It is officially the start of the new year and we can all safely say that we’ve over-indulged ourselves over the past month. After all, what is the festive season good for if not to add a few pounds of padding to stave off the chill? If you’re wanting to start your #NewYearNewMe off right and opt in for a healthy new lifestyle, your gym membership could need some assistance - that’s providing you put it to use too. Your diet is a major part of losing weight and feeling great and with so many different ones out there, it’s hard to know where to really start. The best way to find the ideal diet for you is to do some research and give them a go, you’ll never really know how your body responds to a diet until you’ve tried it. So, we’ve rounded up a list of the most popular diets and done a little bit of the work for you to find out what is involved in each one to get you started. Remember though, it is always recommended that you consult with your doctor as any medical conditions or medications can affect what your body needs!
The Keto Diet
The Keto Diet has been one of the latest to come out of the woodwork, and a number of people swear by it. It may sound odd, but it actually involves having a very low-carb, high-fat diet. But, this refers to good fats such as avocados, eggs, yoghurt and meats. Reducing the carbohydrate intake and upping the fat intake puts your body into a state of ketosis. Ketosis is a metabolic process that makes your body burn fat for energy rather than glucose. The Keto Diet has recorded massive reductions in blood sugar and insulin levels as well as ketone development which supplies energy to the brain.
The Atkins Diet
If you know anything about nutrition, you’ve probably heard about the Atkins Diet. Also known as the Atkins nutritional approach, the diet focuses on low-carbohydrate intake. The diet has sparked controversy and people aren’t entirely sure if it actually works, with a lot of research pointing to behavioural counselling doing a better job with weight loss. There are a number of books with adaptations to the Atkins Diet that may be more preferable for you. Although popular for some time, the Atkins Diet is not without its risks. If you’re personally considering the Atkins Diet, it’s advisable to first speak with your doctor.
The Zone Diet
The Zone Diet aims for a balance of 40 percent carbohydrates, 30 percent fats, and 30 percent protein in each meal. The control of intake also helps to manage insulin levels which can lead to weight loss and body weight control more successfully than other diets. Keeping insulin levels within the therapeutic zone means staying in "The Zone,” hence the name! But, we’re not talking about burgers and fries here, the diet focuses on high-quality carbohydrates - unrefined carbohydrates, and fats, such as olive oil, avocado, and nuts.
The Weight Watchers Diet
The Weight Watchers Diet is arguably the biggest diet-based phenomenon that ever was. With millions of members in over 30 different countries around the world, a huge amount of people swear by this method. Rather than being completely focused on the ‘eating’ aspect of a diet, The Weight Watchers Diet program includes regular meetings - which are even available online, self-help type learning sessions, group support, and a points system. Each individual has a certain amount of points per day that they cannot go over, and each food has a point allocated. For example, eating an egg is worth 2 points, so if your target is 30 points, you have 28 left through the day.
The Raw Food Diet
This diet is relatively simple as the main element is the idea that at least three-quarters of a person's food intake should consist of uncooked food. Although a number of followers of the Raw Food Diet are vegans who do not eat any form of animal product, it is not exclusive to vegans. There are four main types of raw foodists: raw vegetarians, raw vegans, raw omnivores, and raw carnivores. The Raw Food Diet includes raw foods such as grains, fruits, nut milks, nut butters and dried fruits. Depending on your personal preference, if can also include meat and fish.
The Paleo Diet
The term ‘paleo’ comes from the palaeolithic era, when man first began using tools. The diet consists of foods that can be hunted and fished - such as meat and seafood - and foods that can be gathered - such as eggs, nuts, seeds, fruits, vegetables, herbs and spices. This eliminates any processed foods and takes it right back to the basics, essentially living off the land. Although there is no official “Paleo Diet” regime, it is generally seen as a low-carb, high-protein diet, with some variations on carbohydrate and meat intake.
The DASH Diet
The DASH Diet stands for Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension. The dietary program has been promoted by the US National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute for controlling and preventing hypertension. The DASH Diet is rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and low-fat dairy foods; includes meat, fish, poultry, nuts, and beans; and is limited in sugar-sweetened foods and beverages, red meat, and added fats. As well as having huge health benefits, it’s been suggested as the ‘right way to eat,’ with nutritionists advising families to maintain the eating pattern in every day life.
The Mediterranean Diet
The Mediterranean Diet essentially reflects the eating pattern of people living in the Mediterranean, with lots of vegetables, fruits, olive oil, fish, nuts and beans. Red meat is limited to once or twice a month. As well as being fabulous for your waistline, who doesn’t want to look like a Grecian goddess? Research suggests that the diet encourages better control of blood glucose/sugar levels and reduced risk of depression.