Which Diet Plan is Right For You?
A new year, a new you.
Ringing in the new year also means new resolutions and goals for most people. The popular focus around this time is usually weight loss, especially right after the holidays. But where do you start? There are so many diet and weight loss plans, it’s hard to know which one is right for you.
Did you know that only 25% of weight loss is from working out? The rest is based solely on your diet and what you eat. A diet does not necessarily mean counting calories or just drinking shakes all day. It means adapting to a new lifestyle that compliments your goals.
We accumulated a list of popular diet and lifestyle plans that may be right for you:
The Ketogenic Diet, also know as Keto, is a low-carb, high-fat diet that also offers many health benefits. This diet has become very popular over the past years, especially for losing weight. It involves drastically reducing carbohydrate intake and replacing it with fat. The reduction in carbs put your body in a metabolic state called ketosis.
With Ketosis, your body becomes very efficient at burning fat for energy. It also turns fat into ketones in the liver, which helps supply energy for the brain. Along with sufficient weight loss, this particular diet can cause massive reductions in blood sugar and insulin levels. While on the Keto diet, you will also notice this diet is so filling that you can lose weight without counting calories or tracking food intake.
Any food that is high in carbs should be limited. Those include sugary foods, grains or starches, fruit, beans or legumes, root vegetables, unhealthy processed fats, and alcohol. Majority of meals should include meat, fatty fish, eggs, butter and cream, cheese, nuts and seeds, healthy oils, avocados, and low-carb veggies.
Veganism is known more as a way of living. It excludes all forms of animal exploitation and cruelty, not just for food, but clothing and other purposes. The vegan diet is devoid of all animal products, including meat, eggs, and dairy. Along with improving health, many people turn to veganism for ethical and environmental reasons as well.
Vegan diets are known to help lose weight as well, as vegans tend to be thinner and have lower body mass index (BMI) than non-vegans. Food to avoid include meat and poultry, fish and seafood, dairy, eggs, bee products, and animal-based ingredients. Any animal flesh, byproducts, or foods containing an ingredient from animal origin are not to be consumed and rather replaced with plant-based foods and products.
A few plant-based foods include tofu, legumes, nuts, seeds, whole grains, fruits, and vegetables. However, some vegans find it difficult to eat enough nutrient-rich or fortified foods to meet their daily requirements. Including supplements in this diet can be very beneficial to receive the recommended nutrient intake as well. Consider supplements such as Vitamin B12, Vitamin D, Iron, Calcium, and Zinc.
What is Gluten? Gluten is a family of proteins found in wheat, barley, rye, and spelt. The name comes form the latin word for "glue", as it gives flour a sticky consistency when mixed with water.
A gluten-free diet involves excluding foods that contain gluten. This diet is specially designed for people with celiac disease and gluten sensitivity. However, it has also proven to help with weight loss and offer other health benefits. Eating gluten-free often causes you to eat more whole, unprocessed foods such as fruits, vegetables, legumes, and lean meats. Some people choose to follow this diet merely because it provides structure to eating healthier and adopting a healthy lifestyle.
However, remember it is important to consume a balanced diet, rich in fruits, vegetables, and legumes. Make sure your gluten-free choices are still 100 percent whole grain, such a buckwheat, quinoa, or brown rice rather than "gluten-free" labelled products. Nutrients tend to vary in those types of products, as they are often high in sugar and fat.
This diet is based on traditional foods that people used to eat in countries such as Italy and Greece back in 1960. Along with weight loss, this diet can help prevent heart attacks, strokes, type 2 diabetes, and premature death.
There is no particular right way to follow the Mediterranean diet, however there is a certain dietary pattern that suggests a healthy way of eating:
Eat: Vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, legumes, potatoes, whole grains, breads, herbs, spices, fish, seafood and extra virgin olive oil.
Eat in moderation: poultry, eggs, cheese and yogurt
Eat only rarely: red meat
Don’t eat: sugar-sweetened beverages, added sugars, processed meats, refined grains and oils, and highly processed foods
Try unhealthy foods and ingredients while on this diet. Those include soda, candies, white bread and pasta, trans fats, and anything labelled “low-fat” or “diet”.
Another diet based on history, this one is designed to resemble what human hunter-gatherer ancestors ate thousands of years ago. It consists of whole foods and leading physically active lives, while completely avoiding processed foods.
Foods encouraged to eat on this diet include: meat, fish, eggs, vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, herbs, spices, healthy fats, and oils. Also choose grass-fed and organic products. Foods to avoid include: processed foods, sugar, soft drinks, grains, most dairy products, legumes, artificial sweeteners, vegetable oils, margarine, and trans fats.
The paleo diet is different for most people. Some people choose a low-carb diet high in animals foods, while others follow a high-carb diet with lots of plants.
Intermittent fasting has become a very popular trend in recent years. It can cause weight loss and improve metabolic health. There are several types of intermittent fasting, but the general idea involves fasting during certain times of the day or week. It is also important to eat healthy as well, as calories still count and food quality is absolutely crucial.
The most popular method is the 16/8 method. This involves fasting every day for 14 to 16 hours and restricting your daily “eating window” to 8-10 hours. Within the eating window, you can fit in 2, 3, or more meals. It is as simple as not eating anything after dinner and skipping breakfast. For example, if you finish your last meal at 8pm, and don’t eat until noon the next day, you’re technically fasting for 16 hours.
Other methods include the 5:2 diet - fasting for 2 days per week, alternate day fasting - fasting every other day, and the warrior diet - fasting during the day and eating a huge meal at night.
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