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Updated: Feb 10, 2023

So over the Years I have been constantly asked 'What is the best diet'? ๐Ÿค”

Do I recommend Keto?', 'Is IIFYM better than Clean Eating?', 'What about Vegan'?

In truth, most of the said diets appear to work for most people.

Part of the problem however is there is no one size that fits all generally speaking. One dietary lifestyle for one individual may be a complete disaster for another individual.

So what is the BEST diet? ๐Ÿค”๐Ÿค”

To put it simply whilst this topic is incredibly nuanced it is also very much context dependent i.e. Goals, individual situation, Health etc.

However, before we can decipher which diet may be right for you, let's re-cap some of the most popular diets and how they fare up alongside one another.

Click the article link below for a full dietary breakdown.

Note: the following dietary information (whilst based off of research) may contain confirmation bias = outcome supported by evidence/information.



โœ… Little to No Self-monitoring required

โœ… Large amount of (short term) Weight loss i.e. glycogen/water

โœ… Little to no food/beverage quantity restriction

โœ… Alternative to traditional detoxes (replace old > new cells)

โœ… Up-regulation of detoxification in both the liver and the intestines[23]

โœ… Less Vitamin/Mineral supplementation required[24] โœ… Ideal for Busy individuals/Poor Time Management โœ… Less Food focused โœ… Fat loss via Calorie deficit


๐Ÿšซ Non-sustainable (long term) for most due to 'short' feeding window

๐Ÿšซ Individual appetite suppression varies

๐Ÿšซ Inferior GH anabolic response[25]

๐Ÿšซ Deemed too restrictive for morning 'social' individual outings

๐Ÿšซ Sub-optimal for athletes requiring frequent adequate protein > optimizing muscle growth/recovery[26]

๐Ÿšซ Side effects i.e. fatigue and/or weakness



โœ… Dietary Fat/Protein consumption

โœ… Large amount of (short term) Weight loss i.e. glycogen/water

โœ… Improved Health markers i.e. Cholesterol, Blood Glucose, Insulin, , IHD, TAG, Cancers etc.

โœ… Reduction most processed foods/sugars

โœ… Seizure frequency/severity reduction

โœ… Non-hypoglycemic

โœ… Appetite reduction (Improved satiety)

โœ… Ketone utilization

โœ… Fat Loss


๐Ÿšซ Non-sustainable (long term) inadequate carbohydrate/sugar supply needs[6-8,18]

๐Ÿšซ Not optimal for athletes requiring carbohydrate/sugar for optimizing muscle growth and/or recovery[21]

๐Ÿšซ Excessive Protein consumption > production in 'blood sugar' via Gluconeogenesis

๐Ÿšซ Too Restrictive for non high fat/protein food lovers[3]

๐Ÿšซ Loss of LBM aka 'Muscle Wasting'

๐Ÿšซ Loss in Strength performance

๐Ÿšซ Side effects i.e. fatigue and/or weakness

๐Ÿšซ Large weight gain post carbohydrate/sugar re-introduction

๐Ÿšซ Non-superior to High Carbohydrate/Sugar diet[11-16]



โœ… Ethical based eating > Cruelty free

โœ… Wholesome/Healthy plant based nutrition

โœ… Large amount of (short term) Weight loss i.e. water/LBM

โœ… Reduced risk of Breast Cancer[10]

โœ… Reduced risk of CHD[9]

โœ… Lowered risk of Diabetes

โœ… Lowered risk of eye cataracts

โœ… Improved microbitia profile

โœ… Improved Micronutrient intake


๐Ÿšซ Non sustainable (long term) for individuals seeking 'health' change[1]

๐Ÿšซ Loss of LBM aka 'Muscle Wasting'[20]

๐Ÿšซ Not optimal for athletes requiring adequate protein for optimizing muscle growth and/or recovery

๐Ÿšซ Difficult to get in range of high quality proteins

๐Ÿšซ Supplementation required for protein requirements

๐Ÿšซ Vitamin and Mineral deficiencies



โœ… Ideal for Athletes to meet Dietary Protein markers[19]

โœ… Daily/Weekly Flexible eating (no cheat days)

โœ… Superior to rigid eating (full spectrum of micronutrients)

โœ… Ideal for Busy individuals, Sedentary Lifestyle and Time Management

โœ… Flexible Alcohol allowance[2] โœ… Improved Body Composition & Fat loss

โœ… 'Auto-regulation' of Weight Management for the individual

โœ…Optimal for athletes requiring carbohydrate/sugar for optimizing muscle growth and/or recovery[25]


