Different Diets And What You Need To Know About Them
With the fast-paced life we are leading, it comes as no surprise that a lot of us are struggling with weight issues that come about because of bad dietary habits. When there is simply no time to even think about your next meal, let alone prepare it yourself, you are often forced to turn to fast food and unhealthy sugary snacks in hopes that they will boost your energy for a short time. What this leads to, in the long term, is not only unnecessary pounds but health issues and it can cost you your general well-being.
Consequently, many of us turn to dieting in an attempt to remedy the situation. And there is no doubt that nowadays, there are a myriad of different diets, all promising better and faster results than the previous one. What’s important to keep in mind, though, is that each of us is different and what works for one person might not do the same for the other, not to mention that many of these temporary diets are also just temporary solutions, at times even dangerous to your health, and once you think you’ve succeeded and switch back to your previous lifestyle, the pounds come back sooner than later.
Therefore, you need to inform yourself well before committing to a diet and expecting results that might not come. Here is a list of different diets and the things you need to know about them.
While it is true that most people on a vegan diet have made this decision due to personal preference and ethical beliefs, a vegan diet can actually help weight loss at the same time. While a lot of people might think that with a vegan diet, you will constantly feel hungry, the fact of the matter is that low-fat and high-fiber food, that is very present in a vegan diet, will actually make you feel fuller for longer, cutting down on unnecessary snacking and, ultimately, your weight. What you need to keep in mind, though, is that the lack of animal products might prevent you from getting enough of several vitamins and nutrients (including Vitamin B12 and vitamin D, as well as iron, zinc and so on), which means you have to make sure to get these from elsewhere. The added benefit of this diet is that it has been shown to reduce the risk of heart disease and type 2 diabetes.
Low carb diet
Carbohydrates are often painted in a bad light, and many people fear them, believing that they are the root of all evil when it comes to weight gain. Nevertheless, there is nothing inherently bad about carbs, other than the fact that we usually tend to overconsume them. While cutting them out completely is not necessary, or healthy, for that matter, reasonably limiting your intake can help in weight loss. You are supposed to eat plenty of protein and fat on this type of diet, and with reduced carbs, your body will use fat as fuel instead of sugar that it gains from the carbs. For some people, a low carb diet works well, while for others, it simply does not. If you’re in the latter category, don’t force yourself.
Continuing within the same topic but in a rather different direction, just as we mentioned a little earlier that carbs are not inherently bad, there are even diets that emphasize that not all carbs are created equal and put an emphasis on them as the means of losing weight. In fact, complex carbohydrates found in whole-wheat products and fruits, for instance, are good for you. The body needs different levels of energy for different activities, and this provides the base for the carb cycling meal plan that is set to aid weight loss while helping you build lean muscle through exercise. Alternating between high-, low- and no-carb days throughout the week has proven beneficial for those who had exactly these goals in mind.
There has been a myth that eating grapefruit before other foods helps burn fat. The recommendations for this diet, besides having grapefruit with every meal, include eating less sugar and carbs, taking in lots of protein and a few other things. Nevertheless, studies have confirmed that this fruit does not have this effect, so there is no good reason to stock up on grapefruits just yet. In addition, grapefruit is one of those foods that can, unknowingly, interfere with a slew of medications, so if you’re taking any of those, think twice before falling for this fad.
Another one of those words that people wanting to lose weight fear to even pronounce is “fat”. However, going on an ultra-low-fat diet may not be the best decision. Taking in less than 10% of your calories in the form of fats, as this diet prescribes, has proven to be beneficial for obese individuals and it reduced the risk of heart disease, helped with high blood pressure and high cholesterol. However, this diet is not really viable as it is hard to stick to, not to mention that fats play so many important roles in our body that cutting them off might help you in some things but cause problems on another front at the same time.
NHS weight loss plan
A good example of a diet that is more of a dietary plan that should be implemented in your lifestyle is the weight loss plan by the NHS. This diet does not restrict any foods, but it puts an emphasis on healthy meals, smaller portions and regular eating – therefore, you will not experience hunger or guilt at all. What this leads to is “sustainable” weight loss, such that will not yo-yo back as soon as you stop doing it; especially because you will carry on eating this way even after reaching your goal. The idea is basically that healthy eating is the priority.
Intermittent fasting is somewhat of a buzzword in the world of dieting, but is it really a good choice? There are various ways of intermittent fasting, ranging from restrictions such as picking two days a week when you’re going to restrict your calorie intake to 500 calories, or only eating during 8 hours a day and fasting during the other 16 hours, and while it has shown results, it is not for everyone. It affects a slew of things in your body, inducing all kinds of changes from increased growth hormone production through reduced insulin resistance, reduced bad cholesterol levels all the way to extending your lifespan, but at the same time, you may feel weak and that can affect your work and personal life. In any case, you should consult with your doctor to get the most out of this effective weight loss method.
Raw food diet
A raw food diet places focus on consuming unprocessed, plant-based foods and drinks at least 75% of the time. While this all sounds great, this diet actually carries too many risks. Not only are there lots of foods you have to be cautious about when eating raw, some vegetables are also better and more beneficial for you when they are cooked. So, all in all, regardless of the potential weight loss and the potentially clearer skin this diet may bring, the raw food diet as it is might not be the best choice.
One of those low-carbohydrate diets, the Atkins diet’s focus is to control insulin levels through reducing carb intake, while increasing protein and fat intake is encouraged. With 4 phases, this diet aims to create lasting results. The first phase involves very limited carb intake, which is then gradually increased during the second phase while you are monitoring your weight and fine-tuning your carb intake during the third phase until you stop losing weight. Finally, the 4th phase focuses on maintenance, ultimately leading to this becoming your new forever-diet. This diet won’t have you starving as it can involve anything from bacon through fatty fish, eggs to full-fat dairy products, but you need to watch what foods you are supposed to avoid. These are foods such as grains, sugar and legumes (and some fruits during the first phase). The early phases can involve negative side effects, so, again, it’s best to talk to your doctor about this.
As you can see, to truly reach the results that you want, there is a lot you need to take into account. Not only does a “perfect” diet not exist, since everyone has their individual needs, there are also health concerns to be mindful of. A “diet” should not be something you do for two weeks or a month, your diet should be a component of your lifestyle, adjusted to your needs and persisting even after you’ve reached your weight goal in order to keep you healthy and fit. Think about which of these dietary changes could benefit you and consult with your doctor or a nutritionist to make sure your weight loss is not at the expense of your health.
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