Science Compared Every Diet and Found the Winner!

This study may be the single most important nutrition study ever conducted.

That’s a bold claim, right?

Yes! I do think this study deserves that title. (If not, it’s certainly vying for the top spot).

It’s a literature review that analyzed the scientific studies on basically every diet out there, along with everything the studies have shown us about their health effects.

It is the single most comprehensive and thorough modern scientific analysis of different dietary patterns, and it reached some very important conclusions that you need to be aware of.

The study is titled “Can We Say What Diet is Best for Health?” and it was conducted by David Katz, M.D.–the director of Yale’s Prevention Research Center, and one of my favorite health authors.

The study compared all the known data on the effects of everything from low-fat vegan diets to balanced diets to high fat, low-carb diets to Mediterranean diets to Paleo diets.

First, let me give you a brief bit of the abstract, and then I’ll tell you what they found.

“Diet is established among the most important influences on health in modern societies. Injudicious diet figures among the leading causes of premature death and chronic disease. Optimal eating is associated with increased life expectancy, dramatic reduction in lifetime risk of all chronic disease, and amelioration of gene expression. In this context, claims abound for the competitive merits of various diets relative to one another. … There have been no rigorous, long-term studies comparing contenders for best diet laurels using methodology that precludes bias and confounding, and for many reasons such studies are unlikely. In the absence of such direct comparisons, claims for the established superiority of any one specific diet over others are exaggerated… Efforts to improve public health through diet are forestalled not for want of knowledge about the optimal feeding of Homo sapiens but for distractions associated with exaggerated claims, and our failure to convert what we reliably know into what we routinely do. “

What Did The Study Find?

After analyzing hundreds of the most relevant nutrition studies ever conducted, synthesizing all of this information, and then analyzing the data, here is what they concluded:

“The aggregation of evidence in support of:
(a) diets comprising preferentially minimally processed foods direct from nature and food made up of such ingredients,
(b) diets comprising mostly plants, and
(c) diets in which animal foods are themselves the products, directly or ultimately, of pure plant foods—the composition of animal flesh and milk is as much influenced by diet as we are
—is noteworthy for its breadth, depth, diversity of methods, and consistency of findings.

The case that we should, indeed, eat true food, mostly plants, is all but incontrovertible.”


Why Aren’t We Doing This? And Why Are So Many People Still Confused About What They Should Be Eating?

“This message, however, is at present a relatively feeble signal lost in a chorus of noise. In pursuit of marketing advantage, notoriety, or some other bias, the defenders of competing diets tend inevitably to emphasize their mutual exclusivities. This pattern conforms well with prevailing media practices, and the result is perpetual confusion and doubt.
The clutter of competing claims likely obscures the established body of knowledge and forestalls progress, much like the proverbial trees and forest.”

In short, the ongoing battles of the macronutrients from the low-carb crowd vs. the vegan low-fat crowd, the sugar demonizers vs. the animal protein and animal fat demonizers, the “calories don’t count” low-carbers vs. the people who say it’s only calories that matter, and the people who place macronutrient ratios and calories ahead of eating nutritious whole foods.

To quote Katz again:

“No, saturated fat is not our nutritional nemesis, and never was. But neither is sugar, nor wheat, nor all grains. No one thing is the thing wrong with our diets, and no one food, nutrient, or ingredient will be our salvation either. Wholesome foods, mostly plants, in sensible combinations could be — assuming an 80% reduction in all chronic disease qualifies as salvation. … What stands in the way is not our admittedly imperfect knowledge of nutrition, because frankly, we know enough. What stands in the way is hyperbolic headlines, fixed agendas, reactionism, religious zeal, profiteering, finding only what we’re seeking, and failure to learn from the follies of history. In other words, what is far more perilous to our health than saturated fat or sugar is the prevailing standard of stupidity in the food for thought we swallow routinely. If there is a war to be waged against anything ingestible, I humbly suggest it be that.”


What You Should Take Home From This Study

In short: There is no real reason to be confused about what to eat. We already have a pretty damn clear answer to that question:

Eat a diet of real whole food. Mostly plants.

Once you’re doing that–and ONLY once you’re doing that–should you be concerned with how much carbs or how much fat you’re eating, or how many calories you’re eating.

