Wednesday 2 December, 2020

5 diets that can help with weight loss

We all wish that we had a magic solution for weight loss where we can eat whatever we desire while keeping our ideal weight.

Unfortunately, there is no magic solution for losing weight and in order to keep the weight off we need to change our diets.

On the bright side, there are several types of diets out there that can help you lose weight in combination with other healthy lifestyle choices.

I have put together five types of diets that can aid in weight loss along with the pros and cons and other key facts to know when you’re deciding which one works best for you.

The alkaline diet

The alkaline diet is based on the idea of replacing acid-forming foods with alkaline foods to improve health. It is said that this diet helps combat serious diseases such as cancer.

The idea is that a person can control the acidity or alkalinity of their body through the foods they consume. When food is metabolised to extract calories, the food is burnt, leaving an ash residue that may be acidic, alkaline or neutral. Advocates of the alkaline diet claim that this ash can affect how acidic the body is and that acidic ash increases susceptibility to disease. Alkaline ash, on the other hand, they believe is protective and that by “alkalizing” the diet and balancing the body’s pH, it is possible to improve health.

A few alkaline foods that one can consume with this diet include lettuce, spinach, sweet potato, carrots, pineapple, watermelon, grapefruit, onion, ginger, cashews and almonds to name a few.

Pros

  • The diet is heavy on fruits, vegetables and grains and cuts back on red meat, added sugar, processed and junk foods.
  • Some people experience higher energy levels, less gut problems and lose weight.

Cons

  • It can get confusing. The lists of foods that are alkaline versus acidic are not intuitive. For example, lemons and apple cider vinegar, which are acidic in nature, are listed as alkaline, due to how they are metabolized in the body.

Keto diet

A keto or ketogenic diet is a low-carb, moderate protein, higher-fat way of eating. The reduction in carb intake puts your body in a metabolic state called ketosis, where fat, from your diet and from your body, is burned for energy. This diet is especially useful for losing excess body fat without hunger and for improving type 2 diabetes.

Some keto friendly foods include sardines, mackerel, shellfish, cauliflower, zucchini, cheese, avocados, chicken, eggs, coconut oil and the list goes on.

Pros

  • It promotes weight loss. In a normal diet, your body burns carbohydrates for energy.  However, when you restrict carbohydrates, your body will begin burning fat to use for energy instead. Additionally, the Keto diet’s method of increasing foods that are high in fat can help eliminate cravings and feelings of hunger.
  • Allows you to eat all the high fat foods you love

Cons

  • The high-fat nature of the diet could also have negative impacts on heart health. 
  • Using the restroom may be difficult since removing whole grain and fruit will greatly lower one's fiber intake. Not great for gut health.

Intermittent fasting

Intermittent fasting is eating that cycles between fasting and eating. It is not specific to what you should eat, but rather when you should eat. Common intermittent fasting methods involve daily 16-hour fasts or fasting for 24 hours, twice per week.

Pros

  • When fasting you’re not consuming any calories so you will lose weight. Fasting allows you to use up all of your stored sugars as fuel, and to then tap into fat stores. When you begin to burn fat stores, you begin to lose body fat.
  • Intermittent fasting can help with disease prevention and lower disease risk

Cons

  • You may experience low energy levels and as a result may become unproductive
  • You may experience digestive issues such as cramping, abdominal pain and bloating when going long periods of time without eating

Raw food diet

A raw food diet, also sometimes called “raw foodism,” is about eating mostly or all unprocessed and uncooked foods so you get all the nutrients without the dangerous additives. The goal of eating more raw foods is to obtain plenty of nutrients in an easy-to-digest manner, one that our bodies are naturally suited for. 

Some of the foods in that diet include fresh, juiced or dehydrated raw fruits, raw nuts, raw nut butters, seaweed

Pros

  • Raw food help alkalize the body, reduce acidity, and have less of a chance of fermenting in the gut and causing inflammation/autoimmune reactions.
  • Helps you maintain a healthy body weight

Cons

  • The diet tends to be low calorie, so eating enough each day to satisfy your caloric needs can be challenging. 

Low fat diet

Low fat diets involve restricting fat intake to less than 30% of total daily calories. Instead, you’re meant to eat naturally low fat foods like fruits, vegetables, whole grains, egg whites, legumes, and skinless poultry. Fat-reduced foods like low fat yogurt, skim milk, and lean cuts of beef and pork are also sometimes permitted.

Pros

  • It is effective for weight loss
  • It helps lower the risk of heart disease

Cons

  • A very low-fat diet can cause vitamin and mineral deficiencies in some people, missing the mineral zinc and some B vitamins, to name but a few.

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