*Disclaimer : this post does not seek to promote dieting or any specific diet. It is simply to help those looking to start or change a diet with viable options and alternatives. Always consult with your doctor before starting or changing a diet.*
Dieting is arguably one of the most effective ways to lose weight, from time immemorial humans have engaged in different forms of food control and restriction for one purpose or the other. However the most popular reason people diet is to control or reduce their weight. *unfortunately many people diet, simply to meet society’s standard of what a healthy or a beautiful person should look like, which may be unhealthy or detrimental to them in the long run.*
There are so many diets known and unknown and many have been restructured to suit particular individuals or purposes. This post details five of the most popular and effective diets known today and some of their drawbacks.
The effectiveness and drawbacks of these diets are judged based on results,statistics and testimonials of people who have tried them.
1. KETO DIET
The keto diet has gained extreme popularity recently all over the world and so many can swear by its effectiveness and quickness in achieving the end goal.
Keto diet is characterized by carb intake restriction, the goal of keto is to restrict carbohydrate consumption making the body to produce ketones in the liver as a result of break down of fat, to be used as the body’s source of energy. Carbohydrates produce glucose and insulin. The body uses glucose as its primary source of energy and stores the excess as fat, since these fats are not immediately needed they are stored up for future use. Over time, with continuous consumption of carbohydrates (glucose), the body would not need to make use of the stored fat therefore leading to more accumulation than may be immediately necessary causing the body to have excess fat.
By lowering the intake of carbs the body then goes into a state known as “ketosis”.
*ketosis is the process that will be initiated by the body to help us survive when food intake is low during this time the body begins to produce ketones which are as a result of the breakdown of fat in the liver.*
keto in a simple breakdown
- Low to zero carb consumption
- High fat consumption
- Low – moderate protein consumption
- Consumption of vegetables
Goal of keto: To reduce availability of glucose, so as to set the body into ketosis to trigger production of ketones in the body.
- Ketogenic diet has a high success rate in terms of weight loss.
- it is favoured by most dieters because you are allowed to eat as much as you want, as long as you can avoid carbohydrate.
- Starvation can be avoided
- Exercises can also be integrated into this plan.
- Dieters complain about weakness, mood swings.
- Dieters complain about loss of drive and energy
- Dieters say it may be difficult to sustain long-term.
Keto diet is also known as low carb(sugar) diet, ketogenic diet, low carb high fat diet (LCHF).
2. WARRIORS DIET
This is a diet plan that was designed by Ori Hofmeker in 2001. The warriors diet is modelled after the lifestyle of ancient warriors, which involved under eating or restricting food intake during the day and over eating or eating to full capacity at night. This is also similar to the pre-industrialization eating pattern when most people had to go out to hunt, farm or gather food during the day, then come back at night and eat to their fill.
Warriors diet plan requires you to eat little or nothing during the day, when you are most active (forcing the body to burn off stored energy) and eat as much as you can at night.
During your day fast, you may consume little portions of protein(3-8 ounces), vegetables and fruits in moderate quantities.
Your evening meal can be at any time in the evening even right before bed. This meal has no calorie limitation or size restriction. Dieters can eat as much as they want and what they want. You are only considered full when you begin to feel thirsty and must stop eating.
warriors diet in a simple breakdown
- Under eating or fasting during the day when you are most active.
- Eating how much and whatever you want at night
- You never have to feel the pain of starvation as you are allowed to consume fruits and vegetables during the day.
- you can feast like a king/queen at night
- You do not have to deprive yourself of certain foods as you are allowed to eat what you want and how you want at night.
- Exercises can also be integrated into this plan.
- You are less likely to eat unhealthy food at night.
- Little or no scientific proof exist to back this diet up as it was created merely by observation and opinion.
- many dieters have problems exercising on an empty stomach.
- Fasting for such long periods could lead to negative side effects such as dizziness fatigue and dehydration
- Dieters complain about mood swings and lack of energy during the day.
- It is unlikely that just one meal would contain all the nutrients you need daily to stay healthy.
3. ATKINS DIET
The Atkins diet also known as Atkins nutritional approach is a commercial weight loss program devised by Robert Atkins. This diet much like the keto diet is a low carb intake diet. It focuses on controlling the levels of insulin in the body through carbohydrate(sugar) intake restrictions so the body burns fat for fuel. Proponents of this diet claim that this approach leaves the body steadily fueled and weight is lost even when more calories are being consumed.
Atkins diet in a simple breakdown
- it is a commercial weight loss program you can purchase a diet plan.
- Atkins diet avoids carbohydrates but can eat as much protein and fat as they like.
- Dieters and proponents claim it is very effective.
- Atkins diet has come under criticism recently. Anyone considering starting this diet should consult with their doctor.
- Dieters may consume fewer calories than is healthy.
- The monotony and simplicity of the diet, could inhibit appetite and proper food intake.
4. WEIGHT WATCHERS
It is a commercial weight loss program that has millions of members from over 30 different countries, founded by Jean Nidetch, a Brooklyn home maker in 1963. Nidetch and a group of friends started meeting once a week to talk about how to lose weight. This program includes regular meetings self-help type learning sessions and group support. The dieters aim for a body mass index(BMI) of between 20 and 25. The basis of the weight watchers diet is community and group support which provides encouragement and positive reinforcement for dieters which is very essential for long-term and short-term success. “Weight watchers” members attend regular meetings where they can learn about weight loss, nutrition and exercising at the same time, have their progress monitored.
Weight watchers in a simple breakdown
- It is a commercial diet plan
- it leverages on the power of group support and community
- members attend regular meetings where they can share their struggles, learn about weight loss,nutrition exercising and have their progress monitored.
- Dieters aim for a body mass index of between 20 and 25
- Group support and positive reinforcement dieters learn about weight loss, exercising and nutrition.
- it has gained a lot of popularity recently and garnered a high following
- proponents of weight watchers say it is very effective and is good for short and term plans.
- It may be difficult to find offline support groups especially outside the US and the UK.
5. ZONE DIET
The zone diet was developed by Dr Barry Sears with the aim of preventing diet controlled inflammation, which involves eating three meals and two snacks everyday, each meal and snack should contain protein.
The the aim of the zone diet is to get a nutritional balance of 40% carbohydrate, 30% fat and 30% protein in each meal. It is also very particular about controlling insulin levels. The whole idea of zone diet is not just to lose weight, it also seeks to improve overall health of dieters.
zone diet in a simple breakdown
- Lean meat and natural food consumption.
- The main goal is to reduce inflammation
- consuming plenty of omega-3 fatty acids and polyphenols.
- low density carbohydrate consumption
- Seeks to control insulin levels
- calorie restriction
- nutritional balance of 40% carbohydrate 30% and 30% protein in each meal.
- Proponents claim overall health improvement
- Slows aging
- Less sicknesses
- Calorie restriction without hunger or fatigue.
- Critics of the diet express concern that, this diet may lead to low fiber intake.
Not everybody responds the same way to diets, exercise patterns and various weight loss approaches. It is imperative that you know what your goals are and find what works for you.
Changing diets and eating patterns can lead to more weight gain in the long run if not properly done, as weight lost through dieting is usually a combination of fat, tissues and muscle mass, while rapid weight gain would typically comprise of just fat.
*Dieting can cause deterioration of both mental and physical health*
It is always important that you consult with your doctor before start starting or changing diets.
Guest post by oluwakemi folashade bamiloye a nutritionist and dietician,who Lives and works in the UK. You can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org
Also read other posts by this author here