The world of fitness has a serious problem – fad diets.

Nutrition programs based on gimmicks, “tricks” and “hacks” are absolutely everywhere these days. Many of these diets became so popular that they worked their way into popular culture; almost everybody has heard of the Atkins diet, the Keto diet, and in recent years the Paleo diet has become the latest fad to take the UK by storm.

These kinds of gimmicky diets are like a chronic sickness running through the fitness industry.

The problem isn’t thta they exist; the problem is that they are finding their way into sports science.

As these diets become more and more popular, businesses find that they can make an enormous amount of money selling specialist nutrition products catered to said diets. Whether it’s a ‘keto protein shake’, a Paleo energy bar, or a Atkins cook book, companies are making a fortune selling these specialized supplements to the health-conscious consumer.

We probably don’t need to tell you that, whenever there’s big money involved, business has no problem spreading misinformation.

So to keep the fad diet industry making money, manufacturers are funding research to back up their claims. Then they are using their extensive resources to spread this questionable research through PR, bloggers, affiliates, and athletes they sponsor.

That’s why so many fitness professionals – personal trainers, sports journalists, even professional bodybuilders – have such outdated, unfounded opinions on weight loss, fat loss, muscle gain, and healthy eating.

It is in the interest of supplement manufacturers to make dieting seem extremely complicated. That’s how they can sell you cook books for extremely restricted diets and premium supplements made of ground nuts and goji berries.

But in truth, dieting is extremely simple.

Dieting to lose weight is even more simple than dieting for health or for muscle gain.

If you want to lose fat through dieting, then there are only three things you need to consider:

  • Caloric balance
  • Dietary composition
  • Hormone levels

Caloric balance is easy; consume fewer calories than you expend each day and you’ll lose weight.

Diet composition is also really easy, so long as you know where to look for your information. Follow the advice of reputable scientists and you’ll be fine. If you want to lose fat and retain as much muscle as possible, then you should eat a diet rich in fiber, complex carbohydrates, and protein. If you want to maximize health, then you need to cut out alcohol, reduce sugar intake, and stay away from trans fats and saturated fats.

Hormone levels is where things get a little more complicated, but not overly complicated. To maximize fat loss, you need to suppress insulin levels by having periods of fasting, and maximize Human Growth Hormone levels by getting plenty of good quality sleep (and fasting).

Sample sensible diet

With all of these things in mind, a great diet for burning fat can be laid out in really simple terms.

To burn fat as quickly, as effectively and as safely as possible, you need to follow these steps:

– Work out caloric intake accurately
– Take that number, and subtract 250; that is your calorie allowance for the day
– Split your calories up between protein (30%), fat (25%), and carbs (45%)
– Ensure that a significant portion of your carb calories are from fibrous, complex carbs like sweet potato, oats, broccoli, cabbage, etc
– Have a period of fasting each day; many people have an “eating window” of 8 hours, but this isn’t necessary. Just try to go 10-12 hours without food in every 24 hour period
– Get plenty of sleep; get to bed by 11pm, drink plenty of water, and reduce your intake of alcohol

Follow these steps and you’ll find dieting easy.

This is the best way to create a fat loss diet, burn fat faster than muscle, and retain as much muscle mass as possible.