With all the popular diets out there, here is a little summary of a few, with pros ands cons listed for each. Just FYI if u are thinking about any of these.
1. Intermittent Fasting: Not your typical 3 meals 2 snacks regimen. Times are set for eating, followed by an extended period of fasting. Examples include: you eat 5 days a week then fast for 2 days (eating only 500-600 calories) OR there is an 8 hour eating period followed by a 16hr fast.
Pros: reduces total calorie intake for week, thus resulting in weight loss and reduces insulin levels which helps the body store fat after you eat
Cons: hunger equals moodiness; can mess with your blood sugar levels and metabolism; not good if you are diabetic
2. Vegan diet: This diet consist of grains, fruits, veggies, legumes, nuts and vegetable oils. Very healthy and clean diet if done correctly.
Pros: can be one of the best diet but has to be planned out carefully; very clean diet; low in sodium, saturated fat, and full of vitamins and nutrients.
Cons: if not well planned can be void of a lot of nutrients. (B12 and D, and Iron). must get in protein sources each meal, using things such as soy, protein powders, nuts, and legumes, whole grains.
3. Low Carb Diets: This diet eliminates or restricts sugar and carbohydrates.
Pros: when u cut carbs u retain less fluid, thus increasing in weight loss, as well as really reducing your calorie intake as well.
Cons: diet basically made up of fats and protein, thus a high intake of cholesterol and saturated fat. You may see your blood lipids skyrocket. Also eliminating food groups means eliminating nutrients, such as B vitamins in whole grains, and calcium in milk.
4. Paleo diet: This diet only allows foods that can be hunted, gathered or fished. It eliminates processed and junk foods, and allows grass fed meats, wild fish, poultry eggs, nuts fruit and veggies.
Pros: all allowed foods which are all high in nutrients fiber and protein. Very clean and healthy diet.
Cons: cuts grains so can be lower in carbohydrates and can cut out some vitamins. Good idea to take a multivitamin and make sure getting in at least 130 g carbs a day. Also can be very hard for people to follow and stick with.
5. Detox and Cleanses: this diet gets rid of the build up of toxins. Wide variety of these diets that range from 3 to 21 days.
Pros: quick weight loss and people report a sense of healing, cleansing and renewed sense of health.
Cons: not a long term weight loss, plus u wont have the energy to exercise.
- Pick a diet that will work for you and is overall healthy. Pick something u can stick with. Everyones likes and schedules are different.
- Never pick a diet that is so restricted in calories and nutrients that u can’t work out. RED FLAG!
- If eliminating food groups make sure you are eating a wide variety of fruits and vegetables, and taking a multi vitamin.
- If sticking with a lower carb diet, make sure u are getting in at least 130 g carbohydrates.
- Any diet should have at least 1200 calories for women and 1500 for men.
- Any diet in the pill form is a bad idea. If anything sounds too good to be true, it is!
Estelle L. Benoit, RD, LDN
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