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And the Best Diet is........

Anyone who spends time in the forum knows that there are many different eating plans presented and advocated on a regular basis: Paleo, Low Carb, Intermittent Fasting, Vegan, etc. 

As we search for success in our weight-loss efforts, a reasonable question is: Which Diet is the Best?

Well, I finally have the answer for you. The Best Diet for Heath and Weight Loss is (drum roll, please).........

All of them.  

OK, that was a letdown. But most of you smart MFP readers probably already knew the answer.

When people ask me if they should follow a Paleo diet, my response is "Sure". Intermittent Fasting: "Why not?". Low Carb: "you betcha".

My only negative response comes when someone tries to argue that their preferred plan is "the best" or the only way to dietary enlightenment. (And it's just plain fun to poke fun at the Paleo people). The fact is that the human body can adapt to many different dietary plans. Because there are many different types of bodies and many different cultures, there are also a number of different diet plans that folks can use to achieve success. 

As it turns out, there's a really smart guy who agrees with me, and who has determined some common characteristics that all effective nutrition plans follow. 

His name is John Berardi, expert researcher and owner of Precision Nutrition. In a recent article, Berardi described those common characteristics (I am summarizing): 

1.  They raise nutrition awareness and attention. Often the very act of committing to a program or plan causes a person to pay more attention to what they eat and to become more motivated to stick to a plan. They attribute success to the food, but it is actually because they pulled their heads out of their butts and started paying attention. 

2. They focus on food quality. A common theme is most eating plans is to focus on more whole, minimally processed foods. Quality nutrition plans do not recommend eating more junk food. 

3. They help eliminate nutrient deficiencies. Many processed foods are low in nutrients because they have been stripped out during processed. The increased emaphasis on whole foods can help correct those deficiencies and leave people feeling more rejuvenated.  

4. They help control appetite and food intake. The combination of increased attention and more satisfying, quality foods often contributes to a lower calorie intake. 

5. They promote regular exercise. Exercise can not only improve attitude and promote adherence, it can also dramatically improve the body's ability to turn the food we eat (whatever that is) into functional tissue.

So choose the eating plan that best suits you--your body, your tastes, your lifestyle. Pay less attention to the primacy of the "rules", and more the quality of the food. 

And stop annoying your family and friends by preaching about your new, super-duper "diet".  

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