Finding a Diet That Suits You Best
Sure, it’s several months past New Year but it’s always a great time to have a fresh start. Thousands of individuals in Australia vow to boost their health and fitness every year and in honor of their great intentions, we have compiled an awesome list of some of the most popular diets – some of which may be familiar to you. If you’re still doing endless research on what diet suits you best, keep reading.
The ketogenic diet is a low carb plan that aims to transform your body into a fat burning machine! Like the name suggests, your body is pushed into ketosis – making the body produce more ketones. Ketones are an alternative fuel molecules to glucose – meaning your body uses them up for energy instead. In a nut-shell, because you are feeding your body more fat and less carbs, it learns to burn fat for energy – including that pesky fat you have hanging on to your mid-section!
Some strict diet plans, such as Atkins and LCHF (low carb, high fat), end up being ketogenic for most people, even if the word doesn’t exist in their vocabulary. Since your fuel supply is dependent entirely on fat, your fat burning increases and insulin levels drop dramatically.
|Weight/Fat Loss (particularly around the abdomen)||The biggest downside is that Keto is often taken waaaaay too far – low carb does not mean no carb! Your body literally needs carbohydrates to survive – and luckily a great source comes from vegetables! Cutting out all carbohydrates not only eliminates this majorly important macro, but eating few/no vegetables deprives your body of essential micro-nutrients.|
|Tendency to be satiated for longer (therefore you eat less)||May cause bad breath|
|Increased ‘good’ cholesterol (HDL), due to an increased intake of good fats.||May cause cramping (usually due to dehydration/lack of minerals)|
|Reduced Blood Sugar||Possible elevated heart rate.|
|May reduce blood pressure||Can be socially difficult to adhere to at all times. Quite restrictive as it requires strict macro counting.|
OUR RECOMMENDATION: As with anything a bit extreme – Do. Your. Research! Consult a properly informed health care professional about your personal situation (we have some great nutritionists we can recommend if needed) and make an informed decision. If you’re just starting out on your health journey, maybe consider a switch to more healthy, whole, unprocessed foods before embarking on something a bit more extreme.
The diet contains staples typically consumed in countries surrounding the Mediterranean, such as Italy and Greece and focuses on hearty fats, including lots of essential omega-3 fatty acids. It gives importance to seafood, legumes, nuts, seeds, olive oil, whole grains and fruits and vegetables due to their healthy fat compositions, and other vital nutrients. As a bonus, it also advocates the consumption of red wine – in moderation, of course!
A great example of a Mediterranean based meal is a serving of baked fish with a side of veggies and a glass of red wine. If this sounds appetizing to you (can I get a Hells Yeah) you’ve found your perfect match!
|Promotes fat loss, as it is quite low in added sugars, preservatives, and processed foods.|
Our biggest concern with this ‘diet’ is the oil recommendation – particularly the use of canola or seed (read: heavily processed) oils. Try to stick to really great oils like Coconut and Olive.
|Reduces the risk of heart disease (lower levels of LDL cholesterol)|
|Studies show reduced incidence of cancer, and Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s diseases.|
Otherwise, there are no major risks we could find associated with a Mediterranean diet! If you are gluten intolerant, or find consuming wholegrains tends to keep the weight on, these could easily be dropped from the Mediterranean diet and replaced with more wholefoods – vegetables, nuts etc.
|Recommended foods are easily accessible.|
OUR RECOMMENDATION: If grains agree with you – go for it! There are loads of recipes out there on the internet to get you going. Be sure to only go with good oils though – Coconut & Olive for the win!
Created by American naturopath, Stanley Burroughs, the lemon detox or Master Cleanse has been popular among celebrities around the world for many years. In fact, the diet is over 60 years old!
It revolves around a simple concoction using lemon juice, water, cayenne pepper and maple syrup. Dieters drink about 8 glasses of the cocktail every day for 10 days along with laxative tea and salt water flushes. According to the company, the diet reduces the toxic waste material in the body and aids in quick weight loss. It is also designed to help the body take a break from solid food.
|ABSOLUTELY NONE!||EVERYTHING! This diet is completely ridiculous, and the only reason it is included on the list is to implore you not to do it! Depriving your body of essential nutrition, starving your body (and your brain), and loading yourself with laxatives is never the right solution. Sure, there’ll be some dramatic weight loss, but we can almost guarantee you’ll stack it back on the minute it’s over – likely you’ll end up heavier than when you started!|
OUR RECOMMENDATION: There is no magic pill for health and weight loss – stop looking for one! If you’re keen for a body detox, there are some great ‘juice fasts’ out there that allow your body to refresh & recharge, while ensuring that it is still being supplied with essential nutrients for survival. We suggest checking out the documentary Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead (available on netflix) which will give you a load of information, and online resources, to make the best decision for yourself.
