- Do you feel like you’ve tried every diet, but nothing works for you?
- Do you have whiplash from switching from diet to diet to diet, looking for the ‘perfect diet’ that works for everyone else?
- Ever wonder why different people thrive on diametrically opposed diets, like low carb, low fat, keto, plant-based or carnivore?
- Are you confused about what you can eat? It seems that, according to someone, everything you can eat is trying to kill you, like plants, animal-based foods, lectin, oxalates etc.
- Or maybe you’ve been hyper-diligent, doubling down and followed the diet even more strictly, or fasted for longer until the diet eventually broke you, ending in rebound misery?
Welcome to Optimising Nutrition, where you will find a home with thousands of others who have been failed by numerous diets and are now thriving!
We’ve been on a data-driven quest to understand why so many dietary approaches work, until they don’t, whether that be fasting, keto, low carb, carnivore, plant-based, or… [insert next name of next diet fad here].
Could Nutrition Really Just be About Nutrients?
We’re trying to spread a rumour that nutrition is primarily about nutrients.
Our extensive data analysis and more than five years of running our programs with thousands of Optimisers found that once you focus on giving your body the protein, minerals and vitamins it needs from the food you eat, without excess energy, everything else falls into place.
While the concept of nourishing your body with nutrients from the food you eat sounds obvious to many, it’s not easy when we’re surrounded by:
- ultra-processed foods designed to overdrive your dopamine to the point you feel helplessly ‘addicted’ to them,
- the latest fad diets that create FOMO, and
- advertising for the latest magic pill or supplement.
Let’s take a quick look at the factors that lead to success and failure with popular diets, like:
- calorie counting,
- carnivore, and
Many people have tried and failed to track their calories and stay under some arbitrary limit set by a theoretical calorie calculator. But simply trying to eat less without changing what you eat will leave you hungry and usually undo all your hard work with a rebound binge.
If you manage to fight your hunger for a significant amount of time, your body will offload some metabolically expensive muscle, requiring less energy, so you’ll be left chasing a lower calorie target to keep the weight off.
To combat these all-too-common problems with calorie counting, in our Macros Masterclass, we guide people to understand how they currently eat and then incrementally dial back energy from carbs and/or fat while prioritising protein to increase satiety and prevent loss of precious lean mass.
Eating less becomes much easier once you learn to change what you eat.
While it sounds logical that not eating would lead to weight loss, fasting can drive people to push their bodies to unsustainable extremes.
- A lack of focus on good nutrition, particularly getting enough protein, can lead to a loss of precious lean mass.
- A loss of muscle from long-term fasting can lead to a downregulation of your metabolic rate, meaning you’ll need to keep eating less and fasting for longer to keep the weight off.
Eventually, your body increases your appetite to get your attention to ensure you survive. Unfortunately, we tend to make less optimal food choices when hungry. Rather than prioritising protein and nutrients, we gravitate to foods with the magical hyperpalatable combination of fat and carbs that will refill our glucose and fat fuel tanks quickly without providing adequate protein and nutrients.
To address this issue, Data-Driven Fasting uses your glucose as a fuel gauge to ensure you achieve a sustainable negative energy balance without going so long that you are compelled to consume less than optimal foods.
Rather than trying harder or fasting for longer, Data-Driven Fasting helps you listen to your true hunger signals and ensures you give your body what it needs when it needs it, based on the guidance of your blood glucose.
Rather than pushing to OMAD, ADF or extended fasting, most people in our Data-Driven Fating Challenges find they make sustainable progress with two or more meals a day!
Using your glucose as a fuel gauge leads to a sustainable eating routine that allows you to drain the excess glucose and fat stored in your body while still getting the protein and nutrients your body requires to maintain your precious lean mass, feel energised and prevent the rebound binging that so often undoes all your hard work.
Low Carb & Keto
A lower-carb diet can be an excellent approach to stabilise blood glucose.
As shown in the chart below from our satiety analysis, a lower-carb diet helps us avoid the hyperpalatable fat+carb combo foods we tend to overeat.
While a ketogenic diet, which targets elevated ketones, can be helpful for specific conditions — such as epilepsy, Parkinson’s, dementia, Alzheimer’s etc. — a very high-fat diet, often lower in protein and nutrients, is not optimal for weight loss or improving your metabolic health.
