Posted by Dayne Hudson in Weight Loss
Estimated reading time: 6mins
You’ve heard of all of them.
Some of them aren’t all that different, but there are two things they all have in common:
You want to get anywhere from 1.5 - 3 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight per day.
This is if you’re exercising regularly. If you’re more sedentary, 1 gram per day might suffice. If you’re getting hungry still, increase it.
Most of us will be fine with 1.5 grams per kilogram of bodyweight per day. However, some of us exercising a lot will want to push it up to 2 grams.
And those with very low body fat – less than 10% for men and less than 20% for women – can have as much as 3 grams per day for muscle maintenance and satiety.
But regardless of where you fit in the above, all of these diets aim to give you enough protein as per the above guidelines.
Why? For five reasons why protein is so important in a diet:
So, you can see that a weight loss diet is simply not one without protein. Which they all have in common.
And while we’re at it, I’ll point out that all of the aforementioned diets welcome protein sources such as chicken, beef, eggs, etc – none of them are off-limits.
Another reason they’re similar.
Great. Now you’re across protein. Let’s move on to point number two.
I don't care if you’re superman, a genie, or the Queen – you need a calorie deficit to lose weight!
It’s what governs fat loss.
So, you can create your calorie deficit with diet alone, diet AND exercise, or just exercise, whichever you prefer.
But there’s no getting around this fact.
Now, this might sound like common sense, but it isn’t.
For example, when fasting first hit the scene, people were saying how you could “eat whatever you wanted in your feeding window” and not gain weight.
They had misinterpreted that it was pretty hard to eat in a calorie surplus – more than the calories you burn daily – by fasting for 12 hours.
All sorts of claims were thrown around: you could hack the body's system of energy balance.
And with the ketogenic diet, many thought because you’re not eating carbs, you’re not “spiking insulin which apparently leads to fat gains.”
But this just isn’t supported by science, and has been disproved many times:
So, the idea that "insulin is bad for fat gains" is totally false.
And the next time you hear this incorrect and disproven hypothesis being touted, you might like to remind people that whey protein spikes insulin too, and is actually more insulinogenic than white bread!
The Paleo diet, Carnivore diet, and Ketogenic diet say you cannot eat certain foods, like starchy carbohydrates or sugar, for example.
So, when you cut these foods out (anything like pizza, chocolate, bread, rice, etc) it removes a lot of what you’re eating anyway.
And when you remove all these foods, that you can enjoy as part of a weight-loss diet for better long-term weight loss and dietary adherence – there’s a high chance you’re going to enter a calorie deficit.
And these diets want you to think there’s something magical about them. So, you keep doing it. And tell your friends.
But you’re cutting the foods you (potentially) love at what cost? It makes you miserable, and most people don’t sustain these diets.
So, they’re back to square one. What’s the best diet for weight loss?
The one you can stick to.
So, if it’s any of these, then great, ignore everything I’ve said!
But if you’re finding it difficult to adhere to these, you’re not the only one.
What should you do?
Well, get your protein right as per the above recommendations, and make up your fat and carbohydrate calories as you wish, with the foods you wish (within reason), and you’ll lose weight with ease.
Most diets are set up the same: high protein and a calorie deficit. And some ask you to cut certain foods out which makes you feel like the diets are magical, but all they're doing is creating a calorie deficit by default.
Cutting out certain foods can just make dieting harder, and a flexible approach is better for long-term fat loss and dietary adherence.
But remember the best diet for fat loss is the one you can stick to!