Fri. Nov 16th, 2018

What is the Best “Diet Plan” For You?

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If you’ve ever gone on a specific diet plan before, you’re not alone, as nearly 45 million people engage in some type of dieting behavior each year.

While popular options include meal replacement shakes, bars, and protein powders, not everyone who is on a diet uses these supplements to lose weight.

Instead, more and more individuals are turning to healthier ways of eating while following specific food guides. However, just because the latest diet is popular doesn’t mean it’s good for you.

Let’s review some of the more well-known options and explore their benefits and potential causes for concern.

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Image Source: Pixabay

Whole30

Created in 2009 by Dallas and Melissa Hartwig, this diet works on multiple fronts to improve one’s health and well-being.

The concept is rather simple: only eat whole foods for 30 days, which allows your body time to rid itself of inflammation.

Items like dairy, corn, and soy are prohibited, as well as alcohol and added and artificial sugars.

The benefits of Whole30 can be numerous depending on one’s current level of health before starting the program.

By removing prepackaged foods from your diet, you’re naturally going to feel better, have more energy, and might even experience a more restful night of sleep.

However, there’s another side to Whole30, one in which critics name it restrictive and difficult to manage.

Eating out while on this diet plan is nearly impossible, and good for you legumes, dairy products, and more aren’t allowed.

Overall, there aren’t any major noted health risks to be concerned about, so giving Whole30 a try could pay off in a big way.

However, like many temporary diets, most only see temporary results.

What to eat and what to avoid:

Allowed:

  • Vegetables
  • Fruits (in moderation)
  • Unprocessed meats
  • Seafood
  • Eggs
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Oils (olive and coconut) and ghee
  • Coffee

Not allowed:

  • Dairy
  • Grains
  • Alcohol
  • Legumes
  • Added sugar
  • Carrageenan, MSG, and sulfites
  • “Junk” food

Paleo

Modeled after the ancient eating habits of our ancestors, the Paleo diet takes a page from a hunter-gatherer lifestyle.

Similar in many ways to Whole30, Paleo eating habits are based around eating real food and cutting out prepackaged and convenience items.

The structure of this diet is certainly different than others, allowing you to eat meat, fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds. Items containing grain, dairy, soy, and more are prohibited.

Proponents of the Paleo diet call it a lifestyle, where one embraces a more natural way of eating and exercise, again mimicking those who wandered the earth millions of years ago.

By steering clear of sugar and processed fats, individuals who shift their eating habits to Paleo do find an abundance of health benefits.

Again, those who are skeptical will point out that the Paleo diet restricts you from eating a variety of foods that are incredible sources of healthy fats and nutrients.

In addition to being difficult to follow, it also doesn’t give everyday individuals the guidance they need to eat in a balanced way.

Essentially, a plate full of meat and sweet potatoes is considered Paleo, but perhaps isn’t the healthiest option.

What to eat and what to avoid:

Allowed:

  • Meat
  • Fish
  • Eggs
  • Fruit and vegetables
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Herbs and spices
  • Healthy fats and oils

Not allowed:

  • Processed foods
  • Sugars
  • Grains
  • Most dairy products
  • Legumes
  • Artificial sweeteners
  • Vegetable oils
  • Margarine
  • Trans fats
  • Highly processed foods

Keto

Often called the ketogenic diet, a low carb diet, or the low carb high fat (LCHF) diet, this way of eating takes a more scientific approach.

By restricting our bodies from carbohydrates, we force our metabolic processes to shift into a state of ketosis. This helps you to survive and thrive without the need for a high-sugar carbohydrate fix.

A keto diet boasts a plethora of perks, including helping with weight loss, improving heart health, and even boosting our brain’s natural abilities.

Like the other diets we’ve discussed, many individuals find that engaging in this low carb lifestyle is almost like an answer to their health prayers.

Once again, you can find both the pros and cons of this type of diet just like you can with nearly any other food program. Some health officials are strongly against the keto diet, as it forces your body into starvation mode on a regular basis.

For diabetics or those who don’t have a flexible lifestyle, this can lead to dangerously low blood sugar levels.

The keto diet also induces brain fog and fatigue until your body adjusts.

What to eat and what to avoid:

Allowed:

  • Grass-fed and wild animal sources
  • Healthy fats
  • Non-starchy vegetables
  • Avocado
  • Water, tea, coffee
  • All spices and herbs

Occasionally allowed:

  • Vegetables, mushrooms, fruits
  • Grain-fed animal sources and full-fat dairy
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Fermented soy products
  • Condiments
  • Alcohol (dry wine and unsweetened spirits)

Not allowed:

  • All grains
  • Factory-farmed pork and fish
  • Processed foods
  • Artificial sweeteners
  • Refined fats/oils
  • “Low-fat”, “low-carb”, and “zero-carb” products
  • Milk
  • Alcoholic, sweet drinks
  • Tropical fruit
  • Legumes

Which Diet Plan Is Right For You?

Whole30, Paleo, and Keto are just three of many types of meal plans that are being promoted through books, podcasts, nutritionists, and more.

While they advertise amazing health benefits and seem to include the promise of better than ever health, they aren’t a quick fix for everyone.

If you’re considering a major diet change and are interested in any of the three diets we’ve discussed, be sure to check with your doctor.

For some, sticking to regular exercise and sensible eating habits pays off far better than a specific diet plan. There are plenty of ways to facilitate weight loss.

This common sense approach tends to be easier to maintain and can be customized to your exact needs.


This article was originally published on SingleCare and edited for ZestyThings. You can read the original article here: What is the Best “Diet Plan” For You?

Featured Image Source: Pixabay