Feeling confused about which diet is for you? So is most of the world… For decades, we are told that fat is bad, then suddenly it’s good. Alcohol has had a reputation as something to avoid and now there are reports arguing that wine is good for your heart and overall longevity. Chocolate was once a villain and now a superfood, and there’s a debate whether to consider coffee hazardous to your heath or a wondrous anti-oxidant. No wonder it is so hard to determine which diet is the one for your body’s specific needs.
The popularity of diets has come and go and a few seem to be like recycled versions of others. To be frank, there is no one diet that is going to change your life forever. You must be intelligent when it comes to eating. Avoid foods that aren’t real foods and be mindful regarding what you put into your body. A lot comes down to common sense. Eating bacon cheeseburgers without the bun, taking a weight loss supplement before a bad meal, or living on vegetables alone is not going to be a long-term diet solution.
Let’s explore which diets we all know about and how they are different…
1. The Atkins Diet
Atkins Diet was developed by the cardiologist, Dr. Atkins. He limited his patients’ intake of sugar and carbohydrates and essentially unlimited protein and fat. The Atkins Diet limits carbohydrates (sugar), so the body burns fat for fuel. There is restriction of many fruits and vegetables on this plan because of their carbohydrate content.
2. The Ketogenic Diet
Ketogenic Diet is a high fat, moderate protein, and very low carbohydrate diet. Through the restriction of carbohydrates, the idea is to re-program your metabolism to burn fat for fuel rather than the sugar from carbohydrates. This allows your fat cells to begin releasing fatty acids, which your liver will breakdown to produce “ketones. (It’s different than the Atkins Diet in that it’s more restrictive and precise). The principles of the ketogenic diet are based on eating a specific percentage of macronutrients: high fats(60%), adequate protein (35%), and low carbohydrates (5%). These force the body to use what are called “ketone bodies” for energy.
3. The South Beach Diet
South Beach Diet was developed by cardiologist, Arthur Agatston. For the first two weeks, you are not allowed to eat bread, potatoes, rice, pasta, baked goods, fruit, sugar or consume alcohol. At the next level carbohydrates are added slowly but it is still important that weight loss continues. In the third phase, when the goal in terms of body weight has been reached, carbohydrates like fruits and vegetables can be added. This is like a modified Atkins Diet, although it does allow more variety and grains.
4. The Paleo Diet
Paleo Diet is based on the Caveman Diet. When you are following the Paleo Diet, you can eat anything that could be hunted or gathered in Paleolithic times. This includes meats, fish, nuts, leafy greens, regional veggies, and seeds. Dairy and grains are not allowed on this diet but you can obtain carbohydrates from potatoes, squash and starchy vegetables.
5. The Mediterranean Diet
Mediterranean Diet is rich in fruits and vegetables, beans and nuts, healthy grains, fish, olive oil, small amounts of meat and dairy, and red wine. This lifestyle also encourages daily exercise, sharing meals with others, and is known for being very beneficial for cardiovascular disease and anti-aging.
6. Intermittent Fasting
Intermittent Fasting can be done in several ways. It can be periods of fasting that last a day, several hours between meals, or done like the 5:2 Fast that was developed by Michael Mosley which he popularized in his book “The Fast Diet” which includes 5 days of regular eating and 2 semi fasting days where you can eat up to 500 calories each day (either spread out or all in one meal).
7. The Vegan Diet
Vegan Diet is one that consists of only plant-derived foods. Vegans don’t use or consume any animals or animal products including milk, eggs, or honey.
At this point you may be wondering which diet I follow.
The truth is, my approach is very balanced. Most of these diets have merit and I incorporate pieces of several of them into my everyday life. The base of my eating style is typically Mediterranean since I can always go for a beautiful piece of fish and fresh vegetables – but I’ll still probably mix in some intermittent fast days. Then once and a while I’ll go completely clean and vegetarian.
But you must know that everyone is different and should take that into consideration when looking at which diet is right for you. I often see wonderful outcomes with a Ketogenic or Paleo Diet for clients while others may prefer to eat more simply and avoid animal products all together. In the end, it’s about finding one that’s your preference and you can stick to as a lifestyle. When you feel like you are being restricted and it’s too difficult, it will never be sustainable.
For more information on determining your ideal diet and programs, you can contact our offices at firstname.lastname@example.org, or schedule a consultation with him today.