Mummy, aaj khane mein kya hai? And there goes your diet plans for a toss! You are treated to generous amounts of high-carb and high-fat foods that pushes your diet dreams down the drain. Our severely-changed lifestyles in the last couple of years have not been a great help too. Sitting in front of the laptop, or binge watching some television series or movie has left you with no time for following a strict fitness routine. And to cope with the boredom of the new lifestyle, you have binge-eaten a lot of unhealthy foods. Yeh toh har ghar ki kahaani hai, dost.
It is not just essential to keep a tab on your yog-byaam routine but also on what you eat. However, you should not resort to diet fads in your pursuit of losing weight. Like the unscientific liquid diet that allegedly cost the cricket legend, Shane Warne, his life at the age of 52 years. So here is a list of 5 scientifically-backed diet plans and 5 of those that you should turn your back to immediately.
5 Diet Plans That Actually Work
1. Intermittent Fasting
Intermittent fasting involves following a routine of alternating between periods of eating and fasting. While there are various forms of this diet, there are two methods that are more commonly followed than the others. One is the 16/8 method, where you can intake calories for a span of 8 hours, while keeping a fast for 16 consecutive hours. The other is the 5:2 method, where you need to restrict your calorie intake to 500 to 600 calories twice a week.
The restricted periods of eating reduce your calorie intake, unless you make it all up by over-eating during the time you are allowed to eat. This fasting regimen has shown to reduce weight by 3 to % over 3 to 24 weeks and also minimise the circumference of your waist by 4 to 7%. It is known to burn fat, without compromising on muscle mass, thus, improving metabolism. It also helps with anti-aging, reduced inflammation, improved insulin and brain health, and other benefits.
2. Vegan Or Plant-Based Diet
As the name suggests, this diet solely includes plant-based foods and completely avoids animal sources. Shakahaari diet, did you think? No, it’s not the same. There is a prominent difference between vegetarianism and veganism. Vegetarianism allows milk and other dairy products (like honey, gelatin, whey, etc.) that veganism does not allow. However, there are various versions of the vegan diet. One of them is the flexitarian diet that includes animal products in moderation, apart from plant-based food sources of course.
The vegan diet encourages weight loss by eliminating food sources that are high on calories. Instead, it focuses on a fibre-rich diet that enables you to stay fuller for longer.
Apart from losing weight, it is also closely associated with other health benefits like keeping blood sugar levels under control and improved heart health.
3. Gluten-Free Diet
This diet is especially suitable for those who are intolerant to gluten, a protein present in wheat, barley, and rye. A gluten-free diet espouses focusing on whole foods that are gluten-free. However, you should keep in mind that the diet does not encourage gluten-free junk food, just because they are often devoid of gluten.
4. Low-Carbs Diet
One of the most popular forms of diet, there are various versions of it like the Atkins Diet and Low-Carb, Low-Fat (LCLF) Diet. Some of them advise cutting down on carbohydrates more drastically than the others. Instead of carbs, it encourages focusing more on protein and fat. Protein helps in curbing appetite, conserving muscle mass, and improving metabolism. Low-carb diets are effective in burning fat in the stomach and may be a better option than low-fat diets in your weight loss journey, as some studies have indicated. Besides, this iet can also assist in improving blood sugar and insulin levels among people with Diabetes Mellitus, or Type 2 Diabetes. They may also play an important role in controlling the risk of heart diseases.
5. Low-Fat Diets
The Low-fat Diet restricts fat intake to 30% of your total daily calorie intake. However, there are other versions of this diet like very-low fat diet and ultra-low fat diet that restrict the consumption of fat to 10% of your daily calorie intake. Here, the rest of the calories come carbs (80%) and protein (10%). Fats are known to contribute to twice the number of calories per gram as compared to other macronutrients like protein and carbs. Hence, restricting fat intake helps with weight loss, reducing waist circumference and overall weight in general. Ultra-low aft diets have proved to be especially beneficial among obese individuals. This diet is also believed to control the risk of heart diseases and stroke.
5 Extreme Diets You Must Avoid At All Costs
Here are 5 extreme diets that are not only dangerous for your health but are outright outrageous.
1. Five-Bite Diet
According to this fad diet, you can take only 5 bites of food for lunch and 5 bites for dinner. You can eat anything. There’s no opportunity for a healthy breakfast at all. Yes, you read that right! It’s definitely the beginning of an eating disorder. Started by a California-based medical profesional, Dr. Alwin Lewis, this diet is so low in fat that it can wreak havoc to your body, causing a decrease in immune function and heart palpitations.
2. Military Diet Or Hot Dog Diet
The name is a tell-all sign about this diet. The diet includes eating hot dogs and tuna as a channel for losing weight. Although it claims to boost metabolism and weight loss of 10 pounds within a week, all that this diet can manage is to help you lose some water weight and then starve you. In reality, starvation only eggs your body to slow down its metabolism. and , when your diet ends, you’ll only end up eating more, thus, piling up all those kilos that you have unscientifically managed to lose.
3. Baby Food Diet
Adults eating food that are specifically meant for babies. How unscientific and uncalled for is that! This diet advises you to replace wholesome food with 14 jars of baby food, which can include pureed peas, for breakfast and lunch. The diet believes that it helps you lose weight because baby food is very low in calories. Although the last part is true, the fact remains that baby food is not meant for adults and deprives you of the nutrients that your body needs to sustain itself.
4. Cabbage Soup Diet
This diet turns a perfectly healthy food into a dangerous diet. When eaten with other food sources, cabbage soup is a hearty food. But not when this is all that you can eat throughout the day, even if you are deciding on its proportions. As studies show, this diet can be the root cause of your exhaustion and abdominal pain.
5. Juice Cleanses
Drinking only juices throughout the day may help you lose weight, but not in a healthy way. Juices are low on protein, so the weight that you are losing is not because of fat but muscle. And as soon as you return to a sustainable, holistic diet, you will gain back all the weight that you have lost unscientifically through this diet. Hence, they are not a healthy, long-term weight loss solution.
Once you have read and learnt about some of the popular diets, scientific and unscientific, you know that you should #BeALittleMore and make a conscious choice in your weight loss journey.
Please note, all dietary decisions should be taken only under the strict instructions of a healthcare expert.
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