The answer is quite simple. It’s one that feels good. It must fit your lifestyle and food preferences. It must include a plethora of antioxidants and phytochemicals from fruits, vegetables, whole grains and beans. It must contain adequate protein from heart healthy sources. It should be low in saturated fats and trans fats but include several sources of mono-unsaturated fats and omega-3 fatty acids. It must be something you can stick to long term without feeling like it’s a struggle. The best diet is healthy, and balanced, but it isn’t a “diet”, it’s a way of life.
Diet’s simply don’t work and typically result in a slowed metabolic rate and weight gain as an end result. When a person goes on a diet their body adjusts to a lower caloric intake. The metabolism slows down so that they can survive with less food. This is not easy to turn back up.
Quick weight loss is typically from water and lean muscle loss. The weight re-gained is almost always mostly fat. This also leads to a slowed metabolism because muscle burns calories fat doesn’t. Two Thirds of people who go on a restrictive diet and lose weight end up heavier than their starting weight.
Diets are a major cause of disordered eating. They trigger feelings of deprivation, guilt, and preoccupation with food. When people restrict their diet for too long they lose touch with feelings of hunger and satiety. This can create a lifetime of disordered eating.
If there was a magic diet or pill then did 65% of the population wouldn’t be overweight or obese. Diets are one of the leading CAUSES of obesity.
Diets are short term. Each time a person diets they typically lower their calorie needs, lose muscle mass and gain fat. This is why some obese people really don’t eat very much. Their body has adapted to a lower calorie intake, and their percentage of body fat versus lean muscle mass is so high that calorie needs are minimal.
Most people are highly unlikely to continue with restrictive diets and we all will typically slow our metabolic rate and gain weight in the long run…
The only way to keep weight off permanently is by making healthy habit and lifestyle changes.
There is no magic pill, or diet. Weight loss is quite simple. It comes down to establishing a healthier way of life by following a healthy diet, most of the time, and exercising.