5 Trending Diets… Will They Help You Lose Weight, And Are They Right For you?


New Years is just around the corner, and a majority of us will be making a New Year’s Resolution to lose weight in 2019.

Let’s take a look at some popular diets…

We’ve all been here before… we make plans to go to the gym, and troll through the internet getting confused as we look for the best diet to follow.

Keto, Paleo, Whole30, IIFYM, Vegetarian and Vegan, are all popular diets many of us will come across on our Google adventures, but which one is the best one to lose weight? And which one is the right one for you?

Let’s take a quick look at each of these diets and help you decide…

Ketogenic Diet Keto

#1 : Ketogenic Diet

The ketogenic (aka keto) diet is a high-fat, moderate protein and very low-carbohydrate diet that focuses on weight loss. On this diet, your calorie breakdown of macronutrients is 70-75% fat, 20-25% protein, and 5-10% carbohydrates.

The idea behind this diet is that when you remove carbohydrates from your diet, your body goes into the state of ketosis. This is where the liver produces ketones to fuel your body in place of glucose, switching the body from burning carbohydrates (glucose) to burning fat (ketones).

A Keto diet includes meat, seafood, eggs, natural fats, high-fat dairy and berries, but eliminates most fruits, grains, starches, root vegetables, beans and legumes, sugar/sweeteners, some oils, alcohol, low fat dairy, processed foods and limits other foods such as nuts and seeds.

Some evidence suggests that Ketogenic diets are very effective for weight loss and can help you lose fat, preserve muscle mass and improve many markers of disease.

Benefits

  • Can help reset insulin sensitivity.
  • Suppresses appetite/enhances satiety.
  • May aid in weight loss, especially initially.
  • Eliminates many unhealthy processed foods.
  • Information and support groups are readily available.

Disadvantages

  • Can be hard to adapt to.
  • Cuts out / limits foods groups.
  • Eating out and social events can be difficult.
  • Nutrient deficiencies will require supplementation.
  • Requires macronutrient tracking.

Paleo Diet

#2 : Paleo Diet

The Paleo diet is founded on the principle of returning to what early humans used to eat in the Paleolithic era.

A Paleo diet includes meats, seafood, non-starchy vegetables, low-sugar fruits, most nuts, eggs and plant-based oils but strictly eliminates grains, starchy vegetables, legumes and beans, dairy, sugars, alcohol and processed foods.

By removing processed foods and additives from all daily meals, many people on the Paleo diet have reported experiencing improvements in body composition with the increase of muscle mass and decrease of body fat, and an increase in energy and metabolism.

Benefits

  • Eliminates additives, preservatives and chemicals found in many processed foods.
  • Does not require counting calories.
  • Anti-inflammatory benefits.
  • Suppresses appetite/enhances satiety.
  • Can aid in weight loss due to limiting unhealthy food choices.
  • Information and support groups are readily available.

Disadvantages

  • Can be hard to adapt to.
  • Cuts out / limits foods groups.
  • Eating out and social events can be difficult.
  • Vitamin D and calcium deficiency may require supplementation.
  • Can be difficult for vegetarians.

#3 : Whole30 Diet

The Whole30 program is a short-term elimination diet which encourages eating foods as close to their original whole food source as possible.

For 30 days, it eliminates foods that are considered inflammatory in order to “reset” your body.

Whilst the Whole30 diet has a lot in common with the Paleo diet, it requires the dieter to follow the diet religiously for 30 days, as any cheating is said to ruin the elimination reset which may help you identify if you have any food sensitivities.

The Whole30 diet includes vegetables, fruits, seafood, eggs, unprocessed meats and some oils, whilst eliminating dairy, beans and legumes, grains, added sugars/sweeteners, soy, alcohol and processed foods.

The Whole30 was not designed for weight-loss, yet it’s focus on wholesome foods has meant plenty of people have lost weight on Whole30, even though it’s not the purpose of the program.

Benefits

  • Can help identify what foods are causing ailments.
  • Anti-inflammatory benefits.
  • Includes eating lots of vegetables.
  • May aid in weight loss.
  • Eliminates unhealthy processed foods.
  • No calorie or macronutrient counting.
  • Information and support groups are readily available.

Disadvantages

  • Must be followed thoroughly.
  • Cuts out / limits foods groups.
  • Eliminates many healthy foods.
  • Eating out and social events can be difficult.
  • Nutrient deficiencies will require supplementation.
  • Involves lots of preparation.

