- There is no such thing as a goal-specific diet. Instead, the same diet plan can be used to gain or lose weight.
- You should keep track of your daily caloric intake.
- It is best to follow a diet plan that goes with your health needs and goals.
- Your diet plan should include essential nutrients and minerals.
- Don’t fall for quick-fix or one-time result diet plans.
We all have heard the famous phrase ‘you are what you eat.’
Evidence from different studies has shown that the correct eating pattern and minimal physical activity help you achieve a healthy lifestyle.
When it comes to eating, the first thing pops up in most people’s minds is the diet plan.
However, there are different diet lifestyles, each with its benefits and downside.
With so many diet plans available, it gets confusing and overwhelming to pick the proper dietary needs for yourself.
It is because there’s so much to consider when selecting a diet regime.
So we have discussed four of the most popular dietary plans, with their benefits and risks associated.
Breaking The Diet Stereotype
A common myth about Diets is goal-specific diets.
For example, the keto diet is often associated with weight loss, and a high-protein diet is for bulking or muscle gain.
Truth be told, none of the diets are the be-all, end-all for your lifestyle (body/health needs).
In other words, a Ketogenic diet can also be used to increase muscle mass and vice versa.
There is no such thing as a diet type better than the other one.
You can use any diet to achieve your health goals.
The key is to prioritize your caloric need first.
For example, if you want to lose weight, you should be in a calorie deficit – burn more calories than you are consuming – and vice versa for bulking.
Then, once you get the required calories, it’s easy to choose a diet style that suits your preferences.
You can also consult a professional dietician, nutritionist, or instructor on which diet style to follow.
Top Diet Styles with Benefits & Risks
With more people switching to healthier lifestyles today, there are several diet types. Be it bulking, cutting, maintaining, or becoming fit, what you eat plays a significant role.
So it’s essential to understand different diet styles – what they include, their positive and negative effects on our body.
Some common diet types include:
- Intermittent fasting
- Ketogenic diet
- Mediterranean diet
- Paleo diet
- Gluten-free diet
- Raw food diet
- Alkaline diet
- Teatoxes & Cleanses diet
Here we are going to discuss the top four diet styles.
1. Ketogenic Diet
Popularly known as the ‘Keto diet’ – the ketogenic diet is a low-carb and high-fat diet.
The Keto diet was primarily designed for weight loss.
It keeps the body in a constant state of ketosis – a metabolic state where the body burns fats instead of carbs.
Our body uses carbohydrates (sugar) as its primary source of energy.
The Ketogenic diet forces our body to use fats as primary energy by limiting carb consumption.
The Keto diet emphasizes on consumption of 65-75% fats, 20-30% proteins, and only 5% carbs daily.
Although the Keto diet gained significant popularity as a weight-loss diet, it isn’t that effective.
To shed weight, your calorie out count should be more than calorie in.
New studies on the keto diet have claimed that caloric intake remains the same as our regular diet routine, questioning the effectiveness of keto diets.
What It Involves?
As the keto diet focuses on increased fat consumption, it includes food like:
- Meat & poultry
- Nuts & seeds
- Coconut & olive oil
- Greek Yoghurt
- It may prevent the risk of heart diseases.
- The Keto diet is claimed to treat respiratory illness and cancer.
- This diet is also helpful in preventing seizures in kids who have epilepsy.
- The ketogenic diet is believed to be effective for weight loss and cutting.
- This diet is best for people with little or no physical activity.
- The calorie intake remains the same.
- Low carbohydrates are not suitable for a healthy and fit body.
- It involves food containing saturated and trans-saturated fats that may negatively impact heart health.
2. Intermittent Fasting
Intermittent fasting is also known as IF, and is one of the social media sensations.
You must have seen many celebrities and influencers speaking about intermittent fasting.
So what this diet plan is?
Intermittent fasting is not a diet plan rather an eating strategy.
