10 Weight-Loss Dieting Styles That Have Helped Us Get in Shape
When you say, "I am going on a diet"
Dieting is tough. Who knows what you’re going to get? When you follow a dieting system without really understanding how weight-loss works, you are almost blindly relying on hearsay.
What seems to have worked for other people might cause another to gain weight. Or other unwanted consequences. And most of us have had to go on a type of diet at some point in life.
The World Health Organization (WHO) identifies "unhealthy diet" as a major risk factor contributing to a range of diseases, including cancer and diabetes. Although dieting is considered a public health issue in our society, changes to your dieting skills can only be made on a personal level.
10 weight-loss dieting trends to read up on
There are many reasons why a person would want to go on a diet. Some people have to go on a diet because they are athletes. Some are dieting for religious reasons.
Others need to watch what they eat because of certain conditions they have, such as food and seasonal allergies, genetics, digestive issues, etc. Some want to stay fit, while others want to become their better selves.
When dieting for weight-loss, you are working a personal skill that is directly related to your ability to care for your body. The honest reality is for many people this skill is often underdeveloped, nonexistent, or first to be compromised. Dieting is, however, not something you are born with, and it is also not an easy thing to learn.
So below I have compiled a list of 10 dieting trends that have helped people on their weight-loss journeys:
1. The Ketogenic diet
A ketogenic diet or keto, is a diet that is very low on carbs, forcing the body to switch its fuel to run on fat, which increases fat burning dramatically. This diet's main benefit is for weight-loss, health improvements, and diabetes reversal.
To achieve the most benefit from going keto, the diet advocates eating "real food" and avoiding processed food as much as possible. Especially those with added sugar or loaded with carbohydrates.
When you eat very few carbs, ideally 25 gr or less, the body produces ketones in a state of ketosis. In such a state, you become more energized and focused. Another way to achieve the state of ketosis is through intermittent fasting.
The keto principle:
- Avoid all sugary foods completely, along with high-carb foodstuffs, like bread, pasta, rice, and potatoes.
- The main source of protein should be the meat of animals, and your daily food portions should contain roughly 75% fat, 15-25% protein, and 5% carbs.
- Eat when you're hungry and avoid counting calories.
- The less carbs the better. But it is generally okay to consume more proteins, because excess proteins are turned into blood sugar in the body.
According to a popular low-carb site, Diet Doctor, people with type 2 diabetes, anxiety, and high blood sugar levels have benefited from this diet with varying degrees of success.
2. The blood type diet
This diet is developed by Peter J. D’Adamo, a naturopath who claimed that the foods you eat react chemically with your blood type, whether O, A, B, or AB. Based on that claim, D’Adamo designs diet recommendations for each type:
- Type O. Rely on lean meat, poultry, fish and vegetables, but go easy on grains, beans and dairy. Take supplements to help ease your tummy troubles, such as stomach acid and inflammation, which are recurring issues for people with this blood type, says D’Adamo.
- Type A. Go meat free. A diet of beans, legumes, whole grain, fruits and vegetables is suitable for the type A, who have a sensitive immune system.
- Type B. Eat your greens, eggs, certain types of meats, and low-fat dairy products. Things to avoid: corn, wheat, buckwheat, lentils, tomatoes, peanuts, sesame seeds, and chicken.
- Type AB. Focus on tofu, seafood, dairy, green vegetables, but avoid caffeine, alcohol, and cured meats.
3. The Vegetarian diet
The vegetarian diet is a diet that focuses on plants, including fruits, vegetables, dried beans and peas, grains, seeds, and nuts. Most vegetarians do not eat foods that contain or are produced with the help of products that come from part of the bodies of living or dead animals. There are subgroups within the vegetarian eating habit, which include:
- Lacto-ovo-vegetarians who eat dairy products and eggs.
- Lacto-vegetarians eat dairy products, but not eggs.
- Ovo-vegetarian eats eggs but not dairy.
- Vegans that do not eat dairy products, eggs, or any other products that come from animals.
