Nutrition for fat loss: which diet is best?
Keto, Paleo, Intermittent Fasting, Low Fat… the choices are almost endless, but which diet is the best diet for fat loss?
The reality is that there isn’t one superior diet for losing weight. There is only one magic formula for fat loss – a calorie deficit.
To understand what a calorie deficit is – you need to understand the energy balance equation.
ENERGY IN – ENERGY OUT = ENERGY BALANCE
‘Energy in’ is the calories our body consumes through food and drinks on a daily basis, while ‘energy out’ refers to the calories our body uses on a daily basis, also known as total daily energy expenditure (TDEE).
To put it simply:
- If we consume more energy than we burn, we will gain weight (calorie surplus)
- If we consume less energy than we burn, we will lose weight (calorie deficit)
Which of the different diets should I choose to lose fat?
Studies comparing weight loss between low-fat high-carb diets, high-fat low-carb diets and intermittent fasting protocols have shown that weight loss is equal between all groups when the calorie deficit and protein is equated. Protein is an essential nutrient for survival, and the body also burns more calories while digesting protein. Therefore, it does not matter which diet you choose, as long as you are in a calorie deficit and hit your required protein intake.
Additionally, 1lb of bodyfat is equal to approximately 3500kcal. Using this information, we can determine your rate of weight loss based on your calorie deficit. For example, if you are on a 500kcal calorie deficit per day, your weekly calorie deficit would be 3500kcal, hence we would expect a 1lb loss per week.
Therefore, the key to weight loss really is simple – be in a calorie deficit. Build a diet that is sustainable for you personally and allows you to stay in a calorie deficit.