Paleo, vegan, whole 30, ketogenic, South Beach… The number of nutritional plans out there today is overwhelming — so which one should you choose? Our short answer: none of them. Read on to find out why!

The truth is, limiting yourself to a strict diet plan or drastically trimming down your portion sizes could end up doing more harm than good in the long run. Diets don’t work! In order to feel and look great, balancing your nutrition is key. The HSM Lifestyle focuses not only on physical activity and fitness, but also on fueling your body with the right foods to power you through your day. “The obvious fact is that [these fad diets] all have advantages and disadvantages,” says Dr. Mark Hyman, Medical Director at Cleveland Clinic’s Center for Functional Medicine, Founder of The UltraWellness Center and ten-time #1 New York Times Bestselling author. “However, the best versions of diets are built on the same foundation: Eat real, whole food.”

“When you look at your plate, we want two thirds of what you put into your body to be vegetables,” says Dr. Ann Hathaway in Dr. Hyman’s Broken Brain docuseries. “We want non-GMO and organic as much as possible, because pesticides and insecticides are potential toxins.”

A recent New York Times article outlines a study published in JAMA, finding that what you eat is much more important than how much you eat. People who focused on eating plenty of vegetables and whole foods while cutting back on added sugar, refined grains and highly-processed foods lost significant amounts of weight over the course of a year. The most shocking part? These subjects did not worry about calorie counting or portion control. We know what you’re thinking — how could this possibly work? It turns out that when you fill your plate with vegetables, whole grains and real food – even in larger portions than you might otherwise eat – you end up eating fewer calories than a portion-controlled diet of crap. This further emphasizes the concept of quality over quantity when it comes to diet. “This is the road map to reducing the obesity epidemic in the United States,” said Dr. Mozaffarian, who was not involved in the new study. “It’s time for U.S. and other national policies to stop focusing on calories and calorie counting.”

Bottom line: It’s time to start loving your body and feeding it the foods it truly craves — real, whole foods with the necessary nutrients to keep your body running like a fine-tuned machine. That said, save some room for joie de vivre (which may or may not come in the form of wine). Check out our guide to avoiding added sugar here and try some of our favorite healthy and delicious recipes here!

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