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I Hate to Break It To You, But There Is No “Best Diet” for Fat Loss

I Hate to Break It To You, But There Is No “Best Diet” for Fat Loss

Searching for the elusive “best diet” for fat loss is like hunting for magical unicorns, because it doesn’t exist. If you doubt me, just think about all of the conflicting advice you’ve heard about healthy eating. First, fat was the devil; then healthy fat was okay (trans fat not so much), but watch out for those carbs; and can someone please tell me if eggs are healthy or not – final answer – anybody?

Funny thing, though: what constitutes the “best diet” for fat loss is more hotly debated than ever before.

In one corner, we have followers of the paleo diet, who won’t eat anything if it isn’t all natural. In the other, we have vegetarians who don’t eat meat; vegans who extend that ban to all animal-based products; and pescetarians, who are almost vegetarians but not quite because eating fish is okay in their book. And then there’s folks with a disposition for counting: the calorie-counters, IIFYM (If It Fits Your Macros), point systems like Weight Watchers—you get the idea. With so much noise and so little clarity, it’s no surprise you feel overwhelmed by it all.

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What can you do? Tune out the noise and do what’s right for you.

What you eat should be determined by your needs—not somebody else’s opinion. I can’t identify the absolute best foods for you because I don’t know you. I can’t give you a “best diet” for fat loss because there’s not one. But I can help you become a mindful eater who is more aware of food’s influence on your body, mood, and feelings.

Will you try something for me? It’ll be super productive (and fun!). Start a food diary starting today (or tomorrow if you happen to be burning the midnight oil while you read this). Write down every meal, snack, and beverage you consume for the next month. Include any relevant details like:

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  • Your surroundings (are you eating in a restaurant or at home?)
  • How you felt after eating (did your meal make you feel fulfilled and energetic or lethargic and sluggish?)
  • A rating from 1-10 describing how much you enjoyed your meal

I would be willing to wager you’ll discover that natural, healthy foods like fruits and veggies make you feel a whole lot better than processed stuff. This should come as no surprise, but keeping a diary detailing your relationship with food will make it more difficult to dodge this reality.

For those of you thinking, “I just want you to tell me what to do!”

I wish I could tell you exactly what to do, but it’s quite impossible. Could I offer more precise detail if we sat down over coffee to chat about your needs, goals, lifestyle, potential food allergies, and personal preferences? Certainly. But we don’t have that luxury; we’re telepathically communicating VIA this article (which I’m so happy you’re reading, thank you for being here).

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The PointAnyone who claims their diet is THE best diet for fat loss is full of crap. There are too many variables at play for me or anybody else to claim we have it all figured out.

Access the wisdom of your Inner Nutritionist.

Marc David, founder of the Institute for the Psychology of Eating and author of “the Slow Down Diet” often refers to the inner nutritionist, which is a helpful guide available to every last one of us. Your inner nutritionist tells you all kinds of things: when you’re hungry, when you’re full, how different foods impact your mood, energy, and body in a variety of ways.

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You might be thinking, “That sounds way too easy, it can’t be that simple.” Valid response, but riddle me thisare you in full control of your eating decisions or do external cues influence what you eat? By “external cues,” I mean things like:

  • How stressful your day was
  • Who you’re eating out with
  • The amount of food available

Your inner nutritionist doesn’t care about any of that stuff. She just wants you to nourish your body with the foods that make you feel energetic, fulfilled, and happy. Begin your food diary today. Writing about your relationship with food will help you get in touch with your inner nutritionist, who will lead you to success if you let her.

There is no “best diet” that every single person should follow. Eat according to your needs (not somebody else’s opinion). Start your food diary today. After every meal, ask yourself: “Am I nourishing my body or am I depriving it?” Answer honestly and adjust as necessary.

More by this author

Daniel Wallen

Daniel is a writer who focuses on blogging about happiness and motivation at Lifehack.

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Last Updated on May 21, 2020

The Top Fad Diets That Are Actually Worth the Hype

The Top Fad Diets That Are Actually Worth the Hype

You have probably seen enough fad diets to last a lifetime. Many have become popular overnight and left just as quickly.

Some fad diets, though, have actually passed the test of time and are making some headway in the nutritional world.

Outlined below are four fad diets that are actually beneficial for your health and wellness. Read on to find out why you should consider adopting one (or more) of these healthy eating styles today.

An important concept you should keep in mind is to disregard the term “diet” as it is typically used. The word diet implies the idea of restriction and removal. Instead, think of the word diet in this context as a healthy eating lifestyle.

Let’s take a look at some of these healthy eating lifestyles that have been categorized, by no fault of their own, as fad diets.

