Diet fads come and go like waves, there really isn’t one month that goes by when you don’t see the latest offer of a food regime that will change your life, your waistline and your confidence. In truth though, all these fad diets tend to do is change your bank balance, for the worse.
For those people who do want to lose a few pounds and get a bit fitter there are some tried and tested diet regimes that can lead to positive lifestyle changes and it tends to be these easy to follow, easy to adapt to changes that have the most sustainable long-term benefits. A novelty diet, like a fire-cracker, tends to go off with a bang then burn out pretty quickly.
We look at just a few diets that are in it for the long haul and tend to crop up regularly on lifestyle blogs and health forums.
The Keto Diet
Ketosis, a buzz word you may have heard thrown around the diet and fitness industry. It is this word, which means the point when your body starts burning fat instead of carbohydrates, that followers of the Keto diet aim to reach and stay in.
Simply put following the Keto diet means you’re going to eat a lot of fat. It might feel like you’re going against everything you’ve been told about dieting but the vast majority of food on this diet contains higher levels of fat, a little bit of protein and the tiniest amount of carbohydrate.
For beginners ditching the carbs can be a challenge and setting off on a Keto diet does require a fair amount of organisation and planning in terms of purging your kitchen cupboards and shopping for groceries friendly to the Keto lifestyle.
Experts say the plus side to Keto and the state of ketosis is greater control of insulin production which in turn can lead to diabetics using less medication over time. Other benefits include fast results. The change to diet is fairly dramatic and the body reacts quickly. Weight loss results over the first few weeks are often significant.
There are, of course, drawbacks. It can be quite restrictive, while eating at home may pose no issues eating at a restaurant can really limit your food choice and this can be frustrating. There are also some concerns about a rise in cholesterol levels associated with consuming food that is high in saturated fat.
Meal Replacement Plans
These forms of dieting are also long established methods of losing weight quickly. They may not be long term solutions but for quick results are popular options. They can be a little more expensive but their short term use means the cost is more easily managed.
Gone are the days of standing around mixing up milkshakes, today’s meal replacement options are far more sophisticated. These include a mix of drinks, supplements and a freshly cooked meal or variations on that theme. There are some benefits to these and Isagenix vs other diet types has the advantage of having everything planned out for you, so there’s little organisation or forward planning on your part.
Many of these more modern meal replacement options also concentrate more on the health aspects of their products over the diet side, so essential vitamins and nutrients ensure your body’s not missing out on what it needs.
Often referred to as the ‘caveman diet’ in essence if you can’t catch it, gather it, hunt it or grow it (with a few exceptions) –you can’t eat it. This means an end to bowls of pasta and cereals and of course chocolate.
Followers of this diet recognise that not all calories are created equally and eating 100 calories worth of sweet cereal is entirely different to eating 100 calories worth of vegetables. Your body will use these foods in different ways to one another.
As diets go, it’s one of the more easier ones to incorporate into your life for the long term. Cutting out pasta can be tough to start with but followers say the reduction in gluten and hard to digest grains have a positive effect on feeling healthy as well as losing weight.
The drawbacks are similar to the Keto diet, though easier perhaps in terms of what you can and can’t eat. Any diet that restricts food groups makes eating out and socialising hard.
Created by nutritionist Pierre Dukan, this extremely popular regime starts off tough and gradually eases followers into a programme of maintaining their ideal weight. This diet uses a high protein, low carb approach and advertises itself as having 100 Dukan approved foods that you can eat without restriction.
The programme is so well structured that if you follow it to the letter it’s almost guaranteed that you will lose weight, but like all diets keeping it off is the main problem.
Drawbacks to this diet include the so-called ‘attack phase’ of the first few weeks, which sees dieters eating almost nothing but protein. There’s no two-ways about it, it’s a big change in lifestyle for most people and one of the harder ones to incorporate into your life for the long term, especially if you have other family members to cook for.
Choosing The Right Diet
Dipping into diets and sticking to it can be overwhelming with so much on offer in the way of choice and many experts agree that with all these options, the results often stem from your commitment, regardless of the diet. This means it’s a matter of determination rather than diet choice that counts for best results.
Whichever regime you choose to follow, make sure it fits into your lifestyle, home life and budget. Too big a change will have you ditching it after the first week. With any change to your health and lifestyle it’s always a good idea to talk to your doctor or dietician before you start. They may suggest a diet for you that will tick all the boxes and have you showing off that new flat stomach at every opportunity.