Drastic Diets Work, Until They Don't

We have all seen ads for the newest and trendiest diet out there, but how do we know which one will work for longer than 2-3 months?

I just want to make the disclaimer now that if you have certain intolerances or medical conditions that require you to be on a special type of diet that is a completely different situation then what I am discussing in this post! Please take your medical doctors’ advice, this post is geared to the idea of doing the diet simply because it is the newest “fad” or “trend” or just because it worked for someone else.

Diet and exercise should work together for a long period of time to create long life changing habits and not quick and dirty weight loss strategies. Quick and drastic weight loss is not only dangerous but isn’t sustainable and unless you maintain that deficit in calories or extreme workout regimen, then you will put the weight back on or start or fall back into old habits.

Some of the common diet trends now are ones like keto, vegan, vegetarian, paleo, low calorie and carb cutting, other things like fit teas and detoxes have been around for a long time, but those are another story! What do all these diets have in common? Two words, caloric deficit, meaning you consume less than you expend. Restricting yourself from eating carbs, fats or protein can have severe health downfalls if not made up for in other ways through supplementation.


Let’s explore some of these diets;

Keto-

This is a diet where one extremely limits the intake of carbohydrates, focusing meals to be protein and fat with the goal of the body using ketones as energy rather than glucose. There are some diseases that can benefit from a keto style diet, if you go all in as a person and commit 100% to the eating style then yes you will see a weight change. If not, then it won’t be sustainable and old ways will creep back.


Paleo-

The idea behind this diet is to get back to our roots as humans and eat what cavemen ate, things like lean meats such as fish, turkey, chicken and pork, fruit and non-starchy veggies, nuts and seeds limiting the ingestion of grains, starch veggies, beans, dairy and processed foods. Again this diet will put you into a caloric deficit because you are eliminating foods, which in turn can result in weight loss. There are many health benefits from the above foods not “allowed” while on the paleo diet and again should be discussed with a professional before choosing to do supplementation for possible deficiencies.


Vegan-

This is a touchy topic for a lot of people, everyone has an opinion about eating meat or not, but veganism comes down to more than just the consumption of meat. The use and consumption of any animal products should be the core value. No matter your thoughts on the diet, there are a multitude of deficiency’s that come from not eating animal products and should be discussed with a professional should you choose this lifestyle. Vitamin B-12, iron, zinc and calcium tend to be the major 4, yes you can take supplements for these and still be vegan but other cons include price of foods, haircare, skincare, clothing and any other products that may have come from an animal.

No matter what another person should be making the choice of how you eat (unless it is a medical diet), by making healthy choices and doing the best you can to reach your goals then you already have succeeded. Everyone is going to tell you what you should and should not do when it comes to diet.

Reach out to a professional who can guide you through the world of nutrition, when in doubt just do the following;

- Build a healthy plate: make sure at least ½ of the plate is fruits and veggies

- ¼ is a healthy protein like (chicken, fish, turkey, pork, lean beef, bison, game)

- ¼ is a whole grain of some type

If the average adult, you should also be exercising 2.5 hours a week at moderate intensity or 75 minutes a week of vigorous activity to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Now remember this number looks different on everyone and some people need more time moving to reach their goals.

Talk to a personal trainer and/or nutrition coach about your goals and as always;

Keep it simple and Be Fit. Be Well.

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