What is the Best Diet?
With so many different diets out there these days, how can you choose which one is best? They all claim to work. Should you do Paleo, Keto, Weight Watchers, high fat, low fat, don’t eat carbs, eat carbs, vegetarian, vegan and the list goes on and on.
What if I told you that the diet doesn’t matter, they all work?
When it comes to weight loss, the diet itself really doesn’t matter but there are 2 very important factors that do.
One is energy balance. If you are after weight loss you must be expending more energy then you are consuming each day. Most diets are a form of calorie reduction, which is why they mostly all work. Typically, when we eat mindlessly and don’t pay attention to portion sizes or food quality, we over eat. And when you over eat, you gain weight. So just paying more attention to what you are eating and how much you are eating will have a positive impact on weight loss. You have to eat the right amount of food for weight loss to occur. Not too much, not too little.
The second and most important factor in choosing a diet is long term adherence. This is where most of the diets fail. If you love to eat pasta and you choose a diet that is low carb or keto and you can never eat pasta again, how long do you think you will stick with it? Diets that severely restrict or completely cut out food groups are not recommended. They are too hard to stick to.
Here is an example. Keto works well in the beginning for a lot of people. Keto is high fat and fat is very satiating and energy dense so it keeps you feeling full longer and therefore you will naturally eat less calories. That takes care of the energy balance factor. But if you are someone who loves carbs and all you can think about is when you can eat carbs again, how successful do you think you will be on keto? Not saying it doesn’t work for some people, it certainly does, but when you factor in long term adherence, keto may not be right for you. You may lose 15 or 20lbs in the first couple months but what good was it if 2 months after that you couldn’t stick with it anymore, you fell off the wagon and went back on all the stuff you restricted yourself from hard, and gained the weight back. If you just look at the first 2 months, that diet worked great but if you consider the whole picture, you essentially wasted 2 months and are now even more frustrated with yourself. It didn’t work.
True lasting weight loss occurs over time. Finding ways to stay the course and be consistent is the key. You are looking for something you can live with for the rest of your life. A good diet really isn’t a diet at all. It’s just about eating smarter. Learning what a proper portion size is, choosing good foods most of the time but not restricting yourself from eating the things you love once in a while and being mindful of when and what you are eating.
Slow and steady wins the race!