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How Popular Diets Really Work For Fat Loss

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We have reached a pinnacle for information overload in the weight loss industry. In 2017 the American weight loss market was reported to be worth $66 billion dollars…

I heard an interesting statistic while listening to a podcast. They said if the entire world did not use or buy a weight loss product for one week that it would affect the world’s economy.

Luckily we have individuals like Eric Helms, Alan Aragon, Brad Schoenfeld, Jose Antonio, among others working to dispel diet myths and provide unbiased and evidence backed information to the public. But we also have an abundance of fad diets, detox teas, supplement stores, and dichotomous thinking diet books.

Globally, obesity has tripled since 1975 and in 2016 more than 1.9 billion adults over 18 years of age were overweight [3]. It makes complete sense that there is no shortage of people working on finding solutions to this epidemic. And, no shortages of people trying to take advantage of it.

Cost of Obsity

[credit https://stateofobesity.org/]


US Obesity Rates

US Obesity Rates

[credit https://stateofobesity.org/]

With these types of statistics we have people coming out of the woodwork claiming that XYZ method is the way to lose weight. There is no magic solution even though it seems everyone is trying to tell you that it is sugar, or insulin, or processed foods, or just eat less, or move more, or whatever the latest buzzword is. If there was “the” way, we would see obesity rates start to decrease not steadily rise.

We are going to take a journey through the popular diets and dissect the reasons that they all work. We will cover the ketogenic diet, intermittent fasting, the paleo diet, and flexible dieting. Then we will tie it all together with the commonalities and how to decide what is best for you.

The Ketogenic Diet

What is a ketogenic diet?

A ketogenic diet is a high fat, moderate protein, and very low carbohydrate diet. This diet was originally used for medical purposes for treating epilepsy in children. The ketogenic diet causes the body to burn fat for fuel rather than carbohydrates.

How does it work?

The basis behind the ketogenic diet is you eliminate carbohydrates from your diet. By doing so your body no longer has glucose (the body’s preferred source of energy) to use as an energy source. This will cause the body to enter a state called Ketosis. When your body is in this state it will begin to convert fat cells into Ketones which your body can use as a fuel source.

The ketogenic diet has largely been pushed due to the myth that insulin is a primary cause of obesity. Carbohydrates cause the body to release insulin. This correlation has contributed to the rise of the popularity of the ketogenic diet.

A ketogenic diet is classified as a very-low-carbohydrate diet. Definitions vary but think less than <50 grams of carbs per day or 5-10% of your caloric intake in carbs. This would be 25-50 grams on a 2000 calorie diet. All of which will be coming from vegetables and the trace amounts found in other foods.

🥓🥓KETO🥓🥓 . One of the most common diet questions I get is about the ketogenic diet. I'm not sure whether it is the abundance of diet books, or the vilification of insulin and gluten, but people ask about it all of the time. . A ketogenic diet is a high fat, moderate protein, and very low carbohydrate diet. This diet was originally used for medical purposes for treating epilepsy in children. The ketogenic diet causes the body to burn fat for fuel rather than carbohydrates. . Think less than 50g of carbs per day (roughly 5-10% of your caloric intake). Moderate protein intake around 1.2–1.5 g/kg/d. The rest of your intake from fats. . 🐘The elephant in the room?? Does it work? . Here is an excerpt from the JISSN position stand on diets and body composition: . “all controlled interventions to date that matched protein and energy intake between KD and non-KD conditions have failed to show a fat loss advantage of the KD” . Pros 🍳Butter, bacon, and eggs 🍳Can help suppress appetite 🍳Lowered insulin . Cons. 🍩No carbs, like ever, in life 🍩Reduced performance 🍩No fat loss advantage 🍩Long term adherence may be difficult due to Con #1 . . Tag someone who has asked about doing a keto! . . #keto #ketodiet #fats #bulletproofcoffee #insulin #bacon #eggs #carbs #iifym #flexibledieting #science #diet #dieting #calories #yeg #yegfitness #l2fitnessyeg

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Action and result for weight loss

Something that I like to do is zoom out when reviewing things like this. Rather than looking at what each diet does individually, I like to look at what all diets are doing as a whole. By looking at the commonalities of the popular diets it allows us to form a solution that is best for us as an individual with individual lifestyles and goals.

