Well here we are 2 weeks into January and have you given up on your resolutions yet? You know the ones…I am going to exercise more, eat better, give up wine!!! Nope, not me..(Well it helps that I don’t make resolutions ) 🙂
As fore mentioned, one of the things many ‘resolve’ to do at the start of a new year is eat better. After the month of December, where we tend to over indulge, January is a welcome sight to get back on track. I will agree with that! It is also the time of year when the new health and wellness craze will start and this usually means a new diet of some sort to try..is it Paleo, Keto or the all new Intermittent Fasting…(just to name a few). My post today is to de-mystify these diets to help you decide if they are something you want to try. There are pros and cons to each and every person will respond differently to each of them as well. The information on these ‘diets’ is endless..
Described as the diet of our Paleolithic ancestors, who ate what they hunted and gathered. This is is a diet of nutrient rich foods without the refined processed foods (well there was no way to refine foods in the paleolithic era unless you used a rock!)..So we eat meat, seafood, eggs, vegetables, fruit and nuts and seeds. Paleo is said to reduce inflammation in our bodies, balance hormones, boost immunity and normalize weight among other benefits. This diet trend created in the 1970’s is commonly used by Crossfit athletes for the low carb content and high protein.
Low Carb, High Fat…This is the idea behind the Ketogenic diet. Replacing carbs with fats to put your body in a state of ketosis. This is when your body becomes very efficient in burning fat for energy. This was a diet primarily used for diabetics in the past as it naturally lowers blood sugar and insulin levels. But now studies have shown the benefit of the keto diet not just for weight loss but also for cancers, alzheimer disease, polycycstic ovary syndrome and acne. Just to name a few. The keto diet has you eating meat, dairy, nuts and seeds, healthy oils, avocado and non starchy vegetables. So that means no sugar, fruit, beans, starchy vegetable and alcohol.
Fasting is one of the most popular and the fastest growing trend in the health and wellness world today. Intermittent fasting the eating pattern that cycles between periods of fasting and eating. There are no specific foods to enjoy or avoid. This is based on when you should eat not what. Although having said that you do need to stick to a rather clean diet. You cannot eat at your local fast food restaurant all day, every day and hope to get results..Again relating back to our ancestors, fasting was a part of their lives. As hunters and gatherers, they ate when they found what they could. There was no refrigerators, grocery stores or year round food for them to pick from. We can fast in a couple different methods but the most popular and easiest is the 16/8 method, daily fasting. Usually one would skip breakfast and then restrict your eating to 8 hours in the day (example from 12-8) and then fast for the 16 hours in between. When we fast, it has shown that our HGH (human growth hormone) increases and our insulin levels drops. This then makes our stored fat more accessible for energy. During fasting the bodies cells also change to initiate important cell repair processes. Benefits of this diet include anti-aging, heart health, hormone balancing and weight loss.
Well there you have it, three of the most popular diet trends out there in a ‘coles notes’ version. As a holistic nutritionist, I do not endorse one or the other and to be honest, I have not tried any of them but do incorporate a small amount of each into my lifestyle. I do believe that what might work for you, might not work for the friend down the street. Most will look at changing their eating habits for specific reasons..Number one is weight loss. I do think that if we look at changing our eating habits for a healthy lifestyle the weight loss with come with it. And you know Rome wasn’t built in a day and neither is changing your eating habits.
Would love to hear stories and comments on your experiences with these different diets. Did they work for you? If not, what did?