4. The Paleo diet
Following this diet, you can eat anything your hunter gatherer ancestors ate back in the days. That includes meats, fish, nuts, leafy greens, regional veggies, and seeds. But anything that didn’t exist in the days of the cavemen is strictly off limits. Hence the name is Paleo or Paleolithic diet.
Wild fruits are an essential part of the diet. But this stone-age diet does not allow for wheat, grains, soy, milk, cream, cheese, candies, cereals or cookies. And no salt, coffee, processed oils or alcohol. Similar to the ketogenic diet, you are not encouraged to keep a close track of your calorie intake. Focus on eating the right kinds of foods instead.
According to world-renowned Paleo diet expert Nora Gedgaudas in The Paleo Way website, the paleo diet is about balancing the best learning from our ancestors and mixing it with the best of the 21st Century. The lifestyle is based on diet, exercise and mindfulness.
5. The Military diet
The Military diet promises to help you lose 10 pounds per week. This impossibly popular diet is sometimes called "the 3-day diet", because it offers three days worth of very specific meal planning. Controversies surround the choices of food in the diet, which dieticians see as inconsistent and rather random.
Nevermind its name, the military diet has no legitimate military origin. It works on the basis of very low calorie restrictions on food and drinks--nothing other than water or herbal teas is allowed. The short-term nature of this diet alone causes people to doubt whether this technique can actually deliver on its promise.
The success of this diet is also questionable, despite its massive online presence. To give you a clear idea of the dos and don'ts, here is an example of the 3-day diet plan from Shape Magazine:
1/2 grapefruit, 1 slice of bread/toast with 2 tbs of peanut or almond butter, 1 cup of coffee
1 egg cooked (however you like), 1 slice of bread or toast, 1/2 banana
1 slice of cheddar cheese, 1 small apple, 5 saltine crackers
1 slice of bread or toast, 1/2 can of tuna, and 1 cup of coffee
1 cup of cottage cheese, 1 hardboiled egg, 5 saltine crackers
1 egg (cooked however you like), 1 slice of bread or toast
3 oz. of any meat (the size of a deck of cards), 1 cup of green beans, 1 small apple, 1/2 banana, and 1 cup of ice cream
2 hot dogs (no bun), 1 cup of broccoli, 1/2 cup of carrots, 1/2 banana, 1 cup of ice cream
1 cup of tuna, 1/2 banana, 1 cup of ice cream
6. Intermittent fasting and fasting
Fasting is another type of dieting trend that has always been used by people throughout history for many reasons, such as spiritual, health, etc. It is different from starvation, in which the absence of food is involuntary. When you fast, you deliberately choose to not eat even though food is readily available.
Intermittent fasting is used to restore balance and to lose weight. When we fast, the body reverses the process of storing energy. The insulin levels fall, causing the body to start running on stored energy, since no more food is coming in. The body pulls glucose and burns it for energy. After 24 to 36 hours, the body will run out of glucose and will then start to break down excess fat for energy.
With intermittent fasting the body balances the storing of energy with the burning of stored energy fuels. Alternating the fed state and the fasted state will result in no added weight, if not weight-loss.
7. The liquid diet
When on a liquid diet, you replace everything solid with liquid. This may work as a weight-loss strategy for some people, but this type of diet is usually prescribed for medical reasons. Short-term "detoxes", for example, will advise you to drink juices, smoothies, shakes, or other types of liquid in order to detox the body, and probably lose weight in the process.
You can drink juices, different types of soups, and shakes on a liquid diet. However, you might lack some essential nutrients and might suffer from starvation. According to WebMD and Healthline, the liquid diet might result in short-term weight-loss but not long-term.
8. The Angel diet
The Angel diet is made up of natural and toxin-free foods that will feed your body's electrical currents, promoting good health in the mind, body, and spirit. You are advised to eat high-vibration food and high-vibration waters to purify the body and stay in harmony with the spirit and the mind. Stay away from processed foods and beverages that might have lost its natural energy.
Here are some of the food to eat on this diet:
- Fresh fruits & vegetables
- Whole grain bread
- Brown rice
- Raw honey
- Olive oil
- Fresh herbs & spices
To complete this diet, you can pray before you eat, as praying is thought to increase the energy vibration of the food. It is also a good idea to meditate.