The elimination of carbs

Zooming out, the easiest action we can see that is set forth from a ketogenic diet is the elimination of carbs.

No pasta, no bread, no sugar or candy, no fruit, no dessert, etc. Take an honest look at what you eat in a day. Now eliminate everything that has carbohydrates. This provides an immediate drop in calories. This can also eliminate a lot of crap that many people eat – this can actually be a good thing.

Another often forgotten action from a ketogenic diet is the increase in protein intake. Most individuals lack an adequate amount of protein intake especially if they are active. The switch to a ketogenic diet is associated with raising protein intake to moderate levels.

However, when protein is equated a ketogenic diet has not been shown to be more effective than a traditional calorie restricted diet for weight loss.

“all controlled interventions to date that matched protein and energy intake between KD and non-KD conditions have failed to show a fat loss advantage of the KD” [1]

The International Society of Sports Nutrition outlines in their position stand on diets and body composition:

“A wide range of dietary approaches (low-fat to low-carbohydrate/ketogenic, and all points between) can be similarly effective for improving body composition.” [1]

By eliminating all carbs people will reduce a large portion of their caloric intake. This does not necessarily mean that cutting carbs out is the answer, but shows that reducing caloric intake is key for weight loss. There is evidence that does show some benefits of appetite suppression in the ketogenic diet (outside of protein intake).


A ketogenic diet may not be more effective but it still can be effective. This is an important distinction.

For some it can be quite easy to eliminate carbs and just eat protein and fat. These are usually the people that excel at adhering to a ketogenic diet.

Eating out at restaurants

Ketogenic diets can make eating out a little easier because you can do so without having to put as much thought or planning into it. You know you will just be ordering meat – steak, chicken, salmon, etc. on its own and that’s going to be your meal. Outside of fast food you can pretty much order this everywhere. Since eating out is a barrier for many this is a positive.

Initial scale drop

1 gram of glucose retains 3 grams of water. When you eliminate your carbohydrates you will no longer be holding that water. Without carbohydrates you will also deplete your glycogen stores (this is the stored form of glucose in your muscle and liver).

This provides a large water drop right off the hop with a ketogenic diet. It is very important to note this is not all fat loss. But many people are emotionally tied to the number on the scale and seeing a quick initial drop on the scale can provide the added motivation to keep going.

Alternatively seeing a smaller drop or no drop may cause some to be discouraged after starting a weight loss plan.

A 2013 paper concluded that in obese populations “Large initial weight losses and the related positive quality of life changes may serve as reinforcers, increasing healthy behaviors and healthy habit learning.” and that “it may be argued that losing at a slow initial rate may be less reinforcing to participants than losing at a moderate or fast initial rate” [2].

Seeing an initial drop on the scale can help reinforce the healthy changes that you are making. It is important to note that someone who has more weight to lose can afford to lose weight at a more rapid pace than someone who has less weight to lose.


The research shows that it is no more effective than traditional calorie restricted diets. However, when adhered to it will still be effective for weight loss. I think the two most common cons or barriers are lifestyle and performance.

Lifestyle and adherence

For some eliminating carbohydrates is easy. These are the people that tend to succeed. For some it is not an easy switch. When I evaluate an effective method for weight loss I look at something that can be sustained for life, not a set period of time.

Can you eliminate carbs forever?

Can you eliminate carbs forever? If not, that answers the question of if it can be sustained for life. Even if you succeed and drop some weight you have already answered the question that you can not sustain this diet or eating style in the long term. This means you need to learn how to re-introduce these foods and still be able to lose or maintain your weight. If that is the case why wouldn’t you start with a method that has the end in mind.

Can you eliminate every form of carb at Christmas, New Years, Easter, Mothers Day, Fathers Day, Thanksgiving, BBQs, Weddings, Birthdays, Anniversaries, Date Nights, etc. This means no alcohol, no birthday cake, no traditional homemade bread at holidays, no burgers at summer BBQs, no beers with the guys, no wine with the girls, no ice cream on a hot day, and so on.


