What Diet is Best for Me?
Compare Diets to see what fits best for you
What diet is best for me?
When starting a new diet, it is important to figure out what diet is best for you. In order to do this, you need to look at your overall health. Look at it, long and hard. You need to be able to evaluate yourself on a true and honest basis.
Take a look at what foods you do and don’t like. Look at your addictions to certain food items, like ice cream, chips, or soda. Think about the things that you love to have. Now, think about how you can improve those things for a healthier way of eating them.
Maybe you love ice cream, I mean, really who doesn’t? But maybe you can investigate healthier options like low fat, or no sugar added ice cream. Maybe sorbet or frozen yogurt will help you crave something different. Learn to only have these things in moderation, this way you still allow yourself to indulge but only on occasion.
Do you eat a lot of processed foods such as freezer meals and 3-minute noodles? Do you drink juice, soda, and other sweet drinks? What are you eating now? Are these things that you are used to eating able to be modified? Instead of juice, maybe you can try Crystal Lite, or switch to the diet version of your favorite soda.
Think about your physical state, the appearance of your skin, and the tone and texture of your hair and nails. Are you physically active? Do you avoid doing things that others love to indulge in physically because you might be too embarrassed by your body? Are these things something that you want to participate in?
I myself found embarrassment in my physical state, and I still do, as I am an obese woman. However, I found that by doing the things that I wanted to do, I lessened the stress of actually doing them. For years I wanted to do martial arts, so last July I started doing martial arts. I love it. It helps me not only become healthier physically but mentally as well.
Do you need to lose weight? If so, how much do you need or want to lose? Do you need to lower blood pressure or cholesterol? Think about why you need to find a new way of eating, this will help determine what kind of diet you should be focusing on to help you the most in succeeding.
Trust me when I say that I too have had to evaluate my health habits, many times over. It’s not easy, but it is rewarding. I struggle all too much with the convenience of fast food, potato chips and my serious love for chocolate moose tracks ice cream. But I find that when I am eating a healthy meal, I feel better while I eat and afterward as well.
The different styles of dieting
In the world of dieting, you’ll ask yourself “what diet is best for me”, many times again. You are going to see successes and potentially some failures. However, when it comes to figuring out your body, only you know what makes you comfortable.
Figuring out a new way of life for yourself is beneficial. It allows you a certain power, the ability to take hold of the wheel, and steer in the direction that you want. You allow yourself freedom. By evaluating your needs, you will figure out what type of diet you would want to venture into.
Don’t simply select a diet because it is popular or because it seems easy enough. Select a new lifestyle that fits you. Inquire about the types of foods you can eat and beverages you can drink. Make the selection as easy as possible for yourself to adapt to.
Don’t go for a calorie deficit of 1,200 calories. Trust me the longevity of something like that isn’t very long. Not to mention, it’s simply not healthy. Make sure that whatever way of life you choose, that it is healthy for you, sustainable and realistic for your body and goals.
There are many diets that some call “fad diets”, I don’t like the term “fad diet” because it insinuates that it will only be there for a short popular time-frame. Meaning that the sustainability of the way of life might be short and even unrealistic in expectation.
One example of a “fad diet” is the Keto Diet. It got dubbed as a fad because of its sudden recognized popularity and use by many celebrities. However, the Ketogenic Diet has been around in some form, fashion, or name since the 1920s, as an actual classified diet. The Ketogenic Diet was created for the treatment of epilepsy by Dr. Russell Wilder, MD. This diet is a 4:1 ratio of fat to protein and carbohydrates.
Another version of a diet is the low-carb way of eating. This focuses on reducing your carbohydrate intake to 150 grams per day. This is a less intense version of a keto diet, simply because your body still uses some form of Ketone produced in the liver, as energy.
Paleo is also another diet that is considered to be a “fad diet”. Much like the Keto Diet, it’s known popularity skyrocketed quickly because of celebrity endorsers. However, the Paleo diet, named after the Paleolithic Era, was the way humans ate 12,000 plus years ago. It is a simple diet, made up of things that you could have hunted or gathered in those days.
Then of course there are the low-fat diets that restrict fat consumption to 10% of your daily calorie intake. They limit animal products and mainly focus on plant-based nutrition.
What is the Paleo Diet?
The Paleo Diet is classified as a “fad diet”, however, much like the Keto Diet, it has been around for many years. It was created in the 1970s by gastroenterologist Walter Voegtlin. His reason behind this way of life was to teach modern-day society how to eat healthy, just as our ancestors did.
The Paleo Diet has a few other names that are all fitting, considering this is a diet that is literally named after an era of time. Paleo can otherwise be known as the Caveman Diet or the Stone Age Diet. This diet relies on the consumption of foods that could have been hunted for, fished for, or gathered for.
There are no grains, dairy, legumes, or processed foods on the Paleo Diet. It has a much-needed emphasis on whole foods. These whole foods are lean proteins, vegetables, fruits, nuts, and seeds.
There is a more flexible version of the Paleo Diet. This allows you to consume cheese, butter, potatoes, and sweet potatoes. These of course must be full versions, not low-fat or otherwise processed.
Macronutrients for the standard limited Paleo Diet is pretty simple. They are 45% Protein, 35% Carbohydrate, and 20% fat for your daily intakes.
Benefits of Paleo
There are many benefits to this way of life, including but not limited to weight loss and inches lost. This way of eating can also reduce the risk factors of heart disease. It can help you lower your cholesterol, blood sugars, and blood pressure.
Downfalls of Paleo
This way of eating can have some unexpected downfalls to it. It can become expensive because you are eating whole, organic foods. The foods that you may eat, leave you to potentially feel restricted as well.
What you can eat on Paleo
- Nuts & Seeds
- Lean Meats
- Grass-Fed or Wild Game protein
- Fish such as Salmon, Mackerel and Albacore Tuna
- Olive Oil or Walnut Oil
What you should avoid eating on Paleo
- Grains like wheat, oats, and barley
- Legumes like beans, lentils, peanuts, and peas
- Refined Sugar
- Processed food in general
The hypothesis of the Paleo Diet
The thought behind the Paleo Diet is put together through a hypothesis. Called the Evolutionary Discordance Hypothesis. The hypothesis stems from 1985, created by medic S. Boyd Eaton and anthropologist Melvin Konner.
Their claim stated that it was the connection between diet and diseases of civilization. Stating that the genes of man haven’t changed in 50,000 years and are unable to adapt to our new way of eating.
The anthropological evidence does indicate that refined carbohydrates and sodium are not needed at the high levels that we currently ingest. Instead, it shows that we need higher levels of protein and fibers and healthier fats.
What is a Low-Carb Diet?
A Low-Carb Diet is a restricting diet that consists of 150 carbs or less per day. This diet has been around for ages, with the first book Letter on Corpulence being written in 1863.
This diet focuses on the limitations of refined carbohydrates such as, bread, potatoes, grains, and refined sugars. However, with a limit in carbs there is an increase in protein and fat intakes, having you reach satiation quicker and for longer periods.
When your body has a lower level of carbohydrates, the fatty acids in your system are transported to your liver. When these fatty acids reach your liver, some of them are then turned into Ketones. Putting your body into a metabolic state of Ketosis.
Your body will then start to use these produced Ketones as an energy source, instead of the energy source that it is used to. Carbohydrates. It is very common to lose anywhere between 4 to 7 pounds in two weeks on a Low-Carb Diet.
In the 1990s and 2000’s the Low-Carb diet became very popular. It became popular because of Robert Atkins. However, Atkins had actually started the Atkins Diet in the early 1970s.
The Low-Carb way of living is a great choice for everyone, in my opinion. However, people who are Type 2 diabetic, or those who suffer from Obesity are prime candidates for a Low-Carb Diet.
Benefits of a Low-Carb Diet
There are many benefits to this way of life. Being able to benefit almost any person who adapts to this way of eating. You may experience weight loss, and inches being lost as well.
This diet has shown that it has 2 times the benefits of a low-fat calorie-restricted diet. Becoming full doesn’t take as long, and you end up having a suppressed appetite.
One benefit is reducing the inflammation in your joints. Cholesterol, blood sugar, insulin levels, and blood pressure have all been shown to decrease with a Low-Carb Diet as well.
Downfalls of a Low-Carb Diet
The downfalls of a Low-Carb Diet can be daunting, however, worth it to some. Typically, most of the downfalls only last a short while, during your body’s adjustment period.
You may experience some side effects from the Ketones that are being developed in your liver. Those side effects are typically the worst part of adaption. These can include nausea, headache, fatigue, and even bad breath.
