A great body and rosy health is a priority with a capital “P” on everyone’s wish list. Now how much effort and will each person is willing to plough in and does so, either fragments their results or delivers an enviable outcome in one superb frame!
Some believe it’s the lifestyle, some people believe it’s customization on food while a large section believe it’s the exercise. Whatever the belief, the objective is almost the same. To get fitter, to look hotter, to trust your health to take care of you and to add life to your years.
The concept of “diet” is quite the paradox in itself. You don’t follow a specific diet that is tied to a theory and you find it difficult to really lose weight consistently. But then, when you stop the diet, most followers gain the extra butter back! And the compliments which were free flowing elicit frustratingly sympathetic remarks. It’s a cycle, difficult to break. Which finally one day stops circling. The same diet with fantastic results at one point produces no results (well almost) when followed the second or third time over!
But finally any individual needs a guide, a concept to follow to achieve an end to a path that he is unfamiliar with. And a “diet” provides that necessary tool to achieve one’s health goals and the much sought after “lifestyle”. But diets, truly are interesting elimination techniques imposing restrictions that can’t be followed forever. So what’s the solution?
Professional help, consulting a professional who knows her/his job without breaking the internet!
Or else, a 4 step hack!!
#1 Choose a sensible diet
#2 Customize it with the help of a nutritionist/health professional
#3 Mark it with an expiry date (based on your goals)
#4 Carve a path (and this is the most and well ignored step) to come out of the diet into the right lifestyle that you can sustain forever.
Miss a step and the balance will tilt out of favour.
Let’s take a look at some of the most popular diets of 2018
The restriction: 14-16 hours of fasting cuts out 65% of eating time from your day (which of course includes sleep time). This cleverly cuts down calories which you may have not been able to do without the camouflage of the intermittent rule! It’s all in the mind, it’s so true!
The advantage: No specific prep needed, better digestion, better insulin regulation, fat loss, other noted health advantages. Mornings are when your cravings are at their lowest. This diet takes 100% advantage of this fact. And allows you to eat when your body and mind crave food, towards the evening after a tiring day. Brilliant!
The disadvantage: Social dos are restricted, 16 hour fast for 7 days a week may not be possible, metabolism may drop, 16 hours for women may expose them to the risk of hormonal imbalances and may cause menstrual irregularities besides other problems. SO all you women out there, cut yourself some slack, make the intermittent fast just 14 hours long.
The restriction: Carbs down to 20gms per day, No grains, No dals/pulses/legumes, hardly any fruit except for a small quantity of berries, even vegetables aren’t beyond scrutiny. All high carb veggies like carrots, beet, potatoes carry the “No entry” board.
The advantage: Accelerated weight loss, a dream concept for the butter and high fat lovers, plenty of recipe guidelines on the internet, many restaurants serve and deliver keto food, no sweet cravings and energy levels will be at an all time high! Great health advantages have been touted with significant drop in sugar levels and wonderful ranges on other blood markers.
The disadvantage: Difficult to sustain due to heavy restrictions on food groups especially for vegetarians, an extreme need to keep a periodic look out for blood markers like lipid profile, liver function test, creatinine and uric acid levels, a hindrance to playing the role of an ideal guest who takes delight in the hardwork of the hosts laid out on the table, quite the wet cloth during the festival season where sweets become food and health food is rarely visible (and this in India is a huge disadvantage), one of the most difficult diets to sustain and come clean out of, bounce back weight is quick and drastic, short history for such a controversial diet hence no one can really vouch for lifetime advantages or risks for that matter.
The restriction: No processed food, no sugar or the like including sweetners, no MSG or sulphites. Other restrictions include alcohol, grains, legumes/dals/pulses, all soyfoods, peanut butetr and dairy. Phew! What’s allowed are eggs, fats including nuts, seeds, avocado, almond milk and the like, meats, vegetables, fruit and fish.
The advantage: It’s just for 30 days, helps to get rid of things in the diet that fight gut microbiome and cause inflammation, resets your hormones and gives you the advantage of a new starting point. Marks a clear comeback strategy after completion of 30 days, cuts down inflammation.
The disadvantage: Lasts for 30 days and yet high on restrictions and hence a difficult concept to adapt and follow. Vegetarians may almost have to last on love and fresh air!
The restriction: Carbohydrates! But not daily. This diet encourages the use of carbs intermittently with the heavy restriction of carbs where proteins and fats are the fuel!
The advantage: Weight loss, craving for carbs can be taken care of on some days of the week.
The disadvantage: The cycling method is seen to work well for a couple of kgs before the plateau hits, when this happens you will need to know how to turn around the macronutrients in the diet to your advantage and kick start the fat loss process again.
It is one of the most sensible, well rounded diets that have done the rounds!
The restriction: Butter and use of too much red meat. Processed food. Simple carbohydrates like sugar and white flour. Fish and lean meats not more than a couple of times a week.
The advantage: Reduced risk to cancer, Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s and LDL (low density lipoprotein)
The disadvantage: Non-vegetarians may find a heavy restriction on their proteins frustrating but it’s a concept that many get used to. Weight loss advantage beyond the first couple of kilos is questionable.
Popularly known as the caveman’s diet takes us back to the caves, literally!!
The restriction: It banishes all foods that were born from the day of farming unto the present day. No just fruits, veggies, meats and fish. No grains, dals, processed foods, sugar, refined oils, potatoes, dairy, peanuts and salt
The advantage: A leaner body without the restriction of calories. A healthy heart and very low risk to diabetes (well controlled sugar levels)
The disadvantage: Like many other diets, the restriction on several groups of foods may induce unsustainability. Eating like cavemen when the rest of the world and it’s lifestyles have surged decades forward may be difficult to the new age man for extended periods of time.
Diets, the list is endless and interesting. Use them to your advantage, do not blindside their advantages but do not make the mistake of thinking that they will caste their blessings on you forever. The trick is to trick the body, keeping changing your strategy, shock the body into losing fat by keeping it guessing. All the while making sure you choose sensible diets that will keep you energetic, focused, nutritionally ample and not hungry. While you dabble in different diets, do not lose sight of the thought that finally this is just a path to help you achieve your health goals and a sustainable lifestyle. Nothing can finally replace the benefits of customization of your food practices and counselling by a professional or qualified food/health practitioner. So seek help and be on your way to good health, for always!