In terms of weight loss, "the perfect diet" is an individual thing—what works for one person might not work for another. But as I've shared on HGS before, my personal easy way to lose weight is to not eat dinner.
If I stop eating in the later afternoon I find I can eat quite a lot during the day and still drop pounds, and because I eat whatever I want during the day I don't feel deprived and am able to get all the nutrients my body needs.
Now nutrition experts usually say that when you eat doesn't matter, that it's all about calories in compared to calories out, so I was happy to get some validation from a new study done in Spain: Two groups of people were put on weight loss plans with a Mediterranean diet type menu. One group of people called the "early eaters" had their main meal before 3, and the other group, the "late eaters," ate their main meal after that.
At the end of a twenty week study period, the early eaters lost more weight than the late eaters (an average of 22 and 17 pounds, respectively). Plus the early eaters lost weight more rapidly. The study was published in the International Journal of Obesity and the LA Times has the details.
Although the study subjects' weight loss wasn't just about timing, because they were also on a diet program, I've found that timing alone works for me if I'm just looking to drop a few pounds after a holiday or vacation. So if you're looking to lose weight and eat healthy at the same time, my "don't eat dinner" plan might be the perfect diet for you. Since it's not about food restriction, you get to eat a full range of foods and don't wind up deprived or undernourished.
More on how to eat healthy and lose weight: