This is an excerpt from Strength Training for Fat Loss-2nd Edition by Nick Tumminello.
Diet trends fall in and out of favor like clothing styles. It’s often thought that every new wave is better than the previous one, but history proves otherwise.
Every era has its fans and its great-looking celebrities who are on board with the hot diet methods of their respective time. So you can’t look at whatever methods athletes and celebrities are using as the “secret” to their success because in a different era they’d be doing something else.
The fact is, when you strip away the big claims, in popular diets like the ones shown in the table, people eat more lower-calorie, nutrient-dense foods while consuming fewer higher-calorie, nutrient-poor foods. The reason people swear by just about every type of diet isn’t because of a special eating formula but because the diet got them to eat more nutritious foods on a regular basis than they were before. And by focusing on the quality of the foods they eat, they’re more likely to end up taking in fewer calories without actually counting them.
You can commit to a diet and remain skeptical of its seemingly miraculous claims. You can test things out and avoid being taken in by marketing hype. And if you do enough research, you’ll probably start to see that the reason most diets work is because they get people to eat meals that are made up of mostly high-quality meats, eggs, fish, protein substitutes (for vegetarians and vegans), fruits, and vegetables. And these diets control calories by limiting the intake of refined foods, simple sugars, hydrogenated oil, and alcohol.
You most likely already know these things, but the goal of marketing is to make you think you need something more—like a special diet formula or magic-bullet supplement. Sometimes everyone just needs to be reminded to keep it simple.
Above all, the most important factor in losing fat and improving health is adherence. So what is the best diet? It’s the one you’ll stick with over the long term; multiple dietary approaches will result in fat loss if you’re in a calorie deficit and protein intake is sufficient.