The New Year often sees people looking for a diet plan – but are they really the best way to lose weight?
There are many weight loss diets on the Internet – but can they be trusted? (Photo: shutterstock)
The New Year’s clean slate is causing many people across the UK to think about their lifestyles.
The ultimate goal is fitness improvement, but weight loss follows closely.
Here’s her take on the leading diets – from the keto diet to the 800 diet – plus her top tips on the best way to change unwanted weight.
Keto Diet (and Other Low-Carb Diets)
The ketogenic diet is a low-carb, high-fat diet that aims to make the body burn fat instead of carbohydrates for energy
The ketogenic diet is a diet used clinically to treat epilepsy.
It was not designed to be used as a weight loss diet.
While low-carb diets can be effective for aiding weight loss, this is not because carbohydrates are something we need to restrict or that they are a miracle cure for weight loss.
This is due to the general reduction in energy consumption.
This is not a diet to follow specifically for weight loss, but a way of eating, or a lifestyle that requires dedication and attention to nutrition.
There are nutrients like: calcium, iron, zinc, iodine, selenium, vitamins B12, and omega-3 fatty acids that are hard to come by in a vegetarian diet, so planning your food intake and having a good knowledge is key.
Choosing to eat more plants and add variety to your diet, while still eating some animal products, can be an easier way to eat without going entirely vegan.
The Mediterranean diet follows the traditional healthy eating habits of people from countries bordering the Mediterranean, such as France and Spain. It is high in vegetables, fruits, legumes, nuts, beans, cereals, grains, fish and unsaturated fats such as olive oil
This is an evidence-based way of eating with proven health benefits for your heart and long-term health.
It is not a weight loss diet, but if you increase your intake of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean protein, it will likely lead to weight loss if your body needs to lose weight.
The Mediterranean diet is a way of eating that is definitely good to follow.
The FODMAP diet is a diet that is low in carbohydrates that ferment in the digestive system. It can be found in products such as soft fruits and dairy products. They stand for Oligo-, Di-, Mono-saccharides, and Polyols
The low-FODMAP diet is another evidence-based diet used to treat irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).
It was not designed for weight loss and should not be used as a weight loss method!
Instead, it’s a way to see if there are any foods upsetting your digestive system by eliminating them and later reintroducing them into your diet.
It is a complex diet that must be followed with nutritional support.
The Cambridge Diet (and meal replacement diets)
The Cambridge Diet is an example of a meal replacement diet, in which participants consume certain foods or shakes with a certain burden on calorie control.
Dietitians sometimes use meal replacement diets to help people lose weight.
But they are used in a structured way, with education and support to help the person get back to a normal diet.
The problem with doing these diets on your own can be that you don’t have access to education and support.
So, while you may lose weight quickly, the weight does not stay on long term.
800 diets (and other fasting regimes)
The 800 Diet is an example of a fasting diet, in which people limit their calorie intake on certain days of the week or for certain periods of the day. The 800 Diet itself was developed by television doctor Dr. Michael Mosley
While these diets can work for some people, there are many for whom fasting is not sustainable or comfortable.
We shouldn’t punish ourselves with diets but we should find an enjoyable way to eat that will keep us healthy in the long run.
For most people, a fasting regimen will be a short-term solution.
Paleo diet includes eating Food and drink Which our ancestors managed to reach in the Paleolithic period, which stretched from 10,000 to 2.5 million years ago. It includes eating lean meat, fish, fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds and avoiding foods that became popular with the advent of agriculture, for example, dairy products.
This is a fad diet that excludes food groups.
Any diet that does this is one to stay away from.
While it may help you lose weight, it will not be weight loss in the long term and may result in a restrictive way of eating that prevents you from getting all the nutrients your body needs.
Priya Teo’s top tips
I don’t actually advocate dieting to lose weight or even focusing on losing weight at all.
We know that a large percentage of diets do not work.
Instead of going on a diet that is unlikely to last, focus on what you can add to your lifestyle to improve your healthy habits.
Eat more fruits and vegetables, switch to whole grain foods, drink more water, move your body daily and improve your sleep habits.
Practice adjusting your body’s needs when it comes to being hungry and feeling full and satisfied with your food.
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