However, these side effects are rare for a Low-Carb Diet, and more felt with those who do strict Ketogenic Diets. Also, these symptoms are only short-term, they will go away after your body has adapted. Typically, that can take about 2 days for a Low-Carb Diet. However, again with a Low-Carb Diet you may not experience these symptoms at all.
It is a restrictive diet, you do eliminate refined sugars. No sweets, limited dairy, limited grains, and wheat. It can also become expensive, however not as expensive as other diets.
What you can eat on a Low-Carb Diet
- Low-Glycemic Fruits (Strawberries, Blueberries, Raspberries, Blackberries, Watermelon, Apples, Pears, Grapefruit, Plums, and Oranges are a few)
- Low-Glycemic Vegetables (Carrots, Lettuce, Spinach, Kale, Green Beans, Tomatoes, Cucumbers, Cauliflower and Broccoli are a few)
- Lean Meats (Sirloin steak, New York Strip steak, Chicken Breast, and Pork Tenderloins are a few examples)
- Fish (Salmon, Mackerel, Tuna are a few options)
- Nuts and Seeds (including nut butter)
- Oil (Coconut and Olive are the best in my opinion)
What you should avoid eating on a Low-Carb Diet
- Bread and Grains
- Fruits like Bananas, Raisins, Dates, and Mango
- Corn, Potatoes, Sweet Potatoes, Beets
- Low-fat and fat-free salad dressings
- Full sugar soda (Switch to a diet version, and limit your intake)
- Beans and Legumes
- Honey or any sugar
- Chips, Cookies, and Crackers
What is a Low-Fat Diet?
A Low-Fat Diet is a restrictive diet that focuses on reducing your fat consumption to less than 10% of your daily calorie intake. This diet was introduced to the public, via the government, stating that American’s needed to eat less fat in the 1970s.
By 1980 the Low-Fat Diet products began to hit shelves in stores across America. These low-fat products replaced the fat that is normally in the product, with carbohydrates. The fat intake is less, however, the calorie count is very little indifference, typically the carbohydrate count is higher as well.
Low-Fat Diets, if done properly, like any diet, can be very rewarding. They can be highly effective for long-term weight loss in obese individuals.
A Low-Fat Diet is typically very high in carbs, roughly 80% of your daily calories come from carbs. Protein and fat intakes are both at 10% each.
To be successful in this way of living, you’ll want to exercise caution when it comes to refined carbohydrates like bread, pasta, and rice. Focus most of your carbohydrate calorie intake on a plant-based majority. Switch to whole grains, no bleached flour, no white bread or pasta.
Limit your animal products such as butter, fatty meats like ground beef, or pork. You’ll want to focus on things like chicken breast, tenderloins, and seafood like shrimp and fish.
With this diet, be sure that you are using spices. Your foods can become bland and you may want to taste something different. Be sure to mix up your seasonings and always use fresh herbs and spices in they are available, as they typically taste fresher.
Benefits of a Low-Fat Diet
This way of living can have some great successes for those who adapt. This diet can help lower your blood pressure and cholesterol levels. You may also see a reduction in inflammation in your body.
This way of eating may help to improve Type-2 Diabetes. Studies have shown that it can also possibly contribute to slowing the progression of Sclerosis.
Downfalls of a Low-Fat Diet
This diet can often seem tricky. You may find yourself lacking variety in foods and even flavor. It is known to be highly restrictive because you are limiting your fat source to extreme levels.
This diet may seem hard to stay on, taking an adaption period that can last a lot longer than most diets. You will want to steer clear of processed “low-fat” products. They are typically packed with carbohydrates to replace the loss of flavor from fat.
My last words to you, would be to again, look at your physical self, and adhere to things that you know about your body. Do not start in the deep end, work your way into the deeper waters when it comes to a lifestyle change.
We need to make sure that we are being cautious of how we feel and simply what we can handle all at once. There is no need to rush into something, and then feel bad if it doesn’t work. Ease yourself into lifestyle changes.
Focus on what you know about yourself, speak to your doctor to see what they recommend. Ask to have your blood pressure taken, weight, and even a fasting cholesterol test if you’re worried about that. I would recommend that everyone knows what their cholesterol levels are so that you can form and build your new habits accordingly.
I would also suggest keeping a written journal. This will help you in the long run by being able to look at your past successes and failures. It will also help you gauge your progress and your goals.
Remember, we are all in this together, steady strides and always think of yourself in your best light. Keep your head high and keep pushing towards your goals.