But many people–including many, if not most diet gurus–have this BACKWARDS.

If you’re concerned over how much fat or carbs your diet has or how many calories you’re eating, and you’re NOT already adhering the foundational principle of REAL FOOD, MOSTLY PLANTS, then you’ve got things BACKWARDS.

If you think the key to good health and fat loss rests in the extent to which your diet is high or low in carbs, or sugars, or fats, or polyunsaturated fats, or saturated fats, or to what extent your food choices “fit your macros” then somewhere along the line, you got something backwards.

A diet of real, whole food and mostly plants (especially fruits and vegetables) comes FIRST.

Then–and only then–do you worry about your carbs and fat.

And quite frankly, if you are eating a diet of whole food that is mostly plant foods like fruits and vegetables, you probably don’t need to concern yourself with things like calories and macros.

Consider this advice from Katz:

“I think it’s time to stop talking about macronutrients, because people can cut carbs and eat badly, people can cut fat and eat badly, they can cut sugar and eat badly. Or you can cut carbs and eat well, or cut fat and eat well. …The focus on macronutrients has been a decades-long boondoggle. The answer is wholesome foods in sensible combinations. You do that, and the macronutrients will take care of themselves. Do calories matter? Of course they do. (But) the question “do calories count?” is a distraction. …The quantity of calories matters–it’s a law of physics. But the quality of calories–the quality of the foods we choose–is probably the single best way to control the quantity.”

Are you still confused about how to eat? You are only if you want to be.

The research has already answered that question pretty clearly.

Real food. Mostly plants.

That’s the foundation for everything. Only once you’re doing that do you need to start worrying about more advanced nutrition concepts.



How to Become a “Fat Burner” instead of a “Sugar Burner” (and why you SHOULDN’T)

One of the most common things you hear from advocates of low carb diets is this:

“Become a fat burner rather than a carb burner to lose fat!”

Low-carb gurus like to promote the idea that by eating their special low-carb, high-fat diet, you can magically coax your body into the elusive state of “fat burning” that will “cause your body fat to vanish right before your very eyes.”

“Be a fat burner instead of a sugar burner… You will have amazing energy… Incredible physical and mental performance…No crashes…and you will burn off all your body fat in days!”

Or so they say…

First let me acknowledge the part of all this nonsense that’s actually true: Becoming fat-adapted so that you’re burning predominately fat rather than carbohydrate for fuel is actually a real thing. So that part is actually true. It is indeed possible to train your body to rely primarily on fat rather than carbs for fuel.

And, it’s actually very simple to do it: All you have to do is eat a low carb, high fat diet.

Don’t eat many carbs, and eat lots of fat, then BOOM! After a few weeks, you are now fat adapted, and your body will primarily rely on fats rather than carbs for fuel.

Now that you’ve switched out a large portion of carbohydrate calories for fat calories and made yourself into a “fat burner,” you can expect lots of fat loss, right?


This was the conclusion from the latest 2014 meta-analysis (i.e., data from a non-cherry-picked comprehensive review of the scientific studies) on the subject: “There is probably little or no difference in weight loss and changes in cardiovascular risk factors up to two years of follow-up when overweight and obese adults, with or without type 2 diabetes, are randomized to low CHO (low-carb) diets and isoenergetic balance (higher-carb diets that are equal in calories).” [i]

In other words, looking at all these different studies that compared people on equal calorie low-carb and higher-carb diets, they were not able to detect any difference whatsoever in either health measures or fat loss.

So is this meta-analysis telling us something novel? Not really. As it turns out, there are dozens of studies that have found this conclusion, going back several decades.

Numerous studies have compared low-carb diets to higher-carb diets. In metabolic ward studies (Grey and Kipnis, [ii] Golay et al.,[iii] Miyashita et al.,[iv] Stimnson et al.,[v] and Naude et al.[vi]), researchers consistently find no difference in fat loss between those on low-carb and high-carb diets.

Even when we compare higher-carb diets to extremely low-carbohydrate diets, we see the same thing: as long as protein intake and calories are controlled, there is no difference in fat loss between high- and low-carb diets.

