The new year has arrived and with it a whole bunch of new year’s resolutions. At this time of year weight-loss plans are everywhere. In this week’s article I weigh in on the latest diets and assess whether or not they’re a waist of time.
Detox and cleanse diets are surging up the charts thanks to celebrity endorsements and self-titled health and wellness experts. These diets lack scientific evidence and aren’t recommended by true health professionals. They’re often dangerous as they perpetuate a diet culture that can lead to obesity and depression.
A low-carb diet always sits at the top of everyone’s list. The Keto diet where fat is the main energy source with a low carbohydrate and moderate protein intake is popular again. This diet depletes liver and muscle glycogen stores and associated water. It has a huge dropout rate and unpleasant side effects such as fatigue, bad breath, nausea, constipation and headache.
Keto’s cousin the Paleo diet is still trending this year. It consists of foods our ancestors are thought to have eaten such as meat, poultry, seafood, vegetables, fruits and nuts but removes dairy products and wholegrains which has an impact on our bowel, bone and gut health. Pegan is a variation on this which is part Paleo part vegan.
Intermittent fasting is a diet regimen that cycles between brief periods of fasting and unrestricted eating. This results in short-term weight loss but there isn’t scientific evidence in humans to back up long term health effects of this plan. It isn’t suitable for anyone that has previously had an eating disorder, those taking medications that require food or those who are pregnant or breastfeeding.
A recent study of 447 000 people showed that eliminating whole food groups leads to premature death. Restrictive diets often affect our sleep, fertility and lower our immune system. Energy levels become low and headaches and digestive irritability occur. Dieting is also synonymous with denial and deprivation. It leads to distorted ideas about food and eating disorders. Strict dieters are 18 times more likely to develop anorexia or bulimia.
On a positive not there are some beneficial diets to follow in 2019. One of your best choices is the Mediterranean diet. Although, this is referred to as a diet it’s really a lifestyle choice that allows you to fill up on a ton of nutritious food without restricting calories. Another great diet is DASH which is recommended for people with hypertension. It focuses on fruits, vegetables and meat. This diet is backed by solid, scientific evidence.
A diet that’s ranked as one of the best weight-loss plans is the Volumetrics diet. It relies on the idea of filling up on fewer calories. Foods like veggies, fruits and soups that are low in energy but high in satiating nutrients are eaten and washed down with plenty of water. Although, it’s called a diet it doesn’t rely on a precisely, prescribed diet plan. It’s been backed by loads of research with the only drawback being that it doesn’t include nuts and it can be limiting when dining out.
Following a restrictive diet may not fit your lifestyle, body type or activity level. Most people cannot restrict foods or endure hunger for an extended period of time. Our bodies are geared to be a certain weight and when it feels like we’re not eating enough we have cravings and often binge. Stick to a diet that’s also a healthy eating plan and you’ll feel weigh better this year.