The Paleo diet is often described as a diet which is restricted to food items that can be found naturally. This includes meat, fish, vegetables, fruits, nuts and seeds. A Paleo diet is thus often said to be a caveman diet, or a primal diet, or a hunter-gatherer diet. Many ask the question, what would a caveman eat? This is done to bring in the realization that a Paleo diet is basically restricted to such primitive foods, rather than the processed food items most of us tend to consume these days.
Following these guidelines will help one stick to a healthy diet, composed of whole foods. Such a diet has a healthy ratio of saturated to unsaturated fatty acids, and an ideal amount of vitamins, minerals, nutrients, proteins, carbohydrates and fats. The Paleo diet is essentially all about eating foods straight from the sea, earth or trees.
It includes organic foods, and people who maintain this diet place importance on ensuring that the food that they eat is coming from sources that are not exposed to pesticides and chemicals. Going Paleo is according to most people, giving up modern types of food. Packed and processed foods that come in jars and bags are avoided by those who stick to a Paleo diet.
Those who decide to embark on such a diet need to have a strong will to maintain it. This is not a diet that one does on a temporary basis as it requires persistence and a commitment to have a healthy lifestyle throughout. Many attribute a Paleo diet with being healthy because naturally the foods that are consumed in a Paleo diet are free from added sugars and preservatives. Cutting out on processed and packaged foods, helps to improve one’s health, as well as limiting the caloric intake and weight gain.
A common mistake that people who follow a Paleo diet commit is eating too much meat. It is important to ensure that most of the ingredients in one’s meals are vegetables, because consuming too much meat is not healthy. It could increase the risks of a number of diseases and most meats tend to be high in saturated fats and with too much protein.
Paleo diets require plenty of planning and prep times, as well as great deal of mental resolve. Building up a healthy paleo diet requires the following:
- Lean meat that offers proteins which are so vital for strong muscles, a good immune system and healthy bones.
- Fruits and vegetables because they are rich in vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.
- Healthy fats that can be gotten from seeds, nuts, fish oil and olive oil.
With a Paleo diet one should stick to lean meats, fruits, vegetables, seafood, nuts and seeds, while avoiding dairy products, processed foods, starches, sugars and grains. There are people who claim that the Paleo diet may not be as healthy as it portrays to be because it may end up being too bland. It is also a bit difficult to grow your own food, or ensure that it comes from safe sources especially since with so many packed food items there is a tendency to switch to such foods really easily.
One of the most common types of diets is the Military diet. This is often referred to as the 3-day diet. In a nutshell this diet promises a weight loss within a short period of time, as long as one follows what it proposes. The military diet is a low calorie weight loss diet which has been subjected to a great deal of debate as there are many who do not agree with it. The significant weight loss, of about 10 pounds, is achieved within a few days, typically a week, and according to many this is not healthy.
There are several who believe that weight loss should be gradual, and it should be carried out little by little so as to give time to the body to adapt. Yet, there are many who prefer to lose weight quickly, and so there are several advocates to the military diet, which promises fast results.
One of the main features of a military diet is to stick to water. Water is the best drink to lose weight and those who follow a military diet are encouraged to drink as much as they can.
The 3 Day Military Diet
A military diet revolves around limited eating. So, for breakfast one may have a cup of coffee, a slice of toast with some peanut butter, and half a grapefruit. For lunch one may have another slice of bread or toast and half a cup of tuna, along with another cup of coffee. Then for dinner one could eat some meat, and green beans, followed by a small apple and half a banana.
This is just an idea of what a military diet plan for a day generally looks like. It is rather difficult to stick to this kind of meal plan every day, thus the reason why a military diet cannot be maintained for a long period of time. The lack of originality in the meal plans is something that bothers many, not to mention the difficulty in trying to stick to such a rigid meal plan every day. For many a military diet is close to starving, because portions are small and the food items are not that fulfilling.
The military diet is a very low calorie diet, and as the name itself implies it is restrictive and somewhat regimental. Failure to stick to rules will mean that you failed your weight loss mission. Therefore those who want to try out this diet need to be very disciplined with what they eat. The idea is to stick to a limited and not so varied meal plan for three days, and then make sure to eat less for the following four days. This makes up a whole week of being very strict with yourself.
