There are soooooooo many different diets out there – some work, some don’t, some are maintainable, some are harmful. And don’t misunderstand the word “diet” as “starving yourself” because that is not always the case, especially these days…the word “diet” should simply be used to describe the type of food we eat.
A few common diets out there:
Weight Watchers – This is probably one of the most well-known diets from back in the day. It goes by a points system (similar concept to counting calories) which encourages you to eat more healthy nutritious food and less junk food. By only having a set amount of points to use in a day, you will naturally reach for healthier foods like veggies, fruit and lean meats, over sugary, high-carb, fatty foods which will use up your points faster. This is a good program to get started and if you go to an actual Weight Watchers facility, you will have support and be held accountable by the regular check-ins…but I’m not sure how maintainable it would be in the long run. For me, personally, I get tired of constantly having to track each meal so closely.
Vegan Diet – As most of you know, especially from living in Vancouver, a Vegan diet only consists of plant-based foods like vegetables, fruits, grains and nuts. Because you’re cutting out all meat and dairy, this diet is naturally low in calcium, vitamin D, iron, vitamin B12, zinc and omega-3 fatty acids. To ensure you stay nourished and strong, just make sure you educate yourself on how to continue a balanced diet and receive a sufficient amount of nutrients each day. This diet, I can’t do, as I love meat too much…but for those who are Vegan, luckily our society is catering to this type of diet more and more now. More yummy, vegan restaurants are popping up or at the very least, menus will label which dishes are vegan-friendly.
Raw Food Diet – This diet isn’t so much about weight-loss, it’s more so about overall health. The Raw Food diet is about eating only uncooked, unprocessed foods such as fruits, veggies, nuts, seeds, egg, fish, meat, dairy. So it isn’t vegan, it’s just rawww. People who do this believe that heating foods loses all it’s nutrients and natural enzymes, which is not good because enzymes boost digestion and fight chronic disease. Some also believe that cooking foods makes it toxic, so they will take their food in the form of juice, smoothies, or just plain uncooked raw goodness. I personally do not believe in this diet, as I love hot, cooked food and avoid thinking about the potential loss of nutrients.
Ketogenic Diet – A new-ish fad diet that focuses on high-fat, adequate-protein, and low-carb intake. It works because it forces the body to burn fats rather than carbohydrates, and works best if you are incorporating exercise into your program. Rest assured that even though you are lowering your carb-intake, you will still have enough energy for your workouts and enough nutrients to build muscle. Some people also know this as the ‘Atkins Diet’, which came about for drastic weight-loss. You can technically do this forever, but it also comes in 4-phases – from lowering your carb-intake significantly, to working it back into your diet gradually once you reach your weight-loss goal. I am going to start this today, so be sure to follow my Instagram to see how I’m liking it!
Intermittent Fasting (IF) – This one is rapidly becoming popular because Terry Crews shared that he does this…and just look at him! For women, it’s fasting for 14-15 hours. For men, 16 hours. This diet is more about when you eat, than what you eat. By only having the ~8 hour window to eat, this will control your daily caloric-intake, therefore helping you lose weight. It’s also known to lower insulin levels and make positive changes in hormones, which is what my competition prep diet had thrown off. There are a few different methods to IF and you can look them up to see which one would suit you best. I’ve personally been fasting for ~15 hours and eating for ~9 hours, and I am starting to feel results. It’s quite easy to skip breakfast, in fact, it’s a time-saver in the mornings. I also haven’t noticed a drop in energy, so it hasn’t hindered my workouts, and I give this diet most of the credit for helping me end my binge eating. Hallelujah!
So here’s a snapshot of some of the diets out there. I personally think it’s all about finding the one that works for you, one that you can maintain with ease and get/keep the results you want. Just about all diets will take some time to adjust to, but if your body is still struggling with it after 1-2 weeks, then it probably isn’t the diet for you. Listen to your body and cater to what it needs.