The word “diet” can really be a four letter word, especially right after the holiday season. The very minute that I decide to try one of the diets that I have checked out, I often begin to crave the very foods that I am eliminating. However, the beginning of the New Year always brings the desire to have a healthier lifestyle.
Researching options online, I have found that there are so many fad diets are circulating social media right now, that it’s almost impossible to keep up with the newest trends, their details and dos and don’ts. Some are geared toward weight loss, improved physical health, and medical treatments, while some are focused on finding a balance between body and mind. I took to social media to determine which diets I was noticing most often right now, and looked a little deeper into what each entail.
This diet plan has garnered lots of attention online for weight loss and holistic eating, and models itself mainly around foods that would have been available to hunter-gatherers in the Paleolithic age. That may sound a little crazy at first, considering it’s been tens of thousands of years and nothing about our lifestyle and food sources resemble prehistoric life.
But that’s exactly the point of the hypothesis behind the paleo diet: human diets have strayed too far and too quickly from the original diet, and our bodies have not been able to genetically advance as rapidly. The Paleo diet reasons that our modern diet is mismatched genetically to the human body, especially because farming quickly established new staple food groups such as legumes, dairy, and grains.
Essentially, this diet is based on a notion that the human digestive process has not changed much since the Paleolithic era, which is the root of much of the controversy and doubt surrounding this popular trend. The Paleo diet allows lean meats, fish, eggs, vegetables, fruits, nuts, herbs, spices and healthy fats. You’re supposed to stay away from any processed foods, sugar, grains, legumes, and dairy. The motto here is to always try and take a holistic approach to food choices, purchasing ingredients and whole foods instead of pre-prepared alternatives. If it’s processed, stay away from it.
The Keto diet is everywhere right now. I see #keto on at least a third of my Instagram posts these days. This diet is high fat, moderate protein, and low carb. This sounded extremely complicated to me at first, but I quickly learned that it was about counting net carbs which is determined by subtracting the grams of fiber from the grams of carbohydrates. So many wonderful filling foods are allowed, and most of them were gluten free! That’s a double win for all of us who need to be gluten free!
The recommended starting point for the keto diet is to have your diet consist of about 70% fat, 25% protein and 5% carbs, with your net carb count not to exceed 25 to 30 grams a day. This can differ over time depending on if you live a very active lifestyle.
The Keto diet is entirely centered around eating a specific ratio of macronutrients with an emphasis on low carb intake to bring your body into a state of ketosis. In ketosis, your body is using fat as the primary energy source, instead of carbohydrates. When in a state of ketosis, your body will burn fat way more efficiently and a lot of people report a variety of improvements, including increased energy, better mood, and a clearer head. The Keto diet can be difficult for the first seven to ten days, but after the first seven days, your body enters a state of ketosis, which can be a wonderland of weight loss! Low carb seems difficult and hunger inducing, but you’ll find that a lot of really filling foods are available on the Keto diet, and the high healthy fat content really keeps your hunger at bay between meals. Natural fats, meats, seafood, eggs, cheese, and above ground vegetables are your friends. You are trying to stay under 25 net carbs, so food like high carb fruits, rice, beer, potatoes, sodas and juices, pasta, breads, and processed and sugary treats are a no go for ketosis. If you cheat at all, even once, it can throw your whole body out of ketosis. So, this one take a lot of self-control, and can sometimes be used as a great tool for helping integrate healthier choices to your lifestyle, even if followed strictly only for a period of time.
The anti-inflammatory diet can take many shapes and forms because it is generally tailored for each specific person. It is focused on replacing foods that cause inflammation or digestive difficulty, and using more holistic dietary selection practices. For some, this means staying away from gluten and dairy, and for others, corn. This diet focuses on eating whole foods, and staying away from processed foods and ingredients that may cause discomfort.
It also recommends certain types of foods that tend to be non-inflammatory and nutrient dense, such as leafy greens, cauliflower, beans, lentils, avocado, nuts, cold water fish, and lean meats. You should consult your doctor to decide which path you want to take and which food items are likely causing the most discomfort and body inflammation for you.
The Mediterranean diet unsurprisingly mimics the diet of the countries surrounding the Mediterranean Sea. It is a heart healthy diet that emphasizes plant based foods, lean meats and fish, healthy fats, and even allows the occasional glass of red wine.
It is easy to find affordable and delicious meals that fit this diet’s guidelines. The focus of your plate here are high amounts of plant based foods, animal based foods in moderation, and little to no refined grains. You’ll find lots of vegetables and fruits present in Mediterranean recipes, and a moderate proportion of poultry and seafood ingredients. Red meat is rarely eaten. It is so easy to feel full on this diet because it offers a lot of nutrient rich foods and health fats that help you feel fuller longer. And you are never confined to one type of cuisine, because your Mediterranean options are endless. Discover the dishes of Spain, Portugal, Morocco, Greece, Cyprus and Croatia – you will never be bored.
The macrobiotic diet is not only about food, it is also about the balance between body and mind, and how food can help achieve that balance. This diet draws a lot of conceptual emphasis from Zen Buddhism, and focuses on finding a good balance with food habits.
The major principles of the macrobiotic diet include eating in moderation, consuming local grown foods in season, and reducing the amount of animal product that is included in your diet. Following these principles are supposed to provide the highest level of happiness and balance in your life.
This diet consists primarily of whole grains, legumes, and vegetables with an emphasis on local organic sourcing. Common macrobiotic grocery lists will include, brown rice, oats, beans, tofu, sea vegetables, fish, and nuts. This diet first became popular in the ’70s, but still has a strong following today, because not everyone diets just for weight loss. Many followers of this diet are looking for a healthy lifestyle option that also focuses on finding a good balance in all facets of your life!
All this information may seem a little overwhelming, and that’s no shocker! It can be difficult to stick to a new diet, especially with so many new diets popping up left and right online. The Now Find Family of Apps can help you out with recipes, grocery lists, product information, and helpful tips for making and maintaining lifestyle changes. All of our apps are available in the Apple and Good Play stores, so head over there and hit download!
Please visit our recipe page to check out delicious gluten free recipes for your New Year!