The main benefit of a military diet is that you should be able to see results quickly, and for those who get discouraged easily, this may be a good option for weight loss. Besides it is a simple diet, unlike other kinds of diet which have you counting calories and checking ingredients all the time. In a military diet every meal is as simple as can be, and so there is no need for lengthy food preparations and cooking.
However considering that it is so low in calories, one will most probably feel hungry. At least this is only for a few days!
There is a lot of debate whether carbohydrates are good or not. The general viewpoint is that one should restrict carbohydrates, and emphasize more on proteins. This is just what the Atkins diet suggests. This is a diet which was created bay in 1972 by Robert C. Atkins, a cardiologist. The Atkins diet takes its name from this cardiologist’s surname, and is to date, one of the most popular diet plans for weight loss.
The Atkins diet is made up of different phases to attain the desired weight loss, as well as maintain the weight one prefers. However, it starts off by establishing a very low carb diet plan. Some consider this to be a bit unhealthy, but according to Atkins, as well as various studies, low-carb diets can lead to more weight loss than low-fat diets, as well as considerable improvements in the blood sugar, HDL and triglycerides.
The main idea is that a low-carb diet leads to a reduction in one’s appetite. As a result, one will feel less inclined to consume a large meal, and so he or she will end up consuming fewer calories. This however can only be attained when the carbs are substituted with proteins.
The Atkins diet is composed of four phases.
- Phase 1 is the induction phase, where one should eat high-fat and high-protein foods along with low-carb vegetables. This phase basically helps in kick-starting one’s weight loss plan.
- Phase 2 or the balancing phase helps to improve on the previous phase by adding the consumption of nuts, fruits and low-carb vegetables in one’s diet. This needs to be done gradually and in small amounts.
- Phase 3 or the fine-tuning phase allows one to add more carbs in his or her diet. This phase needs to go on until one reaches the stage when his/her weight loss has slowed down.
- Phase 4 or the maintenance stage is very important. Once one has managed to lose weight, it is important to keep an eye on it so as to avoid putting on pounds once more. Here one needs to ascertain what is a healthy amount of carbs for his or he body, without running the risk to regaining the weight that was lost.
Does it work
The Atkins diet may seem to be rather complicated and tedious. For those who do not really understand how to go about these four phases, it is suggested that they simply stick to consuming plenty of low carb vegetables, such as spinach, broccoli, and asparagus, along with nuts, seeds, eggs, meat and fish.
Full fat dairy products are also recommended along with healthy fats that can be attained from extra virgin oil, avocados and coconut oil. One should avoid eating low-fat foods as these are generally high in sugar, and stay away from starches, grains, and processed foods.
Healthier carbs from berries, apples, potatoes, oats and rice can be consumed once the induction phase is over, but one should add them back slowly. All in all with the Atkins diet one will need to remain on a moderately low-carb diet, even once the weight loss goals have been attained.
One of the healthiest diets according to various weight loss advocates is the Mediterranean diet. Research has also shown that those who stick to this diet generally weigh less, and also have a lower risk of heart disease, dementia and depression. So, if you want to be healthy and stick to a reasonable weight, you may wish to learn more about the Mediterranean diet. Let us go over it in additional detail.
Mediterranean cuisine emerges from countries bordering the Mediterranean Sea, such as Greece, Spain, Italy and France. Dishes prepared in these countries place emphasis on the use of fish, vegetables, nuts, cereal grains, beans and fruits. Mediterranean cuisine encourages eating more fish and less meat, and plenty of starchy foods, fruit and vegetables. Olive oil is one of the main ingredients in this diet.
Here are some tips to start off on a Mediterranean diet:
- Fruits and vegetables are imperative for a Mediterranean diet. So you will need to get used to adding several vegetables in your plate and to sticking to fruits for desserts and snacks. Fresh and non-starchy are the best options.
- Healthy fats are important. Olive oil is synonymous with a Mediterranean diet. It offers healthy benefits and should be your choice when it comes to cooking too.
- Seeds, nuts and legumes should be consumed often as they are a very good source of protein and fiber. So, stock up on walnuts, almonds, hummus and lentils, among others, and try to include them in your meal plans as much as possible. There are various soups you can prepare as well as snacks.
- Fish is a key ingredient in a Mediterranean diet. Mediterranean countries are basically surrounded by the sea and so they naturally include seafood and fish as a key part of their diet.
- Eggs, lean meat and poultry also have a place in a Mediterranean diet as long as consumed in moderation.
- Lean protein is important and it can be derived from foods such as eggs, beans and pulses.
- Dairy products are consumed in a Mediterranean diet, especially fresh curd cheeses such as ricotta and yogurt.
- Whole-wheat bread, quinoa, and whole grains should be your choice instead of refined carbs. The former contain more nutrients, healthy fats and proteins.
- Adding herbs and spices is the norm in Mediterranean dishes, instead of adding salt for flavoring. This is highly recommended as most herbs and spices have antioxidant properties and inflammation-fighting effects.
- When it comes to drinking, water is the norm, and for improved digestion a cup of espresso is also common in a Mediterranean diet. Some red wine is also said to have good health benefits.
- Starchy carbs are the norm in this type of diet, and so rice, potatoes, bread and pasta are often consumed. However, one should opt for wholegrain varieties as much as possible.
- Eating at least five portions a day of fruits and vegetables is recommended in a Mediterranean diet.
- Foods that are high in fats and/or sugars should be eaten in smaller amounts and not so often.
The Ketogenic diet is a diet that is very low in carbohydrates but high in fats. It is quite similar to the Atkins diet and other low-carb diets, since it encourages the reduction of carbohydrates, and their substitution with fat. Since the body faces a sort of shock due to the considerable reduction in carbs, it goes into a metabolic state called ketosis. Thus the name of this diet; Ketogenic diet. The ketosis is a state whereby the body goes through a very high fat-burning rate.
As carbs are reduced and fat is increased, ketosis occurs. The body will start to turn fats into ketones. These are molecules which will be suppling energy for the brain. Over time, the body and the brain will have learnt to become more efficient in burning fats and ketones instead of carbs, as used to be done before when one used to consume more carbs in his or her diet. A ketogenic diet thus leads to weight loss. It also lowers insulin levels.
Carb sources such as rice, grains, potatoes, milk, and cereals are practically eliminated when one follows a ketogenic diet. Instead meal plans revolve around staple foods such as fish, meat, cheese, nuts, eggs, seeds and low carb vegetables.
There is a lot of evidence that ketogenic diets can be rather effective for weight loss since they work in three main ways:
Lowering insulin levels
Increase fat burning.
As a result, one can expect to lose fat but preserve muscle mass. There have been various studies carried out in relation to whether a ketogenic diet is effective. Most have concluded that it can be quite effective, especially for people who want to do away with calorie counting and tracking.
If you would like to start off on a ketogenic diet you may wish to:
- Limit carb intake. Try to stick to not more than 30 grams of cars daily.
- Increase protein intake.
- Stock up on staples like eggs, nuts, cheese and meat.
- Eat plenty of vegetables that are low in carbs.
Ketogenic diets contribute to various benefits:
- There is the benefit of making you feel full, and so you will naturally want to eat less often and generally smaller portions will suffice.
- They can also improve insulin sensitivity, which in turn improves metabolism.
- Your body will also convert fats and protein into carbs for fuel, leading in more calories to be brunt, and more weight to be lost consequently.
- Decreased fat storage results since ketogenic diets reduce the process of converting sugar into fat.
- Ketogenic diets are said to be effective against metabolic diseases such as high blood pressure, high blood sugar levels, and also reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes, heart diseases and obesity.
- A ketogenic diet can help in reducing chronic inflammation.
- Ketone bodies are said to reduce the risks of cancer, epilepsy and Alzheimer’s disease.
A ketogenic diet can provide great results if one manages to stick to it, however if you cannot imagine yourself sticking to high-fat foods instead of high-car foods, it may not be suitable for you.
Low carb diet
Losing weight is probably one of the most common resolutions people make at the start of a new year, and one of the main goals for many. Yet, few are those who are certain as to what they are willing to do in order to start losing weight. There are so many theories regarding weight loss practices and hundreds of weight loss plans and supplements that make the whole notion of losing weight more complicated than ever. However, there are several who stick to the notion of changing their meal plans to comply with a low carb diet. Do you think this could be effective for you? Have you ever tried it out?
