There are an overwhelming array of diets out there all claiming to be the ‘holy grail’ of diets. It can get very confusing as to what foods are ‘good’ or ‘bad.’
There is one thing every diet has in common, whether it’s low carb, low fat, gluten free or involves fasting. This is calorie restriction i.e. you eat less food!
The other thing all diets have in common which ultimately leads to calorie restriction, is that they all remove processed foods high in sugar, fat and salt. We know we should be limiting these foods to only a couple of times a week anyway! Once you take out your daily doughnut and replace it for some fruit, of course, you’ll be eating fewer calories, no matter what diet you’re following.
Generally speaking, to lose weight, you should reduce the amount of processed sugary foods you are eating and increase your vege intake – every diet out there will tell you this. But, you don’t need to be super restrictive and cut out whole food groups – most fad diets out there will tell you to do this.
Popular Diets Explained
Here’s a summary of some of the popular diets out there and what they really mean:
This is essentially a low carb diet. It eliminates grains, legumes, dairy – these food groups have proven health benefits. Unless you have an intolerance, there’s no need to avoid them.
this an extremely low carb and high fat diet. Again, it eliminates grains, dairy and even some veges. This just removes a whole lot of fibre! We know fibre is absolutely vital for good health.
These diets either limit your calorie intake to 500 calories (2000 kilojoules) on two of days the week, or only allow you to eat within an 8-hour eating window every day. This does not mean you can go crazy on your off days or within the 8-hour window. You still need to adhere to a healthy diet. So basically, its calorie restriction within certain windows.
This eliminates all sources of sugar, including in fruit! Fruit is one of the healthiest things on the planet, packed full of fibre, antioxidants and vitamins. Of course, you should limit your chocolate, cakes and cookies, but unless you have a real intolerance to fructose, eat your fruit!
We Recommend: A Balanced Diet
What we suggest doing, rather than cutting out whole food groups and starving yourself two days a week is to maintain a healthy overall eating pattern.
- You don’t need to cut out any food groups – just choose healthier sources e.g. wholegrain over white bread.
- You don’t need to starve yourself to lose weight – just fill up on healthy whole foods instead of processed sugary foods.
- You don’t need to deprive yourself from sugar – just don’t overindulge in dessert every day of the week!
The healthiest, longest living populations in the world certainly don’t follow fad diets, they have healthy food patterns, eating large amounts of fruit and vege with some lean protein, wholegrains, dairy, legumes, nuts, seeds and olive oil.