As I evaluated my progress in the past year on healthier living, and made some new goals this year to improve my efforts, I began thinking about the different diets there are out there. It’s a nice idea to be able to lose weight quickly, thanks to a diet, but what happens when you start eating “normally” again? The pounds can pile on. Which is why I’m taking things slow. I lose weight at a slower pace, but the hope is that I’m developing habits that will stick — leading me to a healthier life.
But I’m still interested in some of the other diets out there, and I thought I’d share a brief overview of some of the diets that have been popular in the last few years:
The Atkins Diet
You have probably heard about The Atkins Diet. It was actually introduced back in the 1970s, but it gained popularity a few years ago. This is a diet that helps you lose weight by reducing your intake of carbohydrates. There are actually four phases of the Atkins diet. You start out be limiting your carb intake by quite a lot, and gradually increasing it through subsequent phases. However, you shouldn’t go back to refined carbs. This specific diet has dwindled in popularity, but some of the principles have resurfaced in other low carb diets.
This diet is also called The Paleolithic Diet. The idea is that our ancestors in the Stone Age had a very different diet than we have today. Our bodies evolved to eat a specific diet, and all the refined starches and sugars we eat today is one big reason that obesity is so widespread. The movement encourages you to get back to the “basics” of early human eating with meat, fish, poultry, roots, nuts, vegetables and fruits. However, some of the starchier fruits and vegetables are discouraged, since “cavemen” ate natural foods that had different types of fiber.
South Beach Diet
Yet another low card diet, the South Beach Diet is one that is accomplished in three phases. The first phase, as you might imagine, is all about cutting out most carbs — no rice, pasta or breads. You are supposed to eat only until you are satisfied, enjoying meats, shellfish, poultry, nuts, cheese, vegetables and eggs. You might notice that fruit is missing from this list during the first stage. During the second stage, there are actual meal plans and recipes for you to follow. One of the key tenets of the South Beach Diet is that you can enjoy carbs, as long as you balance the “bad” with the “good”.
There are a number of cleansing and detox diets floating around out there. These diets are meant to help you get rid of toxins in your body that might be contributing to weight gain, or to general ill health. There are three-day diets and seven-day diets. Many of these diets require that you eat very little food, and instead drink different concoctions. This can include acai berry, lemon juice, maple syrup and cayenne pepper. Other juices can also be used in cleansing or detox diets. Most health experts, though, warn against cleansing diets, even though they are popular for rapid weight loss.
Have you had success with any of the above diets? Can you think of other popular diets?