Are you still trying to find a diet that works for you? Not only easy for you, but also enjoyable? Well, then you probably have found out about some popular diets such as flexible dieting, the ketogenic diet, and intermittent fasting.
Flexible Dieting / IIFYM (If If Fits Your Macros)
Last week, we talked about macronutrients (carbohydrates, protein, and fats) and briefly discussed macronutrient breakdowns that are recommended by most nutritionists. This diet is based on the basic concept that weight loss comes from more calories out than calories in. If your general goal is to lose weight and maintain muscle, the recommended amount of protein to consume is .8 grams per pound of body weight, about .5 grams of fat per pound, and eating the rest of the calories in carbohydrates. To figure out the amount of carbohydrates needed use an online calculator. Generally, once you hit your macronutrient goals, you could eat the rest of the calories in whatever you want, whether it be gummi bears, Oreos, cupcakes or whatever else you may be craving. While this diet is more flexible and lenient, it does require a lot of tracking and tallying which may be quite annoying for most people.
Ketogenic/low carb diet
This is probably one of the hardest diets to follow, but also really rewarding. On this diet, you will need to consume 70% of your calories from fat, 20% from protein and 5% of carbohydrates. The whole reason behind this diet is to switch your body from using carbohydrates and glucose for energy to using your fat storage for energy through the production of Ketone bodies. While this sounds great, one big drawback is how hard it is to stay on this diet. Most of the foods on this diet will be full fat meat, avocados, nuts, coconut, oils and butter, with very few sugary sweets, bread and pastas. Not only is this diet restrictive, one problem most people run into is the “keto flu.” This is a period of 1-2 weeks where your body will transition to using fat as its main source of energy. You will experience headaches, weariness, weakness, and generally feel terrible, but eventually it will pass. However, once the “flu” passes, you should not feel hunger and you will be burning fat constantly for energy.
This diet trend is based on the principles of putting yourself into a starvation phase by going through a 14-16 hour fast and allowing your body to develop ketone bodies. Ketone bodies are a substance your body produces to convert fat into energy for your body. This form of dieting is most commonly used if people have problems with portion control and always wanting to eat until you’re full instead of satisfied. The goal of intermittent fasting is to not only produce ketone bodies, but also to allow everybody on it to fully enjoy 1-2 large meals a day along with snacking in between. While this does allow you to eat larger amounts, you will still need to eat at a caloric deficit. While this diet sounds good, most people don’t have the self control to set an 8-10 hour feeding window and follow it strictly everyday. Also, it would be hard to explain to your family that you’re on a “fast” when you go out for breakfast and then eat a large lunch a couple hours later.
If you have little self control, try Flexible Dieting/IIFYM, if you have some try intermittent fasting, or if you have a lot of self control try the ketogenic diet.
While there are many different kinds of diets and choosing one that works for you may be hard, don’t just sit behind a computer eating nothing but junk food and expect to look ready for summer. The best thing you can do is do your own research to find which one works best for you, and get started.