Paleo, low-carb, low-fat, Keto, vegan, vegetarian, and gluten-free diets are all the rage. But which one is best fat loss diet and which are a waste of your time and energy?
What’s The Best Fat Loss Diet?
The answer is less about the specific diet you follow or the foods you eat, and more about the amount of food you’re eating.
That’s because the first rule of fat loss is you must create a calorie deficit. Any diet you follow that includes nutritious food and allows you to stay in a calorie deficit will result in weight loss. I like to put extra emphasis on “including nutritious food” because technically, you could eat Twinkies and lose weight, but you would wind up much less healthy as a result.
Any diet that focuses on fruits, vegetables, lean protein sources, minimally processed carbohydrates, and healthy fats will always be the best for fat loss.
There are “good” and “bad” ways to follow all of the diets above
For instance, you could follow the paleo diet by eating a wide variety of fruits, vegetables, and free-range meat. On the flip side, you’d still be considered paleo if you only ate butter, bacon, and bananas. Which one of those diets sounds healthier? Hopefully, you picked the first one.
We can put vegan diets to the same test. Someone who eats a variety of fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, and beans would be following a healthy vegan diet. Another person who eats only dried fruit, granola bars, and potato chips would technically be following a vegan diet but getting very little nutrition from their diet.
In terms of fat loss, your eating style doesn’t matter, so long as the lifestyle you choose includes nutritious foods, adequate protein, and an appropriate amount of calories for your activity level. You can lose weight following a paleo or vegan diet, though the two exist at opposite ends of the “dieting” spectrum.
But what about the specifics – how many calories should I eat to lose weight?
The exact number of calories you need to eat to achieve your weight loss goals depends on your gender, height, weight, age, activity level, and dieting history. There are a number of online calculators that will tell you your “basal metabolic rate” (BMR), the number of calories you need to fuel vital life functions like breathing. Don’t set your daily calorie target below that number.
Without using a BMR calculator, a good general recommendation for daily calorie intake can be found by multiplying your current body weight x10-12 and eating that many calories each day.
A 150-lb person would multiply 150×10 = 1500 and 150×12 = 1800.
They should eat 1500-1800 calories per day for weight loss.
Ok, so back to which is the best fat loss diet. The answer is none of the above.
In the end, it’s best to pick an eating style that includes your favorite foods; focuses on mostly whole foods, and allows you to eat anything you want in moderation so that you can stick to your daily calorie target over a long period of time and easily maintain your ideal weight.