Okay. You’ve gotten your Obvi products in the mail and are feeling great. Now, you’re ready to take it to the next level and change your diet to really see results. You go online and search the best diet for weight loss and you are bombarded with sponsored ads. “Drop 35 pounds with Keto!”. “Intermittent fasting is the key to losing weight while eating what you love!”. “Gluten and grains are keeping you from your fat loss goals!”. Each diet claims to offer the secret to weight loss. Worse, several of the diets seem to be contradictory! So, what is the best diet for weight loss?
Well, the answer is dependent on you. There is no objectively best diet for weight loss. Weight loss is governed by the concept of calories in versus calories out. Calories-in are the calories you consume throughout the day. Calories-out are the calories you expend throughout the day. The calorie out portion of the equation includes the calories needed to break down food, the calories needed for your basic metabolism and maintenance, and the calories needed to perform physical activities. If you eat more calories than you burn, you will have a net positive amount of calories. This will lead to weight gain. If you eat less calories than you burn, you will have a net negative amount of calories. This will lead to weight loss.
All weight loss diets need to place you in a caloric deficit (eating less calories than you burn) to work. Below I've placed a list of some popular diets, how they work, and who they may work best for.
Keto- A keto diet is a diet made up of extremely low carbs, moderate protein, and high fat. While you may see a quick weight drop at first, this is due to your decreased carb intake. Carbs are stored in your muscles as glycogen and attract water into the muscles. Decreased carbs lead to decreased glycogen, causing an initial drop on the scale. A keto diet is just as effective as any other weight loss diet when equated for calories and protein.
Who is a Keto diet best for? If you really enjoy fat sources (butter, oil, whole eggs, fatty meats, etc) and you can live without carbs, this may be a good option!
Intermittent Fasting- An intermittent fasting diet or IF is a diet wherein eating is restricted to a set amount of time. The most popular intermittent fasting windows are 18/6 wherein you will eat for 6 hours and fast for the remaining 18. Like keto, this diet is no more effective for weight loss when calories and protein are equated.
Who is an Intermittent Fasting diet best for? If you can’t eat for a majority of the day (strict work rules or just don’t have time to sit down and eat) this could be a good option. If you also struggle with snacking mindlessly, a time restriction may help you avoid temptations!
If It Fits Your Macros- If it fits your macros or IIFYM is a flexible dieting style where you eat to reach your protein, carbs, and fat allotments for the day. You can break your macros up as you choose. Like IF and Keto, this diet is no more effective for weight loss when calories and protein are equated.
Who is If It Fits Your Macros best for? If you are willing to learn how to read nutrition labels and often find yourself without time to prepare meals, this could be a good option.
Overall, the best diet is the one that you can stick to long term. If you are looking at a diet as a temporary, short term fix then it will not be effective for sustained weight loss. Don’t look for a magic quick fix diet. Instead, focus on choosing a diet that suits your habits, goals, and food preferences!