Needless to say, the pandemic has wreaked havoc on more than just our world, it has most likely affected our eating and fitness habits as well. It’s time to take a look at some ways to reset our dietary habits and eat for optimal health. Here are some of the top diet trends out there along with the positives and negatives of each one. Find the right plan for your lifestyle and give it a try.
Jean Chen Smith is a Pilates studio owner and personal trainer with over 10 years of experience who focuses on healthy lifestyle and eating choices. She has experimented with all of these diets and has come to the conclusion nutrition is very personalized and each individual needs to find what works best for their body.
Keto, also known as the ketogenic diet, is on the tip of everyone’s tongue right now. Rightly so, this plan can be highly effective for weight loss and increased energy levels. This plan focuses on foods high in fat, while limiting carbohydrates to most commonly under 50 net grams. That count is super low considering a medium sized apple is already approximately 25 grams. By eliminating or reducing carbs, this allows your body to go into ketosis. During ketosis, the body becomes better at turning fat into energy. It also turns fat into ketones in the liver, which ultimately is claimed to improve brain function.
Cons: Beginners of the keto diet might find themselves with “keto flu,” which is the body’s response to consuming such a low amount of carbs. Keto flu can include headaches, fatigue, nausea and difficulty sleeping. The good news is that this should last no more than a week or so for most people. Also, due to the severity of this diet, it is best to consult and be monitored by a dietitian. For more information: webmd.com/diet/ss/slideshow-ketogenic-diet.
Vegans eliminate all animal products including meat, fish, dairy, eggs and honey. Whether you follow the diet for ethical or health reasons, it can be great for weight loss and keeping your BMI (body mass index) down.
According to healthine.com, vegans tend to have lower blood sugar levels and up to a 50-78% lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes than most people. Also known as a “plant-based” diet, vegans eat more vegetables and legumes than the average person, which can greatly reduce their susceptibility to certain types of cancers. For instance, did you know that eating legumes regularly may reduce your risk of colorectal cancer by up to 18%?
Cons: The challenges proponents of this diet might face is overdoing it on processed foods such as cookies, cakes and sodas. Even though some cookies and cakes are vegan, it doesn’t make them healthy. Vegans should focus on consuming sufficient quantities of calcium, B12, zinc and iron. For more information: vrg.org/nutshell/vegan.htm.
Intermittent fasting is more a lifestyle versus diet. Fasting can be extremely beneficial for weight loss, focus, energy and reducing America’s overall obsession with food. Fasting can help regulate insulin, which is the hormone associated with weight gain and fat storage. Throughout history and in many cultures, fasting has been used for spiritual reasons.
Once you map out your schedule and get into a routine, Intermittent fasting is possible for any lifestyle. It’s easy, simple and doesn’t cost anything! To start, do a 12 hour overnight fast (while you are sleeping) and gradually increase it over time to 14 or 16 hours. It’s important to strike a healthy balance that works for you.
Cons: If you currently don’t have a set schedule, you might find yourself hungry. If so, don’t deprive yourself – it will make it worse. Have a snack and gradually work your way up to increased hours. Also, consider a light workout or not working out at all on days you fast for longer. That will ensure you have enough nourishment and energy to go on throughout the day. To learn more about Intermittent fasting: medicalnewstoday.com/articles/322293.
Intuitive Eating, created in 1995 by two dietitians Evelyn Tribole and Elyse Resch, focuses on integrating instinct and emotion when relating to food. A non-diet approach highlighting self-care and tuning into your body’s signals, intuitive eating has been known to improve body image, lower cholesterol levels, speed up metabolism and lower stress
Cons: Because there is little or no true structure to intuitive eating, it might be easy to overeat. If you are not aware of the amount of calories a certain food has, you might consume too much with the belief it is healthy. Take avocados for instance. They’re considered healthy and full of nutrients and healthy fats, but one can overdo it without knowing the caloric intake. Take the time to gain a proper understanding of calories, portion sizes and nutrition. To learn more: intuitiveeating.org/10-principles-of-intuitive-eating.
The flexitarian eats mostly veggies, whole grains, fruit and plant-based proteins with the occasional meat. This eating style was first coined in the early ’90s and can be a more reasonable approach to eating. Weight loss can be achieved since vegetables are lower in calories and fat than animal-based proteins. Also, for many who follow this diet, eating out as well as attending social events doesn’t present such a major issue.
Cons: While many of the pros seem to outweigh the cons, the flexitarian diet does have a few drawbacks. Since consumption of meat-based proteins is lower, be sure to substitute with legumes, beans and other plant proteins. Iron levels might decrease, so be sure to watch out for that. Additionally, make sure to monitor portion control as even too many vegetables i.e. carbohydrates can cause bloating and raised insulin levels. For more information, go to: healthline.com/nutrition/flexitarian-diet-guide.
Read or Share this story: https://www.cincinnati.com/story/entertainment/2020/11/04/keto-fasting-vegan-flexitarian-how-all-those-fad-diets-stack-up/6130469002/