If taking care of your body is your thing, then you’ve probably researched some of the more popular diets to determine which one might be right for you.
But here’s the problem: there are a lot of diets out there that tout more benefits than the other diets, so you have to know up front what you want to get out of the diet before you start working to lose weight.
In order to help you make an informed decision, here are four popular diets and what they mean for your body.
A ketogenic diet – or a keto diet, if you’re hip – is a low-carb, high-fat diet meant to help you lose weight and get healthier.
The main goal is accomplished be replacing your carb intake with fat intake, which puts your body into a metabolic state called ketosis. When you reach this state, your body becomes a fat-burning machine that burns fat for energy. This allows you to get rid of the excess fat that’s building up in your body, which brings us back to the whole “losing weight” part of the deal.
There are four types of keto diet: standard, cyclical, targeted, and high-protein. Depending upon which style you want to follow, you might allow yourself to add more carbs to your diet. But unless you are a bodybuilder or an athlete, it’s suggested you stick to the standard or high-protein versions.
Another benefit of the keto diet is its capability to fight type 2 diabetes, which is characterized by high blood sugar and impaired insulin function. One study found that the keto diet improved insulin sensitivity by 75 percent, while another found 33 percent of people with type 2 diabetes were able to stop using diabetes medications after following the keto diet.
In addition, a keto diet can slow tumor growth in certain types of cancers and improve risk factors for those at risk of heart disease.
No matter how you look at it, a keto diet is worth your time if you want to get healthier.
The paleo diet – once known as the caveman diet – is one that is meant to replicate how prehistoric humans once ate. Most modern versions of this diet reject the idea of processed food, which some believe leads to more health problems.
When one embraces a paleo diet, they only eat food the early hunter-gatherers would’ve eaten, namely fish, fruits, vegetables, and some lean meats.
The driving idea behind this diet is that humans were not meant to consume modern food. As farming and improved manufacturing changed what people ate, the human body was quickly introduced to dairy, grains and legumes, but not at the benefit of the body.
Instead, it contributed directly to the rise in obesity, diabetes and heart disease as the body struggled to adapt.
Just like the keto diet, the main goal of adapting a paleo lifestyle is to lose weight and become healthier, in general. If you stick to it, you can see benefits such as lower blood pressure and a healthier appetite.
The downside is your body doesn’t get the fiber and other nutrients that would be of help to it, so there is some concern that a long-term paleo diet could have downsides.
Like any other diet on the market, it’s best to do further research to see if it’s right for you, or try it for a limited amount of time to see if you get results.
The vegan diet might be one of the most popular diets in the rotation today.
As the name suggests, it revolves around a diet made exclusively of plant-based foods, meaning nothing that is a bi-product of an animal – meat, eggs, dairy – is consumed. While there are a number of reasons why somebody might try a vegan diet, a main driver is – you guessed it – to lose weight.
In fact, when compared to other diets, a vegan diet is deemed more effective for weight loss. (Here’s one such report, if you care to read it.)
What’s a bit surprising is that those on a vegan diet tend to eat less calories than those on other diets, which is probably a result of feeling fuller because of how much fiber is consumed.
And, like the rest of the diets mentioned, studies show that a vegan diet helps to lower blood sugar levels and increase insulin sensitivity, along with improving kidney function and reducing the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease.
The macro diet is one that is starting to gain in popularity.
Instead of a typical diet where you count calories, a macro diet stresses that you count the macronutrients you put into your body.
Macronutrients are carbs, fat and protein.
In a macro diet, instead of counting the calories in a bag of chips toward your daily goal, you would count how many macronutrients it contains. This restricts your calories and gives your body more fuel since you are putting better nutrients into your body.
If you are using this diet, it’s going to help you with portion control, understanding where the calories you consume come from, and make better choices when it comes to eating. Namely, avoiding processed foods.
And – surprise! – it’s going to help you lose weight if you stick to it.
Before you try a diet, you need to figure out why you are working on said diet. Combined with a balanced fitness plan and plenty of water, you can get results pretty quickly without falling into the trap of a fad diet that will leave you burned out after a few months.
If you have any questions about any of the diets, don’t hesitate to reach out to us. We have experienced coaches on staff who can walk you through the process.