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Breaking down weight loss diets

In today’s day and age, achieving your ideal weight or losing weight and getting fit seems to have gained a lot of importance. It is known that consuming a balanced diet including high proteins along with moderate physical exertion is the ideal way to stay fit, however, not everyone wants to comply with lifestyle changes as they often seem unattractive and prolonged to many.

In order to lose weight, there is a wide range of diet options that make claim to help a person lose weight. Many of them even assure a shortcut weight loss and some claim the weight loss to be permanent. Some diets swear by consuming low to zero carbs and some insist on restricting calories, high-fat diets, appetite-decreasing diets and much more. Such diets often do not suit everyone and may have detrimental effects on the person. Let us have a look at some popular diets for weight loss.

The Vegan Diet

This diet essentially has a more compassionate outlook towards animal cruelty. The main reasons for this diet are ethical and environmentally friendly. It involves completely eliminating all animal-source products including all meats, eggs, honey, gelatin as well as dairy products. It comprises strict consumption of plant-based products including grains, whole fruits and vegetables etc.

There are some vegan milk substitutes like oat milk, cashew & oat milksoy milk, and almond milk.

Meat alternatives like a vegan nugget can also be used while getting used to this lifestyle.

Results: This form of diet is known to have great success with weight loss, being one of the most stringent forms of vegetarianism. The main reason for loss of weight is the consumption of fewer calories and a diet that is high in fibre which helps a person feel satiated for a longer duration of time. However, because this diet restricts all animal products it tends to make the body deficient in certain vital nutrients like Vitamin B12, Vitamin D, Iron, Calcium etc.

The Keto Diet

The Ketogenic diet or Keto diet has gained immense popularity. This diet involves the consumption of very low carbs and a high-fat diet. Fats are to include almost 70-80% of the daily calorie intake and 10-20% of proteins and the rest as carbs The logic behind this diet is to create a low glucose level, where the body in turn uses ketones or stored fat for its daily functioning thereby causing weight loss.

In this diet, since carbs are restricted, there are many alternative flours available like gluten-free keto flour and almond flour.

Results: While this diet does show successful weight loss mostly due to a low-carb diet, it remains questionable because of its high fat and low protein consumption. Also, it may not be a sustainable lifestyle option.

The Paleo Diet

Yet another fad diet that insists you eat like your ancestors or ancient hunters. This diet promotes eating whole foods vegetables, fruits even nuts and seeds or includes lean meats. They forbid all processed foods and even the use of whole grains, dairy and sugar.

There are many variants of the diet, some that allow the consumption of dairy and tubers like potatoes. But they mainly remain on whole foods like mixed nuts and seeds trail mix for their diet.

Results: The Paleo diet tends to show a remarkable loss in weight as well as inches. The main reason behind this is obviously the significant lower intake of carbohydrates and more protein. It is because of its whole foods style that it even proves to be beneficial in keeping many health disorders at bay.

But like all fad diets being able to sustain a diet like this for the long term would be a challenge.

Intermittent Fasting

This diet style involves restricting the time frame of eating rather than restricting what you can eat or cannot eat. There are certain ‘eating windows’ where a person can eat normally and restrict consuming calories in the fasting period or the duration beyond the eating window.

There are various variations of intermittent fasting, one can choose whatever option suits them the most.  Some of them are

16:8- This variant involves fasting for 16 hours in a day and eating normally for the remaining 8 hours of the day. This is the commonest form of diet.

5:2: This is when you eat normally for 5 days of the week and fast on 2 days. Taking care not to have 2 consecutive fasting days.

20:4- Here the person fasts for 20 hours and eats for 4 hours.

Result: Intermittent diet has remarkable success in weight loss provided the person does not overcompensate for the fasting hours but eats normally within the time frame.

This diet is a hit as it does not restrict any food forms. It encourages the consumption of whole foods like grains, fresh fruits or vegetables and meats.

While this diet seems relatively easy to do, it may not be suitable for everyone.

The Atkins Diet

This diet involves allowing the consumption of plenty of proteins as well as fats but restricts the intake of carbs. The diet follows an induction phase where slowly carbs are reduced from the diet. The protein, as well as fat intake in this diet, is unlimited.

Result: Many studies have proven that low-carb diets are most successful in weight loss and hence Atkins diet also proves to be successful. The results are almost immediate and satisfactory. Since it allows healthy proteins like eggs and healthy fats like walnuts which have a good satiety level as well.

However this diet being very low carb, may not be suitable for everyone, especially people involved in physical hard work or people with health conditions like diabetes.

Ideally, there is no shortcut to successful healthy weight loss. The above-mentioned diets often give temporary results as the weight tends to bounce back as soon as the person begins eating normally.

Also, fad diets may not be safe for many people who should avoid such diets at all costs. Like during pregnancy or immediately after childbirth, or people with pre-existing medical conditions like diabetes, as the blood sugar levels may go haywire with the diets which could potentially have dire results on a person’s health.

It is always best to opt for safer weight loss methods or seek professional advice regarding trendy weight loss diets before embarking on the journey.


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