Written by Harleen Gulati
It is common to hear about the different types of diets, through recommendations or via social media as people are always discussing new ways of losing weight or keeping fit. But every time we hear about a new diet, we get even more confused about which one to follow. But it’s not as confusing as it may seem. The real question is, which is the most sustainable and healthy diet to lose weight?
Below are five popular types of diets with their pros and cons.
Is it for you? (Source: Getty Images/Thinkstock)
A vegan diet involves eating only plant-based foods. Those who follow this diet avoid all animal products, including meat, dairy, and eggs. Some people also avoid honey. A vegan diet helps in losing weight as many animal foods are high in fat and calories, so replacing these with low-calorie plant-based foods can help in managing weight. Vegan food is high in fibre, promotes eating whole foods and has low saturated fats. The diet helps promote heart health and is believed to lower the risk of cancer. Vegan diet is healthy and beneficial as long as it’s followed correctly, which means loading up on the whole grains and legumes every day for protein, as one may not intake sufficient protein otherwise. One may follow another diet to lose weight as this diet is very restrictive.
A keto diet is well-known for being a low carb diet, where the body produces ketones in the liver to be used as energy. The diet promotes rapid weight loss as compared to other diets, boosting metabolism and reducing appetite. Keto diet lowers blood sugar levels and improves insulin sensitivity, triglycerides and HDL Cholesterol levels. The diet also helps to treat PCOS. However, following the keto diet for long is not advisable without seeking medical guidance as it can lead to various health problems like kidney stones, vitamin and mineral deficiency, fatty liver and constipation. The diet also backfires with extra weight gain, if left without following the right steps.
Gluten is a protein which is found commonly in grains like rye, barley and wheat. Gluten consumption can be harmful to people with celiac disease. Nowadays, a gluten-free diet is popular among people as it helps them lose weight. Gluten-free diets claim to improve energy, health and weight loss efforts. However, such a diet changes your dietary nutritional intake and for this reason, it is not advisable to start a gluten-free diet without consulting a health professional first. This diet encourages people to increase their intake of fruits and vegetables and eliminates processed unhealthy food products. Following a gluten-free diet needs a lot of commitment as the person has to eliminate basic foods like bread, a few desserts and even sauces. Also, once they stop following the diet, it harms the body by causing inflammation and weight gain.
Detoxification is a process where you get rid of toxins from your body by following a proper diet regimen. (Source: Getty Images/Thinkstock)
Detoxification is a process where you get rid of toxins from your body. There are many types of detox diets, some include not eating at all and being on a liquid diet for some time, while some encourage you to have only raw fruits and vegetables. What most people don’t know is the fact that during the detox process, the reason you instantly lose weight is that what you lose is water weight and this is the reason why it is harmful to the body as your fat weight remains unchanged and once you stop the detox diet your weight is back to square one. Whereas on the other hand, one may consider a detox day per week which will help promote healthy skin and hair, increase antioxidants in the body and helps in resetting the body weight.
Intermittent fasting is an eating pattern that cycles through periods of eating and fasting. The intermittent fasting plan doesn’t specify exact foods that you need to eat, but when you ought to eat them. In this method, fasting occurs for either 16 hours or 24 hours a day, two times per week. While it helps in losing weight, it promotes other health benefits like reducing insulin resistance, helps boost brain health and heart health and reduction of inflammation. While fasting, one must keep themselves hydrated and stop if feeling weak, having acute headache or having blood sugar drop, also one must remember to have a healthy diet in the eating period. This diet is recommended as a lifestyle change to improve the lifespan of an individual.
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It is important to know that no diet is perfect for weight loss as different diets work for different body types. A healthy, well-balanced diet is what our ancestors have been following for years. A diet should be sustainable and healthy with long-term benefits. It is always advisable to have a healthy diet consisting of all the five food groups — a mix of the best vitamins and minerals, adequate water intake, exercise, portion control, and a stress-free sleep cycle. All in all, intuitive, clean and mindful eating is the way to go. “Breakfast like a king; lunch like a prince; dinner like a pauper” works best.
The author is a nutritionist and health coach and founder, Selfpledge
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