High intensity exercise is fueled by carbs. Any glycolytic activity is fueled by glucose.

This is where individualization comes into play. If you do not have performance goals then this may not be a concern. But if you participate in high intensity exercise, resistance training, or Crossfit and would like to fuel those activities and optimize performance then carbohydrates will be required.

You will simply not be firing on all cylinders without carbs. Glucose is your bodies preferred fuel source for high intensity activities.

Implementing a ketogenic diet

  1. Set your caloric intake to suit your goals
  2. Set your protein intake at a moderate level 1.2-1.5g/kg/d (or ~20% of calories)
  3. Set carbs at 5% of caloric intake (some go up to 10%, but max 50g)
  4. Remainder of calories come from fat

Intermittent Fasting (IF)

What is intermittent fasting?

Fasting has been around for quite some time. Fasting has religious roots from traditions such as a Ramadan where muslims fast from dawn to sunset for one month. Nowadays fasting has been widely researched and there are numerous methods that people utilize for weight loss outside of religious traditions.

Fasting can be broken down into two categories: whole day fasting (WDF) and time restricted fasting (TRF). Whole day fasting can be applied using methods such as alternate day fasting or 24-hour fasts. Time restricted fasting is as the name implies restricting the time you can eat through the day and intermittent fasting is a form of time restricted fasting.

Some of the common fasting methods for dieting are alternate day fasting, meal skipping, Eat Stop Eat, Leangains, and The Warrior Diet.

Eat Stop Eat is a method of whole day fasting where you fast for a 24-hour period once or twice a week and the 5:2 diet has you fasting on two non-consecutive days per week where you are eating only 500-600 calories on fast days.

Intermittent fasting is a form of time restricted fasting and one of the more common methods of fasting for weight loss (also goes by Leangains). With intermittent fasting the idea is that you condense your daily window of eating. Most commonly this a practice of following a 16 hour fast followed by an 8 hour window of eating. Traditional western lifestyles typically has us fasting for 8 hours while we sleep followed by a 16 hour window of eating while we are awake.

How does intermittent fasting work?

Intermittent fasting works by restricting the total time per day we are permitted to eat. Most commonly IF uses a 16 hour fast followed by 8 hours of feeding. The easiest way to apply this would be to fast till approx. 11-12PM then stop eating after dinner around 7-8PM.

Some advocates of IF only permit water to be consumed during fasted periods while others allow coffee, tea, and other zero calorie beverages to be consumed.

Different people have different stances on what is considered to break the fast. Water is permitted during fasted hours however other zero calorie beverages are debated whether they are allowed during fasted hours.

Action and result for weight loss

In the most simple terms intermittent fasting works to facilitate weight loss by reducing the number of meals you eat per day. Take a snapshot of a typical day of eating then eliminate all the food you consume outside of 12-8PM. You will facilitate a reduction in overall calories consumed which we know will lead to weight loss.


Dieting can be difficult. We know this. In our nutrition coaching we are always looking for easy and simple solutions for our clients. Methods such as tracking all of your calories can be great for some people however it can be quite cumbersome for others.

Intermittent fasting is touted as a way to facilitate a caloric deficit without needing to track everything you put in your mouth. All things similar, if you cut out meals you can reduce your caloric intake.

Fasting has been shown to have a positive effect on blood lipid profile, blood sugar, and insulin levels. As well as increased fat oxidation, metabolic rate, and increased growth hormone levels later in the fast [5].

It is not known how long you need to fast for to see some of those benefits. As well as most fasting studies have been done on animals, not on humans. Lastly, most of the fasting studies looking at weight loss are not done comparing fasting to other methods of caloric restriction but rather looking at fasting compared to overeating.


What’s the catch there? That all sounds awesome, right?

The collective body of intermittent caloric restriction research demonstrates no significant advantage over daily caloric restriction for improving body composition. [1]

In a systematic review of 40 studies they concluded “IF failed to result in superior improvements in body composition or greater weight loss compared to CER” [1] (IF refers to intermittent fasting or intermittent calorie restriction and CER refers to continuous calorie restriction).

