Following the health band wagon is quite simple now. You hardly have to look far for answers and/or options. In fact, it can be extremely overwhelming now with the endless amount of information available and deciding which avenue is the right one. Instead of categorizing yourself into one “diet”, I think it’s better to listen to your body’s needs, do your own research and find what works best for you.
It’s also important to understand “fad diets” are generally not the route to go. In the long run these diets have the ability to ruin your gut and liver and overburden your internal organs with either too much fat or salt. As always, do in depth research and determine what you need for your body and not what your next door neighbor thinks is best. Also, the confusion that comes with the variety of “fads” and what works and what doesn’t. It can get chaotic and confusing with the changing trends. Stick to the basics and you’ll find the best options.
However, let’s say you are new to health and wellness and you have absolutely no idea where to start. Below I will share a few options (however, take each one with a grain of salt and RESEARCH!)
Low Carb Diet
There are good carbs and there are empty/bad carbs. Potatoes, quinoa, and rice are good carbs. Bad carbs consist of potato chips, pastries, etc. Too much of something is never good and will end up getting store in the body as fat. However, reducing your body of carbohydrates isn’t necessarily good either since you could deplete yourself from vital nutrients. But there is a theory that if you completely cut carbohydrates, you body will enter a state of ketosis, where it will create ketones that will start using the storage as fat to give your body fuel.
Many believe this can lead to weight loss. However, sudden weight loss isn’t always the best either. It’s better to lose slowly and steadily while maintaining a healthy lifestyle and building health priorities.
Meat Based Diet
This one is harder for me to believe in since I am vegan. However, I am not opposed to meat, just the idea of consuming 3x a day, every day. A carnivore diet for weight loss holds the belief that we should return to a diet that is closer to our ancestors. Eating just meat, dairy, and animal fats, also known as paleo or caveman. Once again your body will have fewer carbohydrates, and as such will be able to enter ketosis. On this diet, you will be taking in fewer calories too, which means that you will start to burn off stored body fat for energy. However, with this lifestyle there are concerns that you need to pick out. For instance, too much fat is harmful for your liver. It can lead to a sluggish liver, which will lead to a whole other level of issues.
Again, looking back towards the earliest humans for inspiration, the paleo diet includes nuts, seeds, fruit, vegetables, meat, and fish. In this diet, you avoid processed foods, trans fats, grains, legumes, and the majority of dairy products. Avoiding these things is good, since usually the body has a hard time digesting certain legumes, fats, and all processed foods.
The opposite side of the spectrum might be to take on a plant-based, or vegan diet. This is where my heart is since I have been a vegan for many years. There are variations in this type of diet, and they may vary depending on if you are undertaking the diet for health reasons, or because of environmental or ethical reasons. There is also a raw version of the plant-based diet which is good for detoxifying your body, lowering cholesterol and reducing the risk of diabetes. A plant based diet low in fat is the way to go. You eliminate all dairy and all meat (which entails zero fat content) and you pretty much steer clear from illnesses and chronic diseases. Of course all considered that you consume a wide variety of fruits and vegetables, supplements, low sodium/sugar, and no processed foods.
Whichever diet you choose to go for, if you go for any at all, be sure that you are still retaining all of the necessary vitamins, minerals, and nutrients that your body requires to stay healthy. Losing weight will always mean using more calories than you put in, and to ensure that you do that you will need to increase your activity levels and get plenty of exercise.
As always, listen to your body, seek to always do better than you did yesterday, and achieve the best for tomorrow.