Deciphering Diet Categories to Reduce Confusion

A person could go bonkers trying to decipher which diet plan is best for them. This pursuit is confusing and discouraging. To help you decide which diets are healthy, I’d like to categorize them.thDS4IFHBA

Fact: All diets claim weight loss . . .  but most dieters won’t keep weight off forever. (Actually that is what’s best about counseling, discovering why someone doesn’t.)

Let’s face it, there are actually only three food groups: carbohydrates, proteins and fats. All diets break up into this combination. Then adding water, vitamins and minerals, you have the basis of nutrients. Therefore mathematically, there are only a certain number of physiologically sound plans which actually lose weight safely:

1.  The practical diet plan which stresses plant-based food, lean protein and good fat in balanced ways, losing pounds gradually. These are the Mediterranean, Dash, TLC, Flexitarian and Volumetrics Diet, all variations on a theme.

Any of these plans I highly recommend – they are all simply variations on God’s theme of Genesis 1:29 and 9:3. You’ll lose sensibly. Add exercise which increases muscle, and you’ll lose faster because muscle burns fat. Lose a pound or two weekly and most likely you’ll keep weight off for a lifetime. And as you lose, you are learning self-discipline because no one has lost this weight but you. You, not gimmicks have conquered bad habits!

2.  The restrictive food group diet plans; Atkins, Paleo, Fat-Free, Sugar-Free.

God created us nutritionally balanced for a reason. All food  groups and nutrients work together to create a well-run machine. An engine won’t run efficiently without a balance of gas and oil. Our bodily machine can’t run effectively without glucose and essential fatty acids for brain power, carbohydrates for energy and protein for muscle. More details on this category in upcoming posts.

3.  Then we have the rapid weight loss diet plan: starvation diets, cabbage soup, protein drinks or any type using diet pills.

It is mathematically impossible to lose 10 pounds of fat in 10 days!  And with these you are playing Russian Roulette with brain cells, muscles and heart tissue.  Do you feel lucky?  Not for long because you’ll gain it all back as extra fat, which is harder for your body to burn!

4.  The boxed plans: Jenny Craig, Nutrisytem, Weight Watchers.

I like Weight Watcher’s because it educates and includes a support system for its members. One is taught to count calories however, and every calorie is not equal and if one counts points, it’s complicated. How is an avocado classified? As a carb, protein or fat?  It contains all three.

Jenny Craig has coaches who educate and encourage their clients and although their boxed food teaches portion control, their food is expensive and gets boring quickly. Not bad if you can afford it.

I caught a Nutrisystem commercial yesterday gleefully professing losing five pounds in a week if you’d try their program. Talk about castles in the sky! Common sense:  3500 calories equal one pound of fat lost.  To lose 5 lbs. of fat in a week, one would have to cut out 2500 calories per day!  And you’d be losing brain, bone, muscle tissue also but mostly water weight! Desperate dieters expect to lose fat and fall for this claim.

5.  Diets that are targeted toward chronic illness, such as Gluten-free, (for Celiac patients) heart healthy (Ornish) and Diabetic Diets, (ADA)

Excellent for those who need it. I’ve endorsed the ADA Diet a lot since I specialized in diabetic care while working for physicians. Gluten-free claims are primarily fads but we live under grace and if one wants to live gluten-fee .  . . fine. Gluten is a protein that gives breads, pizza dough, bagels and other grains its chewiness.

6.  Then the absolute crazy category such as a Hot Dog, Cookie or Grapefruit and Egg Diet.  Remember a real diet is one you can stay on for life?  Must I clarify?

