Most of us have tried a fad diet at some point in our lives. Many of us even know a ‘yo yo dieter’, someone who is nearly always trying the latest dieting trend. But whether you’re looking to lose weight or just be a bit healthier, dieting can sometimes give us interesting insights into our own eating patterns.
Not all diets work for everyone, and there is a lot of conflicting advice. This overview aims to give you a nudge in the right direction — and also show you what diets to avoid!
Here are the pros and cons of 10 diet trends of 2013:
Juice cleansing (aka juice fasting) is a type of detox diet where a person consumes only freshly juiced fruits and vegetables. A juice cleanse can last anywhere from several days to a few weeks, and during this time the dieter abstains from all other food.
Advocates claim juice cleansing helps them slim down, reduce bloating, shrink their stomach, and can help overcome habitual reliance on coffee and soda. It is also said to help ‘purify’ the body through removing and flushing out toxins. Some juice dieters even use salt water or a herbal laxative to assist with the detoxification.
The juice cleanse is seen by some health experts as controversial, especially for extended periods of time. As all the dieter’s nutrients are derived from juice for the duration of the cleanse they can miss out on essential fiber and proteins.
Pros: Short term, quick results, can have detoxification benefits.
Cons: Difficult to stick to, requires preparation, can be awkward for office and social settings, can be unsuitable for those with prior health issues.
The zone diet
The zone diet works on the idea that managing insulin levels can result in more effective weight control. The diet’s main principle is that every meal we eat needs to contain 30% protein, 30% good fats like nuts, avocado and olive oil, and the remaining 40% unrefined vegetable carbohydrates.
Creator Dr Barry Sears claims this precise mix of protein, fats and carbs regulates our blood-sugar levels and promotes long term weight loss. Any carbohydrates like pasta, bread, cereals, cakes and sweets are definitely a no go area on this diet. Sears claims these foods spike our insulin and cause weight gain, heart disease and diabetes.
The zone diet is fairly moderate as far as popular diets go. His principles, if you can follow them, promote a healthy, nutritious diet but don’t leave a lot of room for cheat days and weekend treats.
Pros: You get to eat every few hours, good for your heart, keeps blood sugar levels regular, good mix of healthy fats and unrefined carbs.
Cons: Limits placed on white carbs and sugars which can be difficult in social situations, no calorie limits which can test self control of some.