Let us discuss what a low card diet is, and how it can help in losing weight. As the name itself implies, a low carb diet is one where carbohydrates are limited. Such carbs comefrom foods like starchy vegetables, fruits and grains. People who opt for a low carb diet, substitute these foods with foods that are conversely high in fats and proteins.
A low carb diet typically restricts certain carbs with the main intention of losing weight. However some also claim that a low carb diet additionally helps in reducing risk factors associated with metabolic syndrome and diabetes, among other health benefits.
Carbohydrates are found in many foods and beverages and so it may be a bit difficult to start such a diet. One will need to know how many carbs are to be found in certain foods, so as t get a general idea as to what to avoid and what to eat. Many carbs can be found in plant based foods like grains and legumes. So one generally would need to do away with beans, lentils and peas. Carbs can also be found in milk, nuts, seeds, fruits and vegetables. Refined carbs can also be found in many foods such as white bread, pasta, cookies, flour and sweetened drinks. Thus it may prove to be a bit difficult to do away with such foods as they are so commonly included in many people’s diets.
The idea behind a low carb diet is that by decreasing carbs, one would be lowering insulin levels. This leads to the body to start burning away stored fats to get the energy it needs. This will in time lead to weight loss.
A low carb diet will revolve mainly around foods that are high in protein, such as meat, poultry, fish, eggs and small amounts of fruits and vegetables. Typically one should stick to 60 to 130 grams of carbs daily to maintain a low carb diet.
It is important that one plans his or her diet plan by trying to plan meal plans for breakfast, lunch and dinner, as well as prepare snacks, and every time use ingredients that are low in carbs. Otherwise it may be difficult to stick to this type of diet.
Sticking to a diabetic diet is not as difficult as one might think. Such a diet is ultimately a healthy eating plan which has the main intention of keeping in control one’s blood sugar. It involves eating healthy foods in moderate amounts, as well as ensuring that mealtimes are set and stuck to. A diabetic diet will need to be rich in nutrients as well as keeping an eye on calories and fats.
Key foods that one will typically include in a diabetic diet include whole grains, fruits and vegetables. Therefore, one can say that this kind of diet is actually ideal for anyone and everyone, and not only for people who suffer from diabetes.
Naturally if you have diabetes or prediabetes, you will be advised by your doctor as to the foods that you should eat and those which you need to avoid. Setting up a healthy meal plan is key for people who have this condition, and generally a dietician’s advice will be sought for guidance. Such a diet will need to keep the blood sugar level, or the glucose, at a certain level. It will also prove to be indispensable in managing one’s weight as well as control certain risk factors which are associated with the condition, including blood pressure, heart diseases and blood fats. To put it simply, when eating too many calories and fats, the body will respond with a rise in the blood glucose. This may lead to various problems such as hyperglycemia, kidney, nerve and heart damage.
Therefore it is evident that keeping the blood glucose level within a certain range is imperative and this can only be done by making healthy food choices and keeping track of one’s eating habits. In many cases people who suffer from type 2 diabetes it is advisable that they keep a certain weight. Therefore the importance of a diabetic diet in this case is even more important because it will be easier to control the blood glucose as a result.
A diabetic diet will be based on three meals daily, at regular times. Regular times are important to help the body use the insulin properly. A typical diabetic diet plan will consist of:
- Fiber rich foods like nuts, legumes, whole wheat and vegetables.
- Fish like halibut, sardines, salmon, tuna and cod are recommended at least twice a week. These would be great alternatives to meats that are high in fats.
- Foods that are rich in healthy carbohydrates such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes and low-fay dairy products will help in digestion and in breaking down blood glucose.
- Foods that contain monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats help to lower cholesterol levels. Foods that contain such good fats include olives, walnuts, almonds, avocados, canola and olive oils.
In a diabetic diet one needs to avoid high-fat dairy products, animal proteins in foods such as beef and sausages, saturated fats, trans fats which are in baked goods and processed snacks, and sources of cholesterol like liver, egg yolks and high-fat foods.