Are you one of those individuals who makes a resolution to lose weight? Diets are popular in the New Year and we want to share what we feel are the pros and cons of some of the most popular diets.
Did you know that the most successful plan or diet revolves around making a long term change with your lifestyle and behaviors? Weight and BMI is just a number and there's so much more to look at to find health and wellness! What works for a friend or a coworker does not mean that it will work for you. Everyone has different genetics, habits, lifestyles, microbiomes, medical conditions, and lifestyle influences that at not the same. Ask yourself, why do a short term diet when success is found by creating sustainable lifestyle changes.
The Skinny on Trending Diets?
A diet is only as successful as the length of time in which you follow it, since it is generally a short term solution following a strict or specific set of rules in which you eat food by to improve your health. The research speaks in numbers, and changing your habits and lifestyle is a much more powerful tool to improve your health. Chronic calorie restriction can wreak havoc on your health and basal metabolic rate, which has led some individuals to practice reverse dieting to reset their metabolism.
Generally speaking, there are a handful of diets that dietitians will recommend, but these diets are primarily focused on lifestyle changes and balanced eating patterns. Our top picks with evidence based data is the DASH or Mediterranean diet.
Positive: Removal of processed foods and generally improved nutrition intake and nutrient rich foods. Some individuals report improved mental clarity.
Negative: Highly restrictive and not sustainable for most long term. Adaption as a lifestyle is not likely and may cause you to be deficient in micronutrients due to limitations in the diet.
Positive: Helps identify and improve GI symptoms for individuals struggling with bowel regularity. Helps to identify trigger foods and tests out thresholds and is focused on home cooked scratch foods whenever possible.
Negative: Removed many fresh fruits and vegetables to due natural sugars people have challenges digesting and is hard to follow. This diet is designed as a nutrition therapy to help treat IBS and is not meant for long term use due to many restrictions and nutrient imbalances.
Positive: Combination of the DASH and Mediterranean diet which means balanced intake with lifestyle changes.
Negative: Choosing fish that is not sustainable or high in omega fatty acids, this can very based on the source of purchase.
Positive: Low cost due to reduction on animal proteins and improved environment impact. Focusing on fresh seasonal ingredients that are local.
Negative: Restriction on certain types of foods and potential for nutrient deficiencies. Not understanding the true impact of the supply chain on sustainability and conflicting research.
Positive: Designed to help reduce disease risk and metabolic syndrome and is focused on eating lots of plants and plant proteins. It may help improve the impact of environment carbon emissions based on reduction of animal proteins. This diet is cost effective since it reduces animal proteins and some believe it can help boost cognition and memory.
Negative: We haven't found anything negative about this diet besides understanding how to get creative in the kitchen with plant based proteins!
Positive: Evidenced based and focused on lifestyle changes. It is easy, flexible, and uses balanced intake as the parameters designed to improve blood pressure and many people find weight loss and blood glucose control as a benefit.
Negative: Removes many convenience foods people rely on and may be challenging to find a meal outside of the house that fits into the lifestyle.
Positive: Removes highly processed foods and sugars which can help individuals lose weight. The increase of fresh fruits and vegetables may also improve diet nutrition and micronutrients and help improve the GI tract and stool frequency.
Negative: This requires small frequent meals through the day, and not everyone has time or ways to eat this frequently. Food groups such as dairy and gluten are avoided so this can lead to nutrient deficiencies and challenges when eating away from the house.
Positive: This is easy to implement and easy to follow, since there are no strict rules. Some individuals feel their mental health around the diet culture is improved since there's no restricting behaviors, the diet is patterned around eating more plant based, but consuming animal proteins whenever life allows. This may be more cost effective for some individuals.
Negative: Limited options when eating out if you are trying to avoid animal proteins. This diet doesn't eliminate junk foods or highly processed foods, which means people can still make choices high in calories and overeat.
Positive: Heavy intake of fruit, vegetables, and whole grains which helps improve antioxidants and micronutrients. It removes lots of red meat and processed foods and sugar which may help individuals lose weight.
Negative: There is no supporting scientific research to back the changes of pH due to the acidity of stomach acids. It restricts food groups such as meat, dairy, and eggs which can lead to nutrient deficiencies. Your stomach pH is 1-5-3.5, so it neutralizes any "alkaline ingredients". Plus when the stomach and GI track isn't acidic enough, we don't metabolize foods properly meaning there's a chance for gut dysbiosis.
Cleanses or Juicing
Positive: You have removed processed foods.
Negative: You eliminate entire food groups, vitamins and minerals. Colon cleanses can lead to cramps, bloating, nausea, and vomiting. You may not get enough protein.
Positive: You have removed processed foods generally, and this helps remove the negative effects of metabolism, inflammation, and help improve cholesterol, blood pressure and diabetes. This may help lose weight, have more energy, sleep better, feel less moody and have more mental focus.
Negative: This may be very restrictive with food choices and may require a lot of work to adopt this long-term.
Positive: Removal or sugary foods allows some individuals to lose weight, fatty foods help keep you feeling full, and research only shows efficacy for kids with epilepsy.
Negative: It may be difficult to sustain. It is lacking in vitamins, minerals, fiber which may leave you feeling foggy and tired. There's danger with putting your body into acidic state, which over time is dangerous for many individuals, especially those with diabetes. If you have diabetes, heart disease, or kidney disease please consult with a physician. Others due to the decreased glycogen storage in the muscles, may mean you can experience dehydration.
Positive: The Whole 30 can promote healthy nutritional choices and four weeks is a good start for forming habits. It's also been said to improve energy, sleep, digestive issues and weight loss.
Negative: Many of the food groups eliminated actually promote health. Calcium, vitamin D, fiber and protein levels can all suffer as a result of the restrictions.
Positive: Focused on eating whole foods, healthy fats, and removal of processed foods.
Negative: removal of many food groups which may eliminate essential nutrients and vitamins including calcium. This diet may also remove come gut beneficial fiber packed foods.
Positive: Focused on eating whole foods, healthy fats, and removal of processed foods, may see improvements in body composition and weight loss
Negative: Leads to cravings, may be hard to stick with, gets in the way of lifestyle, may create binge eating behaviors, and could cause health issues. Many versions of fasting have different implications based on medical conditions and hormone balance (women).
If you want to get your diet on track as part of a lifestyle change book one of our healthy eating packages! If you have insurance to cover your visits, book a visit here and you can opt in for meal planning add on is a $39 extra charge.
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