I wanted to review Fad diets, there are many misconceptions about dieting and what works. Having tried a few diets in the past, I wanted to share with you my knowledge and experience in these eating behaviours which we all read about and sometimes try.
Fad Diet Review
I will be reviewing 4 diets, which I’m sure most of you have heard of. Let’s start with a brief description of what each one entails:
Atkins – Limit your carbs and eat no more than 20g per day for the first 2 weeks, then add in more carbs and ‘allowed’ foods in 3 further phases. They also promote ‘Atkins’ branded shakes and ready meals.
Dukan– Eat from a list of 100 permitted foods, including lean meats, poultry and selected fruit and veg. This diet is also done in phases, the first being pure protein only along with 6-8 cups of water and oat bran. Later there are pure proteins days and others where you can eat veg.
5:2 – Restricting calories to 25% (about 500 calories) of your energy needs twice a week. The other 5 days you eat normally.
Paleo – No cereals, dairy, potatoes, refined sugar, legumes or salty foods to name a few. This diet is all about grass-fed meats, healthy oils such a flaxseed and coconut and fresh fruit and veg.
Three of these diets are quite similar, focusing on proteins, fruit and veg and low to no carbs. I personally believe in this sentence as a rule of thumb. However, I also believe in portion sizes, which is not really the focus in any of these diets.
These diets can go one of two ways, the first is…you’re very disciplined, you’re determined to lose weight and you follow the rules, step by step…the weight falls off! But does it stay off? This is where the term ‘yoyo’ diet comes into play. A person loses some weight, but then is not able to continue with the diet long term due to the restrictions, they go back to eating as before and what you do know…the weight is back! Sometimes you become heavier than before. (Trust me, I know…I have been there)
The second is that the diets are just too hard to follow or too strict, they last a few days, no weight is loss, but motivation and moral is. A person can jump from diet to diet with no result, which is demoralising.
I do support a low carb, low fat, high protein ‘lifestyle’ but one which allows me to stick to it.
Learn the amount of calories in your staple and favourite foods. We generally know what foods are bad for us, and we should try and avoid them, but if you’re unsure you should seek advice. Control your portion sizes, eat 3 meals including breakfast and 2 small snacks to ensure you’re not starving by the time it comes to your next meal.
Make eating well part of your everyday life. If it’s too strict you’ll ‘cheat’ or ‘fall off the bandwagon’. You never have to be hungry, you just have to be smart!