Daily caloric intake

One of the primary disadvantages of intermittent fasting contradicts one of the main selling features of it. Reducing meals can be an effective way to reduce calories. But allowing an 8-hour period to eat whatever you want without accounting for it often ends up in overeating.

I have personally experimented with this to fully understand it. I am currently eating 2250 calories per day (on a diet) and I have experimented with IF. I’ve found that I have to be careful not to blow over my daily calories during an 8-hour feeding period. I only consume water (I don’t drink coffee or tea) until around 12PM and then eat dinner. I still have to restrict myself to stay within my daily calories.

If you objectively look at people that skip breakfast they are adhering to the principles to IF. Are they all lean? In my experience, no.

I am all for strategies that allow people to lose weight that are simple and don’t make them think as much. This is one of the big selling points for IF. However, if you are not tracking or accounting for your calories you can easily over eat or consume too many calories during that 8-hour window. This will bring you out of your calorie deficit and stall your weight loss. I have seen this myself and have seen it in others as well.

If you experiment with intermittent fasting you still need to monitor your overall caloric intake. Keep in mind that there are multiple methods of fasting and each have their own unique pros and cons.


Similar to the ketogenic diet, intermittent fasting is not ideal for those performing high intensity exercise which a focus on increasing their performance. These forms of exercise rely heavily on glucose and stored glycogen for fuel and fasting may not be as effective as other dietary styles for fueling performance and fueling recovery.

Certain people IF may not be great for

Intermittent fasting is not going to be recommended for anyone that is pregnant, has a health condition, or any health concerns. I would not recommend intermittent fasting to anyone who has a tendency to binge or a history of any eating disorders.

Trying out intermittent fasting

Choose your fasting method – Example 16/8 Leangains.

Pay attention to what your body is telling you – note any drastic changes in appetite, hunger, and satiety – including food cravings, sleep quality, energy levels and athletic performance, mood and mental/emotional health.

Control you caloric intake and place an added focus on food quality and nutrient timing around your training sessions.

For some additional fasting tips and tricks and other methods of fasting check out this series by Precision Nutrition here.

The Paleo Diet

What is the Paleo Diet?

The Paleo Diet is a modern day fad diet where you only consume food presumed to have been available to humans in the Paleolithic era. To put it simply think of cavemen and what they had available to eat.

How does The Paleo Diet work?

The Paleo Diet has variability in how it is executed. This in turn provides confusion around its execution.

The Paleo Diet typically includes vegetables, fruits, nuts, roots, and meat. It excludes foods such as dairy products, grains, sugar, legumes, processed oils, salt, alcohol, and coffee.

The Paleo Diet is based on avoiding not only processed foods but also foods that humans began eating after the agricultural revolution. If cavemen didn’t have the means to eat it, neither should we. Or so they say.

Action and result for weight loss

When you review the foods that can be included and excluded with The Paleo Diet it can be defined as a low carbohydrate diet.

The primary action that The Paleo Diet takes to accommodate weight loss is the removal of processed/refined foods and added sugars. If nothing else changes within your diet, removing all processed foods and added sugar will reduce your caloric intake. Which in turn can facilitate weight loss.


The Paleo Diet has a lot of things going for it. From a bird’s eye view the overarching theme of The Paleo Diet is very similar to mainstream general health advice: Eat more fruits and vegetables, reduce the consumption of processed food and added sugars, and increase your protein intake.

Modern adaptations of the Paleo diet have distinct benefits. The strongest benefit is the focus on whole/unrefined foods. The Paleo friendly foods have plenty of research supporting their benefits.

When I work with nutrition coaching clients I take an inclusive first approach. We work to include more protein and more fruits and vegetables. This is something that is shared with the approach of The Paleo Diet.

The Paleo Diet, much like intermittent fasting tries to provide a simple to execute dietary style to improve health and reduce body fat. While IF restricts your eating window, Paleo restricts your food selection similar to Keto in an attempt to facilitate fat loss without the need to “track” or weigh your food.

Like I’ve said before. I am all for simple solutions… If they work.



The concepts behind the creation of The Paleo Diet have been widely scrutinized. I am not going to get to deep into every claim and what the evidence actually supports. However, Alan Aragon has already done this for us. He outlines every Paleo claim and counters it with research backed evidence. Check it out here.

