Fad Diet

Fad dietWhether it’s the new “super food” or a plan that celebrities follow, fad diets are trends that can be dangerous to follow.

They’re generally extremely restrictive and have high rates of “failure” since they can be so difficult to adopt into your life. Some are so extreme that they can be dangerous to your health. This is true of many “cleanse” and “detox” fad diets.

While a strict diet CAN be kept for a week or even a month at times any benefits gained during that time will likely fade once you return to your normal eating habits. Instead of addressing the root causes of weight gain a temporary “fix” just pushes you along a roller coaster of loss & gain.



High Protein Diet

High protein diet

Diets that are high in protein can be satisfying and result in weight loss. Protein rich foods are digested slower and don’t cause blood sugar highs and lows that high carbohydrate foods do. This is a great advantage of the diet over others. It may be easier to maintain for extended periods of time since it does not feel so depriving.

Since the diet is restrictive many resort to foods that are high in saturated fats instead of including vegetables and fruits for balance. Another drawback of this diet is the increase of LDL during the initial phase. If lacking carbohydrates to burn as an energy source the body can enter a state called ketosis. During this time LDL levels are higher than average and you may feel symptoms such as irritability and headaches.

People with renal problems have to be vary careful avoid not ingesting a high protein diet, as it might worsen their renal function.



Low Calorie Diet

low calories diet

A low-calorie diet is a proven way to lose weight. The diet is relatively low tech but can be restrictive since it requires that you lower your daily or weekly calorie intake.  It is recommended that if you do eat a low calorie diet that you reduce your calories only by a couple hundred a day, and not by 500 or more calories like some people suggest. Reducing calories and rapid weight loss can also cause health issues. Not only can low calorie diets result in nausea and fatigue but there are intestinal issues that you are at higher risk for.

Tracking calories has become easier as more restaurants include them and food labels have become simpler. Though the diet might not be highly restrictive it lacks direction to choose balanced meals. Though two foods may have similar calorie counts one may be far more nutritious than the other. Choosing food based solely on numbers is not an efficient way to become healthy, that is one of the downsides of the Weight Watchers Program.

Instead reducing calories should be done with a focus on creating balanced, nutritious meal.



Low Carb Diet

low carb diet

Diets that are high in carbohydrates cause a variety of health issues. It would seem natural that eliminating these would cause you to lose weight and be healthier. In actuality, many of these diets are very restrictive, especially in the beginning when the chances of giving up are highest.

These diets are generally high in protein which can increase muscle and energy levels. It is important to keep in mind that not all protein sources are created equal. Eating protein that is high in saturated fat is not a healthy tradeoff for carbs.

A diet that reduces carb intake should also focus on being balanced with a variety of food sources.  If you are considering to cut carbs when losing weight you should consider eating complex carbs instead of eliminating all carbs.



Low Fat Diet

low fat diet

It may seem like a simple solution to avoid fats so that you don’t become, fat. The truth is weight loss does not work that way. Foods labeled as “low” or “fat free” may instead include extra flour, sugars, or other additives to improve their taste. The result may be unhealthier than the full fat counterpart. Another thing to consider is that not all fats are bad for you.

A diet that includes healthy fats helps to keep cholesterol balanced and can aid in weight loss.  Fat also provides your body with energy, and will help you feel satisfied after a meal.

If you decide to eat a diet low in fat make sure that you supplement your diet for the necessary essential fatty acids that the body does not produce itself, and which you need to get from your diet

There are two main types of essential fatty acids: Omega-6 and Omega-3 fatty acids.



Macro Diet

Macro diet

A combination of Eastern and Western philosophies, the macrobiotic diet focuses not only on food choices but achieving overall harmony. This harmony is achieved not only by selecting foods that complement each other (Ying & Yang) but eating them in a mindful manner.

The foundation of the meal is whole grains and lean protein sources while restricting processed foods and sugars. It is partially vegetarian and values local sources.

The food choices aren’t incredibly restrictive but when combined with the suggested preparation methods and overall attitude towards eating may be too much to adopt at once. The diet also does not address physical activity or the underlying causes of an unhealthy mental relationship with food. Many athletes and personal trainers recommend the macro diet. The macro diet is also known as Flexible dieting.

Macros, is basically short for macronutrients, which are your fats, proteins and carbohydrates.  To follow a macronutrients diet you would need to calculate each of your macros so you know what’s the exact amount of macros you need to ingest.



Vegetarian Diet

Vegetarian diet

There are many reasons people choose a vegetarian diet. While it may provide you comfort as a more ethical and humane way of eating it is not a fast track to weight loss. In fact without proper planning it can lead to nutritional deficiencies and even weight gain.

Vitamins such as B-12 is found only in animal based food sources and is essential for the brain and nervous system to function properly. Another very important animal based nutrient are Omega 3 fatty acids. Though you can find both of these nutrients in fortified foods, supplements, and alternate sources this requires proper planning.

Lack of planning ahead can result in poor food choices such as high fat and high carb foods to satisfy your appetite.

Vegetarian meal plans are commonly plant and legume based, both of which are healthy food choices. Overall a diet that excludes meat can reduce risks of disease, obesity, and certain types of cancer. Adding vegetarian meals to a diet is a fabulous way to take advantage of the health benefits these foods bring without the restriction and risk of deficiency.