There are hundreds of diet books out there - high carb diets, low carb diets, low fat diets, plus diets named after soups, beaches, and doctors. The originators offer data to back up their programs, and they are all purported to work. If you follow their programs most diets will work. Diet and exercise programs that have a lot of rules and are difficult to comply with are programs that will not be followed for very long.
The less rules you have the less rules you have to break. How about a simple plan for eating with just a few rules? Simple plans are easier to stick to. One such plan is John Berardi’s The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Nutritional Programs. His seven rules:
1. Eat vegetables and/or fruits with each meal.
2. Ensure that your carbohydrate intake comes from fruits and vegetables. Exception: workout and post-workout meals and drinks.
3. You should eat between 5-8 meals per day. Eat every 2-3 hours, no matter what.
4. Eat complete lean protein (containing all the essential amino acids) with each meal.
5. Drink only non-calorie containing beverages, the best choices being green tea and water.
6. Eat mostly whole foods.
7. Ensure that 25-35% of your energy intake comes from fat, with your fat intake split equally between saturates (e.g. animal fat), monounsaturates (e.g., olive oil), and polyunsaturates (e.g. flax oil, salmon oil).
This is a plan anyone can follow – lean meats, little processed food, a lot of fruits and vegetables, and eat more often. This is a simple eating plan that will result in better health, you'll will feel better and you'll lose fat.
Simplicity works for exercise programs as well. You need not spend hours in the gym if you perform exercise that gives you the highest marginal return for the least time spent. One such program is high intensity training (HIT), an exercise program designed to get more out of exercising less. With HIT you can work the whole body a half hour, and it only need be performed once or twice a week to see continuing results. We use HIT at both our locations - New Orleans Fitness Trainers and at Austin Fitness Trainers. An active lifestyle, better eating choices, and a little strength training is a program most people can stick to, and it can have profound effects on one's fitness and health.