Don't know your Atkins from your Paleo? Here's all the info you need to decode your diet
By carrying out just one simple search of the word “diet” online, it’s easy get bombarded with a wealth of information which can be confusing and overwhelming. If you’re unsure of the best diet for you or how to lose weight, don’t worry we’re here to help. From Keto to Paleo, we’ve got the lowdown on all you need to know on different types of diets and what they mean.
Whatever diet you choose to follow, for successful weight loss it’s important that you stay in a calorie deficit. This means you consume less calories than the ones you burn off, which is also known as TDEE (Total Daily Energy Expenditure).
The Keto Diet
Similar to the Atkins diet, the keto, or ketogenic diet to give it it’s full name, follows a high fat, medium protein and low carb meal plan in order to shed the pounds. Foods such as bacon, fish, cheese and eggs are the basis of the Keto diet, whilst high sugar fruit, starchy veggies, juices and grains are off the menu. When following this particular diet, the body starts to burn fat instead of carbohydrates, also known as ketosis.
When in ketosis, it’s common to experience some side effects, also known as “keto flu” which include headaches, fatigue, dizziness and nausea which can last just a small number of days.
Not designed for long term use as eating next to no carbs and a high amount of fat with zero sugar isn’t sustainable, it’s also important to note that with any low-carb diet, it is expected you will lose several pounds of weight during the first few days. However this isn’t fat, but water weight, and when you return to eating normally i.e carbs, the water weight will return. To read more on the keto diet, click here.
The 5:2 Diet
The 5:2 diet, also known as intermittent fasting, was made popular by British journalist Michael Mosely and focuses on eating normally 5 days a week, whilst the other 2 days consist of eating just 500-600 calories per day. Although this may sound quit restrictive, during the two days you’re following the 500 calorie fasting diet, you can still eat two whole meals, a snack and plenty of calorie-free fluids such as water, tea, coffee and fizzy drinks.
A typical fasting day on the diet could include oatmeal or porridge with some fresh fruit such as blueberries for breakfast, a tangerine for a snack and a chicken and vegetable stir-fry for dinner. One of the reasons this particular diet remains popular is because it doesn’t demonise certain food groups, you can still eat a little of what you fancy and is perfect for those who struggle to follow a long term, restrictive meal plan.
The Atkins Diet
Created by Dr. Robert Atkins in 1972 but not reaching it’s peak until the 90’s, the Atkins diet focuses on high fat, high protein and low carb meals similar to the Keto diet, but is split into 4 different phases which are as follows :
· Phase 1 (induction) : To kick-start weight loss, eat under 20g of carbs per day alongside high-fat, high-protein foods and low carb vegetables for 2 weeks.
· Phase 2 (balancing) : Gradually re-introduce more nuts and small amounts of fruit back into your diet.
· Phase 3 (fine tuning) : When you’re close to your desired goal weight you can slowly add more carbs to your diet until weight loss slows down.
· Phase 4 (maintenance) : You can eat as many healthy carbs as your body can take without gaining weight.
The Paleo Diet
The Paleo diet, or caveman/stone-age diet consists of foods typically eaten during the Paleolithic era when we were hunter-gatherers such as lean meats, fish, fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds and limits food groups that became popular when farming emerged such as dairy.