While the title of this article may be deceiving (because there is no “best” diet for weight loss), it is this type of question that attracts the majority of individuals looking to lose weight and it is these individuals who NEED to read this article (or any article with a similar message, I wish I had realized all of this information sooner).
One of the first things you MUST accept if weight loss is your goal is that there is no “best” anything for everyone. We all require something unique because we are all unique individuals.
While there are general principles for successful long-term weight loss, the specifics will change from one individual to another (especially concerning diet).
In this article we will cover things such as;
- why there is not a “best” diet out there that works for everyone
- how to create the best weight loss diet for YOU
- and lastly some key dieting tips which you can begin to implement today to greatly increase your chances of successful long-term weight loss.
So, without further ado, let’s get started!
Why the Words “Best” and Diet” Don’t Mix
I will keep this section short and sweet because, well, there is not much need to over-complicate a simple principle; best is a relative term and because individuals vary and/or are unique what is best for one will not be best for another.
Just because the ketogenic diet helped your cousin Denise lose 60 lbs does not mean you should believe it is the best diet for you (or anybody else for that matter).
Two things need to be addressed that commonly are not;
- Just because a diet helps an individual lose weight does not mean it is a good weight loss tool (for anyone). Losing weight is only half the battle so just because a diet can produce weight loss does not mean it is made to last long-term (and if the diet cannot last neither will the weight loss)
- Just because a diet works for person A does not indicate that it will work for person B, unless persons A & B are very similar in their dietary preferences, lifestyle, etc (and even then it does not guarantee success for both simply because it worked for one).
It is absolutely fine if you wish to try a specific diet that worked for someone you know (though I would say it is a strong chance you are wasting your time and should focus your energy on simply developing better eating habits).
The two things you need to consider are;
A) Does the diet seem like a good fit for me, e.g, my eating preferences and lifestyle? Look, if you love carbs and eating breakfast then you should not even consider the ketogenic diet nor intermittent fasting. One of the biggest issues with all these “best diet” claims is that individuals do not even consider how the diet fits for them just that it is promised to be the “best diet for weight loss”.
An individual loves eating breakfast and/or feels it necessary to start the day off and yet attempts intermittent fasting simply because some goofball on the internet swore to them it was the best thing for losing weight. Remember to always factor in your eating preferences and lifestyle before adopting any diet so as to not waste your time on something unsustainable.
B) Do I feel that this is a sustainable method, i.e, a diet that I can follow for the rest of my life (again, if you love carbs, while the ketogenic diet may produce short-term weight loss you are unlikely to sustain the diet long-term). Many fail not in losing weight but in keeping the lost weight off because the methods they use are not sustainable.
The latter question/point strongly influences this one because if the diet does not fit your eating preferences and lifestyle it is likely not sustainable. Remember to prioritize sustainability in all weight loss strategies so that you can maximize your chances of long-term success.
So, to sum up, because best is a relative term and we are all unique individuals there is no best diet that works for everyone and you MUST consider your lifestyle, eating preferences, etc as well as the long-term sustainability of a diet before even considering it as a strong possibility.
Next, we will get into how you can create the best weight loss diet (in this case the word best works because we are specifically talking about one individual, i.e, YOU).
How to Create the Best Weight Loss Diet for You
You want the best weight loss diet plan for you?
Here it is; practice better eating habits. That’s the plan!
What the heck kind of advice is that?
The kind of advice that you need to hear. The kind of advice that will actually make a difference in your weight loss efforts.
Too many continue to over-complicate things and use extremely specific diet plans which are not practical and yet wonder why they never succeed.
If you want to succeed in dieting for weight loss you need to: Keep it simple and keep it practical.
THAT is what will lead you to success in dieting for weight loss. Not some ridiculous meal plan or strict diet plan that promises weight loss in weeks.
If you want to lose weight just to regain it within weeks, stop reading this and go find some unethical individual who will be okay feeding you that garbage, I’m not them.
I push the development of healthy habits because that is what will produce the greatest chance of long-term success.
One of the first questions you need to ask yourself when planning to adopt ANY weight loss diet is, “Am I willing and able to follow this diet for the rest of my life?”.
Most diets are so restrictive and ridiculous that even thinking about following them for several weeks (let alone the rest of your life) can sound off-putting.
That is EXACTLY why these diets are USELESS for successful long-term weight loss.