IIFYM Diet

#4 IIFYM / If It Fits Your Macros

IIFYM is a type of flexible dieting that focuses on macronutrients rather than calories.

By tracks macronutrients, protein, fat and carbohydrates, instead of calories, it is suppose to allow the dieter more flexibility in their diet as all foods can be enjoyed as long as they fit into your macronutrient goals for the day.

The IIFYM diet involves determining how many grams of protein, carbohydrates and fat you need each day in order to meet your weight goals, then tracking your food in order to stay within the requirements.

By establishing daily macronutrient goals that create a calorie deficit, and by using tracking to stick to those goals, many people who have followed the IIFYM plan have lost weight and become fans of the diet.

Benefits

  • Can be modified for weight lose or gain goals.
  • Allows for all foods.
  • Does not eliminate any foods or food groups.
  • Easier to attend social events and eat out.
  • Can be easier to adjust to than many diets.

Disadvantages

  • Can be unhealthy.
  • Everything you consume must be tracked.
  • Tracking food intake is not always accurate.
  • Focus is on quantity over quality of foods consumed.
  • Can encourage poor eating behaviours.

Vegetarian Vegan Diet

# 5: Vegan and Vegetarian Diets

Though it may not be seen to be a traditional diet for weight loss, Vegan and Vegetarian diets have both increased in popularity due to ethical, religious and environmental factors.

While both Vegan and Vegetarian diets cut out all animal protein, Vegans follow a strictly plant-based diet, avoiding any food that comes from an animal, often including honey, meats, seafood, dairy and eggs.

Vegetarian diets however do vary (Lacto-Ovo, Lacto, Ovo) and therefore may exclude meat only, may allow or exclude eggs or dairy products, or may exclude animal products altogether. There are also semi-vegetarian diets which exclude some but not all meat products such as Flexitarian which occasionally eat meat and Pescatarian which abstain from eating all meat with the exception of fish. 

Whilst not designed for weight loss, Vegetarian and Vegan diets are generally lower in unhealthy fats, sugar and processed foods than most average person’s diet. So whilst there is no guarantee of weight loss, by consuming more low-calorie, high-nutrient foods such as vegetables and less high-calorie, low-nutrient processed foods, many people are able to lose weight on these diet, as well as gaining numerous health benefits.

Benefits

  • Increased availability of products and restaurants catering to Vegan/Vegetarian diets.
  • Can have numerous health benefits.
  • Encourages an increased consumption of vegetables and nutritious foods.
  • Promotes the ethical consumption of food and is more environmentally sustainable than many traditional diets.
  • Information and support groups are readily available.

Disadvantages

  • Can be unhealthful if dieter consumes processed foods.
  • Cuts out / limits foods groups.
  • Can be difficult to adjust to.
  • Can lead to weight gain.
  • Calcium, zinc, iron, omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin D and B12 deficiencies may require supplementation.

Conclusion

So now that you have a bit more of an idea about these popular diets, I have one question for you… Did any of these diets sound appealing to you?

See, it doesn’t matter how scientifically sound the program is, how fast it works, or how many people have tried it before. What matters is whether the diet fits you and your lifestyle… not whether it should, but whether it does.

Whilst all of the above mentioned diets have their benefits and disadvantage, fans and skeptics, they all share one thing in common,they work for some people and not for others.

Why? Well, age, activity levels, work type, dietary preferences, medical considerations, lifestyle factors and enjoyment all play a role in determining whether a diet will help you lose weight and keep it off for good. There is simply no ‘one-size-fits-all’ when it comes to dieting and weight loss.

So while you may find one of these diets resonate with you and you lifestyle, you may in fact find that none of these diets sound right for you, and would only make you feel miserable attempting to make them part of your life.

So if you’ve tried multiple diets in the past and can’t seem to find a diet that actually works for you and your lifestyle, then it’s definitely worth speaking to a professional in the field of weight loss.

A good Personal Trainer should not only be able to help you lose weight but help you build a happier, healthier and fitness lifestyle. They can also recommend qualified dietitians and other medical professionals if they believe there is something medical going on that may be getting in the way of your weight loss goals.

So if you’d like to make a start on becoming happier, healthier, fitter and more confident in 2019, become part of the Konquer Fitness community and receive weekly updates on the latest tips, advice and knowledge to help you hit all your health and fitness goals.

Struggled with dieting in the past? Found a diet that worked well for you? I’d love to know more about your experience… Leave me a comment below and let me know!

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