So what diet do I think is the best ?
NONE OF THEM !
Sorry if I got your hopes up
Did it ever occur to you how many “diets” there actually are ? If one worked best , there would be no need to find another, right ?
Think about this
It takes just as long to walk out of the woods as it did to walk in…
You did not get where you are right now overnight and you will not get out overnight either. In reality there are no short cuts. You can’t undo a lifetime of unhealthy eating habits in a few weeks or short cut it by cutting this out , or that out or not eating. No short cut . no miracle diet , pill , shake , ‘ calorie amount “ or elimination of a macronutrient group( carbohydrates , fat and protein are macronutrients ) will make you healthier in the long run.
Below , I have listed some of the most popular diets. And yes some people have had short term success with some of these . But by and large , none of them are viable long term solutions to making you healthier. At some point … you have to learn the habits , un cover why you ate the way you did .. otherwise you will be one cookie , cake, pie or bag of chip away from relapse , a binge ..and repeating past mistakes.
So let’s take a look at some common fad diets
Let’s start with one of the more popular diets right now. I group Keto and Atkins together because they’re very similar. Why are Keto/ Atkins bad , for starters your body needs carbohydrates for energy . Sure you ‘ll lose weight initially , but you will also feel tired and sluggish a lot .Leaning too much towards meats and fats ( especially when its blindly thinking every meat is safe for your “ diet” , Sorry bacon I love you , but regular bacon is a treat not a dietary staple ) with high fat content can lead to high cholesterol and other heart diseases with or without adequate exercise interventions .Going into ketosis has also been associated with negative side effects such as nausea, headaches, mental fatigue, bad breath, and sometimes dehydration and dizziness. Compound that with, if your someone at risk for diabetes or have a very unhealthy lifestyle that includes smoking ,excessive drinking , going for a full keto lifestyle can lead to a dangerous condition called ketoacidosis. Some symptoms include , hyperglycemia , excessive thirst , excessive urinating , vomiting, and shortness of breath. There have been no long term studies on the effects of Ketogenic diets. Possible long term side effects that have been identified include kidney damage , nutritional deficiencies, constipation and dehydration. If you remember Atkins was a hugely popular a decade ago, it too faded for similar reasons.
Ahh, The zone diet, which promotes an un balanced amount of carbohydrates to fats and proteins. This diet has the opposite problem of Keto or Atkins . Unless your exercising a lot or a seasoned athlete , over loading your diet with too many carbohydrates will actually lead to weight gain. You should probably stay out of the zone .
Next up , vegetarian / vegan “diet “ which can be severely flawed. Please don’t get me wrong both as lifestyles are fantastic for your health and I applaud anyone with the discipline to do so . But when one switches to vegetarianism or veganism without proper research , in an effort to just lose weight , it can lead to a deficiency in protein . With both lifestyles , research has to be done to know what plants have proteins and which ones pair together to make complete proteins in your diet . With either diet or lifestyle , you need to learn how to eat a well-balanced diet including Protein , whether it’s from plant or animal sources. It is the building block of your body , you need it regularly in your diet.
The South beach diet isn’t altogether horrible , but can be easily abused . It is a lower carb diet that turns into a higher carb diet while trying to eliminate meats and nuts. This creates a problem of it being tougher to follow and as with many of the above diets , could very well lead to nutritional deficiencies .
The Raw diet is based on not cooking food and just eating fruits , vegetables and grains.. raw. What could be wrong with that ? Your oven gets a break !. Sorry even our ancestors cooked on fire . It is un sustainable because it does not contain an adequate amount of many essential nutrients, such as protein, iron, calcium, vitamin B12, and more.Cooking does not make food toxic but instead makes some foods more digestible. Cooking also boosts some nutrient availability, like beta-carotene and lycopene, and kills bacteria, which helps you avoid food poisoning. There is no scientific evidence that raw foods prevent illness.
Of all the fad diets , the Mediterranean close to the best. The problem lies with its lack of structure . How much protein , carbohydrates and fats ? Without some form of guidance , you can under/over eat. Without structure , we struggle . It also strongly encourages 1 to 2 glasses of wine a day , which is not recommended for anyone on any sort of medications.
Paleo and the Whole 30 are both very similar, both containing rules of eliminating foods they deem unhealthy. There rules suggest eliminating foods such as peanuts or peanut butter, soy foods, such as soy milk, tofu, or edamame, tomatoes ,hummus, beans of any kind, Grains, such as oats, wheat, barley, rice ,Starchy vegetables, such as potatoes and corn are all deemed unhealthy. That list alone Is exhausting .The fact is there is no solid conclusive data stating short term or long term side effects to eating the above mentioned foods. They all can be eaten safely, in moderation as a part of a well-balanced diet.
The Slim Fast diet is too nutrient deficient and too low in calories .It can help you lose weight initially . But when it comes time to return to regular eating, there is no structured plan to ease you back or make sure you eat the right amount or the right foods. And no staying on slim fast for life is not a good option, as you need to eat real solid foods and get additional nutrients
Prepackaged food systems such as Jenny Craig or Nutri System don’t deliver enough nutrients in your diet . Being pre made, they are loaded with sodium and other additives to preserve the food, which long term are not healthy for your body. The plan itself can also get very costly and is very unsustainable for the average person. Its convivence is also an issue , as you must have a place to heat the food in order to eat where ever you are.
So yeah the best diet? As you can see, none of them. Each one leads you to completely eliminating or restricting too much of a certain food group , lack structure or is just unhealthy for your body long term .What it comes down to is our body needs carbohydrates, fats and proteins to survive, have energy and for our bodies to function optimally. What happens with these diets is they just restrict you in some way shape or form , depriving you of something your body needs and what happens when we come off these diets we open the flood gates and we end up binging on the food we were restricted from . It’s a vicious cycle .So in fact, It’s better to learn more about your habits and developing new healthy eating pattern, then it is to take one fad diet ,do it, maybe reach desired result , try to eat normally again, struggle ,Eat like crap and then find another fad diet . There has to be a better way .
It just so happens , there is .
That better way ? Learning how to eat mindfully , make healthy portions without measuring , weighing and fancy containers . Learning to understand why you might binge on Oreos , not just because there in the house , or maybe you’re not hungry at all. Learning to eat , how much more intuitively, your triggers. This is the healthy sustainable way.
Repeated stop and start fad dieting is just prolonging the process. Take the time now .do it the right way , and be set for life.