I see a lot of stupid people and their stupid opinions on a daily basis. All these stupid people have one overwhelming similarity: they operate in extremes. Bro diets, keto, atkins, intermittent fasting, paleo, no sugar, juicing and god forbid veganism are all examples of popular health and weight loss fads being pushed on the public, all being touted as the next best thing for weight loss. What most people don't understand is that all of these eating strategies are simply bastardised complications of the oh so simple truth that if you want to lose biomass of any sort then you are going to need to be in an energy deficit or in colloquial terms a CFD (Calorie Fucking Deficit).
Let's go through a few popular diets and I'll provide a brief explanation as to how they function to create a calorie deficit.
Ever since the RDA told us in the early 90's that in order to be healthy we should be consuming minimal protein and sixteen servings of carbohydrates on a daily basis we've been in the midst of an obesity epidemic in most first world countries. Is this because of the innate evil of carbohydrates? No. It's simply because of the fact that it is incredibly easy to overeat carbohydrates - a temptation most people in the western world seem ready to fall for for taste and convenience purposes. Enter keto. Removes all carbohydrates, switches to high fat moderate protein.
Now one wouldn't be shocked to find out that when you completely remove the major source of someones calories they tend to end up in an energy deficit. The initial weight loss on a keto diet is normally more rapid than a traditional deficit but that's because of glycogen and it's accompanying water loss not because of any loss in biomass. There is quite simply no benefit to ketogenic diets when overall calories and protein intake are equated and they are incredibly difficult to follow for extended periods of time. Keto is not magic, at all.
2. INTERMITTENT FASTING
Despite what Terry Crews may tell you in that god awful Facebook video he did claiming he's 275lb at 6% year round because of intermittent fasting (OKAY TERRY) there really isn't anything special about this one either. If I normally eat in a 12 hour window would it be rational to assume that I'll probably end up eating less if I only allow myself to eat in a six hour window? I think so. Boom. There is your magic. Your false prophets crumble before sheer reason.
On a serious note however I've heard some really stupid claims surrounding IF - I've heard your body recovers better, produces hormones more optimally and generally functions better when it's fasted. All of these claims are entirely unsubstantiated and largely illogical.
If intermittent fasting fits your lifestyle then go for it but if you like eating at regular intervals please understand your results will be the same if not better provided overall calories and protein are equated.
3. ATKINS, NO SUGAR, PALEO AND VEGANISM
Exactly the same concepts as keto - remove refined carbohydrates, eat more satiating food with more low calorie vegetables and lean protein? Sounds like a CFD to me.
I'm not a gynaecologist but I know a cunt when I see one. If you're a fitness professional and you've ever recommended a juice diet I'm talking about you.
This one baffles me because seemingly rational members of the public buy into this hogs wallop. You do not need to be a scientist to understand that if you STOP EATING FOOD and only drink fruits and vegetables that you'll probably lose weight. I'm sure everyone loves the initial results but nobody asks themselves about the sustainability of their current operation nor what is actually going to happen to them when they want to return to normal, whole food eating life.
Sadly the answer for most people is "put on all the weight they just lost and them some" due to the muscle mass loss and complete metabolic shutdown that's normally accompanied by weeks of starving yourself because your yoga instructor said it was a good idea. Ya'll play yourselves.
5. BRO DIETS
So you're telling me if I eat fish and broccoli seven times a day I'll finally lose weight? So basically a smelly CFD?
For this one please also see the metabolic damage mention in the "Juicing" paragraph (irony clear) as the majority of bro coaches have no concept of the law of diminishing returns and thus put clients into ridiculously big deficits with lots of cardio right away, hit a plateau a few weeks down the line due to metabolic down regulation and then break out the T3 to mask their own ignorance. These are your gods?
As usual I beg all of you to not abandon your critical faculties when dealing with members of the fitness industry. Abs do not make someone smart nor do they make them qualified. 98% of the fitness professionals I know should not be allowed to integrate into the general public let alone give people potentially life altering advice. Educate yourselves or get someone solid (like me) to help you - lift weights properly, eat according to your macronutrient goals and progress in a slow and sustainable manner.