Popular diets are usually tried first because they are the first diets that we see on TV or in the news. We are more likely to try something if we know that it is popular because that means it must work then, right? However, it isn’t always true.
I want to take a look at two vastly different diets to give you an idea of their pros and cons. They have different philosophies and will affect your body differently. I believe that each have their advantages and disadvantages, but it’s important to remember that we must tailor a diet specifically to our bodies. Not every diet will work and not everyone will enjoy the same foods.
1. The Low-Carb Diet
The Low-Carb craze really began because of the Atkins Diet. Dr.Atkins was a cardiologist believed that carbohydrates were having negative effects on his patients. He was so convinced that he set out to write a diet book. Thus, the Atkins diet was born and became immensely popular in America.
One of the advantages to a low carb diet is that it is a very easy diet to follow. You only have to read the book to understand the diet. Many of the listed foods are easy to find and seem very delicious as well.
It seems like an proper diet for anyone who enjoys eating hearty food. Both men and women claim to enjoy eating this diet. Not only is it easy to find food to eat, but it is also affordable and the results come very quickly.
How the diet works:
The low-carb diet is all about restricting carbohydrates. Say goodbye to bread, pasta, wheat, rice, fruity drinks, desserts and more. Low-Carb advocated believe that carbohydrates are responsible for making people gain weight.
How the weight loss works: Our bodies run on carbohydrates because they are fuel for our bodies. Without carbohydrates, our bodies begin using fat to work.
Restrictions: Carbohydrates are restricted and closely monitored.
Typical Meal Plan:
Breakfast: Eggs, coffee, cheese and bacon.
Lunch: A salad with dark leafy greens and chicken.
Dinner: Your choice of meat with dairy and select vegetables.
Pros: Easy to eat. Very popular and accepted. The recipes are very easy to make as well. Lots of restaurants have low-carb options which makes eating out comfortable. It is relatively easy to find salad dressings and other sauces to eat with dinner too.
Cons: The Low-Carb diet is a short-term diet. You may lose weight initially, but many have reported gaining it back once they returned to a normal diet. The diet does not also claim to help with any other health ailments. There was also controversy after Dr.Atkins himself died and their were rumours of him having a heart attack.
Overall: The Low-Carb diet may work short-term, but I would recommend against long-term use. The diet doesn’t seem to have many health benefits and does not seem suitable for long-term. I do not recommend any diet that limits fresh fruit and vegetables and is high in fat.
Overall Rating for the Low-Carb Diet: C
The Raw Diet
The Raw/Living Foods diet has become more and more popular with recent times. Many celebrities seem to go on the raw diet or even juicing as a quick detox.
How the diet works:
A lot of the information around raw foods diet can seem very convincing. They state that heating food can destroy and damage the enzymes. Many people have reported losing weight and feeling more energized due to the nutrient rich diet.
How the weight loss works: Many processed and heavily salted foods can cause weight gain and bloated. Raw foods are easier on our digestive system and can help rid our body of toxins and fat.
Restrictions: Food cannot be heated above 104 °F
Typical Meal Plan
Breakfast: A fruit smoothie or juice. Raw nuts with a raw nut milk.
Lunch: Salad with raw nuts, fruits and vegetables.
Dinner: Raw pizza or lasagna. Zuccini spaghetti. Raw cheese or milk.
Pros: The raw diet seems to really transform people and their bodies. Testimonials report that people really feel happier and much healthier. The raw diet is also more environmentally friendly as many of the ingredients are natural and easy to get. Many people say that it is a lifestyle choice and make the change for long-term benefits.
Cons: The raw diet is sometimes seen as extremely limited. It would be difficult for people with an active social life as it is very restrictive. When dining out with friends you would have to stick to side salads and juices. Some people may think this way of eating as ‘extreme.’
Overall: I do believe the raw diet could work, but it is also difficult for people. It’s important to eat enough calories when eating a raw diet.
Some raw diets are very high in fat and salt which will not help our long-term health goals. A high fat diet can hinder athletic performance and make us feel groggy and tired. Eating a lot of fat will also make losing weight much harder.