The Downfall Of Every Diet

Paleo, slow carb, vegan, atkins, intermittent fasting, you name it – they all suck. And all for one very simple reason. They artificially limit food choice. I already hear groaning. Isn’t that the point of a diet? Indeed it is, and it is also exactly why you should avoid them. I believe the only diet you should adhere to is your own. What I mean by that is don’t be lazy. Instead of taking someone else’s pre-defined list of acceptable foods (whatever that means), figure out which foods work well for you, and more importantly, which you should avoid.

We are all different. Different foods affect different people in different ways. For example, eating foods that are high in lactose really bothers my stomach. So guess what? I don’t eat ice cream or drink milk. Another example: eating a huge lunch (1500+ calories) leaves me feeling tired and lethargic. Again, guess what? I limit my lunch to roughly 1000 calories.

There are several important dietary considerations that everyone should account for in their diet…



If you have a known food allergy, then avoid any foods that contain the allergen. For example, if you have celiac disease and cannot tolerate gluten, then research which foods contain it and avoid them.

Even if you do not have a known allergy, pay attention to your stomach. Do you constantly get bloated or have an irritated stomach after eating certain foods? Then avoid those foods. Chances are you have Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), a term that encompasses a wide range of symptoms associated with abdominal pain caused by food digestion.

And honestly, that doesn’t even matter. This is not rocket science. Just notice when you have poor reaction and eliminate the culprit. If you are unsure which food item it was that caused the problem, then eliminate one at a time from subsequent meals. Within a few days you will know. If you end up having sensitivities to grains, starches, legumes, and dairy then guess what – you are eating paleo! Honestly, you probably have a better chance at the lottery.



Different foods will affect your energy levels in different ways. A lot of people report that they crash after a high sugar meal. Personally, I do not notice this phenomenon. If you do, then quit eating high sugar meals. Same goes for eating small meals vs large meals, a lot of carbs vs few carbs, etc.

There is no magic combo that works for everyone. Just because you feel great on diet A or diet B does not mean that a certain diet’s prohibited foods will have a negative effect on you. In fact, many diets lead you to limiting your carb intake. Adding back in some carbs will most likely give your energy levels a substantial boost. Which leads me to my next point.

Macro-nutrient Balance

food (1)

I seriously question any diet that restricts any one of the three macro-nutrients. Your body needs fats, carbohydrates, and protein. Fats are the only source of essential fatty acids, which are required by the body but cannot be produced by it naturally. Fats also help the body absorb and utilize vitamins A, D, E, and K and therefore are vital for healthy skin, hair, bones, and teeth (1). Carbohydrates can be converted into glucose (the sugar your body uses for energy) faster than fats or protein, and therefore is the preferred form of energy (2). Every cell in your body contains protein, and it also plays a major role in repairing cells and creating new ones (3).

So if you currently ARE following a specific diet, ask yourself why? If it is working for you and you enjoy it, by all means continue. But, realize you are most likely unnecessarily limiting your selection of foods, and in some cases may be neglecting a key macro-nutrient.

Check out my new book Shredded Beast here.

Read More: 4 Reasons Why Your Diet Sucks

1. National Research Council. Recommended Dietary Allowances, 10th ED. Washington, DC: National Academy Press, 1989.
2. Turcoatte LP, Hespel PJ, Graham TE, Richard EA. Impaired Plasma FFA oxidation imposed by extreme CHO deficiency in contracting rat skeletal muscle. Journal of Applied Physiology 1994;77(2):517-525.
3. Shils ME, Young VR. Modern Nutrition in Health and Disease, 7th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Lea & Febiger, 1988.

35 thoughts on “The Downfall Of Every Diet”

  1. Clearly you don’t understand intermittent fasting – it patently does not limit food choice, merely the times at which you can eat. Indeed, one of the most attractive propositions of IF is that you can still continue to eat all the foods you like. It’s when people then start combining it with things like paleo that it becomes prohibitively onerous.
    I would contend that the main reason most people’s diets sick is because they embark on the latest fad with no clear understanding of the strengths and weaknesses of each alternative, and no clear goal in mind.

    1. I agree with you. And in regards to IF, you are right – it does not limit food choice. However, it does limit the times of day you can eat. This works great for some people, but for most there is little reason to observe a shorter feeding window.
      I tried IF for about 6 months before realizing I missed my morning breakfast more than the few benefits I experienced from a shorter feeding window.

