Did getting into your swimsuit motivate you to think about dieting? If so, here are a handful of popular diets and the ‘skinny’ on their effectiveness (along with other considerations).
The Mediterranean diet comes from countries that border the Mediterranean Sea and while each country eats slightly differently, they share the following characteristics:
Overall, this diet is generally effective at weight control and popular because it is easy to follow. People from the Mediterranean area seem to live longer with less cancer and cardiovascular disease.
>READ: WHY A LOW CARB DIET PLAN DOESN’T WORK
The flexitarian plan is similar to the Mediterranean diet but is even more plant-based (vegetables and fruits) with less overall meat … but it does allow the occasional indulgence of your choice of meat.
Because this diet is largely vegetarian, it’s characteristics are:
Overall, vegetarians tend to weigh less so this diet is a good choice for losing weight and weight control.
>READ: VEGAN-UARY: ONE OMNIVORE’S TAKE ON GOING VEGAN
The Keto Diet is a very high fat, low carbohydrate diet so bring on the bacon! Getting most of your calories from fat forces your body to get its energy by burning fat. This is called the ketosis state.
Overall, while ketosis is thought to potentially have brain-protecting effects and this diet can lead to short term weight loss, its limits on carbohydrates are hard to maintain for most people. The high fat nature of the diet is also concerning as to whether it is safe over time.
>READ: ARE WHOLE GRAINS A CANCER PREVENTING FOOD? KETO/PALEO MAY NOT BE YOUR FRIEND
A “limited engagement” diet, Whole30 is designed to cut out certain food groups in order to reboot your eating habits and cravings. The eating plan spans 30 days and requires cutting out many foods for the month.
Overall, this diet may provide fairly quick weight loss, but is unlikely to be sustainable as most people return to their previous eating habits after 30 days.
>READ: HOW TO BREAK SUGAR CRAVINGS ONCE AND FOR ALL!
Fasting is used in conjunction with a process called autophagy, (your body’s way of eliminating damaged, dying or dead cells from the body so that the body is better able to generate new ones).
Fasting creates stress on the body which prompts the body to clear away deteriorated cells and make way for new ones. This same process occurs with exercise, which causes small muscle tears.
Most fasting is intermittent. This means going 12 to 18 hours without food or nutrients a couple of days per week. In addition to triggering autophagy which is helpful, most fasters tend to take in fewer calories overall, resulting in weight loss or control.
>READ: AUTOPHAGY FASTING: IS IT THE SECRET TO WEIGHT LOSS AND LONGEVITY?
As you can see, some of these popular diets are shorter-term and some are designed to be followed for a lifetime. Choose a diet that works best for your preferences and lifestyle. The more you like your diet, the easier it will be to follow and the more likely it is to help you sustain a healthy weight.
>READ: WHY GOOD NUTRITION LOOKS DIFFERENT AFTER 50
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>READ: WOULD YOU BENEFIT FROM THE NORDIC DIET?