One of the most popular questions these days is this; Which diet works best?
The answer is always the same and most people avoid even attempting to follow it.
The answer is all of them work, but you need to figure out which one fits you, your lifestyle, and your goals.
If you have a legitimate performance goal coming up soon, jumping on the Keto train probably isn't a great idea. Adaptation for optimal performance in athletes can take quite a bit of time and they will most likely suffer a great deal during the transition.
What about intermittent fasting? "I heard everyone needs to do it." Nope not so much.
While it is a great tool and most people can benefit from the rewards of some form of a consumption break, not everyone needs it. Especially if it would greatly disturb your work/life schedule or cause a great deal of stress.
The same with Paleo. The stress of going on a strict no modern processed foods protocol often isn't the best idea. Some people need to ease into it and some can't handle it at all. The stress of freaking out over eating a piece of bread can be more harmful than eating the bread.
Well what about IIFYM (If It Fits Your Macros)? The idea that quality doesn't matter as long as it fits in your appropriate macro-nutrient breakdown isn't that great of a plan. Macros= Protein/Carbs/Fat. The total volume of these three = your total caloric intake.
To paraphrase John Welbourn; If this idea were true we could live on olive oil, whey protein, and corn syrup. Let's try that out and see how you do.
This approach does work provided a large percentage of your calorie base were high quality nutrient dense foods. But that's not how it always plays out. Us pesky humans like to bend rules and push limits.
However, knowing your intake is definitely the most important of all. You can’t manage what you can’t measure.
So what diet actually works? Survey Says! It's completely different for every person. Not to mean that every person needs their own biochemist to help them figure out what to eat. But a bit of problem solving and custom building a plan around you and your life goes a long way.
Everyone of the diets listed above and all of the old school Dr. So&So diets provide the same thing. In the beginning they all carry with them some form of caloric restriction. Meaning you're eating less calories than you need. This is why you lose weight.
An entire industry has been turned upside down by personal trainers, nutrition coaches, health coaches, or whatever they call themselves. Simply because the good ones are addressing people's needs on an individual basis and understand that there isn't a one size fits all approach.
This rebellious new breed of coaches are also addressing our modern health and lifestyle issues (gasp). The things that actually inhibit you from being successful. Who knew that changing your habits around daily ice cream binges would help you not binge on ice cream?
Next time you ask someone in the health or nutrition world what diet works best and they give you an answer that they use for everyone, think twice about what they're telling you.
Just like training or anything else, not everyone needs the same thing. If you're going to invest in a coach, they should be able to build something based on what you need. Not designed around what they want for you.