It is impossible to universally define the diet our of pre-historic ancestors due to widely varying intakes according to food availability and their geographic location. There is no research to support the claims that food available post Paleolithic era should not be consumed or is detrimental to our health.

Multiple lines of recent archaeological data have actually challenged the idea that grain consumption was not a part of the Paleolithic/ancestral diet. Grain avoidance is one of the strongest claims for the Paleo diet.

Avoidance of gluten and dairy (of any food, for that matter), should be done on the basis of an objectively diagnosed intolerance or allergy. Avoidance of any food should not be done on the basis of hearsay or hypothesis’ that it was not consumed by cavemen.

Even among the Paleo supporters they cannot agree on what is to be included and excluded. Some allow dairy, some do not. But when we get into things like Paleo protein powder which is processed and was not available during that era, the lines get very blurry.

Last I checked our caveman brethren didn’t pound a shake after a day of successful kills.

Lastly, there is no good evidence, however, that the Paleo diet helps with weight loss, other than through the normal mechanisms of calorie restriction.


With a few quick searches on The Paleo Diet you can find some very black and white dichotomous claims:

“The Paleo diet is the healthiest way you can eat because it is the ONLY nutritional approach that works with your genetics to help you stay lean, strong and energetic!”

Or I especially loved this one:

“When we (over)consume grains regularly, our bodies take those grains, which are composed of carbohydrates, and those carbs get turned into sugar in our system.
That sugar is then either burned as energy or stored as fat. That’s right: the grains you’re consuming are stored as fat in your body and they’re what most Paleo experts believe are the main culprit in why you’re overweight.

This actually made me laugh.

Grains which are composed of carbs break down into sugar which is either burned as energy or stored as fat. This is correct. But what about fruit? Fruit is part of a Paleo diet. Fruit is also composed of carbs… which breakdown into sugar (glucose) in our body… and is also either burned as energy or stored as fat…

It can be quite confusing when you read black and white claims about specific diets. Truth be told, everything works and there really isn’t one that that works (when adhered to) better than another.

Beware of hard and fast claims. As Alan Aragon says, “Avoid food avoidance.”


The same performance points apply to The Paleo Diet as they do to Keto because of its low carb nature.

High intensity exercise is fueled by carbs. Any glycolytic activity is fueled by glucose. You will simply not be firing on all cylinders without carbs.

The Blue Zones

The Blue Zones are defined as the world’s healthiest and longest living populations. Many of these people eat diets rich in food that is forbidden on The Paleo Diet. Ikaria, Greece for example has a diet consisting of whole grains, goat’s milk, about 2 glasses of wine per day, coffee, and tea.

Dietary commonalities among the Blue Zones:

  • Largely plant-based
  • No overeating
  • Foods are locally or home-grown & home-prepared
  • Carbohydrate (largely from starch) is the predominant macronutrient
  • Beans, including fava, black, soy and lentils, are the cornerstone of most centenarian diets
  • 3 of the 5 zones are regular coffee consumers
  • 4 of the 5 zones are regular alcohol consumers
  • All 5 zones are regular consumers of grains & legumes
  • None of the zones follow a Paleo-type diet

Flexible Dieting

What is flexible dieting?

Flexible dieting has been around for a long time but has risen in popularity over the last few years. This can be largely contributed to social media and the evidence based community. Flexible dieting is also commonly referred to as IIFYM or “If It Fits Your Macros” or “Macro Dieting”. However, I would like to discuss flexible dieting as a broader term than just “Macros”.

Calories in vs. calories out is the premise of flexible dieting. If these two are balanced – weight maintenance is achieved. As the scales tip in favor of one or the other that is when weight gain or weight loss occurs.

More and more research is being published supporting the fact that no calorie equated diet is superior to another.

Flexible dieters do not “restrict” carbohydrate intake like ketogenic diet. They do not restrict the feeding window like intermittent fasting. And they do not worry about what our cavemen brethren ate. Unless they choose too.

The focus of flexible dieting is on maintaining a caloric intake that suits your goals.

The emphasis is placed on the underlying commonality between all diets – calories.

