Best Diet?

During their weight loss journey some people latch onto a diet philosophy— Paleo, keto, whole food plant based, vegan, Atkins, Weight Watchers, etc— and it seemingly becomes their One True Way of Eating.

The reality is, all of these can be various tools that an individual follows for varying amounts of time during their weight loss. And for many people trying to lose weight, carbohydrate restriction can be helpful (this doesn’t necessarily mean keto).

I have found that many different styles of eating have worked for me for varying lengths of time. Sometimes I feel better not eating a lot of carbs. Sometimes I go cheese free for awhile. I don’t feel married to a particular ideology, especially if I begin to feel poorly while following it.

There are certain truths that most dietary philosophies embrace. Some truths are especially emphasized in modern healthy holistic eating programs. Here are some of the main ones:

  1. Avoid added sugar and processed food. Whole food plant based vegan authorities do not advise eating tons of sugar and are quick to point out that “vegan” is not synonymous with “healthy”.
  2. Eat a lot of non starchy veggies. Keto diets which limit all carbohydrates will of course also limit these healthy foods but it is still possible to watch your carbohydrate intake while maximizing veggie intake. Some healthier ways of following a low carb diet including a pescatarian keto diet or even a vegan keto diet. Some people eat up to 50 net carbs while still considering their way of eating keto.
  3. Choose real, whole food.
  4. Don’t eat a lot of animal protein.
  5. Consider the impact of your dietary and lifestyle choices on your microbiome.
  6. Food isn’t the only determinant of weight. Also consider stress level, sleep quality and duration, and activity.
  7. Fasting/time restricted eating is increasingly found to be beneficial for many reasons. A good starting point is to have at least 12 hours between dinner and breakfast and not to snack. I really try to have at least 12 hours between my dinner and breakfast, and I typically go a bit longer than that.

Always discuss your personal health situation with your doctor before making significant changes to your diet and lifestyle.

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