There are many different dietary approaches, S.A.D, low fat, weight watchers, slimmers world, cabbage soup, juicing, 5:2, paleo, primal, keto the list goes on. They all have a different promises in what they will do for you (Usually weight loss as a primary goal) and all have different reasons why it works (Or doesn't), but which one is best?
PRIMAL!!!! End of conversation.
Only joking, I am biased of course, for me this way of eating had bought me to where I am fitter, stronger and leaner than I have ever been. But I accept that it isn't for everyone, however it does make sense when we look back at our ancestors dietary habits.
It is obvious that they would only have ever eaten what was available in the environment around them. There was no such thing as a meal replacement shake or a juicing machine. They would also have eaten seasonally, different species of plant and animal would only be available at certain times of the year, an abundance during summer season and near starvation during the winter months. This is how we evolved to eat, however was it optimal? Probably not but we know from archaeological evidence that they were bigger, stronger and show less evidence of chronic disease.
Whatever way of eating you chose you choose it's important to ask yourself some questions.
What are you trying to get out of your diet?
This goes back to your goal, is it weight loss, health issue, muscular gain or sports specific, whatever it is you're aiming for is it working? If yes then great keep to it but also consider the next question.
Is it having any negative effects?
An example of this would be you are losing weight but you are constantly hungry or struggling to find the energy to get out of bed in the morning. Do you find your cravings are out of control and you just can't resist the chocolate cake leading to a constant start again on monday cycle. Or perhaps your meal replacements are giving you cramps and stomach bloating.
Are you enjoying your food?
Do you look forward to the food you're eating or do you look at it with disgust? The thought of another meal replacement shake turns your stomach? Food should be enjoyable and something you should look forward to and feel satisfied when you have eaten it.
What I am getting at here is that maybe you are getting closer to your goal but is it at the expense of other things in our life. If you feel deprived at all you will at some point feel resentful in some way and inevitably fall off the wagon and go back to where you started.
So back the the question what is the best diet? The answer is the diet that best suits you, a diet that gives you the best possible health, nourishing you fully, being enjoyable and giving you all the energy you need for your day. But more importantly it should be sustainable. The cabbage soup diet will help anyone lose weight but it will not work long term.
So the take home message, there is no perfect human diet, there is only the most optimum diet for you. And only you can come to that conclusion. If it makes you feel good, keeps you healthy and is easy to sustain then you're on the right track. If not then perhaps you should be trying something else.
Keep it primal