  • A relatively recent trial examined the effects of three diets consisting of roughly 1400 kcals each day for twelve weeks. The diets had the following macronutrient proportions: a) very low fat and high carb (70% carb), b) moderate carb (50% carb), and c) very low carb (4% carb). What did they find? There were no differences in fat loss between the groups. [vii]
  • Another recent trial compared two 1500-calorie diets, a moderate carbohydrate diet (40% carbohydrate) and a very low-carb ketogenic diet (a tiny 5% carbohydrate). The researchers concluded that the “diets were equally effective in reducing body weight and insulin resistance, but the ketogenic low-carb diet was associated with several adverse metabolic and emotional effects.”[viii] In other words, going low carb did not accomplish any additional fat loss—all it did was make people feel worse.
  • Grey and Kipnis (1971) studied ten obese patients who were fed 1,500 liquid-formula diets containing either 72% or 0% carbohydrate for four weeks before switching to the other diet. Despite massive differences in insulin levels, participants lost the same amount of weight each week regardless of whether they ate the high-carbohydrate diet or the zero-carbohydrate diet. [ix]

These studies make it abundantly clear that there is simply no validity to the claims that carbohydrates or insulin have some unique fattening effect that’s different from any other calorie source like fat.

As long as calories haven’t changed, high-carb, low-fat diets and low-carb, high-fat diets cause—get ready for it—absolutely no difference in fat loss. None.

The bottom line is this: Eat 1,500 calories while on a high-carb low-fat diet, and eat 1,500 calories on a high-fat low-carb diet, and you’ll lose the exact same amount of body fat.

So yeah, you can eat a low-carb high-fat diet and make yourself into a “fat burner” …

Here’s the big problem: Being a “fat burner” (by eating a low-carb diet) has absolutely NOTHING to do with burning fat off your body!

You become a “fat burner” because fat–not carbs–is the predominant fuel you’re eating, not because you’re burning more fat off your BODY!

You’re burning all that butter, cream, oil, and animal fat you ate that day–NOT fat from your body.

Countless studies have proven that when matched for calories, low carb eating “fat burners” have…the EXACT SAME rate of fat loss as carb burners.

Let me repeat that: Exactly the same amount of fat loss.

What’s the Take-Home Message?

Don’t fall for this “fat burner” scam from low-carb gurus who intentionally try to get you to confuse “burning fat” by eating a low-carb high-fat diet with burning BODY FAT.

These two kinds of “fat burning” are completely unrelated. You don’t burn off more body fat by eating a low-carb, high-fat diet. You just burn all the fat you’re eating every day.


[i] (


[iii] Golay A, et al. (1996). Similar weight loss with low or high carbohydrate diets. Am J Clin Nutr. 63:174-8.




[vii] (

[viii] (


How to Lose a Pound of Fat per Day! (and Why You SHOULDN’T!)

I want to start off our relationship by letting you know what I’m all about.

The answer is simple: I’m all about the fastest, most science-backed, most powerful fat loss methods in existence.

Now, you might say “Ok, Ari, but how do I know you’re different from all the other diet and fitness gurus out there who also claim their methods are effective?”

Well, let me show you exactly how my methods differ from everyone else out there…

Here’s a common claim you can hear with countless scammy weight loss products on the market today:

“Lose a Pound Per Day!”

So what’s wrong with this claim?

To find out, let’s go over some basics…

There are 9 calories per gram of fat. 1 pound of body fat equates to roughly 3,555 calories. (Let’s round off to 3,500 for simplicity’s sake).

In other words, if you want to burn through 1 pound of body fat, you have to create a calorie deficit of 3,500 calories.

To achieve a caloric deficit of 3,500 calories, that means you need to burn 3,500 calories more than the amount of calories you take in.

Now, consider the fact that most people typically eat and burn between only 1,300-2,500 calories per day.

So even if you COMPLETELY STARVE YOURSELF (eat literally no food whatsoever for an entire day), you would still be at a deficit of only 1,300-2,500 calories–which is obviously far less than the 3,500 calories needed to burn a pound of body fat.

Here we run into the first major dilemma of losing a “pound per day.” If we are normally burning only 1,500 calories per day, how exactly are we supposed to end up burning not just 3,500 calories, but burn 3,500 calories MORE than the calories we consumed that day?

