If you regularly read my blog, you know I’m not a fan of diet or “lifestyle” programs.
I’m a fan of reasonable portion sizes that make sense for your activity level and age, plus I’m a fan of sustainability and practicality.
It seems so simple, yet apparently the human brain seeks something more complicated.
Yesterday, in fact, it was suggested to me that people need more of a “guiding glove” than my regular “simply do what’s sustainable and sensible”. Aka: if I’m telling you that the keto craze is silly and intermittent fasting makes no difference, then what’s a person to do?!?
So here is my Guiding Glove: eat real food.
This isn’t just my opinion: this study, which compared apples to apples (low carb apples bs low fat apples) shows why chasing the rainbow of low fat or low carb doesn’t matter.
46 men spent 12 weeks on diets that had fundamentally identical calorie counts (2000 calories per day), protein ratios (17%), and food “profile” (aka: participants were instructed to emphasize lower processed and lower sugar foods).
The diets similarly reduced waist circumference (11–13 cm), abdominal subcutaneous fat mass (1650–1850 cm3), visceral fat mass (1350–1650 cm3), and total body weight (11–12 kg).
The groups showed similar reductions in insulin, insulin C-peptide, glycated hemoglobin, and homeostasis model assessment of insulin resistance.
The reason the men in the study lost weight and improved their metrics wasn’t due to macros. It was due to eating real food.
The average person eats an astonishing 1200 calories per day in “highly processed food”. Quit it.
Another study published in JAMA in February 2018 went one step further: they measured 600 people who were randomly assigned a low fat or a low carb diet but did not limit calories. They simply found the lowest macros they could tolerate in order to stay on the plan, with no specific limitation. The only dietary modification required was “diet quality”.
In this 12-month weight loss diet study, there was no significant difference in weight change between a healthy low-fat diet vs a healthy low-carbohydrate diet
It also didn’t matter what your genotype was:
In the context of these 2 common weight loss diet approaches, neither of the 2 hypothesized predisposing factors was helpful in identifying which diet was better for whom.
Forget keto. Forget paleo. Forget gluten free. Forget low fat. Or high fat. Or your genes. Forget calorie counting.
Eat real food.
Drop your processed food intake. Eat vegetables and things manufactured by the land, air, sea and sky. Learn to cook. Actually cook. Don’t eat as many things from boxes, packages, or containers. Use your crock pot and pressure cooker and oven instead.
My glove is simple but firm. And fundamentally guaranteed to hit you a home run.