You would think that as a personal trainer I have specific diets for clients – Whole30, low-carb or Paleo – or regimented meal plans, and ‘do not eat’ food lists for them.
Truthfully I don’t have either. I don’t favor specific diets, I don’t write meal plans, and I don’t like giving a list of foods that clients should stay away from.
Why? Because what works for one person may not work for someone else. It’s unrealistic to stick with the same diet for the rest of your life.
When you tell someone to stay away from cupcakes and pizza the rest of their life that’s all they’re thinking about.
There is no one best diet for your goals.
The good news is that you can get lean, reduce bodyfat, and get toned on many different diets. You just need to figure out what works best for you and your lifestyle that’s sustainable for your day-to-day to get the results you want.
Here are the 4 traits of a healthy diet that will work for you to lose weight and bodyfat naturally no matter what your food preferences are and your body type.
When picking out which diet to follow look for the following characteristics to help you choose a diet that leads you to weight loss, muscle retention, and a leaner you.
1. Creates Awareness Of Nutrition
Paying attention and practicing mindfulness to what you’re eating is the quickest way to help you lose weight and get leaner naturally. You’re encouraged to slow down your eating, be present and pay attention to the smell, taste, and texture of your food.
A diet that encourages mindfulness helps you be aware of the different signals your body sends you during your meal. I find when clients are eating mindfully they’re eating fewer calories in general leading to natural weight loss.
2. Improves Food Quality
What most diets – Whole30, Paleo, Vegan etc – have in common is that they cut out processed foods. This is reduces the total amount of calories you eat and improves your overall nutrition. A win-win for weight loss and a healthier you.
When you improve the quality of foods you eat you can eat more and still lose weight. Counterintuitive I know.
This is because processed foods are calorie dense and empty of nutrients. They sure taste good because they’re filled with sugar, fat, and carbs but filled with vitamins and minerals? Not so much.
If you swapped your processed foods with whole foods you’ll get to eat more but in the end eat fewer calories.
How much broccoli and carrots would you have to eat to get the equivalent of calories of a cheese burger? Pounds of it.
3. Reduces Hunger and Controls Your Appetite
Hunger is the enemy of all diets. Everyone has great willpower to resist junk foods and stick to their diets until they’re hungry. When hunger strikes all bets are off.
A good weight loss diet helps address hunger by making sure you’re eating a sufficient amount of protein and fats in every meal. When you’re eating higher quality foods, you’re addressing any nutrient deficiencies, you feel more satisfied and end up losing weight.
Like I said earlier the better you eat the more you can eat because whole foods have much fewer calories than processed foods.
4. Prescribes Exercise As Part Of Solution
Nothing creates mind body awareness like exercise does. I find that once clients start exercising and create a regular routine around it they automatically start eating better because they’re aware of how their diet makes them feel.
Movement gives you feedback on how you’re feeling and performing. If you’re always feeling sluggish, tired, and low on energy diet is always the first thing that comes to mind. It’s an automatic feedback loop that tells you how you’re doing.
In conclusion, there is no one optimal diet for weight loss and fat loss.
Following someone else’s blueprint for a diet without understanding why it works may not get you the same results they got. It also becomes a crutch and creates obsessive compulsive behavior in situations for when you’re unable to follow the diet because you’re at a restaurant or on vacation.
The best diet for you follows has those 4 requirements, is sustainable and enjoyable for you, and gets you results you want to reach your weight loss and bodyfat goals.