Are you looking for the perfect diet? It can seem like an impossible mission when you have so many to pick from. Should you pick low-carb Atkins or low-carb/high-fat Keto? Should you do an 18 fasting/6 eating intermittent fasting cycle or 24/24 alternate-day fasting? Is one meal a day (OMAD) better or 6-8 small meals? There are so many options it can be tough to pick a diet whether you want to lose 10 or 100 pounds. The bottom line is weight-loss has become a $70+ billion industry. This isn’t surprising considering that nearly one-third of the world is now overweight or obese.
The truth is the so-called “perfect” diet doesn’t really exist. That’s because things like fad diets generally don’t work. If you want to lose weight quickly then a crash diet might work. However, as some past contestants of weight-loss TV shows have shared this can result in new problems. They include gaining back all the weight you lost or even developing eating disorders. A better approach is to go with some oldie-but-goodie approaches like healthy meals, small portion sizes, and minimum processed foods. This is more about changing your long-term eating habits than going on a “diet” just to shed pounds or lose belly fat.
The Weight Loss Industry
It would be an understatement to say that the diet industry is big. It’s worth $70+ billion in the US alone and is booming in several other countries.
This isn’t surprising since about 30% of the world is now classified as either overweight or obese. The Central Pacific country Nauru has the highest average body mass index (BMI) of nearly 32.
There’s no question that many people are looking for the right diet to help them lose weight, burn fat, and boost overall health. You won’t have any problems finding a diet program at Amazon or weight-loss sites. The problem is sorting through them to find the right one for your wants and needs.
One thing you should watch out for is “fad diets.” These are diets that are popular for a short time. They’re like fashion trends that are here today and gone tomorrow. The problem with these diets is they seem like the world’s best diet. That’s because they get celebrity endorsements and rave reviews on social media. It might even seem like everyone you know is on the diet, but that doesn’t make it a good one.
Another thing to watch out for is “superfoods.” From time to time some particular natural food starts trending because it has some rare nutrients like an enzyme or antioxidant.
Your overall health will probably improve if you eat such foods. However, you shouldn’t expect it to provide 100% of your daily vitamins and minerals, or cure any health problems you have. It’s still important to maintain a well-balanced diet.
Another issue to consider is how safe the diet is. For example, most health experts recommend not losing over 2 pounds per week. Make sure to check if a particular diet has received a stamp of approval from medical doctors and organizations.
What’s the Perfect Diet?
No diet works for 100% of the people who are on it. There are so many factors at work including a person’s:
- General health
- Fitness level
That said, there are some general things to look for when picking a diet including:
Low-carb diets have been trending in recent years including Atkins, The problem with some of these programs is they eliminate certain foods like grains and potatoes. Whole grains are chock-full of vitamins, minerals, and fiber. Other options like baked or boiled white/sweet potatoes can be very healthy. However, a general drop in carbohydrates can certainly help you to shed pounds.
2. Plant-based foods
This doesn’t mean you have to go vegan or vegetarian. However, if you want to lose weight consider eating more whole grains, veggies, and fruits due to them being lower-calorie. The USDA’s MyPlate guidelines recommend fruits and veggies making up half your diet and grains 30%.
One of the big problems with modern diets is they’re too heavy on animal protein. For example, a meat serving size should look like a deck of cards.
3. Low-fat dairy
There’s some debate about this issue. On one hand, full-fat dairy contains healthy fat and boosts metabolism. However, it’s also higher in calories and fat. Low-fat is generally better for weight-loss.
4. “Good” fat
In the past, diets only focused on cutting fat. However, researchers are now focusing on the importance of “good” fat. This includes foods like fatty fish, coconut/olive/canola oil, avocados, and so on.
In fact, one of the most interesting diets is the ketogenic diet because it’s not only low-carb but also high-fat. The kind we’re talking about is a healthy fat and not the “bad” kind like saturated or trans-fat. In this diet, you actually get energy from fat stores instead of food carbs.
Perfect Diet: Tips to Improve Overall Health
Besides picking the right diet for your needs here are some helpful tips for better overall health:
1. Eat more family meals
Based on several factors it’s not practical for many families to eat 100% of their meals together. However, studies show that family meals can actually improve the nutrition and health of a household. That’s because home-cooked meals tend to be much healthier than others like fast food.
This also provides a good chance for parents to have face-to-face chats with their kids. There’s generally much less now due to the hustle and bustle of modern life.
2. Smile/Laugh more
This can provide several benefits. Smiling can change your outlook on life and even improve the mood of people around you.
You can take several steps to improve your mood. They include telling jokes, watching comedy TV shows, and reading the daily comics.
3. Eat more protein
Make sure you’re getting the protein from healthy sources. They include lean meats, fish/shellfish, beans, nuts, and low-fat dairy.
Protein can provide several benefits. Make sure to pair it with high-fiber foods so you’ll feel fuller and digest it better. Protein is important for building and maintaining muscles, as well as other body functions.
4. Get a good night’s sleep
Studies show that getting enough sleep can provide several health benefits. In terms of weight loss, it can help to control appetite. Studies show that not getting enough sleep can result in over-eating.
You can also get several other benefits from sleeping. It helps to recharge your body and allows your brain to process tons of info from the previous day.
5. Brush/floss regularly
This is important so your teeth/gums are as clean and healthy as possible. You should try to brush 2 or 3 times daily. Brushing and flossing regularly can provide health benefits like the perfect diet