An important one today.
If you have ever dieted – you can probably rattle off a dozen different ones. Let's take 15 seconds to drop a few:
– Low Carb, Low Fat, Atkins/Keto, Paleo, Vegan, Vegetarian, Pescetarian, Carnivore, Intermittent Fasting.
That was more like 7 seconds. Point is there are a fucking lot of different diets out there.
Each one promising that it is the answer to weight loss. Some are backed by medical professionals (some are somewhat questionable) and some are backed religiously by celebrities and social media 'influencers' a.k.a douche bags.
Unfortunately all of this 'this diet is better than this diet' really makes it quite complicated for the average Joe to figure out how to get started.
But what if I told you that each and every one of the diets above has one thing in common.
Any diet you can think of or have heard of that has generated weight loss or weight gain results is due to one fundamental principle – Calories In, Calories Out – also referred to as 'CICO'.
CICO is a simplistic way of explaining energy balance. You see the body is comprised of many different processes; from respiration, digestion, flexing muscle and most importantly just staying alive.
Everything requires energy.
We get energy through food.
We store excess energy as body fat.
We measure energy within the body using the Calorie or Kilo-joule.
Now moving on, our bodies require a certain amount of energy/calories to maintain our various processes. The body is quite good at regulating how much energy we need, based on things such as our age, how much muscle we have and our overall activity level. If you're quite active on a daily basis – you generally require more energy. If you're a desk jock and don't move much – you probably won't require much.
So for example let's say you're a healthy 80kg male who exercises 4 times per week, we'll give you 2700 calories – we'll also call you Jim.
To maintain Jim's body weight – he simply needs to consume 2700 calories via his diet.
What happens if Jim fails to reach 2700 calories? For this example lets say Jim consumed only 2400 calories.
This is a caloric deficit of 300 calories.
Jim's body will tap into his fat stores to fill quota of 2700 calories.
Now, a single day of a deficit like this might not result in much weight loss but repeating this process he will lose weight. There is no doubt about it – continuing to maintain a caloric deficit, Jim is going to get leaaaaan.
This fundamental principle of CICO is why any diet will generate results.
There is no one 'best' diet to follow.
There is no 'perfect' diet.
If you understand the principle of weight loss (CICO) then you can essentially pick whatever dietary approach you want.
The 'best' diet? Is the one you can stick with.