To achieve a state where you are burning 3,500 more calories than you burn each day requires COMPLETE STARVATION combined with HUGE amounts of daily exercise.

Such a program is completely unsustainable for more than even just a few days.

Why is it unsustainable?

There are several reasons:

1. You can’t stay alive for more than a few days without eating.

2. Much of the tissue your body would lose is muscle rather than fat, so even if you are on a program this extreme that you do have a caloric deficit of 3,500 calories, you STILL wouldn’t burn off a pound of fat per day.

3. Even if you managed to force yourself to do this horrible regimen of starvation and exercise, you wouldn’t be able to sustain this caloric deficit for more than a few days. Your metabolism and your non-exercise calorie burning (NEAT) would decrease dramatically and you wouldn’t actually be able to burn anywhere close to 3,500 calories while eating less than 1,500 calories. You certainly wouldn’t be able to burn 3,500 calories while on a program of complete, or near-complete, starvation. Your body would quickly start burning hundreds of calories less each day, no matter how hard you tried to do more than that.

Do you see how this math doesn’t add up?

In order to lose a pound of fat in a day, one would not only have to take in zero calories (i.e. be on a complete starvation diet), but on top of starving yourself, you would also have to do roughly 2-3 HOURS of intense exercise each day in order to reach a calorie deficit of 3,500 calories.

(And of course, it’s probably going to be pretty difficult to muster the energy to do several hours of exercise while you have no energy due to starving yourself).

So yeah, if you can sustain a program of COMPLETE STARVATION (zero food intake) and several HOURS of daily exercise for 7 days, then yes, you can lose 7 pounds of fat in 7 days.

Unfortunately, it isn’t possible for most people to do this for even a single day, let alone multiple days or weeks. This is physiologically impossible to sustain for even very short periods of time. Extreme fatigue and terrible hunger pangs would quickly take hold and leave you unable to function. No matter how hard you try, you simply cannot sustain a daily calorie deficit of 3,500 calories for more than just a few days.

But that’s not even the biggest problem!

Consider for just a moment, the repercussions of that metabolism slowdown that you’re going to get from that crash diet.

We already know that in the long run, not only do crash diets not work to achieve lasting fat loss, but they actually MAKE YOU FATTER.

So even if you do manage to perform such an extreme feat and starve yourself for a little while, if we check on you 6 months later, you are likely to be FATTER–not leaner–than you were when you started this whole diet thing.

One study found concluded: “Weight-loss attempts may be associated with subsequent major weight gain, even when several potential confounders are controlled for.”


In reviewing hundreds of studies on dieting and weight loss, researchers at UCLA concluded that short-term weight loss from dieting does occur, but “these losses are not maintained… It is only the rate of weight regain, not the fact of weight regain, that appears open to debate.”

The bottom line is this:

You can keep on searching for the magic pill–that rapid weight loss diet that’s going to melt off a “pound per day”–but as long as you do that, you will only be making yourself fatter in the long run.

It’s time to stop looking for the magic pill solution, and start adopting a REAL SOLUTION, like what’s presented in my Forever Fat Loss Formula program.

Whether or not you choose to use my books and programs to reach your weight loss goals, my hope is that this article has convinced you to NEVER adopt any of the quick-fix crash diets ever again. There’s simply no need to suffer through it. Not only does the suffering get you nothing in the long run, it is likely only to make you worse off.


Sustainable Daily Habits Are The Royal Road to Fat Loss Success

  “You will never change your life until you change something you do daily.”
– John C. Maxwell

The solution to fat loss is NOT any sort of short-term diet or exercise program. It is found in your daily habits!

For many of you, this is likely a major shift in your frame of reference away from the mentality of “how can I do __________ 30-day diet and exercise program to drop the fat FAST?” to “how can I systematically incorporate better permanent habits into my life that will reliably lead to fat loss, without suffering.”

Again, sustainability is not just a simple matter of how difficult you consciously feel the strategy to be. This is a matter of biology. To the extent that you’ve adopted strategies for weight loss that lead to compensatory metabolic adaptations–decreased thyroid hormone, slowed metabolic rate, decreased NEAT or non-exercise activity thermogenesis, increased hunger, fatigue, etc–these things will slowly alter the calories in, calories out equation in such a way that over time, despite your best efforts to continue restricting your diet and working out, fat loss will come to a screeching halt and you will slowly regain all the fat you lost.

