When I was a personal trainer, 90% of my clients were interested in weight loss. Little did I know at that time that my interest in weight loss would take off the way that it did! Now that I am a doctor, I have access to thousands of journal articles that have reviewed every type of diet you can imagine! Everyone always want to know what the "best weight loss" diet is, but the truth is that for many people, there is no one weight loss eating plan that works best!
I've seen a lot of diets come and go as we all have. The first diet that most of us have heard of is the traditional "low fat" diet. In this diet, one would try to avoid fatty foods and snacks, as well as fatty meats like steak and beef. People would often lose some weight on this diet, but would complain that they couldn't quite meet their weight loss goal with this plan.
Then there was the Atkin's Diet. This is the diet plan that was given credit for the "low carb craze." The first commercial diet product of it's kind, the Atkin's diet recommended people eat a diet high in fat and protein, and very low in carbohydrates, with the thinking being that eating fat and protein would fill up it's dieter's faster and control their blood sugar levels. The country went crazy for this diet! There was a time where almost EVERYONE I knew who was trying to lose weight was on the Atkin's Diet! The good news was that very frequently, dieters would lose a lot of weight, especially initially! Much of the weight at first would be water, but after that, it was not unusual for dieter's to lose over 2 lbs. per week! The downside of this diet was that with its lack of carbohydrates, bowel movements became very difficult! Also, weight tended to be gained back quickly once the diet was discontinued.
There was also the Zone Diet, a famous diet that focused more on eating the right kinds of carbohydrates instead of avoiding them like in the Atkin's Diet. Additionally, the Zone Diet brought to attention the concept of macronutrient balance (fats, carbs, proteins) and recommended a more balanced style of diet. Many dieters found that this eating plan was easier to stick with, and gave more food options and combinations. People also lost weight on this diet, although maybe not quite as quickly as with the Atkin's Diet.
Since the introduction of those two popular diet plans, the commercial weight loss market has exploded. Still today, the most frequent question I hear from friends, family, clients, and patients is, "what's the best weight loss diet?" It would be impossible to cover all of the aspects successful eating here, but I can offer that even a few small changes in your diet can lead to significant weight loss.