Focusing on reducing insulin as the primary goal has led some people to give a free pass to fat and even minimise protein. While it may stabilise your blood glucose levels, taken to the extreme, it can lead to fat gain, worsening body composition and poor metabolic health.
Our analysis has shown that getting adequate protein, without excess energy from carbs and/or fat, is the most important thing you can do to increase satiety and lose weight without relying on unsustainable willpower levels.
Body composition is critical to metabolic health. Hence, we must focus on feeding and growing our muscles while also depleting the excess glucose and fat stored in our bodies.
In our Macros Masterclass, we guide Optimisers to ensure they get adequate protein while incrementally dialling back energy from fat and carbohydrates, which leads to improved blood sugars and fat loss.
While many are eager to jump to extremes (like an extremely high protein % protein sparing modified fast), Optimisers get the best results when they start with their current diet and make incremental changes to achieve sustainable improvements.
A carnivore diet, which is exploding in popularity, is a fantastic way to get plenty of bioavailable protein, a critical part of the satiety equation. It’s also a great elimination diet to identify foods you may not tolerate well.
But eating only meat isn’t optimal for getting all the essential nutrients. Getting enough vitamin C, K1, folate, calcium, and omega-3 can be harder if you only eat muscle meat, especially if you’re trying to eat less to lose weight. While some people thrive on a restrictive diet, many eventually want more variety.
At the other extreme, a purely plant-based diet can make it harder to get critical nutrients like vitamin B12, selenium, omega-3 and bioavailable protein.
Similar to ‘keto’, ‘plant-based’ tends to mean a lot of different things. Avoiding animal products can lead to even higher consumption of low-satiety, nutrient-poor ultra-processed foods made of refined starch, sugar and industrial seed oils.
As a general rule, Optimisers tend to find it easier to get all the nutrients they need from a mixture of vegetables, meat, seafood and dairy. But, if you choose to limit your diet due to ethics or religious beliefs, we can still help you optimise your diet at the micronutrient level.
Now that you understand the problem with the popular diet culture, the simplest place to start your Nutritional Optimisation journey towards improving your satiety and nutrient density is with a simple food list.
While we have a range of food lists tailored towards different goals and preferences, our high-satiety or maximum nutrient-density food lists will ensure you get the protein and other nutrients you require to crush your craving and feel satisfied with less energy.
We don’t always eat individual foods; instead, we combine them into meals.
To help people get results fast, we created a series of NutriBooster recipes centred around nutrient density and tailored towards different goals, preferences, and dietary restrictions.
If you like to read and learn, we have a range of articles that detail our unique approach.
- Data-Driven Fasting: How to Use Your Blood Glucose as a Fuel Gauge
- What is Nutrient Density (and Why It Matters)?
- Does a 16-Hour Fast Do Anything?
- How to Use Your Glucose as a Fuel Gauge (A Pictorial Guide)
- Carnivore vs Plant-Based vs Satiety: Which Nutrients are Harder to Get?
- Keto vs Low Carb vs Satiety: Which One is Right for You?
- The Protein Leverage Hypothesis
- The Carb-Insulin Hypothesis vs Protein Leverage Hypothesis of Obesity
- The Surprising Science Behind Thriving with Less Food
When you’re ready to dial things in, we have a few courses that may interest you as you continue on your journey of Nutritional Optimisation.
Our most popular course is our Data-Driven Fasting Challenge, where you’ll learn to use your blood glucose to guide when and what to eat without tracking your food. You can familiarise yourself and get our DDF app with our free DDF 101 course here.
If you’re ready to work on the quality of your diet, our Macros Masterclass guides Optimisers on how to dial in their balance between protein and energy from carbs and fat. This is the first and most important step to increase your satiety.
Finally, when you’re ready to take your nutrition to the ultimate level, our Micros Masterclass will guide you to fill in all the micronutrient gaps you have that are critical to crush your cravings and boost satiety.
If you’ve got any further questions or want to learn more, we’d love you to ask them in our Optimising Nutrition Community. We have thousands of Optimisers who’ve started this journey and are eager to help new optimisers find their feet.