๐Ÿšซ Non sustainable (long term) for 'non-numbers' focused individuals

๐Ÿšซ Initial 'start-up' Self-Monitoring and Learning period required

๐Ÿšซ Macronutrient/Calorie 'Hit & miss' distribution for in-experienced individual

๐Ÿšซ Internet/app access required (short term)



โœ… Introduction of Rigid and Structured eating

โœ… Improved Satiety via sensory stimulation food response (chewing)[24]

โœ… Range of Wholesome Food sources

โœ… Introduction of a Cheat Meal(s) end of week

โœ… Initial reduction of Weight loss


๐Ÿšซ Little to no food flexibility during 'clean eating' week

๐Ÿšซ Poor spectrum of micronutrient intake due to rigid eating[4,5]

๐Ÿšซ Undermine main objective of improving eating habits

๐Ÿšซ Highlights current Psychological food behaviour

๐Ÿšซ Increased likelihood of Bing eating episodes i.e. Cheat day(s)

๐Ÿšซ Increased Bodyfat gain and Body Composition > Post Cheat day Weight gain



โœ… No Self-monitoring required[22]

โœ… Food Flexibility (Wholesome + Fun Food choices)

โœ… Body Weight Maintenance

โœ… Less Food focused

โœ… Educated dieting approach > learned

โœ… 'Auto-regulation' of Weight Management for the individual


๐Ÿšซ Impossible to incorporate for individuals with eating disorder[23]

๐Ÿšซ Initial 'start-up' Self-Monitoring and Learning period required

๐Ÿšซ Initial bodyfat gain (short term)

๐Ÿšซ Body Composition variance

๐Ÿšซ Non-optimal for athlete in weight focused sports or target deadlines



Ok, so every diet has a 'gimme' and a 'gotcha'.

Changing from one diet to another i.e. high carbs to low carbs or high fat to low fat, tends to have less of a positive effect on our metabolic health and biomarkers for the most part[2-3,6-11].

Following rigid dietary practices whilst removing the thought process and emotion can also be less than perfect as micronutrient quality intake & healthy eating practices also come into play [4,5].

Whilst deciphering which dietary lifestyle (Energy In) is best, Physical activity (Energy Out) demands will also play a key role going forward.

Physical activity and exercise are always great tools and a useful weight loss strategy through total energy (calorie) expenditure alongside appetite regulation[26].

However, there will always be some sort of trade-off i.e. learning required in order to successfully adhere to any dietary lifestyle long term.

The key is Education.

If you are constantly jumping around in search for 'the best diet',

The question isn't "What is the best diet?", but rather "What can I stick to long term?".

Make the informed decision before making the switch!


1. Appetite. 2015 Jul;90:31-6. doi: 10.1016/j.appet.2015.02.026. Epub 2015 Feb 25. Investigation of lifestyle choices of individuals following a vegan diet for health and ethical reasons.

2. Br J Nutr. 1990 Sep;64(2):413-25. Alcohol and its acute effects on resting metabolic rate and diet-induced thermogenesis. 3. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Volume 83, Issue 5, 1 May 2006, Pages 1055โ€“1061, Ketogenic low-carbohydrate diets have no metabolic advantage over nonketogenic low-carbohydrate diets.

4. Sports Med. 2015 Jul;45(7):1041-63. doi: 10.1007/s40279-015-0329-4. Dietary Intake of Competitive Bodybuilders.

5. Int J Sport Nutr Exerc Metab. 2018 Sep 1;28(5):502-508. doi: 10.1123/ijsnem.2017-0323. Epub 2018 May 16.A Comparison of the Nutrient Intakes of Macronutrient-Based Dieting and Strict Dieting Bodybuilders.

6. Am J Clin Nutr. 1997 Apr;65(4):908-15.Metabolic and behavioral effects of a high-sucrose diet during weight loss.

7. Nutr Res Rev. 2007 Dec;20(2):121-31. doi: 10.1017/S0954422407797846.Dietary sugars intake and micronutrient adequacy: a systematic review of the evidence.

8. Stanhope, K. L. (2015). Sugar consumption, metabolic disease and obesity: The state of the controversy. Critical Reviews in Clinical Laboratory Sciences, 1-16.

