Friday, December 7, 2012

FAQ Friday: What's the Best Diet?

There are several definitions of the word "diet".  Here are a select few (Source:  Merriam-Webster)

Noun:  Food and drink regularly provided and consumed

Verb:  To cause to take food

Verb:  To cause to eat and drink sparingly, or according to prescribed rules

I'm a fan of those first two definitions, however it's that last one with which most Americans associate.  Funny too, because that last one is the most recently added.  With the new year about to begin, I'm sure there are many people out there who will resolve to lose weight.  It was once reported by the Boston Medical Center that about 45 million Americans diet each year.  In addition, reported that the resolution to "Eat healthier and diet" is a top ten commonly broken new year's resolution.  That's not hard to believe.  After all, most Americans focus way too much on the number on the scale.  When they don't see what they want, they give up.

Source: iStockPhoto

That's not to mention the fact that most Americans set unrealistic goals, and follow diet plans that are way too restrictive.  The best "diet", in my opinion, is one that involves intuitive eating.  The Chicago Tribune posted a wonderful article about intuitive eating, titled  "EatingWell: The No-Diet Diet" (This is the "Diet" I am on.  It's basically all about channeling your inner child.  Remember when you were little and you only ate when you were hungry, and you didn't eat when you weren't?!  As we age we tend to lose that ability.  But, you can get it back!)

Source: iStock Photo

I also think it's important to remember that you really can't lose (and especially maintain) weight without also incorporating exercise.  I've counseled countless people on the importance of eating healthy, and many of them start to realize just how important exercise is as they get closer to their goal weight.  You can certainly lose weight by eating a balanced diet, but to keep it off for good (and to keep your body healthy) exercise is key.

Here are some more resources for you to read as you try to decide the path to take on your journey to weight loss and/or weight management; 

(This is an unbiased review of the Paleo diet.  Personally, I'm not completely against this concept, but I do believe it's somewhat unrealistic to follow 100%, for a long time.  The truth is, I follow a somewhat modified Paleo diet/lifestyle myself, without even trying!  Read more about my "Paleo-like Diet" here). 

(This is an unbiased review of 25 of the most popular diets, reviewed by 22 diet and nutrition experts.  Check it and out see how your favorite diet ranks!  Also, use this site to determine which plan might be best for you as you embark on your weight loss/maintenance journey)

Source: iStockPhoto
What's the best "diet snack"?  In my opinion it's stove top popcorn with a bit of oil and a dash of salt or nutritional yeast!

Stay tuned for my next two FAQ posts; "What are your thoughts on the Wheat Belly book?" and "What's the best weight loss/management app?"  Meanwhile, feel free to leave a question for me below.

Thanks for reading!

The Candid Rd
NOTE: I love comments!  But, be sure to come back to read any replies to questions or comments, as they do not go directly to your e-mail.


  1. I'm a no diet dieter as well, sort of intuitive, sort of something else. I worked with a cognitive behaviour therapist for a year, and it has changed everything and I eat healthier than ever.

    Weight loss is slow, but that is fine by me. Dieting is a traumatic and exhausting experience, one which always lead to weight gain.

  2. I think the best "diet" (meaning the first two definitions) is individual for everyone and is one that someone will enjoy eating for life. And, absolutely, I think Intuitive Eating principles and exercise are key to good health and enjoyment!

  3. Hey Gina!! This post really hit home for me. Ive always been a believer that intuitive eating is key when trying to loose weight and keeping weight off. Back when I didnt know better---I was under the impression that going hungry and restricting myself was the only way to loose weight. I was obviously dead wrong and I truly believe that moderation + staying active is important to reach our weight loss goals. The hard part is beating binges or over-eating that are triggered by other factors such as stress and/or anxiety.

    1. Absolutely. Actually, I still have those times when I know I overeat, due mainly to lack of sleep or stress/anxiety, but I think the key is not to dwell on those moments. The more you dwell, the more likely it is to happen again, and easily turn into a vicious cycle.
      Glad you've found the right path for yourself!!

  4. All I have to say is: YES. I'm not a huge fan of the word "diet" in general because most people associate it with an unpleasant over-restriction of food and cutting out food groups that are considered "bad". I much prefer the concept of choosing a "lifestyle", and intuitive eating is one of the best out there. It's hard to unlearn ignoring internal body cues, but it's a worthwhile practice - and takes a lot of pressure off finding the "perfect" diet. Whenever I need inspiration, I observe how Peter eats - he never lost his intuitive eating sense! Lucky man :)

    Hope you had a great weekend, Gina!