In 2013 I successfully rid myself of dietary dogma. I was tired of my previous misunderstanding of "healthy" dieting. I was vegetarian, vegan and fruitarian for a minute, then to paleo, metabolic typing and primal.
I was convinced that whatever I was eating at the time was the key to bring healthy and lean... I was of course incorrect.
I destroyed the dietary dogma with the help of Amber Rogers. Her weight loss success was eye opening for me. She had gone from overweight to lean by eating in moderation... No fad diet, just enough food to feel energized for exercise and burn the unwanted fat.
I wasn't overweight. I was about 185 pounds (84 kgs) and eating what was close to paleo. No gluten, hardly any dairy, lots of meat and salad. I was feeling crap. Stressed out and exhausted. I was diagnosed with stage 3 adrenal fatigue, but I think the reality was I was starving and not coping with stress.
I decided to ditch the rules on food and eat what I wanted, when I wanted. I wasn't going to wait for my Saturday cheat meal to eat ice cream, burgers and pizza, so I ate it every day (almost). I had a great time devouring entire tubs of ice cream almost daily. I tried every variety of caramel ice cream I could find.
Eventually I had enough of eating like shit every day. I had gained 25 pounds (11 kgs) of mostly fat and felt great. I scaled back the ice cream to the smaller tubs and only ate hamburgers a couple of times per week. I slowly started to reduce my new fat supply.
At the start of 2014 I was 208 pounds (94 kgs). After almost a year of eating whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted (in moderation) I was down to 187 pounds (85 kgs). That was my weight just after Thanksgiving. The Christmas cheer has bumped me back up to 189 pounds, but that feels about right for now.
The key for me has been to learn not to overeat. It doesn't matter what I eat as long as I don't overdo it. I make intelligent choices and most of my diet is whole food. I eat bread daily (I avoided bread for years -- only binging on weekends with pizza) and eat hamburgers, pizza, ice cream, etc. when I want it. I no longer eat the entire tub though and my desire for "junk" food has decreased significantly.
I have found that moderation works just as well as any of the previous restrictive diets I lived by, only now I feel free. I've felt free of dietary stress for nearly two years now and I highly recommend it for everyone.
I once thought I was "right" about eating healthy. I thought I had the answers. I was wrong. I still don't have it all figured out, and my views could change dramatically if the evidence to do so is compelling enough. Until then, I'll do what works with science as my guide instead of the pseudoscientific dietary advice from some self-promoting health guru.
Note: Some people must avoid certain foods for medical reason. Example: Those with celiac disease must avoid gluten of risk serious health consequences. Obviously, for these people, moderation of gluten is not an option.