It seems we’re continually hearing about new diets and eating habits, each one guaranteed to help us drop those unwanted kilos and fit back into those too-tight jeans that are lurking at the back of the wardrobe. However, with so many different diets, and many people swearing by keto, while others swear by Atkins as the only way to go, how do you know which is the best?
In truth, there is no easy answer, and no diet is inherently better than another. This is because so much of a diet’s success depends on individual factors, so it is not about finding the best diet, but rather the best one for you. Let’s take a look at four of the most popular diets at the moment, and who they are best suited for.
The ketogenic, or keto diet has become immensely popular in recent years. It is centred around getting the majority of your daily calories from fats rather than carbohydrates, that puts your body in a state of ketosis, where it breaks down the body’s fat for energy. This means eating a diet heavy in natural fats (not processed fats), some protein, and very little carbohydrates, not even vegetables. The popularity of ketogenic diets has even extended beyond people: there is now keto dog food such as Visionarypet.
The keto diet is very effective in helping people to lose weight. It is also effective in reducing sugar intake and blood sugar levels, which can be very helpful for anyone looking to control their blood sugar like those at risk from Type 2 Diabetes.
This is a pretty strict diet, and some people find it difficult to stick to. Additionally it relies in being in a state of ketosis, which takes 14 days to achieve. This means that if you slip up it will take you another 14 days to get back into ketosis – so no cheat days allowed!
Pre-diabetics or people with good self-discipline who want to lose weight quickly.
High Protein Diets
There are a few popular diets that are based around a high intake of protein, and low carbohydrates, notably the Atkins diet and the South Beach diet. The premise is by limiting the amount of carbs you eat, your body accesses stored fat for energy, causing your to lose weight.
Research has shown high-protein, low-carb diets to be effective in helping people to lose weight. In particular, these kinds of diets are effective in reducing dangerous belly fat that can lodge around the organs and threaten your health.
Unfortunately, there is also scientific evidence that low carb diets could be harmful to health if maintained over the long term.
People how want to lose weight, but struggle with other diets, because high-protein and low-carb diets reduce your appetite, helping to reduce the urge to snack. Not recommended for long-term eating plan.
Not so much a diet as an eating problem, intermittent fasting is all about cycling between periods of eating and fasting, or not eating. Commonly, people follow intermittent fasting by eating only within eight hours every day, and fasting for the other 16 hours. This is an easy way to reduce the overall amount of calories consumed, helping you to lose weight. Fasting also lets your body regulate insulin levels in the blood, may reduce cholesterol, while boosting metabolism and avoiding the muscle loss experienced in other low-calorie diets.
Once you get into the habit of fasting, it’s easier than you think. Although healthy, balanced eating is recommended within your eight hour window, there are not particular rules or restrictions, making this easier to follow than other diets.
Fasting should be avoided by pregnant or breastfeeding women, children, teenagers, and anyone who is malnourished.
People who lack self-discipline to follow strict eating plans but can be organised enough to plan their meals within eight hours per day, and do not fall into any of the risk groups mentioned above.
Low Calorie Diet
The low calorie diet is probably the oldest and simplest kind of weight loss diet around. It involves simply limiting the numbers of calories consumed per day, usually around 1200 calories for women, and 1500 calories for men, depending on your age and level of activity. Generally, eating plans revolve around large volumes of vegetables and fruits, as well as some legumes, wholemeal carbs and lean proteins. By expending more energy than you consume, you will lose weight.
If you are able to follow the eating plan and stick to the recommended level of calories, you will lose weight. Additionally, if eating the kinds of foods mentioned above, you will be getting plenty of nutrients and vitamins, promoting better general health.
This requires a high level of discipline as well as rigorous calorie counting: it is easy to miscalculate or forget to count certain foods, which will mean you may not see the results you’re looking for. Excessive caloric restriction can also lead to muscle loss.
People with a high degree of discipline and organisation, who are looking for a healthy way to lose weight.