailored to your unique goals, context, metabolism and preferences.
Why We Get It Wrong
Sadly, rather than identifying foods and meals that you should prioritise, most nutritional advice focuses on what you should fear and/or avoid.
Whether it be from mainstream authorities or the latest trending fad diet, nutritional advice typically revolves around demonising things like:
- saturated fat,
- industrial seed oils,
- plant-based foods,
- animal-based foods,
Is it any wonder that so many of us are left confused, afraid of food and clueless about what to eat?
Unfortunately, without clear direction, most people end up reaching for the cheapest, tastiest processed packaged food they can get their hands on. This is great for food manufacturers, but not so good for you or your health.
Surely, there must be a better way!
We Can Now Precisely Optimise YOUR Nutrition
But there is good news!
When you understand how to optimise your nutrition, you can skip the endless ‘good’ vs ‘bad’ debate.
Everything else falls into place once you focus on giving your body what it needs.
When you emphasise the essential nutrients in your food, all the ‘bad’ things become irrelevant.
The Power of Big Data
Over the past four years, we have amassed 125,761 days of macronutrient and micronutrient data from 34,519 people who have used Nutrient Optimiser to fine-tune their nutrition.
To provide clarity in the conflicted world of nutrition and make a dent in the diabesity epidemic, we wanted to understand which quantifiable parameters of our food align with eating more or less than we need to.
Rather than becoming dependent on the latest magical supplement, our data analysis clearly shows that our cravings subside. We eat less once we get enough of all the essential nutrients from the food we eat.
Optimisers who progressively dial in their diet at a macro and micronutrient level to align with their goals and preferences are empowered to break free of the shackles that make them slaves to their appetite!
Profit vs Health
Sadly, our modern food system relies heavily on subsidised industrial agriculture and is optimised to maximise profit—not nutrition or your health. This may sound like a conspiracy, but it’s just good business and marketing.
It’s harder to make money from nutrient-dense foods that regenerate and revitalise our planet and empower us with robust health, freedom from ‘food addiction’, and increased health span!
To move beyond average, you need to take your health and nutrition into your own hands. Focussing on getting enough nutrients without excess calories enables you to cut through the noise and conflicts of interest to identify the foods and meals that are optimal for you.
Fad Diets vs Nutritious Food
We can still create a nutrient-dense or nutrient-poor version of those diets while strictly conforming to their templates. Our extensive analysis found that many recipes from some of the most famous named diets provided the worst nutrition!
Many of these popular diets start to tank once people start to create hyperpalatable recipes and commercialised products that enable us to pack more energy in with fewer nutrients, while still staying within the sanctioned rules of that diet.
Once the initial magic dies, people go in search of the next shiny new diet fad.
While you could choose to stick to the sanctioned ‘safe foods’ lists of the latest fad diet, we see the best outcomes when we prioritise foods and meals that contain harder-to-find nutrients from all available whole foods.
Your Diet Needs to Adapt to Your Changing Goals
Diets that work have one common factor that initially gets people hooked: they help you eliminate nutrient-poor, hyper-palatable processed foods that are typically a combination of refined carbs and fats with minimal nutrients.
But once you identify yourself with the diet and the community and culture that comes with the diet, it becomes hard to continue to progress when your goals, context or preferences change.
- Maybe a high fat keto diet helped you stabilise your blood sugars, but eventually, you need to dial back the dietary fat if you want to continue to lose body fat.
- If you achieve your goal weight with a lower-fat diet, you may need to add more protein and more energy when you start strength training.
- Later, if you take up an endurance sport, you will need a very different dietary approach from the one that worked for you when losing weight.
After four years of analysing data from free-living people, we have developed an intimate understanding of how to engineer our food choices to manage our appetite and achieve our goals as we progress through our health journey.
Enter: Bio Individualised Nutrition
The good news with Nutritional Optimisation is that you don’t need to get a fancy genome test, send your poo in the post or wear an expensive CGM.
The optimal diet for you is simply a function of the nutrients that your current diet is (and isn’t) providing, your goals and your preferences.
By progressively adding foods and meals containing more of your priority nutrients, you can quickly achieve a balanced diet at a micronutrient level.
Optimising Your Macros
But as well as micronutrients (i.e. vitamins, minerals, amino acids, and fatty acids like omega-3s required for bodily function), you can also optimise your macronutrients to empower you eat more or less depending on your goals, by dialling in your macronutrients.
Our analysis has shown repeatedly that the most crucial factor in satiety, or your tendency to feel full with fewer calories, is the balance of energy between protein and fibre vs energy from fat and carbs.
Consuming less ‘easy energy’ from low-quality fat+carb combo junk foods while prioritising protein aligns with a lower overall energy intake.
For more details, see Secrets of the Nutrient-Dense Protein Sparing Modified Fast (PSMF) Diet.
But it’s not simply a matter of swinging from one extreme to another. People who increase their protein % struggle to maintain aggressive changes long enough to achieve meaningful results.
It’s ideal if you start with your current diet and progressively move towards a higher protein % by dialling back energy from carbs and fat. You only need to make just enough change to see meaningful progress (e.g. weight loss of 0.5 – 1.0% per week). Moving at a sustainable rate ensures you avoid triggering your survival instincts, inevitably leading to rebound bingeing and feeling like you failed at another diet.
That’s why we created the Macros Masterclass to help people move towards their goals at a sustainable rate.
Optimising Your Micros
While it’s a great place to start, there’s more to the process of Nutritional Optimisation than just adjusting your protein, carbs and fat intake.
Improving the nutrient density is the ultimate stage of Nutritional Optimisation to ensure you are giving your body what it needs to thrive and satiate your appetite.
While many people talk about foods or supplements that contain a concentrated source of a single micronutrient, the reality is that each person has a unique handful of micronutrients they aren’t getting enough of.
By adding foods and meals that contain more of your priority nutrients, you can achieve a balanced diet and progress towards your goals.
Similar to protein, we see a strong satiety response to many of the micronutrients that are harder to find in our modern food system.
We also see a strong satiety response as people improve their Diet Quality Score by prioritising foods and meals that contain more of their priority nutrients.
If you want to take your nutrition to the next level, you can check out our Micros Masterclass.
Take Out the Guesswork with Nutrient Optimiser
Nutrient Optimiser is our innovative, one-of-a-kind software that uses our Smart Macros Algorithm to empower you to dial in your macro AND micronutrients progressively.
By utilising your food logs, Nutrient Optimiser accounts for your personalised micronutrient intake and makes food and recipe recommendations to fill in any micronutrient gaps you may have.
The micronutrient fingerprint chart below shows how Nutrient Optimiser empowers you to prioritise the nutrients you need more of (towards the top of the chart). Meanwhile, you don’t need to worry about the micronutrients that your diet is already providing heaps of.
After identifying your priority micronutrients, Nutrient Optimiser recommends the best foods and recipes for you from our database of 600+ NutriBooster recipes.
Nutritional Optimisation is about progress rather than perfection. You can always tighten up on things if you are not getting the results you want!
If you’re looking for a friendly team environment to get going on your journey, check out our Macros Masterclass or Micros Masterclass. If you’re looking to maintain your optimised nutrition status without a lot of conscious effort, you might enjoy Nutrient Optimiser.