    2. I fast once a month (not deliberately, it just happens as I get caught up in work and shit). It’s a brilliant way to shrink your stomach, the next day your appetite is practically halved.
      Having said that… my idea of a diet is to eat whatever my body craves whenever I like – but NEVER overeat, just constant snack. I have a 28 inch waist and have never been overweight. I swear by this. And, yes, I eat tonnes of chocolate and sweets and chips and all that crap. Another thing, cut out as much alcohol as possible – if I drink a beer, I see it on my stomach the next morning.

      1. Get your pancreas checked. I know SMOKERS who are slim and trim as well. Aesthetics are NOT a primary indicator of internal health. Eat crap is still eating crap. It’s a cumulative effect. Just like smoking. No one dies from one cigarette.

  2. This statement is wrong in several ways:
    “Carbohydrates can be converted into glucose (the sugar your body uses for energy) faster than fats or protein, and therefore is the preferred form of energy”
    Your body is capable of utilizing two forms of fuel. One indeed is glucose. The other is fatty acids. In fact fats are not converted into glucose at all but rather are broken down into fatty acids. Fatty acids are the more efficient form of energy (2 1/4 times as dense as glucose) and, if efficiency is your argument, then you should get your fuel exclusively from fats.
    Glucose does have one small advantage because your body can use it with both aerobic and anaerobic processes. As such, your brain and muscle cells store small amounts of glucose (well, glycogen actually) for use in emergencies when the blood is no longer able to deliver oxygen for use in the far more efficient aerobic processes.
    However, the little bit of glucose required for this purpose can easily be synthesized from protein. As such carbohydrates are not required in your diet at all. You do a huge disservice to people who suffer from Metabolic Syndrome, from obesity and diabetes, by recommending they incorporate this into their diet.
    You may be able to tolerate carbs. Millions of people, such as myself, can’t.

    1. His arguments was … “Carbohydrates can be converted into glucose (the sugar your body uses for energy) faster than fats or protein, and therefore is the preferred form of energy” … You are arguing something unrelated to this point. Carbs are absorbed by the body faster than fat… fact.
      Fatty acids are not a more efficient form of energy, they are a different form of energy. Your body needs both to perform at an optimal level.
      He isn’t doing a disservice to the normal person who doesn’t have diabetes or ever growing fat asses. You sir are doing a huge disservice by trying to nitpick this article when the overall message of this article was FIND OUT WHAT WORKS FOR YOU.

      1. Carbs are digested faster than fats. This is true. However rapid digestion of carbs sends shock waves to your blood sugar balancing system so it is not a benefit. Quite the contrary. Once digested, carbs and fats are converted into fuel inside your cells at roughly the same rate, one limited not by the amount of energy in the substance but by the amount of available oxygen. There really is little to choose at this, more important, level, but fats are indeed a more dense form of energy.
        And, despite what both of you said, your body does not need any carbohydrates at all. We are not insects and we are not trees. Our bodies do not need carbs. We do not make chitin and we do not make cellulose. Our body parts are composed of fats and protein. We do not need carbs. Period.
        Since the article specifically says that he questions “any diet that restricts any one of the three macro nutrients”, it is quite obvious that he does not understand nutrition at all. This is simply false and, as you back this claim up, you clearly don’t either.
        To reiterate, you do not need any carbs at all. It is possible to get too much protein or too much fat but I seriously doubt that you would be able to do so without becoming ill. In fact, your body would rebel if you tried. No amount of carbs are necessary in any way.

        1. Your brain runs on carbs.
          It is not for nothing that the programmer hacking away for a 6 hr coding stint craves fritos and pizza.
          Experiment. If you start your mindworn at 8 am give yourself a sugar source of your choice at 10. I’d say to do it for a month but in just one week people will start responding to you like they had previously underestimated your intelligence.

        2. False. Stop making shit up. As I said earlier, your brain cells and your muscle cells store glycogen for emergency energy. In normal operation, they do not need glucose at all. And they never need carbs. Ever.