Focusing your effort on the basic principles of healthy eating rather than some specific diet plan is much more sustainable and/or flexible.
(If I’ve already convinced you to focus on developing habits instead of following some specific diet plan, feel free to skip the rest of this “rant” and go straight to the dieting tips section. Or keep reading if you want to keep hearing about why diets fail and why I do everything I can to make sure individuals do not follow them).
Something that many of us seem to miss in the beginning (and which causes us to waste years of following fad diets and gimmicks) is that all strategies used to lose weight MUST be maintained if we want to keep the weight off.
In other words, we have to build habits… we have to create a new lifestyle, not follow some 3 day, 4 week, or even 12 week diet plan.
The changes have to stick if you are going to keep the lost weight off.
Listen, you are never going be successful in losing weight in the long-term if you continue to bypass the key issue, i.e, the poor habits which led to the unhealthy body weight in the first place.
It is unhealthy dietary behaviors which lead to unhealthy body weights, not singular, short-term actions (i.e, gimmicks and quick fixes do not lead to being overweight so why would they be the solution to losing weight?).
The key to success in dieting for weight loss is developing healthy eating habits.
Eat healthier foods, drink more water, drink less sugary beverages, eat less junk food..
There is NO way around this and until you accept this you will continue to seek quick fixes and NEVER be successful in dieting for weight loss.
Too many individuals over-complicate things when all you really need to do is practice better eating habits.
Is it easy? No! But it is surely much more simple than following all of these ridiculous meal plans, fad diets, and gimmicks with false promises of a leaner body.
If you only take away one thing from this article let it be this;
Diet plans, specific meal plans, etc are not the solution. Long-term success in losing weight comes from CREATING A LIFESTYLE WHICH PROMOTES A HEALTHIER INDIVIDUAL. It comes from sustainable strategies that you can follow for the rest of you life. SUSTAINABILITY IS CRUCIAL, IT IS ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY FOR YOUR LONG-TERM SUCCESS.
Top Dieting Tips for Losing Weight and Keeping it Off
Following these tips and/or practicing on improving on the specific areas mentioned will begin to produce results that last.
These key behaviors and strategies are those which promote a leaner and healthier individual and therefore are crucial to your success in losing weight and keeping it off.
Developing habits take time and breaking bad habits can be tough. The key is making things as simple and easy to do as possible so that you can be consistent long enough to create the new habit (habits are built through repetition).
- Base your diet around whole foods, e.g, lean meats, fruits, vegetables, whole grains, low-fat milk products, eggs, nuts, legumes, etc
- Drink more water and minimize sugary beverages such as sodas, teas, juices, etc
- Practice portion control at each meal and focus on progress not perfection
- Refrain from snacking, specifically on high calorie dense snacks such as chips, cookies, candies, cakes, etc
- Eat more fruits and vegetables, preferably a serving prior to each meal
- Never make things too restrictive, remembering that restrictive = unsustainable and unsustainable = poor long-term success
- Accept that calories matter and that you need to eat less/control calories if you wish to lose and/or manage your weight
- Drink a glass of water prior to each meal (preferably with your serving of fruit or vegetable)
- Never allow yourself to get too hungry, 9 times out of 10 this leads to poor dietary decisions and/or overeating
- Understand that sleep and stress can impact your dietary behaviors (see guidelines 7 & 9 here for further explanation) so for that reason you should work on getting more sleep each night and managing your stress levels
- Understand that consistency is key to results so always prioritize it over quick results (6 weeks to develop a habit which will produce a long-term result is much better than 1-2 weeks to see a result that will never last)
Seeking out the “best diet for weight loss” is something almost every single one of us has done at one point or another in our path to lose weight.
The issue with that, however, is that there is no “best diet” that works best for everyone.
We all require something different.
The majority of diets out there are so restrictive and/or ridiculous that no one could follow them for a sustained period of time.
It is that lack of sustainability which makes these diets USELESS for successful long-term weight loss.
And as we’ve learned in this article, one of the MOST IMPORTANT aspects of any weight loss strategy is SUSTAINABILITY.
The key to success in dieting for weight loss is finding what will work best for YOU in the long-term.
Finding a way to control calories in a sustainable manner.
I hope that you have found this article helpful in your pursuit to a leaner, stronger, healthier version of yourself.
Best of luck with all of your health and fitness goals and thanks for reading.