If you are trying to eat right and stay fit, you have probably researched various types of diet plans. Each one seems more beneficial than the other, making it hard to decide which one is right for you. The only way to pick is to understand the basics as well as benefits of the different types of diet plans. In this article, we will review the advantages and the disadvantages of the most popular diet plans that have caught the attention of fitness enthusiasts in recent times.
Things to Remember Before Choosing from Types of Diet Plans
- Always consult an expert before you choose from the different kinds of diet plans. You must take into account any nutritional deficiencies and health issues before making the decision.
- Make sure that any diet you follow is sustainable. This means that it should include foods that are commonly found in your diet so that it is easier for you to follow it consistently.
- If you are consuming any medication, you must understand the effects that different foods have on the efficacy of these medicines.
- Your diet plan and workout routine should go hand in hand to avoid issues like muscle loss.
Most Popular Types of Diet Plans
Let us take a look at the different kinds of diet plans that fitness enthusiasts are following these days:
1. Paleo Diet
According to Paleo diet plan, you should eat the same foods that your ancestors ate. It is different from the other types of diet plans because it includes foods that were eaten before humans began agriculture. However, this claim is often debated as the diet plan includes lean protein, whole foods, fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds, some of which became popular as a result of agriculture.
- Significant weight loss
- Reduced the risk of heart diseases.
- Helps manage cholesterol and blood sugar.
- Ideal for individuals with gluten intolerance.
- Eliminates whole grains and dairy which have many nutritional benefits.
2. Keto Diet
The main principle of the keto diet is to consume foods that are high in protein and fat but low in carbohydrates. This helps the body use fatty acids naturally and convert them into ketones for energy.
- Helps in faster weight loss.
- Ideal for obese or overweight individuals who want to burn fat faster.
- Reduces the risk factor for diseases like diabetes and high blood pressure.
- Eliminating carbs from the diet entirely may lead to fatigue and lack of energy.
- Carbs are a major food group that needs to be a part of the diet.
- Some individuals have also reported kidney stones, osteoporosis and liver disease in the long run.
3. Vegan Diet
This is one of the different types of diet plans that have gained immense popularity over the years because of ethical and health reasons. A vegan diet eliminates any animal-based product, including dairy.
- This type of diet reduces your calorie consumption significantly,
- The diet is very low in fat but high in fibre, keeping you feeling fuller for longer.
- This diet plan helps maintain an ideal Body Mass Index
- It is ethical and sustainable.
- Nutritional deficiencies like B12 deficiency and calcium deficiency are common because these nutrients are mostly found in animal-based foods.
4. Dukan Diet
There are two phases under this type of diet plan – the weight loss phase and the maintenance phase. The Dukan diet is focused on high protein foods with the mandatory inclusion of oat bran in the weight loss phase. In the maintenance phase, it allows a restricted portion of carbs and fat with some non-starchy vegetables.
- Studies show that the Dukan diet helps in weight loss.
- It helps boost your metabolic rate and reduces the production of the hunger hormone, ghrelin. Together, these effects lead to weight loss.
- This diet limits the consumption of fat and carbs, both of which are necessary for various metabolic functions.
- The severe restriction of calories can even move your body into the conservation phase, causing weight gain immediately after losing it.
5. Ultra Low Fat Diet
As the name suggests, this diet plan limits fat consumption. The rule is that only 10% of your calorie intake should come from fat. Other types of diet plans that limit fat consumption only suggest that you reduce it to 30% of your calorie intake. The idea is to increase the consumption of plant-based foods and reduce the consumption of animal-based foods. This diet plan is also very high on carbohydrates but low in protein.
- This diet plan is very beneficial for individuals who are very obese.
- It also improves health markers like blood pressure, cholesterol, and blood sugar.
- It is known to reduce inflammation markers as well.
- Extreme fat restriction is known to cause health issues in the long run as several metabolic processes require fat.
- This diet plan is usually very hard to stay consistent with.
6. Atkins Diet
Among the different kinds of diet plans that propose low carb consumption, the Atkins Diet is the most popular one. This plan is divided into four phases. The first one is the induction phase where you consume less than 20g of carbohydrates each day for 2 weeks. The other three phases involve the reintroduction of healthy carbs into your diet as you get closer to your weight loss goals.
- It is best known for its benefits in reducing belly fat.
- It reduces cholesterol levels, blood sugar, and insulin resistance.
- Like all low-carb diets, this one also causes fatigue and low energy levels. However, it is usually without any side effects on your health.
7. HCG Diet
The HCG or Human Chorionic Gonadotropin diet is an intense diet plan that claims to help people lose up to 1 kg each day. The idea behind this diet plan is to boost metabolism and aid fat loss by controlling your appetite. It requires the intake of HCG supplements in the first phase, followed by a low-calorie diet (restricted to 500 calories a day). After 3-6 weeks, depending on your weight loss goals, you can increase your food intake and eliminate the supplements.
- It has a significant effect with respect to weight loss.
- It also helps curb hunger pangs.
- It includes the consumption of hormone supplements which may have health repercussions in the future.
- Extreme calorie restriction is often followed by muscle loss.
- It may even throw the body into a conservation phase which leads to weight gain.
- You may experience side effects like nausea, headaches, and others while following the diet because of hormone consumption.
8. Intermittent Fasting
Of the different types of diet plans for weight loss, intermittent fasting is the most recommended one. The basics of this diet plan include putting your body through a fasting phase and an eating phase each day. So, essentially, you control when you eat the food rather than what you eat. You can either follow the 16/8 method where you fast for 16 hours and eat for 8 hours or the eat-stop-eat method where you fast for 24 hours twice a week. You can also reduce the calorie intake to 500 calories every alternate day.
- It helps you lose fat quickly.
- Health markers like cholesterol, blood pressure, and blood sugar improve.
- It is also known to provide cognitive benefits, making you more alert and active.
- Fasting is not ideal for individuals with low blood sugar issues.
- It is also not recommended for women who are pregnant or breastfeeding.
9. Zone Diet
This is a great diet plan for individuals with diabetes as it focuses on low glycemic index foods. This diet plan limits the carb intake to 45% of your daily calorie intake, you must also consume carbohydrate sources that have a low GI. Your meals should contain protein, a variety of fruits and vegetables, and some healthy fats like almonds or olive oil.
- It helps diabetics maintain their blood sugar levels.
- It is known to reduce appetite and boost the weight loss process.
- Some healthy carb sources like potatoes and bananas are eliminated from your diet.
While there are so many types of diet plans, you must remember that there isn’t an ideal one. The diet plan that suits your body the best and does not cause any health issues is the one that you should stick with. Whenever you introduce a new diet plan, be mindful of the way your body reacts. In case you feel any major discomfort or difficulty, it is best to go back to your regular diet and look for a better option.