        3. God damn it are you shitting me… this is fucking ridiculous… judging by your picture your and previous posts you are an old ass dude, that is spewing the shit your diabetes doctor told you. Which in your case when you have to watch insulin levels and all the other shit you gotta deal with is probably harmful. To the majority of us it is not.
          Talk to any athlete that requires optimal performance about carbohydrates. I could go on and on about why carbs are just as essential in the diet but fuck I would be on here forever. They are extremely important in the repair process of muscles.
          My macros consist of 35% carbs 40% protein 25% fat with a 3800 caloric intake daily. I have fucked around with varying levels but this is what works for me and gives me the best results. Fuck I thought my diet was low carb, but obviously not according to you. Your low carb diabetic shit works for you, great. Do what works for you but that shit don’t cut it for the majority of people.
          To reiterate, a balanced diet is necessary in every way.
          O yeah, and you don’t know shit.

        4. Thx dwh.
          It is true times n (n>1) that refined sugars are bad, bad, bad for you. Anti-carb fundi/cultists like Mr. MacRae effectively out themselves as belonging to any of the following categories (self-awareness trigger warning readers … you may have to reconsider your beliefs and accept this as a self growth opportunity … or reject it because it isn’t what you already believe and go on being a dumbass):
          1. You eat to much goddamn candy and cake and truffle foo sugary ice cream yummy umies (Ma ma ma Mister MacRae, no?) and now you are insulin resistant and on account of your own stupid decisions in life you are like a member of Alcoholics Anonymous who can’t handle his own liquor telling the rest of us that WE should lay off of it
          2. You heard that the Atkins book said no carbs, you never really read it (admit it … now is your ONE chance … just admit to yourself that it’s true and MOVE ON!) and for whatever reason you just went with that and never actually asked if this made any sense. In the meantime, if you have ever hit the gym, you have found yourself strangely resistant to packing on muscle weight. You have never connected these two dots.
          3. You read the Atkins book and you were either so deprived of legitimate biological and biochemical information, or else of critical skills, or IQ points, that you couldn’t tell what fucked up through and through bullshit that it was.
          Of the 3, only #3 is probably beyond help. Stupid knows no cure.

        5. You, sir, are ignorant beyond words. DO some research and then type. You too, will also be “old” one day, just like everyone else.

        6. You also need to read more. Start with this book “Primal Body-Primal Mind” and “The New Evolution Diet” <–which is actually an old diet. There was a time Tobacco companies said smoking was like a sauna to relax your lungs! Read more up to date info.

    2. Ah, I see you’ve read “Primal Body-Primal Mind.” 🙂 and “The New Evolution Diet.” Awesome reads, great info! 🙂 People definitely need to read more. 🙂

  3. Great article, thank you David. All too often people push their own style of dieting and fitness (mostly the plaeo/crossfit types) but in reality you need to do your own research and find out what your own body needs instead of following a cookie cutter diet.

  4. I’m looking forward to the reaction to this piece, as my fellow red pill brothers will happily oblige in pointing out any inconsistencies.
    but here’s where you are wrong.
    Generalisations exist for a reason.
    Generally, if you eat a ton of carbs you will become a fat fuck
    Generally if you amp up the protein and veg, you will lose fat, size and weight
    Generally if you lift heavy shit, infrequently, you will be fitter than the S.A.D diet type man
    i’m not saying you’re wrong about individual choice and choice limitation shit, but come off it man.
    There are some shittier things [to eat] than others.
    Ofcourse people should figure out what they are sensitive too, ofcourse. But the basis of macro philosophies of any kind, are that most people don’t have any kind of bullshit time for any of that.
    A guy friend comes up to me, and says hey i’m shit with women what do i do? you think i’ve got time or he’s got time (initially) to have game tailored to him?
    when you start the game you follow the guidelines, colour in between the lines and follow rules like they were a new bible. They act as stabilisers to make sure you practise as much game as possible and open often too develop yourself.
    Eventually you see the training wheels for what they are, and get into a zen type of mindset and are able to break certain rules when needs be. You keep this mindset polished by practising as well.
    This is how it is in EVERY discipline.
    First you follow the rules, become the rules, then break the rules.
    So when a nigga comes up to me and says “how do i fuck women?” i say
    here’s roosh, here’s roissy, here’s privateman, but fucking read Bang first.
    i don’t individuate dude, i generalise

    1. Everything you said was correct. Maybe I’m wrong in my interpretation of the article. What I am getting out of it is don’t be lazy and do your own research and make an educated decision on what diet to follow, which is similar to what you’re saying.

