There are so many different types of diets such as paleo, keto, intermittent fasting, vegan and so on. Each has their own set of rules to follow and each diet has a bunch of die-hard followers who would do anything to defend their precious keto diet.
Unless you are one of the rare few that HAS to follow a strict diet due to issues with your health (gluten/lactose intolerance, epilepsy, etc.) then I don’t believe that one type of diet or another is going to be your saving grace. It may help you shed a little bit of weight, but with diets with so many rules it can be tricky to stay consistent - this often leads to you falling off the bandwagon and going back to square one.
What I want to suggest is that we ditch the strict diets with these hard-and-fast rules, and think of these diets as guides instead. Refer to these diet types as models rather than bibles. We Know The Weight Loss Formula We know how to lose weight. We have to consume fewer calories than we burn per day, or exercise enough to leave you with more calories burned than consumed. As long as you do this and stay consistent, you will lose weight. Simple, right?
The idea itself is easy and makes sense, and a lot of people see amazing results counting calories, but some people need a guide to follow. It’s all good and well that we’re eating less calories, but what should we be eating? What foods are best? This is where diet types or ‘models’ come into play. The Models
Paleo: If a caveman didn’t eat it, it’s off the table. We’re talking vegetables, fruit, meat and fish. No processed foods.
Keto: Keep your carbs under 5% of your total calories, the rest of your calories come from fats and protein.
Intermittent Fasting: Leave an 8 hour window to consume all your calories (usually between 12pm and 8pm)
Vegetarian/Vegan: No meat or fish/no products from animals
Why They Can Help You Lose Weight In the Paleo diet, you are basically eliminating sweets, chocolate, bread, pasta, dairy and a whole lot more. You’re taking out a whole load of calorie dense foods, so it’s no wonder being on the paleo diet can help you lose weight! In the Keto diet, you are keeping carbs VERY low so you must find calories from sources high in protein and fat. This typically ends up being meat, which will keep you satiated. Since you’re essentially taking a macronutrient out of your diet, you eat less.
Intermittent fasting allows you to eat whatever foods you like, but restricts the time frame in which you consume all of your daily calories. Since you only have 8 hours or so to eat, it’s tough to over eat in this period. It means you can enjoy slightly higher calorie foods, since you will typically have less total meals.
Vegetarian and Vegan diets usually involve you finding alternatives to animal products such as tofu, beans, grains, pulses, lentils and plenty of vegetables. Although vegetarians can still gorge on pizza, it is obviously more sensible to eat healthily.
The Common Theme There is a common theme here. For people that follow these diets and successfully lose weight, the theme is that they are all eating fewer calories than they are burning. Cutting out carbs, like the keto diet does, isn’t what makes you lose weight - eating fewer calories does. Eating like a caveman, like the paleo diet, doesn’t make you lose weight - eating fewer calories does. It’s not what you eat. It’s simply a case of how much. Intermittent fasting is a good example of this seeing as it doesn’t have set rules on the types of food you must eat. You can lose weight by following intermittent fasting. This is usually because you are eating one less meal than you usually do. Less food = weight loss.
Are They For Everyone?
To put it simply, no.
Although it can seem an attractive prospect at first to hop on a cool and trendy diet like keto, but are you prepared to make the jump? Probably not. As if restricting your calories wasn’t enough of a challenge already, now you’ve got to cut out carbs?!
Think of 5 of your favourite foods right now. I can guarantee that most of them have carbs. Well, forget about them because they’re eliminated from your diet. Doesn’t sound like much fun, does it? Strict Diets Suck Eliminating foods from your diet sucks and sticking to a set of rules can be boring, so unless you are suffering from epilepsy, heart disease, or a certain intolerance, I suggest that you don’t follow a strict named diet. Just count your calories. If you want to follow paleo? Go for it! Fancy going vegan because you heard it helps with weight loss? Be my guest. At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter. As long as you burn more calories than you consume, you will lose weight. (Will I ever shut up about calories? Probably not!)