There are tons of diets that promise fast fat loss and everlasting health, but most do not deliver on their promises.
Worst of all, most diets are unsustainable and some may pose serious health risks.
Diets – and especially extreme diets – are easy to sell, but they don’t work. If you go on a diet, you must come off the diet.
For thousands of years, human beings have thrived in different geographic regions with access to all different types of foods:
- The Kitavans from Papua New Guinea have a high carbohydrate diet consisting mostly of root vegetables, coconut, and fruit, yet are very lean with low blood pressure.1
- The Inuits from Alaska have very high fat diets feasting mostly on marine life, yet are free from cancer and heart disease.2
- The Maasai tribe from Africa mostly consumes milk, blood, and meat – high in lactose, saturated fat, and cholesterol – yet they are lean and disease free.3 4
- The Cretans who follow a high fat Mediterranean diet emphasizing olive oil and nuts experience low risk of heart disease.5
- The Japanese who have the lowest obesity rate in the developed world (just 3.5% vs. 35% U.S.) eat high carbohydrate grains like rice and noodles in addition to fish and vegetables.6
The list goes on, and on. I hope it’s clear by now, but there is no perfect diet. There is no perfect combination of foods to magically help you melt fat away and live past 100 years old.
So What’s The Best Diet For You?
If your goal is to lose body fat while still eating healthy foods, the best diet for you is the one that:
- Keeps you feeling full
- Keeps your calorie intake low
- Works with your digestive health
- Provides your body with the nutrients it needs
- You actually follow / enjoy
The best diet for you is some variation of a “whole foods diet”. Whole foods are foods that are unprocessed and unrefined that contain few ingredients. How many ingredients does broccoli have? You guessed it- 1 ingredient.
This is simple, yet profound advice. It’s so simple it will never get the attention it deserves because it’s not gimmicky, or extreme.
A Whole Foods Diet is more of a nutrition philosophy than a diet. A whole foods diet keeps you feeling full and provides your body the nutrients it needs while you eat fewer calories without even trying.
If you want to lose body fat, then eating whole foods will make your goal much easier. If you simply want to maintain your current body fat level, eating whole foods will help your body run optimally.
What’s your opinion?
- Lindeberg S, Berntorp E, Nilsson-ehle P, Terént A, Vessby B. Age relations of cardiovascular risk factors in a traditional Melanesian society: the Kitava Study. Am J Clin Nutr. 1997;66(4):845-52. ↩
- Dyerberg J. Coronary heart disease in Greenland Inuit: a paradox. Implications for western diet patterns. Arctic Med Res. 1989;48(2):47-54. ↩
- Wagh K, Bhatia A, Alexe G, et al. Lactase persistence and lipid pathway selection in the Maasai. PLoS ONE. 2012;7(9):e44751. ↩
- J A Mbalilaki et. al. Daily energy expenditure and cardiovascular risk in Masai, rural and urban Bantu Tanzanians. Br J Sports Med 2010;44:121-126 ↩
- Vardavas CI, Linardakis MK, Hatzis CM, Saris WH, Kafatos AG. Cardiovascular disease risk factors and dietary habits of farmers from Crete 45 years after the first description of the Mediterranean diet. Eur J Cardiovasc Prev Rehabil. 2010;17(4):440-6. ↩
- Available at: http://www.ibtimes.com/japan-has-many-problems-obesity-isnt-one-them-1038090. Accessed July 23, 2014. ↩