9. Yudkin, J., & Watson, R. H. (1969). Sugar and ischaemic heart disease. British Journal of Medicine, 4(5675), 110-111.

10. Sulaiman, S., Shahril, M. R., Wafa, S. W., Shaharudin, S. H., & Hussin, S. N. (2014). Dietary carbohydrate, fiber and sugar and risk of breast cancer according to menopausal status in malaysia. Asian Pacific Journal of Cancer Prevention, 15, 5959-5964.

11. West, J. A., & De Looy, A. E. (2001). Weight loss in overweight subjects following low-sucrose or sucrose-containing diets. International Journal of Obesity & Related Metabolic Disorders, 25(8).

12. Saris, W. H., Astrup, A., Prentice, A. M., Zunft, H. J., Formiguera, X., Verboeket-van de Venne, W. P. H. G., ... & Vasilaras, T. H. (2000). Randomized controlled trial of changes in dietary carbohydrate/fat ratio and simple vs complex carbohydrates on body weight and blood lipids: the CARMEN study. International Journal of Obesity, 24(10), 1310-1318.

13. Raatz, S. K., Torkelson, C. J., Redmon, J. B., Reck, K. P., Kwong, C. A., Swanson, J. E., ... & Bantle, J. P. (2005). Reduced glycemic index and glycemic load diets do not increase the effects of energy restriction on weight loss and insulin sensitivity in obese men and women. The Journal of Nutrition, 135(10), 2387-2391.

14. Surwit, R. S., Feinglos, M. N., McCaskill, C. C., Clay, S. L., Babyak, M. A., Brownlow, B. S., ... & Lin, P. H. (1997). Metabolic and behavioral effects of a high-sucrose diet during weight loss. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 65(4), 908-915.

15. Aller, E. E., Larsen, T. M., Claus, H., Lindroos, A. K., Kafatos, A., Pfeiffer, A., ... & Saris, W. H. M. (2014). Weight loss maintenance in overweight subjects on ad libitum diets with high or low protein content and glycemic index: the DIOGENES trial 12-month results. International Journal of Obesity, 38(12), 1511-1517.

16. Lowndes, J., Kawiecki, D., Pardo, S., Nguyen, V., Melanson, K. J., Yu, Z., & Rippe, J. M. (2012). The effects of four hypocaloric diets containing different levels of sucrose or high fructose corn syrup on weight loss and related parameters. Nutrition Journal, 11(1), 1.

17. Drug Metab Dispos. 2016 Mar; 44(3): 366โ€“369. Published online 2016 Mar. doi: 10.1124/dmd.115.064766PMCID: PMC4767382PMID: 26744253 Calorie Restriction Increases P-Glycoprotein and Decreases Intestinal Absorption of Digoxin in Mice.

18. Phielix, E., Meex, R., Ouwens, D. M., Sparks, L., Hoeks, J., Schaart, G., ... & Schrauwen, P. (2012). High oxidative capacity due to chronic exercise training attenuates lipid-induced insulin resistance. Diabetes, 61(10), 2472-2478.

19. J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 2018 Feb 27;15:10. doi: 10.1186/s12970-018-0215-1. eCollection 2018. How much protein can the body use in a single meal for muscle-building? Implications for daily protein distribution. Implications for daily protein distribution. Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, 15, 10.

20. Nutr Metab (Lond). 2012 Oct 16;9(1):91. doi: 10.1186/1743-7075-9-91. Daytime pattern of post-exercise protein intake affects whole-body protein turnover in resistance-trained males.

21. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2016 Mar;48(3):543-68. doi: 10.1249/MSS.0000000000000852. American College of Sports Medicine Joint Position Statement. Nutrition and Athletic Performance:

22. Appetite. 2002 Feb;38(1):39-44. Rigid vs. flexible dieting: association with eating disorder symptoms in nonobese women.

23. Appetite. 1999 Jun;32(3):295-305. Flexible vs. Rigid dieting strategies: relationship with adverse behavioral outcomes.

24. Mattes RD. Physiologic responses to sensory stimulation by food: nutritional implications. Journal of the American Dietetic Association. 1997 Apr 1;97(4):413.

25. Jรคger, R., Kerksick, C. M., Campbell, B. I., Cribb, P. J., Wells, S. D.,Skwiat, T. M., ... & Smith-Ryan, A. E. (2017). International society ofsports nutrition position stand: protein and exercise. Journal of theInternational Society of Sports Nutrition, 14(1), 20.

26. Physiol Behav. 2018 Aug 1;192:23-29. doi: 10.1016/j.physbeh.2017.12.032. Epub 2017 Dec 28.Homeostatic and non-homeostatic appetite control along the spectrum of physical activity levels: An updated perspective.

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