The FODMAP diet is constructed to help relieve your digestive problems by taking out common digestive triggers from your diet. The acronym, FODMAP, stands for fermentable oligosaccharides, disaccharides, monosaccharide and polyols. In English, these mean that for some people carbs that are difficult to digest in our bodies are fermented by bacteria, causing discomfort, bloating and common Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) symptoms.
By eliminating potential triggers to digestive ailments, you’ll be able to detect food sensitivities and manipulate your diet accordingly. Triggers include:
- Dairy products
- Dried fruit
- Beans and lentils
- Some vegetables, including squash, cabbage, broccoli, onions, and mushrooms.
- Tea & Coffee (caffeine)
- Agave, high-fructose corn syrup, artificial sweeteners, and processed sugar
|If you have digestive problems, a FODMAP plan will help you to identify these and permanently eliminate them from your diet. Generally you would begin by eliminating all of the listed items for a period of time, then slowly re-introduce them one at a time to see what is causing the irritation.||We would recommend checking for more the common irritants – gluten and dairy – before embarking on FODMAP. Simply – it’s easier, and more common in adults.|
|Reduced digestive discomfort – particularly constipation, diarrhea, bloating, and abdominal pain.||Incredibly difficult to adhere to – unless you plan on never eating out again!|
|Promotes consumption of whole, unprocessed foods.||Can be expensive, as often is undertaken with the consultation and monitoring of a nutritionist/dietician.|
OUR RECOMMENDATION: FODMAP isn’t something you really need to do, unless you really need to do it (In our heads that totally makes sense…). We’d suggest if you have some gut irritations, try cutting out gluten and dairy for 30 days. If you are still suffering, it might be time to start looking at FODMAP’s – you can do this one your own with some online research, however can be a lot easier to monitor/stay on track with the aid of a nutritionst – of which we can recommend a couple of superstars!
Gaining in pop culture rhetoric over the past ten years, people are often surprised to find out that the paleo method has actually been around since the 70’s. Without going in to alllllllllll (and there’s A LOT!) of the science behind it, Paleo basically determines that the human body adapted over thousands of years to its environment – our ability to process nutrients was decided by our surroundings and the foods available to us. Until that is, mankind took a sharp turn and industrialised the production of foods our bodies weren’t traditionally used to – in particular grains, cereals, and dairy products.
The argument is that our genetic makeup has only evolved by about 0.4% in the last 10 000 years, but many of the foods we now consume are vastly different from that of 10 000 years ago. So we’re eating things our bodies haven’t naturally adapted to consume.
So what does that mean about what you can put in your gob? It’s actually pretty simple! A lot of media attention has focused on what you can’t eat according to the paleo method but if you focus on what you can it’s actually super easy. Here it is:
- Meat: Grass fed red meats, and free range poultry.
- Vegetables and Fruits: preferably seasonal
- Nuts and seeds
- Dairy: This is a grey area, some say do, some say don’t. We say, if your body can tolerate high fat, no shit added dairy products – go for it! There are loads of health benefits. But if you find yourself running for the loo every time you have a late, it might be time to cut the dairy.
Like we said – easy! The paleo method is really no different to a whole foods diet – it encourages eating unprocessed foods that are naturally produced in the environment they were supposed to be. And you can do soooooo much with it – just check out our menu!
|An awesome increase in our intake of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants – more vegetables = more micronutrients.||No beating around the bush – it can be hard! In the beginning it can be difficulty to wrap your head around what you should be eating and those cravings – fawgetaboutit!|
|Increased energy, skin condition, & cognitive functioning|
Socially exclusive – although certainly less so than it once was – it can be hard to eat out if you’re trying to be strict. Ever asked a waiter for your meal to be cooked on coconut oil? Cue eye roll!
|No more allergic reactions! Often adults are allergic to things that are common in processed foods that they aren’t even aware of – gluten, preservatives, and dairy in particular.||The dollar factor! Paleo/Primal can be expensive – but there’s a reason that a piece of grass fed meat and a plate full of veggies is more expensive than a maccas burger – and that reason is nutritional value!|
|No more sugar!!! Sugar is the devil, but is added to almost everything you buy in the supermarket. Whole foods = no added sugar.||Despite how long Paleo has been on the scene, there are no studies on the long term effects of the plan.|
OUR RECOMMENDATION: Look here’s what we’re about – real foods, no added crap. It just happens that paleo/primal really fits into this philosophy. We believe the method can provide a really great, healthy life, but we’re not big believers in being overly ‘strict’ with all the rules. For example, if high fat dairy agrees with you, we think go for it – the benefits seem to outweigh the negatives! Same with legumes (particularly if you’re a vegetarian) – if your body thrives on them, why not. Just do us a favour and always check the ingredients for added nasties!