Which diet is the best?
There is no single best diet.
All dietary approaches have pros and cons, especially on the individual level. We all have different genes, microbiomes, lifestyles, budgets, athletic goals, and much more. It’s helpful if the diet you’re thinking about is based on solid scientific evidence. It’s also good to see some success stories. But the most important question will always be: What will it do for you?
I’m new to nutrition. What’s the first thing I should do?
Replace highly processed foods by real wholesome ones.
Highly processed junk like sweetened beverages, cakes, or chocolate bars take up space in your diet. They are made with sugar, refined wheat and oils which bring calories but not useful nutrients. But you can’t only take away. Replace stuff like that with any wholesome vegetables, fruits, meats, fish, eggs, nuts, seeds, grains, or tubers. This one rule will solve most of your dietary problems and correct nutritional deficiencies.
Should I count calories for weight loss?
No. There’s a better way to do it.
Counting calories is highly inaccurate even with the best intentions. It creates the illusion that just working out more while eating junk is going to be enough to lose weight and keep it off. Plus for a lot of people it’s a source of stress rather than a helpful tool. The good news is there are better ways to cut down on your calories than math. One of the most natural ways to eat less is having more protein, fibre, and water in your diet. If you have plenty of vegetables, legumes, fish, eggs, and meat, you can rely on your feeling of hunger to tell you how much to eat.
Should I avoid carbs?
No. But you should know what kind of carbs to choose.
It is very easy to say just avoid carbs and you will lose weight and get healthier. Unfortunately, not everyone will be able to maintain a diet without carbs over the long term, and not everyone will feel well doing so. Most people will do best at a moderate carb intake. Plus you can lose weight and stay healthy even with carbs, but they have to be the right kind of carbs. That means legumes, fruits, potatoes, and whole grains. And definitely not sugar and other sweeteners, processed wheat, or deep-fried potatoes.