Regardless if you’ve tried a diet in the past or never have, you’ve probably seen more than your fair share of talks about “the best diet” on the news or online. Everyone talks about it being cutting-edge and magical. The only thing magical is that it makes your hopes and dreams disappear – leaving you with nothing more than disappointment and frustration. Why is that? Well, it’s simple. There’s no best diet out there and here’s why.
No One is Just Like YOU
Trying to be someone or something you’re not can put you in a downward spiral. Watching how You are your own person. There is no one like you. So, why would you think that a diet you see on television or online is the best diet for anyone who learns about it? It’s just not possible. What works for me may not work for you and vice versa. Therefore, save yourself the headache and stop looking for a magic diet that will miraculously transform your body and give you the rock-hard six-pack you’ve been looking for.
When you take a deep dive into things, you will find that your body reacts differently to different foods. Some people respond well to carbohydrates while others don’t. Some people can consume lactose and some are intolerant. It’s truly individualized when it comes to a person’s nutrition. However, there is one thing that all diets have in common. And that’s what we will touch on next.
Put Yourself in a Caloric Deficit
Looking at all the fancy and trendy diets out there, what do they all have in common? They all put you in a caloric deficit. What that means is, you eat fewer calories than what is needed for maintenance. For instance, if your maintenance is 2,000 calories (where you neither gain or lose weight), you would need to consume less than that number to see any sort of weight loss. A 250-500 calorie deficit each day seems to be the sweet spot for most people and where they can see anywhere from 0.5-1 pound of weight loss per week. This would put them between 1,500-1,750 calories per day.
In the end, THIS is the best diet for you. It’s a diet where you can (for the most part) eat what you want and still lose weight. While a calorie isn’t a calorie, you can still get away with “treats” every now and then so you aren’t completely depriving yourself of foods you enjoy. Yet, at the same time, you don’t need to completely eliminate an entire macronutrient either – which in my opinion has never made sense. I mean, in all honesty, can you say you'd never eat pizza, ice cream, donuts, pasta, or any other carbohydrate for the rest of your life just to say you're on the keto diet? No thanks. I'll pass on that being the best diet for me. Maybe it is for you? But I don't see that being something most will be able to sustain for the rest of their life.
Most people fail when they are forced to give up or extremely limit a given macronutrient such as carbohydrates or fats. Instead, your focus should be on quality protein sources as well as healthy carbohydrates and fats. When you eat clean, it allows you more wiggle room to fit in the sporadic slices of pizza or ice cream with your family without feeling regret afterward.
I like the “everything in moderation” motto. It’s when you deprive yourself that most people fall off the wagon and binge on anything and everything they want. Or they cheat once and figure they’ll get back on the horse tomorrow and then blow their entire day eating junk which they won’t recover from by simply eating clean the following day.
So, look at the big picture when considering the best diet for you. It doesn’t exist. But a healthy lifestyle does. Clean foods and a caloric deficit are almost always the answer to your weight-loss woes. Add in exercise and you have a powerful weight loss program.
Additionally, the best way to ensure you are in a deficit is to track your nutrition. This can easily be done with a free app like MyFitnessPal. It allows you to track your calories for the day along with your macros to ensure you are taking in enough protein, carbs, and fat to fit your daily requirements. The app is easy to use and can even track your weight so you can see how you are progressing over time.
Give the above a try and I’m willing to bet by putting your focus on being a caloric deficit versus looking for the best diet, you’ll get much better results in the long run without losing your sanity and motivation.
Matt Weik, owner of Weik Fitness, LLC, is a well-respected fitness expert/author with a global following. His work has been featured all over the globe as well as having published numerous books. He is a certified strength and conditioning specialist, personal trainer, and sports nutritionist. Find out more at www.weikfitness.com or on social media @weikfitness.