I keep reading coaches harping on that people don’t need to diet strictly. They talk about life balance and fun and enjoyment of food etc; all of which is great, but ignores the question: how do I get lean and muscular?
The unique benefit of strictly following a planned diet, is that you can measure exactly what it does. It means you can use the scientific method that scientists use, to discover exactly how your body responds to different dietary interventions. And by planning your diet to achieve a specific result, you can test your own hypothesis, and draw valid conclusions, exactly like a scientist. Better still, you can learn exactly what works for you! And all you need is a bathroom scale, some cheap skinfold calipers, and to follow your diet strictly.
Measuring the result of a strict diet allows you to make intelligent choices about what changes might deliver an even better result. You can test the benefit (or not) of different supplements and/or different foods. It means you can objectively assess the effect of each different fad diet on you, if you want. And you can know with certainty what works and what doesnt on you; in the real world, unlike all the contradictory studies.
This simple process can allow anybody to become more capable of manipulating body composition than any scientist or coach in the world. Except you don’t need to read any studies or know any biochemistry.
But the only way to properly assess the effect of a diet is to eliminate every other variable possible. Your diet must be the same quantities of the same foods, everyday, between measurements. Strictly!
Any kind of flexible, high/low or varied diet can be more fun, convenient and socially acceptable than following a strict diet. It might even work great for you. There are plenty of reasons to like eating a varied diet. But the price you pay is your total ignorance and lack of learning.
If your diet changes every day, you cannot determine which part of which diet on which day caused what part of your end result. You cannot determine what foods work best for you when you change foods everyday. These criticisms are not my opinion. It is the logic underpinning the scientific method and basic math: adding a variable eliminates certainty.
So, to get a good body you don’t need to follow a strict diet… unless you do. Some people can get away with regular junk and/or variation. Some people cannot. But regardless of the impact on your body, dietary variation and flexibility still leaves you totally ignorant about what gave you your results.
But if you are going to go to all the trouble of training hard, and preparing food, wouldn’t you at least like to know whether it is working? Wouldn’t you like to be able to make intelligent choices to make it work the best it can? Wouldn’t you like to be able to end all the ignorance, argument and confusion about which diet works, and which doesnt, and which is best, and what foods work best for you? And really, do you think you are going to look, feel and function worse, because you didnt keep eating the shit that made you look, feel and function badly in the first place?