6 Types of Diets + the Pros and Cons
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There are a ton of weight loss diets out there. Some are fads, some have been around forever, but one thing they all have in common is they all claim to work. The thing with diets is it doesn’t always work for everyone’s body type. It’s important to do your research before jumping into a new diet and choosing which one is the best for you and your body.
Here are six popular weight loss diets and their pros and cons that are currently trending:
What is it: A low carb, high fat diet. You should avoid carb based foods and consume only low carb foods such as meat, fatty fish, eggs, cheese, nuts, and low carb veggies.
Pros: Weight loss, blood sugar reduction, insulin reduction, may reduce and slow progression of Alzheimers, heart health, cancer treatment and slow tumor growth
Cons: Giving up certain food such as whole grains, legumes, and certain vegetables can cause nutrient deficiencies. The Keto diet may cause kidney stones, high blood pressure, and an increased risk of heart disease.
Learn More: The Complete Ketogenic Diet for Beginners: Your Essential Guide to Living the Keto Lifestyle By Amy Ramos
What is it: A diet based on only consuming whole foods such as lean meats, fish, fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds. This diet was made to resemble what we believe hunters and gathers ate during the Paleolithic era. In this diet you should avoid whole grains, legumes, dairy, processed foods, salt, and refined sugar.
Pros: Weight loss, weight maintenance, blood pressure control, better glucose tolerance
Cons: The Paleo diet excludes legumes and whole grains which are great sources of fiber.
Learn More: Paleo for Beginners: Essentials to Get Started By John Chatham
Intermittent Fasting Diet
What is it: A pattern in which you eat during certain periods of a day as well as fast during certain periods of a day. There are different methods of fasting. The most popular method is the 16/8 method where you only eat for 8 hours in a day and fast the other 16; for example, you eat from 12:00-8:00pm. There are not certain foods you are able to eat during intermittent fasting just a certain time period in which you can eat.
Pros: Weight loss, insulin resistance, brain health, anti-aging, heart health
Cons: Intermittent fasting is not suited for people with sensitive blood sugar levels, pregnant women, breastfeeding mothers, children, and those who are malnourished or nutrient deficient.
Learn More: Intermittent Fasting: The Step By Step Guide For Beginners: Effective Path To Optimal Health And Healthy Weight Loss By Amy Fisher
South Beach Diet
What is it: A modified and balanced low-carb diet as it is lower in carbs and higher in healthy fats and protein. It focuses on good carbs, healthy fats, and proteins. The diet is done in 3 phases. Phase 1 lasts two weeks and involves eliminating all carbs from your diet and focusing on eating lean protein, high fiber vegetables, low-fat dairy, and foods with unsaturated fats. In phase 2, you begin to add back in foods that you were restricted in phase 1. You will stay in phase 2 until you reach your goal weight. Phase 3 is the final phase where you are focusing on maintaining your weight.
Pros: Weight loss, heart health
Cons: The South Beach diet is very restrictive and allows harmful fats such as processed vegetable oils.
Learn More: The South Beach Diet: The Delicious, Doctor-Designed, Foolproof Plan for Fast and Healthy Weight Loss By Arthur Agatston
What is it: Excludes all animal products and any ingredient derived from animals such as meat, eggs, and dairy from your diet
Pros: Weight loss, controlled blood sugar, heart health
Cons: The Vegan diet lacks several necessary nutrients due to no intake of animal products.
Learn More: The Plant Based Diet for Beginners: 75 Delicious, Healthy Whole Food Recipes By Gabriel Miller
What is it: A short term diet that cleanses your body of harmful toxins. Detox diets typically include some time fasting and then a strict diet full of only fruits, vegetables, juices, smoothies, water, and tea. Some detox diets are more specific than others and may include supplements and/or laxatives.
Pros: Weight loss, more focused, more energy
Cons: Detoxing can cause extreme fatigue and irritability and you may only see short term results.
Learn More: The Detox Diet, Third Edition: The Definitive Guide for Lifelong Vitality with Recipes, Menus, and Detox Plans By Elson M. Haas
To learn more about any of these diets check out the books below that serve as a complete guide to each specific diets. I hope this made choosing which diet is best for you a little easier. Happy dieting!
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