My own diet, I will call "Fiber Up, Carbs Out", is based on the most sound information from many diets, from weight loss to general health. Here are the most important guidelines:
1. Calories do count, but a calorie is not a calorie, is not a calorie. All calories come from good sources of fat, carbs, and protein. NO JUNK food should be included in these calories. If you have eaten junk, you are off plan. Figure your calorie count based on activity level, build, etc. My calorie count is 1500 per day, maybe higher on heavy exercise days.
2. Carbs out! Controlling the amount of carbs in will allow for correction of insulin resistance and the unlocking of the fat cells. 20 carbs allowed at the beginning, first two weeks (minus dietary fiber count). Each week add 5 grams of carbs until you stop losing (Atkins OWL method). At that point lower it by 5 to get your "on going weight loss" carb intake.
3. Fats are good! The same as all calories are not equal, I believe neither are fats. Make sure to cosume enough omega 3 fats. It's the ratio of omega 3 fats and omega 6 fats that is important, around a 1:3 ratio.
4. FIBER UP! Most people are lucky to get 20 grams of fiber per day. New research is suggesting around 40-50 grams per day is ideal. Although when first upping your fiber content you can feel more bloated, I recommend gradually upping it. I am starting at 30 grams the first two weeks before consuming 40 grams or more. ONE of fibers important roles in weight loss is that it absorbs fats and sugars. Also fiber slows absorption resulting in lower blood glucose rises, key for insulin resistant people. There are of course many other important facts about fiber I will not go into.
5. Each meal MUST contain quality protein and some fiber. (I'm shooting for a calculation of about .8 grams per pound of lean mass)
6. Eat for a slowing metabolism. Our bodies start slowing down as the day progresses. Do not eat after 8 or 9pm. Eat your biggest meal for breakfast and taper your meals off towards dinner. Dinner should be your smallest meal.
7. Do NOT go more than 4 hours without eating. Between breakfast, lunch, and dinner have a snack consisting of good quality protein
7. Water! Consume at least 1/2 an oz of water per pound of fat. I consume 1 oz per pound. I've also read .33 oz per pound. Considering our composition is more than 75% water this only makes sense.
8. Build fat burning muscle! Devote at least 2 days per week to strength training, working to failure.
9. Rev your engines even AFTER you workout! Cardio is a great way to rev your metabolism and strengthen your heart. Devote at least 3 days of 30 minutes in your target heart rate each week.