IIFYM (If it fits your macros) and macro dieting

IIFYM has been slightly skewed in the eye of social media. Like all things it can be taken to either extreme. Instagram often portrays people who follow IIFYM as people who eat donuts and cereal while losing weight. This by all means can happen (I ate bagels every day while preparing for a bodybuilding competition and looked like this) but I prefer to apply an emphasis on health as well rather than weight loss alone.

Flexible dieting as a framework

I view flexible dieting as a framework and structure to create a diet that best suits the needs of the individual. When I set someone up on a plan my goal is to find what works best for them. If they want to try keto, let’s do it. Then see how it works. If they want to try IF or Paleo, I am game. I understand that all things work and the primary factor is adherence. Some people may be able to adhere to somethings better than others. I will start most people with a flexible approach and tailor it based on their individual preferences.

Interestingly enough, you can track your macros and follow keto, IF, or Paleo. Flexible dieting or tacking your macros is a means to controlling your caloric intake providing you flexibility in the methods used.

Flexible dieting as a framework takes the underlying principle of calories in and calories out and I add in guidelines for protein intake, fruit and vegetable intake, and fiber intake. This ensures health is a focus but allows the flexibility to eat the foods that you enjoy whether that is bagels, cereal, wine, candy, or cake (or whatever floats your boat).

It takes a more “inclusive” and less of an “exclusive” approach.

How does flexible dieting work?

Where keto works by eliminating carbs, IF works by restricting the window of eating, and Paleo works by removing certain foods, flexible dieting works simply by controlling calories.

All the aforementioned diets attempt to do the same but they do it through rigid and restrictive means. Flexible dieting says let’s control calories but let you eat the foods you enjoy.

I recommend taking an inclusive approach rather than exclusive. Instead of saying “I am eliminating sugar” say “I am going to eat 3 servings of vegetables and a min. of 25 grams of fiber”. By doing this you can ensure you stay healthy, allowing yourself the freedom to choose foods you enjoy, and by controlling your calories you will still lose weight.

Action and result for weight loss

CICO (calories in, calories out) is the method in which flexible dieting facilitates weight loss.


With flexible dieting you have the dietary freedom to consume foods you enjoy, the ability to fuel your performance, and the ability to fit your plan to your lifestyle rather than fitting your lifestyle to the plan.

The International Society of Sports Nutrition (JISSN) makes 3 statements in their latest position stand on diets and body composition [1]

“Diets primarily focused on fat loss are driven by a sustained caloric deficit.”

“A wide range of dietary approaches (low-fat to low-carbohydrate/ketogenic, and all points between) can be similarly effective for improving body composition.”

“The long-term success of a diet depends upon compliance and suppression or circumvention of mitigating factors such as adaptive thermogenesis.”

Their position stand is formed from an extensive review of the entire body of literature by a panel of experts. As you can see they outline that fat loss is driven by a sustained caloric deficit and a wide range of approaches can be similarly effective.

There is additional research that has shown that rigid dieting is associated with symptoms of eating disorders and high BMI when compared to flexible dieting [4].


A common argument against flexible dieting is food quality. It is important to note that health and weight loss are not one in the same. You can lose weight while not being healthy and you can have weight to lose while being healthy.

Many people you see shredded on magazine covers are often in a very unhealthy state with hormonal issues, nutrient deficiencies, lethargy, and are unhappy. But they “look” healthy. On the flip side you may see someone that has 10 lb to lose with a little belly fat but according to the doctor they are perfectly healthy.

With flexible dieting it is important to set certain parameters in place such as fruit and vegetable intake and fiber intake.

Setting up your flexible diet

  1. Determine your caloric intake based on your goals
  2. Set your protein intake at 1.6-2.2g/kg
  3. Set a fiber target – Women aim for a min. of 20 grams, and men a min. of 25 grams
  4. Allow yourself to fill in the rest based on personal preference
  5. Eat mostly whole and minimally processed foods
  6. Allow yourself 10-20% of your calories from “discretionary” foods of your choice

What does everything have in common?

A calorie deficit.