“Don’t let anyone capture you with empty philosophies and high-sounding nonsense that come from human thinking and from the spiritual powers of this world, rather than from Christ.”  (Colossians 2:8)




9 thoughts on “Deciphering Diet Categories to Reduce Confusion

    • That’s because you are so intelligent! (Sigh . . . so few of us left . . . 🙂 ) Seriously, health isn’t that complicated, right? But so many make it so when they follow these diet gurus’ (who think they have more smarts than God) and create Pharasee-type intricate laws. Somehow they gain more followers than Christ. it is trusting in our Lord that reveals the Truth behind true health. Thanks for writing and blessings back,


  1. As someone who has been dieting on and off since they were eight years old, I really appreciate this post. I just cannot bring myself to follow fad diets. And I am EXTREMELY confused about the gluten issue. Some of my friends who do not have celiac swear they cannot tolerate gluten, hard to know what is true and not true.


    • Thank you Wendy, I always enjoy hearing from you and pray that you’re holding fast to a healthier lifestyle. Yes gluten-free is confusing. My advice is to listen to your body, in case you have an allergy or celiac disease and must give it up. Gluten is simply a protein in foods that give it it’s chewiness. If you feel bloated and uncomfortable after eating products and items such as bagels, bread, pasta, then try cutting them out for a while and see if you feel more energetic.

      I always considered gluten free a fad but now since food is processed so differently, my advice is to go to and place gluten in their search engine to see what foods contain gluten, just in case. However many gluten free foods lack the important nutrients we need so make sure you consume lots of fruits, veggies and allowable whole grains!

      Even I am finding that what was once true, isn’t now, so I am researching even more. Since products can add a gluten item to their foods, (even salad dressings!) it’s hard to know the truth anymore. As long as you consume enough fiber foods, it won’t hurt you to give up gluten. Sorry I couldn’t clear up the confusion for you.


      • Your input was very helpful, Ellie, thank you. I don’t seem to have an issue with gluten, I think using common sense is always a good plan. I have started to regain weight and appreciated the post about loving ourselves. Years ago, when I was much heavier, I heard a woman say to her friend, “If I looked like that, I would kill myself!”. She and her companion then laughed. The lady was referring to me. As cruel and stupid as that comment was, it was mild compared to the self hatred I have struggled with for years. God has been faithful to show me my value and worth. And I know He wants me to take better care of this body He gave me, His temple. I am praying for healing. That’s where I am at. Appreciate your thoughts and support, sister!


  2. Oh Wendy I care so much! I’ll pray that you will remain strong and focused because you are a wonderful lady and I so enjoy hearing of your progress. Don’t even give that devil a foothold. Repeat 1 John 4:4 over and over if necessary until he flees from you. You are worth so much more to God and as a friend to me! Don’t forget – you can always ask and I will clarify anything or give you encouragement, don’t hesitate to ask. (My book, “Life’s Too Short . . .” has helped others, might help you a lot, but I hesitate to say this because I don’t want it to sound like a commercial.) Blessings back,


  3. Thank you, Ellie! Your support means so much to me. I will be using 1 John 4:4 as a “weapon of warfare”. I chuckled about you “peddling” your book because I had already planned to buy it. Just wish I could get it autographed, that would mean a lot to me. I bought “Food Triggers” over the summer and it was written for and about me. I mainly have just beat myself up my whole life for my lack of willpower and self control. Knowledge is power and I am convinced that God’s plan for eating is the best. And I liked Rhona’s planning strategy. I am praying so fervently for God to renew my mind in this area. I really do want to give Him my best, for His glory. Thanks for being there for us with truth, we really do need each other.

    Liked by 1 person

      • Ellie,
        I live in WA State now, transplant from San Diego. I miss the sunshine, but love having the seasons, even this icy cold winter. I would also love to meet you and, if I ever do make it to Ohio, I’ll take that encouraging hug and get that autograph! I have been thinking a lot about the fact that Jesus did not die in vain, and that it is wrong for me to believe that I cannot be healed and become healthy. I don’t have to, or want to, just accept this as my lot in life. His blood covered it and covers it still. And having tried so many crazy diets, even following a chocolate chip cookie with a tablespoon of vinegar to “negate” the calories, I see the wisdom of eating according to God’s plan. Like I always say to you, my friend and sister, keep speaking God’s truth in love. That is what sets us free. Hugs to you.


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