“The bigger question here is: Would a faster metabolism actually help you keep weight off? And there’s no evidence for that,” he said. “If you boost your metabolism a little bit, your brain will go, ‘Oh OK, we better eat little bit more’ and you wouldn’t lose anything at all.”
Additionally, the U.S. National Library of Medicine reported that some foods may give a small boost to your metabolism, but it won’t be enough to make a difference on the scale. It also noted that foods such as green tea, caffeine and hot chili peppers won’t help you lose weight.
Find a diet that works for you to lose weight
According to Pontzer, everyone’s brains are wired very differently. That combined with everyone’s varying backgrounds and adoration of different foods means there’s no single diet that works for everybody. One way to get on track to finding a diet that works for you is to eat in a way that helps you feel full on fewer calories.
Research from the American Society for Nutrition showed that even when it came to identical twins, people have different responses to food.
“Eating is individual. It is 100% customized to you,” Aurora Health Care registered dietitian and diabetes educator told health enews. “You must determine what is going to make you feel your best and what is going to be right for you.”
The Paleo diet looks different in the real world
While it didn’t crack the top 20 of the best overall diets of the year, the Paleo diet remains a go-to for some people who want to eat more healthily.
According to the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, the Paleo diet “seeks to address 21st-century ills by revisiting the way humans ate during the Paleolithic era more than 2 million years ago.” It calls for choosing low-glycemic fruits and vegetables and eating lean meats, fish, fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds.
But when Pontzer studied the Hadza, modern hunter-gatherer people residing in northern Tanzania, he found they consume a low-fat, high carb diet including meat, tubers, berries and honey. This diet offers insight into how people ate during the Paleolithic era.
The Hadza people get at least 65% of their calories from carbs; fat makes up less than 20%. Their hearts are remarkably healthy and they remain the same weight for the duration of their adult life.