Let me tell you the secret to nutrition. It's THE BEST nutrition plan for you, it will help you see results, and you're going to enjoy doing it!
You're probably thinking, "I've heard these promises before, I've even tried some of these diets with some success."
The truth is I am going to sell you on something. It's not a diet or a supplement, but an idea. A way to approach nutrition. I'm not going to sell you on a specific fad diet like keto, paleo, Atkins, or even discuss gut health (which is very important nonetheless).
No I'm not going to do that.
Let me start by saying none of these "diet" plans are superior, and I will present you with some data to prove this. I also am going to invite you to eliminate the word "diet" from your vocabulary. We give words power, and by using the term "diet", we're implying that our new eating habits are temporary. Instead, I'd like you to think of your eating habits as your nutrition, or nutrition plan.
What I'm not saying is that these fad diets don't work. In fact, all of them work to help you lose weight.
A research review that compared low fat diets, high protein diets, ketogenic diets, low carb diets, and intermittent fasting found that all of these diets helped to lose around the same amount of weight when the consumed calories was equal amongst all three (Aragon 2016).
Ok, so what is the best nutrition plan for you??
The truth is, the best nutrition plan is the one YOU CAN BEST STICK TO CONSISTENTLY over a long period of time!
All of these diets had a common denominator in the studies that helped individuals lose weight, and that was EATING LESS CALORIES.
Mark Haub, a professor of human nutrition performed a self experiment on himself with 2/3rds of his diet consisting of nothing but junk food: twinkies, powdered dounuts, and nutty bars. The other 1/3rd of his nutrition consisted of a protein shake, a multivitamin, and some veggies (so he wouldn't compromise his immune system). Mark made sure he ate in a calorie deficit at 1800 calories a day. The end result after two months was 27lbs weight loss.
Now I'm not recommending you eat a bunch of junk food or go to the extreme like Mark did, I'm highlighting a point that your total calorie intake is extremely important. The quality of your foods (macronutrient, micronutrient, fiber, and mineral intake) is also extremely important to your health and wellbeing, and will help you be satisfied eating less calories.
When you consume less calories than you expend, you end up losing weight!
The goal is to find a nutrition plan that works for you, with foods you enjoy eating, and that supports your physical activity. As long as you keep the common denominator the same, eating less calories, then chose whichever method suits you best. In fact, you can take bits and pieces from different diet plans that work best for you, and incorporate them into your very own nutrition plan.
Some key take-aways from different fad diets:
- Eat less processed foods - Eat lots of fresh veggies - Eat healthy fats - Eat healthy raised animal protein - Eat unprocessed carbs
- Low carb to the extreme - Teaches you to live without carbs - More fat in your diet satiates you - You end up eating less calories
- It doesn't really matter when you eat - What matters is how much of what you eat - Not eating for extended periods of time has positive health benefits apart from fat loss.