Dukan diet, low carb, keto, paleo, intermittent fasting… Each year a new diet is the new trend and it seems like, accompanying these diets, comes a new cult-like following who swear by them as the ultimate and only possible diet, especially when one of the Kardashians adhere to it. Research shows that, despite these claims, all popular diets actually do the same thing.

Nutrients capable of providing energy to our body are called macronutrients. They are carbohydrates, proteins, fats and… alcohol. A good (well-planned, usually by a professional) diet for weight loss will cut, firstly, carbohydrates, as those (very superficially speaking) have no other function besides providing plain energy of easy access for our organisms to use. And that’s exactly what most popular diets do, but in a crazy way with crazy pseudo-scientific foundations like “this is how our Australopithecus ancestors ate, you can’t eat this or that kind of food because they didn’t”– which are actually not even slightly correct.

Other macronutrients (proteins and fats) have other functions too, so those are the last ones which are cut by a planned personalized diet which counts your macros. Counting macros is the hard way to diet (because that means you’ll have to create a diary of everything you eat – it gets easier as it becomes a habit, though, and current apps are very good at doing it very efficiently an quickly), but it’s also the only wise way to lose weight. Because, as long as the laws of physics remain the same, fad diets will come and go, but the laws of thermodynamics will always be the same.

Counting macronutrients (and, as a consequence, calories, of course) means that you can lose weight, in a healthy and efficacious way, without cutting any kind of food and eating anytime you want. Yes, without the “you can’t eat after 6 pm or you can’t eat fruits because our ancestors didn’t” nonsense. Furthermore, you can lose weight eating whatever you want (yes, that includes McDonald’s at 10pm), as long as it’s within your planned macronutrients limits.

Fad diets make unhappy people and are not even a clever way to lose weight. You can find a good macronutrients calculator here and search for a good macro counting app in your app store (tip: there’s myfitnesspal, easydietdary and a bunch of others who do that). And don’t forget your micronutrients too. They are important for your health as well (and those apps also help you count them).



[1] Johnston, B. C., Kanters, S., Bandayrel, K., Wu, P., Naji, F., Siemieniuk, R. A., . . . Mills, E. J. (2014). Comparison of Weight Loss Among Named Diet Programs in Overweight and Obese Adults. Jama, 312(9), 923. doi:10.1001/jama.2014.10397

[2] Dunn, R. (2012, July 23). Human Ancestors Were Nearly All Vegetarians. Retrieved February 13, 2018, from https://blogs.scientificamerican.com/guest-blog/human-ancestors-were-nearly-all-vegetarians/