The BEST Diet For Fat Loss (IF? Keto? Carb Cycling? Paleo?)
What’s going on, guys?
Sean Nalewanyj on www.SeanNal.com.
And in today’s video I want to talk about
the subject of eating for fatloss.
And how there are just so many different diets
out there nowadays with each one claiming
to be the absolute best way to get lean because
it has some specific characteristic about
it that’s going to speed up the fat burning
Whether that’s by increasing certain fatloss
hormones, reducing fat storing hormones, controlling
insulin, or whatever else it might be.
So the main idea behind one particular diet
might be to restrict certain macronutrients
like with a low carb diet or a ketogenic diet
or a low fat diet or fasting for a specific
portion of the day and eating all of your
calories within a shorter feeding window like
people do with intermittent fasting.
It could be spacing your carbohydrate intake
out in a certain way like with carb cycling
or with carb backloading or removing certain
types of foods and focusing on others like
with a Paleo diet or certain variations of
different gluten-free diets.
And for each of these different fat-burning
diets you’ll always have a certain group of
people who are using it successfully and who
were able to lean down on that diet when maybe
their previous way of eating wasn’t working.
And then because of that they will just swear
by that specific way of eating and pretty
much argue to the death that carbs make you
fat or that eating earlier or later on in
the day prevents fatloss, or that sugars or
grains or animal products are the sole cause
They’ll hone in on the specific macronutrient
or the specific food group that was removed,
or the specific meal spacing or a meal frequency
guideline and point to that as being the reason
for their success without realizing one very
And that is that virtually all of these different
diets have one major thing in common and that’s
that in one way or another they’re all forms
of caloric control.
In other words, they all contain a different
strategy that potentially allows the dieter
to more easily maintain a calorie deficit
which is the ultimate bottom line when it
comes to losing fat.
And everyone is a bit different in terms of
their food preferences and their macronutrient
preferences and in how they like to lay up
their meals for the day, and the effect that
that has on their energy levels and their
appetite, and so each of these different diets
might work better or worse depending on the
For example, if you eat a low-carb diet and
you lose fat, it doesn’t necessarily mean
that carbohydrates themselves were the problem.
Take a person who regularly consumes moderate
to high amounts of calorie dense refined carbs
sources, like muffins and bagels and pastries
and granola bars and sugary juices and things
like that, and then replaces those with lean
protein and vegetables, and it’s no surprise
that the weight is going to start falling
People who swear by low carb diets are usually
confusing correlation with causation.
Meaning, they lost fat because they decrease
their overall calories and were able to better
control their appetite.
Not because carbs are inherently fat storing
in and of themselves.
Another example would be if you’re following
something like intermittent fasting.
Where you don’t eat any food for the first
sixteen hours of the day and then you can
dense all of your calories down into a shorter
eight hour feeding window.
That type of approach can work really well
for some people when it comes to preventing
overeating since they’re not regularly snacking
throughout the day and they can probably only
eat so much within that eight hour feeding
window to begin with since it usually just
involves two larger meals.
And so if you’re able to tolerate that sixteen
hour fasting window and your appetite adapts
to it there’s a good chance that you’ll end
up eating fewer calories for the day in total.
Again, it’s probably not because intermittent
fasting has some huge positive effect on growth
hormone levels or insulin levels like a lot
of people will talk about.
But for some people it’s just a more effective
way of adhering to their diet and not going
overboard on total calories in the big picture.
And these are just a couple examples of many.
You could say the same thing about a Paleo
diet where certain food groups are restricted,
or a carb cycling or carb backloading where
carbohydrates and total calories are more
concentrated during certain periods of the
day, or you could even say about something
like a vegan diet that focuses on less calorie
dense, plant-based sources.
It’s possible that some of these different
approaches to eating might have a slightly
better fat-burning effect when individual
differences are taken into account.
I mean, we can’t completely remove that possibility.
We obviously don’t know everything about nutrition
and it is a very complicated topic with new
research coming out all the time.
But there’s just no way around the simple
fact that losing fat and getting lean primarily
comes down to maintaining a calorie deficit
over time by burning more calories than you
And there are an endless number of different
ways that people can go about this successfully.
But the calorie deficit is always the one
common denominator in the overall picture.
You can cut out certain foods all you want,
you can space your calories and your macronutrients
out in whatever way you want, you can eat
as healthy as you want, but if you aren’t
being mindful of your total nett energy intake
versus your total nett energy expenditure
then none of that is really going to make
any difference at all.