9. The DASH diet
The DASH diet was originally designed to help people with high blood pressures. The diet plan is to feed on fruits and vegetables, low-fat and nonfat dairy, with nuts, beans and seeds. You're expected to cut back on the empty carbs and eat more protein with healthy fats. According to the DASH Diet eating plan website, when applied this principle has also aided people in achieving sustainable weight-loss.
The DASH diet plans are divided into three:
- the original plan
- the weight-loss plan
- the vegetarian
10. The Mediterranean diet
The idea behind this diet is to eat like a Mediterranean and reap the health benefits as you do so. According to Eating Well Magazine, eating like a Mediterranean is eating slowly and enjoying every bite:
- Replace your vegetable oils with healthy olive oil, and use it for everything from salad dressing to drizzles.
- Eat more fish. Fishes contain omega-3 fatty acids, which is very good for the brain and heart health. Try to eat tuna, herring, salmon, sardines, and shellfishes, including mussels and clams, as well as oysters.
- Enjoy dairy products like Greek or plain yogurt and cheeses.
- Switch to whole grains. Traditional Mediterranean grains, such as barley, black, brown or red rice, bulgur, farro, and products made with whole grains.
- Go for fresh fruits. Ditch the ice creams and the cookies, and opt for delicious fresh fruits instead.
- Get your nuts. Whether they are almonds, pistachios, or cashews, nuts make a good snack option.
- Veggies all day long. Take them as snacks, include them on your every meal, and chew on them whenever you feel like it.
It shouldn't feel like a bet
A diet takes planning and preparation. For example, you will be:
- doing the necessary research;
- packing your own snacks;
- cooking your diet meals;
- learning to do your own shopping;
- finding various ways of saying "no" to food offers;
- and more!
In addition to the basic dieting skills, when you decide on going on a diet, you'll also be choosing your own exercise regime, finding the right support groups, staying active with your peers, and so forth.
At the end of the day, you can always discuss your dieting choices with your family doctor, a licensed dietitian or trusted nutritionist who can help you make more informed decisions. Find out how your new habit will affect your body and how to prepare for what's to come.
The non-dieting eating styles
In addition to the 10 dieting styles we've touched upon on our tour, there is also the non-dieting movement at the other end of the spectrum. According to the Conversation Project, people have long noticed that despite its successes, food restriction has also contributed to altered perceptions of body shapes and sizes, fat storage, and even weight gain.
The non-dieting eating styles promote:
- Being more in-tune with your body. By listening to the body, you can avoid obsessive food consumption, starvation, and harmful eating habit.
- Eat when you are hungry and stop when you are full.
- Eating without distractions. It is important to enjoy your food in order to reap the most benefits and to maintain a positive eating habit.
- End food guilt.
- Acknowledging your body's natural sizes and shapes. By accepting your body, you will improve your self-esteem, physical and psychological wellbeing, and be more satisfied with your body image.
- Removing food restrictions.
Within the non-dieting styles of eating you will find concepts like mindful eating, intuitive eating, where the values are placed on promoting a healthy body and energy, while maintaining an unrestrained relationship with food. The movement encourages a more balanced mind-body approach in healthy weight management and maintaining a positive self-esteem.
Sources & further reading
- Diet. World Health Organization.
- Courtney Leiva. (2018) What Is The Military Diet? Everything To Know About This Strange 3-Day Diet Plan. Shape Magazine.
- Andreas Eenfeldt, MD. (2018) Get started with the keto low-carb challenge. Diet Doctor.
- (2018) Blood Type and Your Health. www.dadamo.com
- Liquid Diets. WebMD.
- Adda Bjarnadottir, MS. (2016) 9 Popular Weight Loss Diets Reviewed by Science. Healthline Magazine.
- Jessica Migala. 8 Ways to Follow the Mediterranean Diet for Better Health. Eating Well Magazine.
- Marla Heller. (2018) US News & World Reports: Best and Healthiest Diet Plan. The DASH Diet Eating Plan website.
- Whitney Hopler. (2018) The Angel Diet. ThoughtCo.
Questions & Answers
© 2018 Lovelli Fuad