It focuses on consuming food within a set period and then fasting for the rest of the day.
By doing this, the body burns the calories and prevents intake more.
You can take zero-calorie beverages like black coffee, sparkling water, or herbal teas during your fasting period.
There are different approaches to intermittent fasting like 8:16, 16:20, 10:16, 16:10, or 6:20 (in hours). It indicates your eating time vs. fasting period.
The most common approach is the 8:16 hour approach.
What It Involves?
As IF is an eating strategy, you can eat anything. But you must keep the calories count 500 (for women) and 600 (for men). You can take:
- Two scrambled eggs with hams in the breakfast (that will give you 300 calories).
- A meal of grilled fish and vegetables in the next portion (between 200 to 300 calories).
- Intermittent fasting is very effective in weight loss as it reduces caloric intake and burns more fats.
- It is effortless to follow.
- It improves insulin resistance while stabilizing the blood sugar levels.
- It reduces oxidative stress on body cells.
- Prevent risks of strokes.
- You can enjoy your favorite foods without gaining extra weight.
- It may cause irritability, headaches, and dizziness.
- Intermittent fasting often causes dehydration and vitamin deficiency.
- It may cause trouble sleeping.
3. Paleo Diet
Paleo diet or the ‘caveman diet’ is a diet style that focuses mainly on meat products.
It is not wrong to call it a carnivore diet.
The diet plan involves prehistoric or paleolithic foods.
It means that it excludes all processed foods, dairy products, grains, refined sugar, potatoes, legumes, and salt.
What It Involves?
- Lean Meat and seafood
- Vegetables other than potato
- Nuts and seeds
- Paleo is efficient for weight loss.
- It may improve blood pressure and blood markers.
- The Paleo diet lowers the triglycerides in the blood and improves glucose tolerance.
- As the paleo diet doesn’t involve whole grains, it might make it prone to severe cardiovascular diseases.
- There is no hard evidence available on the effectiveness and benefits of the paleo diet.
4. Mediterranean Diet
A diet beneficial for heart health, also known as the “Heart-healthy diet” – the Mediterranean diet is an exciting food plan.
It got its name from the food it involves.
This diet plan is inspired by the people of the mediterranean sea like turkey, Spain, Lebanon, Greece, Italy, and others.
This diet focuses on eating basic healthy food with a touch of Mediterranean flavors.
What It Involves?
- Meat and poultry
- Dairy, eggs, and cheese
- Fruits and vegetables
- Whole grains, beans, legumes
- Nuts and seeds
- Fish and other seafood
- Olive oil
- The Mediterranean diet is eco-friendly.
- It promotes overall good health.
- The diet may prevent cancer and diabetes.
- It reduces inflammatory markers in the blood.
- It promotes heart and mental health.
- It is a very balanced yet flavourful diet.
- Most food items and flavors are expensive.
- There are no specific guidelines that might confuse people.
- It may lead to nutrient deficiency.
How to Choose The Right Diet Plan For YOU?
Choosing a diet plan, especially without a professional, can be a challenging task.
But, the good news is that it’s not impossible.
You can easily pick the diet plan that suits your health needs & goals by asking few simple questions.
Here are the four questions that you should ask yourself before starting a weight loss or healthy diet approach:
- Can you follow the diet plan in the long run?
- Does the diet plan provide a quick fix rather than a long-lasting benefit?
- Whether the diet plan promotes your overall health?
- Is the diet approach safe to follow?
It is a good thing to follow a healthy diet. It reduces the risk of many severe diseases and improves the quality of life.
However, you shouldn’t forget that food is the fuel of your body. It impacts our body weight, energy levels, and vital organs like the brain and heart.
Our bodies require specific amounts of nutrients, proteins, carbs, and fats to work properly. So nutrition should be an essential part of your diet lifestyle.
Choose a diet plan that works for your health preferences & goals. It is better to consult your dietician or physician regarding the diet plan you plan to follow