The biggest diet mistake is following "off the shelf" and one-size-fits-all nutrition protocols as opposed to finding what works for you.
Look, it's certainly true we share the vast amount of our metabolic tendencies with every other human. But our biochemistry is a lot like our physical appearance. If I see you walking towards me on the street you are unmistakably a human. But when I see you up close, I can see you're an individual with a unique face, personality, way of speaking, and behaving.
Likewise you have a unique metabolic expression, psychological sensitivities, and personal preferences that will impact how you respond to diet and exercise.
Practice Structured Flexibility
In order to honor both the similarities and the differences, you should use a concept I call "structured flexibility." Choose any diet, nutrition protocol or eating philosophy you want to start, then measure your individual responses to that regime.
- Does it keep hunger and cravings at bay?
- Is it stabilizing your energy so you can perform well during workouts and easily recover after them?
- Is it stripping off the fat or putting on the muscle according to your goals?
If not, then you're going to need to adjust your approach. Instead of being a dieter, you should be behaving more like a metabolic detective finding the unique diet and exercise inputs that deliver the results.
Bruce Lee sums it up best: "Absorb what is useful, discard what is not, and add what is uniquely your own."