Which Diet is Right For You to Lose Weight?

There are so many weight loss diets available to all of us and it is like a fashion show! One year it is gluten free, the next year it is dairy free and then keto, etc. I don’t follow a specific diet, I just decide to eat healthy, almost everyday! When people follow a strict diet, they might lose weight but when they quit, they get some back and sometimes even more.

Here is an overview of the most popular diets to choose from, what the focus is and the pros and cons.

  • The Gluten Free Diet. Is to exclude the protein gluten found in wheat, rye, and barley. People get sensitive to gluten because of the pesticides farmers have to use to avoid losing their crops. The most severe reaction is called celiac disease and people cannot even tolerate a cross contamination. Fortunately, it is now easier to get gluten free products. Make sure you read labels to know the content of what you buy.
    • Symptoms: bloatedness, tummy cramps, bowel movement, tiredness, depression, anemia, weight loss, and skin rashes.
  • The Ketogenic (keto) Diet. The Keto diet consists of eating high animal fat products and low carbs such as butter, avocado, fish, red meat, chicken breast, bacon, eggs, sausages, mushrooms, and peppers.
    • Pros: focus primarily on weight loss. This kind of diet may help when it comes to epilepsy.
    • Cons: risk for heart disease, high LDL cholesterol, kidney stones, headaches, excessive acidity in the body, and weakness.
  • The Paleo Diet. The paleo consists of eating like our ancestors before agriculture developed. It is based on a low-carbohydrate, high protein foods, with plenty of water and regular exercise. Some of the restrictions include wheat, oat, diary, sugar, salt, processed food, potatoes, legumes, peas, and peanuts. An example of food for this diet is grass-fed beef, fish, eggs, chicken, almonds, berries, sweet potatoes, coconut oil and extra-virgin olive oil, avocado, and vegetables (broccoli, leafy greens, onions, and tomatoes).
    • Pros: effective for people with high blood pressure, obesity, cholesterol, and diabetes.
    • Cons: not recommended for people with health problems such as heart or kidney disease. Some people experience energy reduction. This diet is at risk for developing colorectal cancer because of the consumption of high animal protein.
  • The Mediterranean Diet. It is one of my favorites because it is packed of fish, olive, fresh vegetables, olive oil, leafy greens, fruits, whole grain (oats, brown rice, rye, whole grain pasta), nuts and seeds.
    • Pros: helps with inflammation, asthma, breast cancer, erectile dysfunction, heart disease, effective for weight loss.
    • Cons: it is associated with consumption of wine! Just go with moderation. Every glass of wine is about 150 kcal. If you base your calorie intake at 1800-2000 kcal per day, you will need to sacrifice of something else to avoid gaining weight because of alcohol.
  • The Vegan Diet. It is a plant-based diet such as vegetables, fruits, grains legumes, lentils, tofu, tempeh, miso, nuts and seeds. Vegan people avoid all animal products including eggs and dairy, fish, and honey.
    • Pros: with a plant-based diet, heart disease is reduced by 40% . It also helps with diabetes risk, Alzheimer’s disease and death from heart disease or cancer.
    • Cons: risk of B12 and D vitamin, iron, iodine, calcium, zinc, and Omega-3 deficiency.
  • Intermittent Fasting. It is now a popular approach of dieting between not eating for 16 hours (sleeping time included) and eating in a 8 hours window. This kind of diet has been very successful for weight loss because people eat less calories during the day.
    • Pros: research demonstrates that fasting may help with blood sugar levels in the blood stream, cholesterol, reduces inflammation, protects against cancer and Alzheimer’s disease, boosts the metabolic rate, and increases lifespan.
    • Cons: some studies show that it is not as effective for women than for men. It is not recommended for pregnant women, breastfeeding moms, teenagers, children, and people who are malnourished, underweight, or nutrient deficient.

Unfortunately, there is no miracle to weight loss. It is about eating a healthy and balanced diet and exercising daily. Your best diet will be the one that fits the best for your needs, taste and that you can stick with in the long term.

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