The vast majority of research shows that leanness and good health can be achieved on a huge range of different diets and macronutrient compositions (i.e. high protein or low protein, low fat or high fat, low carb or high carb) as long as one is eating whole foods (real food), has an overall low reward value, and is rich in plant foods. Given that simple fact that no one diet is the absolute best diet in existence, the best diet is the one people can stick to.

Having said that compliance is the key, I want to present a useful way of thinking about the concept of compliance:

Diet extremes and compliance


On one end of the compliance spectrum, we can see that the easiest diet to maintain is the standard American diet full of processed junk food. On the other end of the spectrum, the diets with the poorest compliance are the ones that ask for the most extreme deviation from that norm–very low fat diets, vegan diets, diets that require avoidance of long lists of forbidden foods, and very low carb (ketogenic) diets. The more extreme, the lower the compliance. This makes the vast majority of diets out there a suboptimal choice for most.

Right now, this is the predicament we find ourselves in:

  • We can do what most people in our society do and eat tons of processed food–which is the easiest thing to do and requires the least effort to maintain–but if we do that, we will end up fat and sick as a result.
  • Or we can choose to adopt one of the countless extreme fad diets that have been presented as a “solution” to all our problems, and perhaps end up with leanness temporarily, but likely fail to maintain those habits and eventually regain all the fat (as over 95% of people do). While some people do maintain such low-fat, low-carb, or vegan diets for life, most eventually revert back (to either a small or large extent) to their old habits. Again, the more extreme the diet, the lower the compliance.

So what we first need to do is rid ourselves of the idea to any of these extreme fad diets out there (low-fat, low carb, ketogenic) and their long lists of forbidden foods is the “real” path to fat loss and health. Then, in place of these (false) solutions to health and fat loss, we replace those extreme diets with the real science-backed strategies to reliably lead to health and fat loss without adopting an approach that relies on strategies that are fundamentally unsustainable (forced calorie restriction and suffering through hunger pangs, or the removal of major macronutrients and food groups).

What you want to achieve is to be implementing fat loss strategies to the point where first of all, you are actually achieving fat loss, but also simultaneously not feeling like your suffering–you are not constantly battling hunger pangs, cravings, fatigue, etc.

What are those habits? Well, they’re the habits outlined in Factor #3 and Factor #5 of the ebook “Unstuck” which you should’ve already read. (If not, go here to download it:

Ideally, you want to be doing those habits with as much ease and as little effort and struggle as it takes you to maintain your current habits.

You want to find the optimal balance of establishing new habits that actually do work for fat loss but without the food extremism, carbophobia, fat-o-phobia, animal food phobia, starvation, suffering, deprivation, and struggle.

Every person will fall in a different place on this spectrum in terms of what feel reasonable or possible to them, with some effortlessly following these habits and others thinking that it is just utterly “impossible” to break free of their current obesogenic habits. But ideally, you want to be in that magical zone where you have some degree of habits that are producing fat loss, while doing so without deprivation and in a way that is fully sustainable.

To illustrate what I mean, have a look at this:

The fat loss quadrants

This shows you four different quadrants of where you can be in terms of your habits and how much ease (or suffering) you have in maintaining those habits.

To fill this in, it looks like this:

The fat loss quadrants - filled

  • Upper left quadrant – Most overweight people are in a state of having obesogenic habits, and continuing those habits effortlessly.
  • Lower left quadrant – There are also some overweight people who are actively trying to lose weight, but are using misguided or ineffective stragtegies, and thus are needlessly suffering while not getting results. For example, there are some notable low-carb gurus who are still extremely overweight after years of extreme and highly restrictive low carb diets. And when they fail to get results, instead of realizing that the approach is flawed, they often restrict carbohydrates even more. This is because they have fundamentally misunderstood that their body composition is a function of overall caloric balance, not the effects of carbohydrates or insulin. Or perhaps people who buy the “healthy options” at McDonald’s thinking they are doing something healthy and failing to realize that what they are doing is still far from ideal.
  • Lower right quadrant – Most people who want to lose fat adopt completely unsustainable practices like low calorie diets, juice fasts, crash diets, fad diets, crazy intense exercise regimens, extremely restrictive vegan, low-fat, vegan diets, calorie counting, other forms of intense restriction and depriving exercise and diet regimens. These require constant fighting against hunger pangs and cravings, overcoming fatigue, dealing with the effects of slowed metabolic rate, and in general, constant willpower to continue to forcibly deprive yourself. This is why 95% of people fail to achieve lasting fat loss–they approach fat loss with a short-term, quick-fix mentality and adopt totally unsustainable practices. This is NOT where you want to be.
  • Upper right quadrant – Instead, you want to be in the upper right quadrant with a set of habits that promote fat loss (think the previous 6 factors I have mentioned in this section) and to be able to do those habits with as much effortlessness and ease as you do your current set of habits.

What we DON’T want is a set of habits that either:

  1. Is so hard for you to actually do that it’s just a matter of time before you give up because of how psychologically arduous it is to maintain that routine.
  2. Creates so much negative metabolic adaptation (metabolism slowdown, decreased NEAT, muscle destruction, fatigue/lethargy, and hunger pangs) that it biologically impossible for you to maintain that routine.

So we need to achieve this balance of doing enough of the right habits to actually create some fat loss, while not doing things so dramatically different from our current routine that we feel totally deprived, our willpower is constantly strained to the limit, and we eventually give up.

Importantly, this is completely individual-specific. Meaning, every person has a very different threshold of what they feel comfortable or uncomfortable. A set of habits that one person finds to be the easiest thing in the world to maintain, another person may find that the same exact habits require immense willpower and lots of suffering.

So there is no one-size-fits-all routine that everyone can immediately jump into and that they will all perceive it to be the same.

The key is that YOU have to find the place you currently are on that spectrum, and then make progressive, systematic, and 100% baby steps in the right direction.

This is the real secret of lasting weight loss. The magic isn’t found in the magical macronutrient ratio of carbs to fat, or avoidance of one food group, or constant calorie restriction and forced deprivation. The magic is modifying your lifestyle habits to create fat loss with a set of behaviors that are as effortless as your current set of habits–and we do this through modifying the nutritional, movement, and circadian rhythm habits in this program. Slowly building these habits, one baby step at a time, making them automatic and then building on top of that.

Consider it like this:

habits-bodyfat spectrum

Each level of habits has a very predictable body composition associated with it. If you have the right habits, you WILL have a lean body.

But if you currently have poor habits, and you try to do too much too fast, it will be unsustainable, and you will eventually revert back to your old habits, and as a result, your old body.

The real secret here is that you need to implement SMALL changes and then make AUTOMATIC through repetition–automaticity research that it takes on average 65 days to make a behavior automatic. (At that point, it actually requires LESS energy/effort to maintain the new habit than to do the old one!). Then once you have that new habit and it becomes effortless and automatic, you built on it.

In this way, you can escape the vicious cycle of Yo-Yo-ing in weight, and very systematically move towards your dream body–and you can do so relatively EFFORTLESSLY.

This isn’t a gimmick or some magic pill, or more promises of some magic “lose a pound a day” weight loss diet that will ultimately leave you FATTER six months after you do it.

I’m talking about the real science of achieving LASTING and PERMANENT fat loss–the RIGHT WAY!

I have created a blueprint for this–exactly how to implement simple and effortless habit shifts that are 100% sustainable–that put you on the path to real lasting fat loss in my program The Forever Fat Loss Formula: 10 New Habits and 21 Days to Permanent Body Transformation.

So if you want the EXACT habits spoon fed to you step-by-step so you know EXACTLY what to do to achieve the body you want and MAINTAIN it, go HERE and grab that program.
Above all else, remember these words of wisdom from obesity research Yoni Freedhoff, M.D.:

“My weight management philosophy has always been rather straightforward – whatever you choose to do to lose your weight, you need to keep doing to keep it off, and therefore choosing a weight loss modality you don’t enjoy is just a recipe for regain. … There is one essential commonality for those who succeed where others fail – if you’re going to keep it off you’ve got to like how you’ve lost it enough to keep doing it.”