Why is nutrition so hard?

When I look at the plethora of nutrition strategies—or diets if you prefer that wording—that are available online, the information is overwhelming. I then wonder how the average person feels. With a background in nutrition coaching—both online and in person—as well as vast personal experience (21 years) and a large body of professional clients (almost 400), I understand nutrition.


Which Diet Works?


Probably the most pressing and hard to answer question for most people when looking at online nutrition coaching programs is: which one works? The answer is: all diets work for the right person but not the wrong person. But what does that mean?


  • The right person is someone who can follow the nutrition strategy
  • The wrong person is someone who cannot follow the nutrition strategy


It is that simple as a basic answer. No matter how many times I revisit the Carnivore Diet, Weight Watchers, veganism, low-carb, high-carb, and other nutritional strategies, I always come to the same answer—all nutrition strategies work for the right person.


I have looked at the pros and cons of each nutrition strategy. In that I consider the:


  • Health benefits
  • Ease of use
  • Variety of applications
  • Details for implementation


Health Benefits of a Diet


When looking at health benefits, I look for scholarly articles that discuss if such an approach works. Information is widely available for more commonly used diets such as keto and veganism, among others, and research has been into determining if each diet works well for certain goals such as heath. A keto diet, for example, is recommended for people with epilepsy, but is typically not ideal for someone who needs to reduce fat in their diet.


Ease of Use


This is usually the most important point for any diet that a person follows. Whether working with a nutrition coach online or in person (or app, etc), the easier the nutrition program is to follow, the higher the likelihood a person will see success with it.


There can be any number of things to consider when following a diet that can make following the plan easier or harder. A few key points to consider are:


  • The type of food choices are available
  • How flexible the diet is to deviation
  • If nutrition targets such as calories and macros are included
  • Are meals or nutrition targets to be tracked


Food Choices

Food choices matter due to the need for a person to eat foods he or she enjoys that allow a person to reach their goals. With the online nutrition coaching I provide, this is a key area I focus on with each client. I want to be sure that they have food choices they enjoy.



Clients deviate from the program. Sometimes this is because they want to, but it can also be necessitated by other factors such as travel. All of my online personal training and nutrition coaching clients are professionals. Many travel for work. Expecting them to stick to a specific meal plan without deviation is not realistic. I work closely with clients to provide flexibility, which increases their level of success.


Nutrition Targets

Calorie and macro targets are a good choice for some people, but not for others. Some people like having specific macros to follow, while others prefer to just target calories. Still others prefer to be mindful of food amounts. No one choice is superior over the others. Each can be successful for the right person.


Nutrition tracking

This can be the hardest part for a lot of people, usually due to the inconvenience of needing to track. Tracking can be hard, especially when people eat differently on a regular basis, such as when traveling. However, some people can be very successful with this, especially if they regularly eat at the same restaurants, commonly buy the same types of foods, etc.


Variety of Applications


Almost all diets can be applied to any type of goal. Common goals are losing weight, building muscle, improving health, and increasing performance. However, some diets may be harder for these goals over others. 


For example, it can be harder for someone following a vegan diet to build muscle, simply due to the amount of food needed to meet calorie and protein requirements. It is not impossible, but can be hard. Creative food choices and supplementation can help.


Details for Application


This includes the points already covered, plus potentially more. Food choices, nutrition tracking, etc are details for application. However, other things, such as the need to check in with an online nutrition coach such as me, or regular visits to a dietitian, are additional details for application.


Any Diet Can work

The above points are some things to think about. That said, any diet can work. Again, when considering a nutrition strategy from an online coach, a dietician, an app, or anywhere else, it will work for the right person and will not for the wrong person. 


  • The right person is someone who can follow the nutrition strategy
  • The wrong person is someone who cannot follow the nutrition strategy


I work with people who follow a variety of diets from veganism to paleo and beyond. When considering the diet of choice, I do not try to move them away from it unless it seems like a bad fit. The reason it might be a bad fit is because they cannot follow it, making them the wrong person for that diet.


What I do with online nutrition coaching is find the right diet that works for that client. Sometimes this means following a detailed paleo meal plan. Other times it means following a loosely structured vegan diet. And still other times it might mean tracking macros on a keto diet, going high protein on carnivore, or some other approach. 


The goal is not to get a client to follow a specific diet; the goal is to help the client successfully follow a diet. This means looking at the situation for the client and finding what works, then implementing and adjusting over time, which may even mean completely changing the approach at some point.


At the end of the day, all that matters is that the person is following the plan and reaching their goals. This takes trial and error. If you are doing it on your own, it can be more frustrating. Working with a coach such as me can help.

And that is it. Have questions? Let me know on social media. You can click the links here, or just look up Nathan DeMetz Personal Training on Facebook and Instagram.

Demetz Personal Training About Nathan Demetz Personal Trainer

Nathan DeMetz holds degrees in Exercise Science, Business Administration, and Information Technology as well as certifications in strength and conditioning, sports nutrition, run coaching, and other areas. His credentials come from organizations such as Indiana Wesleyan University, Ivy Tech College, Utah State University, and the ISSA College of Exercise Science.

Nathan has 20 years of personal and professional experience in the health and fitness world. He works with people from across the globe, including locations such as Kuwait, Australia, and the USA.

To work with Nathan directly on your personal training goals, contact him today!