What is the best diet for weight loss?
What is the best diet for weight loss and how to find the right one for you
Low Carb; Paleo; Weight Watchers; Carb Cycling; Slimming World;
The Atkins Plan; Low Carb/High Fat; High Protein; Vegan………
Are you confused yet?
Without a doubt the internet is one of the greatest inventions of our time.
Everything we could ever wish to learn can be found with one simple line of text
tapped into our keyboard – www.google.com
Today let’s look at the role the internet can play in our constant battle to improve
our health and more often than not, help us with our weight loss The digital
highway has been a revelation for everybody who wants to lose weight, tone up, get
fit or stay inspired on a daily basis.
No longer do you have to rely on Sunday supplements sharing the ‘latest amazing
diet plan’ or recipes from TV chefs and we no longer have to move our sofa out of
the way whilst we watch a former TV star show you how they ‘really’ stays fit by
following their latest release on a DVD. We no longer have to wait for anything in
Surely the most spoken words of anybody who wants to lose weight or improve their
health are: “I will start on Monday”
THE MONDAY DIET
So in the past, Monday would come around. You would start your new plan (that
means buying a box of muesli, some Ryvita for lunch and lettuces for dinner) and by
Wednesday, you are fed up. You are hungry, ‘hangry’ and you crave all the foods
you have been used to eating and you give up. What’s the point?! You are
miserable, tired and hungry. “This is no life. I would rather be fat and happy!!
However, now you don’t have to wait until Wednesday!! You could fast on Monday,
dabble with the Atkins Plan on Tuesday, sign up to Weight Watchers on Wednesday,
give Paleo a crack on Thursday and maybe go vegetarian for the weekend?
Are you happy now or have you achieved nothing but confusion?
One of the biggest issues in modern society is that we use the word ‘diet’ as a verb.
This refers to the word as a short term fix. It has come to mean a way to achieve a
goal by monitoring and changing eating habits for a short period of time.
In my opinion, we should be using the word ‘diet’ in its noun form. To me, a diet
refers to the foods that a person or community habitually eats through life with no
time frame in mind.
This is why I think we struggle to lose weight, and more importantly, why we
struggle to maintain our weight loss. We focus on an end result.
We get caught in the BS and nonsense that is pedalled by the press and weight loss
companies that trick you into believing that their ‘latest scientific plan’ is the only
way you can really lose weight and reach your goals.
In reality, the only thing you consistently lose – is your money.
I can give you some very basic and generic weight loss advice.
Eat better quality food, swap processed foods for natural and fresh produce, maybe
reduce your portion sizes a little and increase your activity levels by 25%. The
chances are that you will lose weight and increase your health if you stick to this
‘plan’. In my opinion, this advice trumps any of the diets mentioned above as these
all have one thing in common.
In one way or another they restrict you eating certain types of foods or they restrict
the amount of food you are putting into your mouth. Do you really want to live the
rest of your life reading the back of food containers, tracking every calorie and
restrain yourself from eating the foods you enjoy? I know I don’t!
For me, life is about balance. At 39 years old I know I am as healthy on the inside as
I am on the outside. Of course, I am mindful of what I eat (I never track calories
or macros) but I never stop myself eating cake or having a nice meal out with my
family – I just don’t do it 3 times a day!
I work on the principle that my food should be as natural and as fresh as possible. I
buy organic fruit and vegetables as much as possible (and I mean from farms and
local producers – not supermarkets) and I eat free range eggs and meat from reputable
sources. I make sure that I eat single ingredient foods as much as possible too such as fruits
and vegetables, fresh meat/fish and carbs such as rice, bulgar wheat and couscous.
But, I still eat cake, bread, pasta, ice cream, crisps and biscuits. I still drink tea and
coffee and on the odd occasion, alcohol – just not all the time! Food is one of life’s
greatest pleasures and I intend to go through my life enjoying it, not banning it.
THE GYM AND THE DIET
You are probably thinking now that I spend every day in the gym? You would be
wrong. You cannot outrun a bad diet. Doughnuts might not be fast, but they will
catch up with you eventually.
I am active most days, but I do what I can, when I can. Maybe a quick H.I.I.T
session, some pilates or yoga, a short gym session or a quick run around a lake. It
is all about having respect for my body.
So you want my advice on what is the right diet for you? It will be different for
every person, but I can give some advice to help you find the right path for you.
One thing I suggest everybody does is swap any processed foods you currently eat
for fresher, more natural ingredients. This alone will make a huge difference to your
weight, energy levels and internal health.
Think of healthy living as not just about your food. Try and increase your activity
levels a little from what they currently are. If you are totally sedentary (you do NO
exercise) simply start by walking to the shops, start to take the stairs instead of the
lift at work or park 5 minutes away from your destination and walk the rest of your
If you want to take your exercise up a level, don’t be tied to thinking you must go
running or you must go to the gym. The most important thing is to do something
that you enjoy! Maybe that is walking your dog, rock climbing, swimming or yoga –
it really doesn’t matter, as long as you are active and you enjoy what you are doing.
Remember, life is all about enjoyment and happiness.
So, my last piece of advice is going to work for everybody no matter where you are on your
health journey at the moment.
THE PERFECT DIET
I base my diet around a 90% healthy diet. This means that I have 9 healthy meals
(on average) followed by one more relaxed meal. This gives me a 90% healthy diet.
My 9 meals are as I described above. They contain lots of organic fruit and veg, lean
proteins and single ingredient carbs. My one relaxed meal could be anything I like.
Maybe it is a Chinese take-away, a slice of cake or perhaps even an ice cream whilst
I am out walking my dog It just has to be something that I enjoy and with this
balance I know that I can stick to this ‘plan’ for the rest of my life.
I never feel guilty if I indulge in a treat because I know it will be followed with 9
nutrient rich, healthy and tasty food choices. And this percentage plan works well for
Imagine (you might not have to, this might be reality) that you are eating take-away
food or processed foods for every meal. Simply going to a 20% healthy diet of 2
healthy meals followed by a ‘relaxed’ meal, will see huge changes in your health and
your weight loss. And as this new 20% diet starts to become the norm and you no
longer see it as a hardship, you can try increasing to a 30% healthy diet.
This, in my opinion, is the best way for anybody to start improving their health and
Forget the 12 week plan. Bin the summer slim down program. Kick the bikini
shred as far away as possible.
This is about the rest of your life.
Have respect for yourself and focus on making these small changes every day and, although they might seem insignificant to you now but I can guarantee you will be a different person in 12 months time.
I am sure that 12 months might seem like too long for you right now but just ask yourself this
– “how many times have I started over in the past?”
Now start to think of a new you.
A new lifestyle. A new future. A longer and healthier life.
It is time to ditch the ‘diet’
Have you tried the HealthBuddy Challenge yet? – http://healthbuddy.fit/5-day-challenge/