Diet, lifestyle

Diet controversy: Which diet is better for weight loss?

Recently I have been seeing many people in the comments section of YouTube videos and blog posts get into full arguments about what diets and good and bad for you. This is frustrating to see because when reading these arguments, it is clear that not many people know what they are talking about. I don’t want that to sound mean, but people spread the information that they have been taught to believe. And many people have been taught false information.

Today I want to set a few things straight and attempt to help everyone understand the difference between these diets and why the debates should stop.

The truth is, not one diet is better than another. Only extreme diets are unhealthy. And if done correctly a diet should never be considered a diet but just a way of eating.

Certain diets work best for certain body types. There are three basic human body types: endomorph, ectomorph, and mesomorph. Endomorph can be described as big-boned or a larger set individual who possesses a significant amount of body fat. An ectomorph is someone that has a tall, thin body containing very little body fat. Finally a mesomorph is an individual with an athletic build.

All three of these body types respond best to a different diet. An endomorph tends to fare better with a lower carb diet with higher fat. An ectomorph usually handles a higher carb diet better. The mesomorphic body types tend to be fine with a balanced diet of all three.

Most people (myself included) don’t fall into one specific category, and this is where things get a little complicated. Without trail and error it is hard to say with full certainty that one person needs to eat a particular way to look a certain way. So no one can come up to you and say that you’re diet doesn’t work… because they have no idea what works for your body.

Intermittent fasting, if it fits your macros (IIFYM), intuitive eating, paleo, vegan, high carb-low fat, low carb… these are some of the highly talked about ways of eating. Every single one of these “diets” has controversy surrounding them.

But as I said before, none of these diets are “wrong” unless they are taken to extremes. Extreme dieting is unhealthy. You should never fully eliminate any macronutrients (protein, fat, carbs) from you diet. They were created for a reason, and eliminating them is not only near impossible but it is also extremely unhealthy.

Following a diet that is lower in something (low-carb) is okay to do, but it also comes with risks to your metabolism. And this may hurt your ability to lose or gain weight.

If you are eating a low-carb, low-calorie diet, your metabolism will slow down. When you “starve” your body it gets used to surviving on fewer calories. It gets used to surviving that way by adjusting the way it expends calories throughout the day. And in order to conserve energy you will stop burning as many calories via basic bodily functions and movements. This results in a slower metabolism and makes it harder to lose weight (because it becomes harder to burn calories).

If you want to avoid slowing your metabolism, I recommend trying carb cycling. Carb cycling is essentially following a low-carb, low-calorie diet, but increasing your calorie and carb intake every so often (how often depends on the individual). By increasing your intake you are able to prevent your body from getting used to low-carb thus stopping the metabolism drop.

This is just one example of how you can make a diet work for your body and your goals. Nutrition is complex. And most people are not educated on the subject. This blog post is barely grazing the surface of how complex each individual body is and how nutrition can affect it. So the next time you get into an argument about why one diet is better than another… stop and find accurate information from an educated source.

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