I have always been a naturalist when it comes to eating. I like to eat real food. I like to enjoy food. I like to do what’s best for my health and what’s best for my success in sports. I’ve never been one for feeling restricted, so eating tasty food that satisfies has always been a must. These are just some of the reasons that jumping onboard with Metabolic Efficiency Training was so appealing to me the minute I learned about the eating principles. And needless to say, I’ve never looked back.
If you are anything like me, you probably roll your eyes at the sound of another fad diet. If it sounds too good to be true, it usually is. A healthy way of eating needs to be sustainable and flexible based on your activity levels and for times when ‘life happens’. MET is all of that plus more: it’s an educated lifestyle, it provides direction, and gives you a framework to guide you to the success you want to achieve. It allows you to progress at a rate that is comfortable for you. Many athletes I work with want to go from zero to 100 in a couple of weeks, but others need more time and progress in more of a stepwise function.
Lets look at two big differences between the fads and MET.
Fad diet rule #1: Evil food must be eliminated
In most fad diets there is usually a specific food or group that is off limits. This is a serious tragedy and a recipe for disaster. It could prove beneficial for a couple of months, but as more time passes this becomes a ticking time bomb of a strategy. Just the psychology behind labeling something as off-limits will drive most people to failure, creating an unnecessary cycle related to feeling like a failure. And depending on which food group or type is eliminated, you could be missing out on some vital nutrients.
In the MET framework, there will be foods that you eat less of and less often, but there is no absolute restriction. The process of meal composition reframes the idea of restriction, which is beneficial in that you aren’t thinking of foods as good or bad. The focus becomes choosing optimal options for that given meal and day based on your needs in that time frame. Even if you notice that you eat less of a certain food over time, it feels good because the focus is on the foods that you like to eat, in the right proportion. Eliminating the practice of restriction is key for long term changes.
This often happens for many of my clients, but they don’t even notice because the notion of “I can’t eat that” is never in the forefront of their minds.
Fad diet rule #2: Tunnel vision toward a singular focus
Many fad diets have a gimmick and focus on that alone without teaching about how the body works or ways to help you find a long-term strategy that doesn’t include having the willpower to eliminate specific foods. There tends to be a lot of focus around calorie counting and weight instead of health and the body’s natural feeding patterns. This focus can mistakenly lead you to think that eating in the same way every day is appropriate. Or that you can get results by adding specific wonder foods to your daily diet without looking at the entire picture.
MET differs in that it teaches you how to eat food in a way that allows your body to work in the manner for which it was designed. You learn how to modify your meals based on performance and body composition goals. You get back in touch with what your body wants and needs, which takes away the focus on calories and weight. It gives you back a feeling of freedom around your food.
MET is a process worth learning, because MET is a way of life. Let’s go MET!