Keto this, Intermittent Fasting that. Carnivore Diet here, Low Carb Diet there.
“Try this juice cleanse and lose 10kg in *insert absurdly short period of time*, GUARANTEED..”
“IIFYM - Eat whatever you want. If It Fits Your Macros, everything and anything is game!”
There is so much noise surrounding dieting and nutrition. So much so it seems that in this day and age, it’s hard to throw a rock in any direction without hitting a fad diet or some kind of new, revolutionary way to lose fat.
What makes it harder is that many of these fad diets and nutrition methods for weight loss are often getting pushed on social media by well known influencers.
This is not at all to say that these methods don’t work for fat loss because they do, but what we are here to discuss is; Which of the thousands of diets out there is the BEST for fat loss?
The best diet for Fat Loss
Firstly, let’s gain some understanding around some of these more popular dieting methods and their primary functions.
Keto: From the most standard versions of Keto to even the more advanced versions, this is an extremely low carb, high fat diet. The person using this method for fat loss will calculate their calorie deficit and split their macros biassing toward higher fat ratios (eg: 70% fat, 20% protein, and only 10% carbs).
Carnivore: The way this method is executed is very much in the name. The user will calculate their calorie deficit and eat to that number by only consuming meat, fish, eggs and other animal products while completely excluding all other food groups — including vegetables, fruits, grains, legumes, nuts and seeds.
IIFYM - This is one of the more provocative and controversial methods of dieting which was influenced by a popular study appropriately named “The Twinkie Diet” by Professor of Nutrition, Mark Haub, Kansas State University. In this study, over a 10 week period, Mark Haub demonstrated that he was able to drop 27lbs (12.2kg) eating nothing but Twinkies, Doritos, Oreos and other treats. This study begged the question, “can this method be altered to allow for great body composition results as well as weight loss?”.. And with that question IIFYM was born. The user will calculate their calorie deficit, allocate their macros based on their goal set and eat essentially whatever they want as long as what they eat is tracked and fits into those macro numbers.
While all of these methods have their unique approaches, there is an obvious trend that seems to emerge with all of them.
Limit your total caloric consumption
Entering and maintaining a calorie deficit is the key to fat loss. How you achieve this is really up to you.
As long as you eat in a calorie deficit, you will lose fat - there is no argument there. But, where people go wrong or seem to struggle is in staying in a calorie deficit.
Hunger and cravings are not easy things to get around, and being hungry—sad to say—is one of the best ways to know if you are in fact in a calorie deficit.
If you constantly feel limited or restrained from certain foods, and then if your chosen method of dieting doesn’t allow you to eat it, is this really going to be something that you can sustain long term? For the vast majority of people, not likely.
So it really is more of a question of, what can you be more consistent with and what can you sustain over time?
In summary, is there a “best” diet for fat loss? I don’t believe so. I believe that if you are going to enter a phase of dieting for fat loss—however you choose to do it—you need to be prepared for what limiting your total caloric consumption will do to your lifestyle and your training. You may need to say no to certain foods. Your training performance may drop.
Preparation for these facts combined with constantly reminding yourself as to why you wish to lose the fat and why it is so important to you is the real key to creating sustainability.
If you make your goals as important to you as breathing, you will be able to achieve anything no matter how much you may need to sacrifice.
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