What’s the first thing that pops into your mind when you hear the word diet? For most people, it’s the thought of starving oneself to drop the excess pounds. However, that’s far from what it should be. In reality, diet doesn’t refer to abstaining from food but rather making smarter nutrition choices with the primary goal of improving one’s health. Sure, weight loss is a bonus, but it’s certainly not all that clean eating should be about. Nonetheless, the topic always creates a dilemma: Are diets truly beneficial, or are they nothing short of a scam? You’ll find out soon enough – here are the most popular diets explained.
The breakdown of the most popular diets
There are plenty of diets out there that include the use of turmeric, spirulina, green tea, and other superfoods. However, no matter what particular ingredients they promote, all fad diets have one thing in common: they promise rapid weight loss and health benefits. But is this the reality? Can they change your life for the better or just wreak havoc on your body? It’s hard to know without trying them.
The good news is that you don’t have to try them. Thanks to the information we have gathered, you will know everything there is to know about popular diets by the end of the article.
Low-carb diets have been around forever! They are the first choice of many, especially those interested in slimming down. While there are several variants, each of them is based on the same principle: keeping the intake of carbohydrates low. In some cases, as low as 20 grams per day! As far as proteins and fats go, there are no restrictions on how much is ok to consume. A good rule of thumb is to eat until you feel full.
But what’s the mechanism behind these diets? Well, it’s simple. Our bodies typically use carbs as the primary energy source. When this source is lacking, they turn to fats for fuel. By transforming fats into energy, our metabolism burns many calories, thus leading to fewer pounds and a slimmer waist.
Studies have shown that low-carb diets can be especially beneficial for people with diabetes, as they should avoid sugary foods. That’s not to say they can’t have a cup of juice from time to time. It’s just better to stick to those with less simple and more complex carbs.
Low-carb diets also decrease the risk of high blood pressure, triglycerides, and cholesterol. Still, they aren’t for everyone. In extremely rare cases, this kind of nutrition can cause a possibly fatal condition called non-diabetic ketoacidosis. Pregnant women at risk of developing the said condition and, as such, should avoid these kinds of diets altogether.
Paleo is definitely among the most popular diets out there, if not the most popular. Some people call it the caveman diet because it’s based on the notion that we should consume the same things our prehistoric ancestors did. The diet excludes heavily refined and processed products altogether and focuses on consuming whole foods, meat, vegetables, fruits, and nuts.
It’s been noted that people following this diet consume approximately 500 calories less than those who don’t. Additionally, if you think Paleo is the way to go, you’ll be happy to know that certain studies link it not only to weight loss but also a lower chance of developing heart disease and type 2 diabetes.
Despite many benefits, however, Paleo isn’t without flaws. It removes whole grains, dairy, and legumes from the menu, despite them being quite good for us.
Some could argue intermittent fasting isn’t a diet but rather a pattern of eating. And they may be correct since it’s all about switching between periods of eating and fasting. There are several types of intermittent fasting, including:
- 16/8 Fasting– Number 16 refers to sixteen hours of fasting, while number 8 refers to eight hours of eating. When following this pattern, you commit to skipping the first meal of the day.
- 5:2 method– Here, number 2 refers to two days of the week during which your calorie intake shouldn’t exceed 600 calories. On the remaining five days, you can eat anything you want. Just make sure the fasting days aren’t consecutive.
- Eat-stop-eat– This type includes 24 hours of fasting followed by a couple of days of eating. Whole-day fasting can be practiced either once or twice a week, but not on consecutive days.
Some dieticians and personal trainers like those at dubaipt.co consider intermittent fasting an excellent tool for getting in shape. Scientists believe that consuming food during specific time intervals can speed up our metabolism by up to 14%! Additionally, intermittent fasting induces autophagy. A naturally occurring process that helps our bodies deal with inflammation, repairs cells and ultimately prevents cancer and Alzheimer’s disease.
The vegan diet
Veganism is undoubtedly one of the most popular diets nowadays. Most people turn to it purely for ethical reasons since its goal is to stop animal cruelty. And while being vegan is similar to being vegetarian, the two differ slightly. Vegetarians eliminate meat from their diets but typically eat animal products such as eggs and dairy. On the other hand, these products, and all others originating from animals, are excluded from the vegan diet.
Veganism is linked to unintentional weight loss due to its followers usually consuming low-calorie plant-based foods. It also promotes lower blood pressure and decreases the risk of premature death due to heart issues.
Overall, becoming a vegan is a choice well-made, but you should still be cautious. If you opt for this lifestyle, beware that you can obtain certain nutrients only from animal products. To make up for the lack of these nutrients, vegans often require supplements such as calcium, zinc, iron, vitamin D, and vitamin B12.
Even though there are many popular diets, there still isn’t an ideal one. However, since nothing in life is perfect, we can’t expect diets to differ. When thinking about changing the way you eat, think about your goals first. Would you be doing it to lose weight or to improve your well-being? Either way, when combined with physical activity, such as yoga, the most popular diets can help you achieve both. Just remember, sticking to an eating plan totally can and should be enjoyable.