The world's most popular diets and how they can work for and against you for weight loss / fat loss and muscle building is an oxymoron. (Far too many moron taking too much oxy with too much hype marketing to be honest and effective)
Seriously though, how can every diet in the world be the best diet in the world and how can they be right for you all the time. Well to be simply and brutally honest they can't. Not every diet in the world is the best for everybody all the time. No one program is successful at fulfilling all your goals and maintaining your weight loss and your body for the rest of your life.
Many of the world's most popular diets are 90% the same and 10% different. It's that key 10% that they market and promote 90% of the time.
For example: Atkins Low Carb Diet by Dr. Robert Atkins. It's great; it forces the body into Ketosis (for more weight loss and rid the body of sugars) for 6-10 weeks it works like magic for initial weight loss. Atkins Low Carb Diet then brings you into a re-composition or reintroduction of carbohydrates for a longer more sustainable lifestyle. The Atkins Low Carb Diet is clearly a "DIET" not a Lifestyle program any more than body builders pre-contest and offseason diet is. Sure you will experience rapid amounts of weight loss (mostly water weight) but you will then dip into serious fat stores for energy and when you introduce the carbs you may bounce back up in weight (fat and water retention) again. The problem is that too many people only read the first half of the book and think they know the answer. That's when you can literally see that they are "off" their Atkins Low Carb Diet kick and the weight appears to fall back into place rapidly. The back half of the Atkins Low Carb Diet Book will teach you to introduce the right calories and right carbs into your lifestyle and that is where it is apparent that you will end up eating much more of a Zone by Dr. Barry Sears or balanced diet philosophy with a 40% carbohydrate, 30% protein and 30% fat ratio.
The same goes with South Beach Weight Loss Strategy. Honestly this one is more marketing and trend hype than anything as it is clearly a "balanced" eating lifestyle program. Really it is darn close to Zone teachings right from the get go. What I do like about this is that there is a 2 week induction or detox diet strategy to get you started, then move into the balanced lifestyle program with massive weight loss results. Did you know that South Beach is just one of the burbs in Miami Florida and was recently (2009) ranked as one of the highest "unhealthy" and "unfit" cities in the United States. Man, everybody looks so good down there in the sun; they must be hiding the fat and sick people in the alleys and closets or behind desks and suits all day long. Dr. Agatston sure picked the right place to start a practice and a trendy appropriately named series of books.
There is a lot to be said for each and every diet strategy in the world. The problem is this. They ALL work. Knowing which one works, at the right time in your life, when you are at the right body composition and effectively selecting the right program to follow at that specific point is a daunting task. In fact it is downright painful and can only be done in a trial and error format which leaves you frustrated, confused and often times a skinnier fatter version of your former self or with no energy to even bother trying the next hot diet that Oprah Winfrey suggests will work for you. Have you ever noticed how Oprah has bounced up and down the scales and from diet to diet (more on that another time). Literally she has a hot new diet every year (she has followed Zone, South Beach, Atkins, and many other diet programs over the years) and "this is finally the one that's going to work for you". They ALL work, short term, but the end game is knowing which weight loss diet strategy will work at the right time in your life, how and when to implement it and sustain that for life.
How can you select the right weight loss diet strategy at the right time for the right reasons that will work for you? That is the toughest question you are going to have to face as weight loss and diet information is rampant and leads to confusion with complicated rules, and ends up being way too consuming for many to embark on. Heck even nutritionists are wrong from time to time or are branded and following the trends not the science and proven theories of their own (people lie, not numbers, pictures and weight loss results). The best answer I can suggest is to get a professional coach, a full time nutritionist, and an educated trainer or spend years, months and thousands of dollars going back to school and become the nutritionist and weight loss diet pro for your family. The other solution is find some already done-for-you meal plans with a tool that will help you pinpoint what weight loss and diet strategies are right for you at what point in your life to accomplish your weight loss and lean muscle building goals. That is the cheapest, fastest and easiest way to start getting the results you want. Oh yeah I also suggest following a nutritional coach on twitter, facebook, blog or some rss type of thing and work with just 1-2 theories not following every nutritionist and kamikaze body builder playing Russian roulette with your health.
Start by just adding 1-2 tasks a week. Try these 5 simple tips and use it as a checklist. Just wait and see how you do in the next week:
Cut obvious sugars out of your diet Replace obvious and not so obvious sugars with fruits and veggies in your weight loss plan Stop drinking your calories - yeah that means the triple triple cafe latte has to go... well just scale it down a bit, start with skim milk or non fat if you must have the triple triple cafe latte Increase your water intake - its calorie free, hydrating, satisfying, increases fat burning and protein synthesis - all good stuff Eat smaller meals and snacks more often - the same calories spread out will yield a slightly lower fat storage and that too is good for the body, mind and weight loss
(I bet you can lose 3-5 pounds this week, just trying these simple tips in your diet)
Enjoy these first steps to a new you and have your own empowered success story.
If you like this list, then look for my top 10, 20 and 50 nutrition tips to a successful transformation. Really it is easier to implement than you think and the results when you follow a done-for-you meal plans or check list are truly unbelievable until you do it for yourself.