When we think about weight loss, the biggest question asked is which diet works best, and you’ll get a bunch of answers. Cut the carbs, go keto, gluten free, eat the horn of a unicorn, mix this herb you’ve never heard of into your food, drink this miracle shake that will totally change you into a supermodel.
Let me tell you a tiny secret: Every commercial diet available in the market right now works. They all come with pictures stating results, and in most cases, the popular ones are real, actual results.
Here’s the thing: with weight management, the general principle is simple – eat lesser than the total amount of energy you will expand daily, and you’ll lose weight. In other words, calorie in, calorie out (CICO). Well, the whole CICO continuum is a little bit more complicated than those four words, and is worth an article on its own, but for now, let’s look some factors to consider before deciding to jump on a diet bandwagon.
Just a quick disclaimer though: Personally, I individualize nutrition and therefore do not recommend a specific diet to my clients.
1. What is your goal?
Possibly the biggest question would be your end goal. By now, it should be obvious that this article is all about losing weight. However, weight loss and fat loss are vastly different, and your chosen diet may affect your body composition accordingly. When you’re trying to lose total weight, and the things you’re trying to lose (water, fat, muscle) doesn’t matter, your goal is to just make sure you eat as little as possible while still allowing the body to function. However, when you’re trying to maintain lean muscle mass while getting rid of fat mass, you might need to have more protein in your diet.
2. What type of preference do you have?
Most cookie cutter diets will have a set of rules and regulation, and with that comes a certain level of restriction. These restrictions can sometimes be as lenient as controlling food portion to as strict as cutting food off your diet. When you’re forced to cut things away from your diet, the next real question you may need to ask would be whether you will be happy without it. Because while it’s true that too much junk is bad for your body, a piece of chocolate can go a very long way in your diet. This leads to my next point.
3. How sustainable is the chosen diet for your lifestyle?
Ultimately, the best diet for you is the one that suits you most. It may require a little bit of trial and error, but a good nutrition plan will help you wake up looking forward to life in general, while the food you eat will keep you going. After all, food is fuel not just for the body, but also for the mind. It is important that when you choose to work with a nutrition structure of sorts, you can feel in control while looking forward to your day. At the end of the day, while there are many different types of fad diets in the world right now, the cookie cutter structure of these diets has a certain requirement for it to work for you. If you manage to find one that works for you, awesome! But if not, that may mean that an individualized approach might work better for you, and that is why we are here to help you achieve!
Take-home Tip: Start off by choosing real foods instead of eating processed food.
How do you know if your food is processed? Read the ingredient list! If there is an ingredient that even you or your grandma don’t know how to read or know what it is, it’s processed. Real foods are good as you know where they come from, for example your vegetables and meats.
Aside from providing personalized nutrition plans, James also conducts nutrition talks under our corporate programs on practical topics such as choosing the right food when eating out and how to prepare your meals efficiently and effectively.