1. The Paleo Diet

The paleo diet, or ancestral eating, is simply eating the way your paleolithic ancestors would have up to 10,000 years ago, or when the agriculture age began.

The advantage now is you don’t have to do this in a loin cloth, unless you want to… The focus of this diet is proteins, vegetables, some fruits, nuts and seeds and some healthy fats.

In the paleo diet, there aren’t any grains, starchy carbohydrates, sugars, or dairy.

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How Your Health Can Change With Paleo

The paleo diet is a good way to keep your blood sugar under control. It can also have a positive effect on type 2 diabetes, and can lower your risk of cardiovascular disease.

With this healthy eating lifestyle, people have also achieved good weight loss results and boast improved energy levels. [1]

It’s not just what’s in the paleo diet that’s important, it’s what’s NOT in it. There aren’t any processed and manufactured foods, junk foods, artificial ingredients or chemical additives.

Paleo is a way of eating that gets you more in tune with your body and, therefore, can provide a lot of benefits.

2. Whole30

The Whole30 diet is relatively new and owes its popularity to social media and the #Whole30 Instagram hashtag that allowed people to share and broadcast their success with the diet.

With Whole30 you are taking 30 days and focusing on nutritious whole foods such as meats, nuts and seeds, seafood, eggs, vegetables, and fruits.

During the month you are eliminating:

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  • sugar
  • alcohol
  • legumes
  • grains
  • dairy
  • soy

Whole30 is similar to paleo, but it goes a bit further eliminating sweeteners such as honey or maple syrup.

At the end of the 30 days, you strategically reintroduce those eliminated foods back into your diet to discover any possibility of health consequences from them or even potential food allergies.

Finding Out How Food Impacts You

Most people eat the same things so often and may not realize that certain foods are causing health consequences, as they’ve become accustomed to feeling lethargic and run down.

With Whole30 you get the chance to see how these foods may have a negative impact on your body. You’ll also reset your taste buds, which may have become desensitized from processed and artificial “foods” and excess salt.

This diet will help you regain your love of food… in a healthy way!

3. The Mediterranean Diet

The Mediterranean diet has been at the top of the list as a very effective diet for some time now.

For people in countries like Italy or Greece, this has simply been a normal way of life–along with higher activity levels, sunlight exposure, proximity to water, and lower stress.

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With the Mediterranean diet, the focus is on heart-healthy foods. It looks like this:

  • Fruits & vegetables
  • Whole grains
  • Legumes & nuts
  • Replacing butter with olive oil
  • Using herbs and spices instead of salt
  • Eating fish and poultry at least twice a week
  • Moderate amounts of red wine

Help Your Heart & Overall Health With A Mediterranean Diet

Information from the Mayo Clinic shows that this diet reduces heart disease and lowers your “bad” LDL cholesterol. Studies involving 1.5 million people demonstrated that the Mediterranean diet was associated with a reduced risk of cardiovascular mortality, along with overall mortality. [2]

With all these benefits, this is definitely a “fad diet” that’s worth the hype.

4. The Alkaline Diet

The alkaline diet is about changing the foods you eat so that you put your body into an alkaline state and out of an acidic state. When your body is too far on the acidic side it can result in a condition called acidosis. This can lead to issues in your body such as upset stomach, breathing difficulties, headaches, weakness and, fatigue. In extreme cases, it can result in shock, coma, or death.

The goal is to get your body in a more alkaline state, which results in overall better health. The focus is on including alkaline boosting foods such as fruits, nuts, vegetables, and legumes. You’re also wanting to reduce acidic foods such as low quality beef and poultry, dairy, eggs, grains, and alcohol.

Pros & Cons With The Alkaline Diet

The benefits that come from this way of eating is that reduction in inferior quality foods, processed items and alcohol. You may feel improved energy levels, mental clarity and even better joint health.

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People also report weight loss but again this may come from the reduction in calories from junk and processed foods but this is not a bad thing at all.

One con with this diet is that the pH value of the food you eat might not have an impact on blood pH, as your body is able to balance this pretty well on a day-to-day basis.

Follow These Fads for Better Health and Wellness

There can be a danger in categorizing things as a fad diet because fads come and go. People are always looking for the next big thing or a quick fix.

The four examples above buck that status quo. These diets, though mainstream, actually can give you benefits and aren’t going to go away anytime soon because they work.

What makes these diets special is that they boast real whole foods and the eliminate processed and manufactured junk.

The Big Takeaway:

Whatever way you choose to eat, the focus needs to be on whole unprocessed foods. Look for the cleanest, local and most natural things you can find for the benefit of your overall health and wellness. Your body and mind will thank you.

Featured photo credit: Dan Gold via unsplash.com

Reference

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