Which diet should I do? Have you ever asked yourself this question? If you have, the answer is really very simple…none of them. Dieting is a fool’s errand. If you are asking the question as to which diet you should do, you likely are attempting to change your weight. So the real question is, “how should I eat in order to lose weight”! Thankfully, the answer is surprisingly simple.
Buuuuuuuuut, I’m never simple, so let’s dive in for a second. If you said you wanted to lose weight, odds are good you don’t actually want just to lose weight. Let me explain. If I told you that for a mere $20 I could take off any amount of weight you wanted from your body and I could do it in less than an hour, that would sound pretty good right? And I bet most of you reading this would say “awesome, I have $20 let’s do this!”. The next step is for me to get out a chainsaw and cut off whatever amount of weight you want to lose. Wait, doesn’t sound so good does it. The point of this little analogy is simply to point out that WEIGHT loss is rarely the actual goal, more likely FAT loss is the real goal.
Soooooo, if we recognize that asking what diet to use really means “how should I eat to lose weight”, and that really means “how do I lose body fat”, then the real question is, what should I do and eat in order to reduce my body fat. Ok, this is where it gets simple!
Losing body fat through nutrition can be done a multiple of ways, so here are your options.
Option 1: Medically guided. The big benefit here is that you can be sure to avoid the unhealthy pitfalls many people face while losing weight. The best program we have seen (and for full disclosure, we do have a partnership with though we receive no reimbursement for either this post or if you utilize their services) is Medical Weight Loss Clinic. They ensure that blood levels are where they should be for healthy weight loss. They have doctors on staff for complications in the weight loss process. They have a staff that will hold you accountable while giving guidance in an understanding and professional manner. They have been around for 30+ years and have 30+ locations for the very simple reason that they are successful at helping people get rid of unwanted body fat. If you want to see how successful they are at helping people, check out their testimonials page at http://www.mwlc.com/Success_Stories.php. The vast reasons we partner with them would be lost in this article, so simply put if you are looking for a great place to learn how to eat right, this is the place to go.
Option 2: Testing of one’s metabolism (commonly referred to as an RMR test). Simply put your metabolism is the amount of calories your body uses in a day. If you take in less calories than you utilize your body will lose weight. If you take in more, your body will gain weight. It’s very important to remember that we are STRICTLY talking about weight loss in the last two sentences. If you have too large a difference between what you take in and what you utilize, you will likely lose things such as bone mass and muscle density, not just fat. Because of this, it is important that someone does not just have an RMR test done, and simply eat a bunch less than their test results indicate as their metabolism. In order to ensure proper fat loss, an RMR test should be followed with proper nutritional counseling to ensure fat loss instead of just weight loss. Trainbetter does offer RMR testing services, and more information can be found at http://trainbetter.org/metabolic-testing/.
Option 3: The “eat healthy be healthy” approach. This one is simple and often (read “not always”) works well. The idea is that if you simply eat healthy foods regularly and don’t eat junk foods, you will be healthier. While I can whole heartedly agree that this is the basis of being at a healthy weight, a decade in the fitness world has taught me all too well that most people believe they know how to eat healthy, but don’t. As such, I would suggest at a minimum having a review with a qualified nutritionist to ensure that you actually do know what you are doing. In addition, realize that losing body fat often requires doing things close to perfect, not just “good”, so this approach tends to be very slow going.
Option 4: Fail. Yep, do all the crazy things that many people do and likely fail. We have to remember that when it comes down to losing body fat by nutrition alone, starving yourself won’t work. The “cantaloupe” diet, the “ice cream sundae” diet, and many others like them simply rely on you being malnourished and losing weight but not fat. Be careful of these things, the chainsaw might be safer! Healthy fat loss does not occur by being malnourished, and doing so is a downward spiral that will just result in more problems. If you want to lose fat quickly, see options 1 and 2!