  5. By cutting out refined sugar/shit-ass corn syrup you will be doing far better than the average amerikan without doing anything else. (No artificial sweeteners either ya goddamn bitch!)

    1. Agree. And agree notwithstanding my prev remark in defense of carbs as brainfuel.
      Musclebuilding is also insulinogenic meaning muscles, like nerves, crave carbs. Best is low glycemic index to let them absorb steady state but critical is listening to what bodies say.
      If a person builds a resistance to alcohol he should lay off until one or two beers delivers a buzz again. If a resistance to benzos then lay off thee ambien improve sleep hygiene and make sure 1 5 mg pill is enough to knock you cold. If resistant to insulin:
      Lay off the goddamn snickers bars!
      And stop preaching to the rest of us that all carbs are bad for you as if you knew what you were talking about. (Snidness intended for the anticarb cultists not Chase to whom my response is linked)

    2. This. Limiting sugars, white flour, preservatives & salt is probably the best thing anyone could do for their health,

    3. Timing of your meals counts as well. Ever notice you can meet a lot of FAT vegetarians?

  6. Diet is quite important but it ranks below sleep hygiene. Sleep doesn’t get much press because while you can prattle on about various things to eat and not eat for thousands of words, there’s less to say about turning off the lights before 11pm every night and getting eight hours of sleep. Yet the research shows this is hugely important to health. Much more-so than any particular tweak to diet.

  7. Exactly man! My wife gets on these diets sometimes and I just don’t get it sometimes. So, uh, this certain berry is the key to being skinny and healthy in every way? Sounds like BS to me! I know it’s old school, but I think people should eat from those 4 food groups in whatever way makes them feel good!

  8. Primal works for me. Primal invites you to try dairy and see if it works, and eat a lot of carbs if you exercise a lot. So I eat a lot of milk, butter, bananas and sweet potatoes in addition to tons of meats and vegetables.

  9. From what i’ve read on food I took the following rules;
    Don’t eat: white sugar, whitebread, soy
    Restrict/ skip: soda, candy, junkfood, pies, icecream, processed food such as canola oil & transfatty acids.
    Moderate: pasta, rice, potatoes, maize, starch, fruit juices,dark chocolate. Salt too. If you work out a lot, you can take some. Alcohol is a special case: too nice to restrict forever, but never too much.
    Lots of: vegetables, nuts, meat (lean or fat), dairy. legumes, soups, eggs, protein
    Check because of allergy risk, ethnic heritage or common sense: nuts, dairy, (meaty) stuff eaten in Africa or Asia.
    Ignore: random diet marketing idiots who promiss you to lose weight instantly, because this lowcarb/lowfat/calorie restricted/fasting method will BE THE NEXT BEST THING SINCE TAEBO!
    Anyway, combined with a pretty hardcore yet short calisthenics/crossfit daily workout, I keep my fitness, health and happiness pretty well. Heck, you can even let yourself go often enough.
    Even better: don’t get fat or sedentary in the first place.

  10. Read Gary Taube’s books. Carbs (sugar and starch) cause your body to release insulin. Insulin tells your body to store fats, so you can be starving inside. If you stop eating Carbs for 2 weeks (which might be difficult) you will go into ketosis, your blood pressure will drop, you will think clearly, and not be hungry because you will be burning fat. Your fat. Except for social situations (e.g. birthday cake, which I decline but not everyone is as impolitic as I), everyone I know who has gone on low-carb diets can keep the weight off indefinitely and just not eat sugar and starches, no more than the average American regularly craves sushi.
    Variety? You mean I can’t have cheesecake ala mode for lunch AND dinner? For me it was easy. I loaded my fridge with eggs, meats, cheese sticks, and spices, sauces, and mayonnaise – Pork Rinds instead of chips or crackers – things I liked but were near zero carb. Ultralight beer too – the numbered ones, 52, 55, and 64. Any hunger or craving could be met with eating anything in my fridge or pantry. And would be met – eating fats accelerates the end of carb addiction. Gorge yourself until you are tired of doing so. It happens quickly.

  11. This is exactly what I did, dairy products never did well with me & since I have cut out nearly all grains, I just try & keep the GI down & make sure I’m always on the move always staying active, IMO staying active is more important than diet.

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