The truth about diets- Why every diet method works!
Let me start by saying that I'm not "pro" or "con" against any diet type. I need to make that 100% clear as not to offend anyone reading this. However, I know how people react to controversial things, and I'm probably still going to get hate from this, so fuck it.
To put this article into context, I'm going to discuss why, for an average person with no metabolic condition standpoint, all diet approaches work. By diet approaches, we'll stick with three common ones- low carb/keto/Atkins (I know they are small differences, but the overall message is the same- eat fewer carbs!), plant-based diets, and low-fat diets. These might look like three different eating approaches, but I can guarantee you that they have more in common than you think. Again, for context, I'm going to be talking about a body composition standpoint and net weight and body fat loss. Meaning, I know, eliminating certain macronutrients will help specific individuals get better results than others on the same approach—for example, someone eliminating something in their diet to cause less bloating.
With this, we Segway into our first and only point- elimination.
In the context of all these eating methods, the reason they work is that it eliminates an entire macronutrient! Keto eliminates almost all carbs, plant-based eliminates animal protein sources, and low fat removes fats from the diet. Let's do the maths;
Carbs and Proteins have 4 calories per 1g
Fat has 9 calories per 1g
Alcohol (even though we're not going to talk about it today) has 7 calories per 1g
Let's take Bob. Bob eats 200g of carbs per day.
Carbs= 250g x 4= 1000 calories
For the sake of making the maths easy, let's say he eats 150g of protein per day.
Protein=150gx4= 600 calories
Fats at 100g.
Fat=100gx9= 900 calories
Total calories = 2500 calories.
Now, let's say Bob hops on a low carb diet and he drops his carbs to 50g per day instead of 250g, and he keeps everything the same. Now, his total calories will look like this:
Carbs=50g x 4= 200 calories, Protein=150g x4= 600 calories, Fat=100gx9= 900 calories
Bobs total calorie is now 1700 calories! That is 800 calories less than his previous calorie intake on a 'normal' diet.
The 800-calorie deficit is what causes Bob to lose fat, not because carbs are the devil. Bob might get an added benefit of improved insulin resistance and other benefits, but the most significant factor in Bob losing weight is the calorie deficit! All these things I talk about apply for people without any metabolic condition. People who have metabolic disorders, consult your health care professional as being a personal trainer with a nutrition certification; doesn't qualify me to deal with metabolic issues!
What does this mean for you?
Nutrition, like training, is hard to cover because unless you know the clients' specific background, their likes and dislikes etc., it's hard to give specific answers to things like which nutrition or training system is best etc. because it is very personal. Different things work for different people.
However, in the context of fat loss, which is what this article is about, being in a calorie deficit is critical. To be in a calorie deficit, you need to consistently eat a little less than your body needs day to day. It doesn't matter how you create the deficit through your eating, as long as you create it. IF you do not have any metabolic conditions. I need to reiterate that. The rules change when you have metabolic conditions so consult your medical professional.
For a healthy person with no known metabolic condition then creating a deficit through eating fewer carbs (keto), or reducing your fat (low-fat), or getting rid of meat-based protein (plant-based) they will all work to create a deficit.
At the end of the day, calories is what is going to matter when losing fat- calorie deficit. Yes, other factors will affect fat loss, but someone who doesn’t suffer from any metabolic conditions, calorie deficit is key for someone looking to lose fat.
I hope that helps. Any further questions, feel free to send me an email; firstname.lastname@example.org