And a lot of people will insist that, no,
it’s not about the calories because my calorie
intake on this diet is the same as it was
on that diet.
But in over a decade of fitness coaching and
personal experience, and in looking at the
research on the subject of dietary adherence,
and I’ll link a few studies in the description
box if you want to check that out, the reality
is that the average dieter is notoriously
bad at accurately reporting their calorie
And very often they are off by a pretty big
And this happens either because they’re not
really tracking their food intake that closely
to begin with, even though they might say
Maybe they have like a rough eating plan in
place and they’re just estimating it throughout
the day, or they are tracking their diet but
they’re just making errors with their measurements.
Which is actually a really easy thing to do,
especially if you’re on the go and you’re
having to estimate certain things throughout
Or, the other possibility, is that they’re
not taking into account all of the extra little
snacks and cheat meals that get added in throughout
the week and month.
Because keep in mind that it’s not about your
specific calorie intake from day to day necessarily
but more so about your average calorie intake
for the week as a whole.
So I’m not saying that any of these individual
fatloss diets are necessarily bad.
That’s not the point here.
If you’ve been using, let’s say intermittent
fasting, and you enjoy it and you’re getting
results then you should by all means continue.
Or if you’re eating a lower carb approach
and you feel fine with that sort of macro
breakdown and that’s working for you.
Or, let’s say, you’re cycling your calories
and the results are coming and you feel good
both physically and mentally and your workouts
are going well then by all means, again, keep
But what I am saying is that it’s probably
not because that diet has some special inherent
fat-burning benefit and that you couldn’t
lose fats by using a different method, but
it’s probably just because that specific diet
is helping you control your appetite more
And so you’re maintaining a calorie deficit
more effectively as a result of that.
Because the truth is that, it really doesn’t
take much in terms of margin for error for
you to go from maintaining your weight each
week and not getting any results whatsoever
to losing fat consistently every single week.
A typical calorie deficit for fatloss is going
to be usually somewhere between about three
hundred and fifty to five hundred calories
below maintenance, and so all it really takes
is a couple small portions here and there
for your deficit to be either significantly
minimized or even erased altogether.
And so that brings me to the main point, which
is something I’ve discussed many times before
in previous videos, but that is that there
is no single definitive best fatloss diet.
Now, the best fatloss diet for you is likely
just going to be whatever structure of eating
allows you to maintain a nett calorie deficit
over time while meeting your macronutrient
and your micronutrient needs.
So that means three square meals a day then
Six small meals a day fine.
If you want to use intermittent fasting or
Paleo or some other method of calorie cycling,
or even a vegan diet, that’s fine.
Just know what your daily calorie needs are
for fatloss and then lay out your foods and
your meals in whatever way is most enjoyable
for you and in whatever way lets you hit that
calorie target in the most accurate and the
most effortless way possible.
If you’re weight training consistently and
you’re eating enough protein and you’re
remaining in a moderate sized calorie deficit
that isn’t too large then you will lose fat
and you will maintain or possibly even gain
muscle at the same time regardless of what
specific type of diet you’re following.
There’s no single macronutrient or single
food group that’s going to just cause you
to magically pile on a bunch of fat as long
as the total calories are being accounted
And even if some highly specific way of eating
did give you a small direct improvement in
fatloss because it did have some inherent
fat-burning benefit, it’s likely going to
be minor anyway.
And it doesn’t even necessarily mean that
that way of eating is going to be more successful
for you in the long term.
Because if that diet is more restrictive and
you really don’t enjoy it you’ll probably
end up burning out and quitting anyway.
So, an alternative diet, even if it was slightly
less effective in terms of pure fatloss, would
still likely be a better option simply because
you’re going to be more likely to stick to
Remember that getting lean and being in great
shape isn’t a temporary fix.
It’s an ongoing way of life.
And so if the diet that you’re following right
now isn’t something that you’d reasonably
want to continue on for the long term and
you couldn’t see yourself eating that way
for months or even years on end and be totally
fine with it then something is eventually
going to have to change anyway.
So, I’ll leave it there.
Thanks for watching, guys.
If you do want to get a complete step-by-step
roadmap in terms of training, nutrition and
supplementation for losing fat while also
showing you how to customize that plan to
your exact needs, along with one-on-one coaching
then you can check out my complete Body Transformation
Blueprint by clicking the icon at the top
of the screen here or by heading over to www.BTBluePrint.com.
The link for that is in the description box.
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Thanks for watching, guys.
And I’ll talk to you again soon.