If you decide that you need to lose weight, what’s the first plan of action to springs to mind? For the vast majority of us, it’s to go on a diet. The word ‘diet’ is actually very broad because there are literally hundreds of different diet plans out there for people to choose from.
Needless to say, some are incredibly effective, whereas others, not so much. Some diets have proven to be effective and have been backed up by science and medical research. Others, however, are nothing more than passing fads, and can potentially be dangerous.
Here are some popular diets to consider, and some fads to steer well clear of.
We’ll start off on a high by looking at popular diets that have enjoyed a lot of success and have been found to be effective. If you’re looking to lose weight and improve your health in the process, you may wish to consider the following: The paleo diet – The Paleo diet is sometimes known as the caveman diet. It has the word ‘diet’ in it, but in truth, it is more of a lifestyle change. The basic premise is that followers of the diet eat foods similar to what cavemen used to eat hundreds of thousands of years ago. The diet isn’t as much about losing weight, as it is about eating natural, non-processed food the way evolution intended. A bonus, however, is that you will lose weight.
Ketogenic diets are hugely popular nowadays. Keto diets are low carb, moderate protein, high-fat diets that cause your body to enter ketosis. When this occurs, you produce ketones via
fat cells, which are then used for energy. By default, you are technically using fat for energy, rather than carbohydrates. 5:2 diet – The 5:2 diet is a form of intermittent fasting. Basically, on this diet, you will eat normal foods for 5 days of the week, and for 2 days you’ll consume just 500 calories. If you stick to the diet and DO NOT binge on your normal eating days, you can potentially lose a lot of weight.
Fad diets to avoid
Now we’ll look at some fad diets to avoid if you value your health:
Cabbage soup diet
The cabbage soup diet is as disgusting as it sounds. With this diet, the idea is that you primarily consume low-calorie cabbage soup every day and that you consume around 800 calories on average. You will lose weight, but it is not sustainable. Not only that but the longer the cabbage is cooked, the more nutrients it loses.
Raw food diet
As the name implies, this is a diet in which you only really consume foods in their raw form. Does that mean you should eat raw meat? No. The raw food diet only permits foods that can safely be consumed raw, I.E fruits, nuts, and veggies. Eating most vegetables raw is a great way of getting more nutrients, but the diet isn’t sustainable.
Cotton ball diet
This diet should be banished from the face of the earth forever. The cotton ball diet is a diet in which people literally soak cotton wool balls in fresh juices or green tea, and then swallow them.
Why? The “logic” behind swallowing cotton balls is that they swell up in your stomach and take longer to digest, so you feel full for longer. The fuller you feel, the less you eat. This diet is very dangerous and could kill you. Don’t do it – ever!
So which is the best one for you?
There is no right or wrong answer here because this book is not about teaching you to live your entire life on any one diet. While you may choose one to help you lose weight, ideally, the best thing that you can do is change your eating habits for the better. A lot of diets have stringent rules and try to exclude certain foods that are deemed anathema to the diet. For example, the paleo diet doesn’t allow you to consume artificial ingredients, grains and dairy.
This can be a nightmarish diet for people who love having the occasional cake and ice-cream. While there are paleo alternatives, they just don’t quite cut it. Because of this, adhering to such strict diets can be a turn off for many people. The key to succeeding with weight loss and keeping off the excess pounds is moderation. Life is too short for you to avoid the foods you love completely.
What you need to do is replace most of your unhealthy food choices with healthier ones… and occasionally indulge in the foods you love. Healthy eating should be a lifestyle choice and not because you’re forcing yourself to be on a diet. Include lots of vegetables in your diet. Have fruit for snacks. Replace sodas with water or unsweetened green tea. Cut down your intake of processed foods.
Follow the right macronutrient combinations. If your diet consisted mainly of single-ingredient foods, you’d be just fine. Broccoli is a single ingredient food. Canned vegetable soup is not. Treating yourself to a food you love once every 4 or 5 days is just fine. In fact, it will give you a mental break and make you happier.
Drink lots of water because water helps in the fat loss process. Drink a glass of water before each meal. This will not only make you more full and prevent you from overeating, but it’ll also keep you hydrated for your workouts. Have a teaspoon of cumin seeds every day. This will help you lose 3 times more fat. It’s such a simple practice but so powerful. Consume one tablespoon of cold-pressed coconut oil daily. This will further help in your weight loss progress. You must consume good fat in order to lose fat. When your body realizes that it has a steady supply of fat coming in, it will be much more ready to burn off its fat stores. Coconut oil received a bad reputation in the past. However, recent studies have shown that it is one of the best foods around and prevents a myriad of health issues.