Keto? Vegan? Paleo? What Diet Should You Follow?

So throughout my experience as a nutrition coach I often get asked about my personal nutritional habits and certain diets that I follow.  Do I follow a vegetarian, vegan, paleo, Keto, Low Carb Diet, or any other popular diet regimens?  My answer is, No, I do not follow or believe in any of those. And let me verify my answer.  Throughout my blogs you'll here me repeat this over and over again, EAT REAL, WHOLE FOOD!  So whether that falls under the category of a vegetarian based diet, a vegan based plan, Pescetarian diet, so be it. As long as you have a good reason as to why you're following this diet, that's all that matters.  So, if your choice in following a vegetarian/vegan diet are based on social or environmental perspectives, I completely understand and respect that decision. If you don't believe in anything that is packaged in any way shape or form, I get it. If you predominately eat meat and can't stomach the taste of vegetables, I completely understand, don't worry we can sneak in the vitamins, minerals, fiber, phytochemicals, etc. another way. However, if you heard that eliminating animal products is beneficial to your health and weight loss efforts because of X, Y, and Z, but you enjoy animal protein sources and love the convenience of real, complete proteins then why are you cutting it out?  Or if you are focusing your nutritional plan on eating a majority of meat products, but constantly feel sluggish, brain fog or irritable why are you cutting out carbs?  The point is that you understand why you're following the diet or nutritional plan that you are currently following. Truth is, there is not one right answer, not one size fits all when choosing the proper nutrition regimen for your needs.  There are many components that should factor into selecting the proper nutritional plan, such as, goals, body type, medical history/background, physical activity levels, and food sensitivities just to name a few.  Whether you're eating a diet high in fat and animal products and low in vegetables, or low in fat and high in vegetables and other starchy vegetables both diets will result in a relatively healthy individual (not considering physical activity) with no increase in risk of stroke, cardiac disease, diabetes, obesity, etc.  So, how can that be?  Two completely different diets reaping the same health benefits?  The similarity and strong correlation between the two is that both diets revolve around REAL, WHOLE FOODS, not processed/packaged and artificially produced items.  Now, if you have a specific goal as far as body composition(specific body fat to lean muscle mass ratio) and aesthetic preference than yes, I would recommend specific macro portions combined with a specific exercise regimen.  But like I mentioned previously, if you want to lose weight, be a healthier version of yourself and feel better than any sticking to REAL, WHOLE FOODS is the only right choice for you, whatever combination that may be.