Every single diet out there (even ones not listed) has a calorie deficit in common. They just use a different vehicle to get you there. Keto says don’t eat carbs which can reduce calories. Intermittent fasting says only eat for 8 hours a day which can reduce calories. Paleo says don’t eat processed foods, dairy, or sugar, which can reduce calories. Flexible dieting just says reduce your calories.

One of the main differentiators here is how these diets are framed. Keto, IF, and Paleo are all restrictive by nature. Flexible dieting is not. Don’t underestimate the mental side of dieting.

🔥THE BEST DIET🔥 . Is there even such a thing as the best diet? I'd say no. What worked for someone else won't always work for you. . Common diets I get asked about; . ▶️ Flexible dieting or macros ▶️ Ketogenic diet ▶️ Paleo ▶️ Intermittent fasting . Every "diet" has underlying commonalities. They all overlap in some way shape or form. If we zoom out and look at what each has in common we can see why they are all working. That is the overlap. . From here, we need to find what methods work the best for us for continued adherence. . 🔥Paleo Just because @thealanaragon defeated every single Paleo claim doesn't mean EVERYTHING about it is useless. Modern adaptations of the Paleo diet have distinct benefits. The strongest benefit is the focus on whole/unrefined foods. The Paleo friendly foods have plenty of research supporting their benefits. . 🥓Keto A ketogenic diet may not be more effective but it still can be effective. This is an important distinction. . 🤯Fasting Fasting may not be ideal for optimal performance and muscle building but it may work really well with someone's unique work or life schedule. . 🍩Flexible dieting Just because flexible dieting adheres to the most important concept of calorie balance doesn't mean it is "easy" to adhere to or that using MyFitnessPal is the right tool for someone. Flexible dieting still needs unique strategies to aid in adherence for each person. . While a calorie deficit must be achieved for weight loss there is a very, very important thing to consider. . 🔥Lifestyle and adherence🔥 . Fit your plan to your life not your life to your plan. . . If you're interested in coaching, having someone help find the best methods for you and hold you accountable you can apply for coaching with the link in my bio! . . #weightloss #fatloss #macros #macrodieting #diettips #paleo #keto #flexibledieting #fasting #vendiagram #yeg #yegfitness #l2fitnessyeg

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What is the most important factor?

While a calorie deficit must be achieved for weight loss there is a very, very important thing to consider.

Lifestyle and adherence.

As shown every method can work. Every method also has disadvantages. The most important thing is finding what method will work for your lifestyle and allows you to be the most consistent with your dietary adherence.

This is where it can be beneficial to have help and someone to remain accountable too. Outsource the stress and worry only about the execution.

This might mean hiring a coach, finding a supportive Facebook group, or telling your friends or family.

What diet should I choose?

It isn’t as confusing as you think to choose the right dietary style. Try asking yourself these questions:

  1. Is maximizing performance a concern?
  2. Am I trying to maximize building muscle?
  3. Can I adhere to this dietary style for 1 years time?

This is not an exclusive list of questions. There are many other things to consider. Are you pregnant, do you have any health conditions, and many more. If you have any concerns I can help point you in the right direction for answers or feel free to reach out to your healthcare professional for additional help.

If performance is a concern, you need carbs, therefore Keto, IF, and Paleo may not be the best option. But you’re still welcome to try.

If you can’t see yourself following the diet you choose for a year, then don’t start that diet. For example if the thought of not eating carbs for an entire you makes you think of eating cake before you even start, don’t.

If you need help, I am happy to help! Apply for Nutrition Coaching Here.

Fit your plan to your lifestyle not the other way around.

This is box title

Looking for the missing strategies needed to make any diet work?

Download The Secret Playbook To Making Any Diet Work Here!


  1. https://jissn.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12970-017-0174-y
  2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3780395/
  3. http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs311/en/
  4. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11883916
  5. https://www.precisionnutrition.com/intermittent-fasting/benefits-of-fasting
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  • Jamie

    Great article Landon! I myself have tried more than one of the listed programs and have had success and failure with each one. More failure than success due to the fact that none were sustainable for me. At the end of the day, simply counting calories is what is currently working for me and what I have been able to sustain.

    • Landon Poburan

      Thank you so much, Jamie! I am glad you liked it. That is truly what it comes down to – sustainability. I am really happy you have found something you have been able to sustain!

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