When the main focus is how diets work for fat loss, then it’s important to customize your diet to best suit your individual goal. Whichever diet you choose to follow it’s essential to cut down your calorie intake thus creating a calorie deficit. There are many ways to skin a cat, but a particular diet might only work well with certain people and not others.
Here are 3 popular diets or lifestyles and I’ll explain how each one can potentially help you control your food intake.
When you get into ketosis your body burns fat for fuel instead of carbohydrates. To get into ketosis your diet must be very low in carbohydrates and high in dietary fat. Protein is generally low to moderate but is adjusted depending on how active the individual may be.
When you cut out carb sources it really limits what you can eat. By eliminating enough foods it becomes harder to overeat. Proteins and fats are usually higher in food satiety than carbs, so your hunger will be also be suppressed making it easier to cut back on calories. You can also have fewer cravings when you
are in a state of ketosis.
Keto diets can be hard to stick to in the long term because it’s not exactly fun to cut out so many foods from your diet. Your energy levels may not be optimal for peak athletic performance either because you can no longer use carbs as an energy source. However, the keto diet is a proven fat loss tool that has worked for many people if done correctly and overall calorie intake is still kept in check.
The Paleo diet promotes meals high in protein and vegetables. It eliminates all refined sugars and grain foods such as bread products. Sugars and processed/junk foods are often calorie dense and barely suppress your appetite. So to cut them out completely can make it much easier to reduce your calories especially when you consume a large amount of high fiber vegetables. It’s very hard to overeat on foods like broccoli and they are high in satiety and contain very few calories.
The Paleo does promote “clean” eating regardless of it being quite restrictive on certain foods. Another benefit is that the high thermic effect of a protein dense diet is always going to be useful during a fat loss phase as your body uses up a lot of energy to process dietary protein. When it comes to athletic performance or for muscle building, starchy carbs such as rice and potatoes are
very useful. However these types of foods would not be allowed with the paleo diet. Strictly following a list of “good” and “bad” tend to be problematic for some people. This might help us lose fat in the short term but can be an issue in the long term if being too restrictive affects our consistency further down the line.
This might explain why the paleo diet has evolved over time and is a bit less restrictive.
Flexible dieting involves tracking your macro nutrients (protein, carbohydrates, and fats) intake in order to change your body composition. Flexible dieting is designed to fit around your lifestyle and preferences.
As long as you stick to your macronutrient and calorie targets there are no restrictions to the foods you can eat. You can build a healthier relationship with food by having a better understanding of food quantities and how to effectively create a balance in your diet without having to cut certain foods out.
Some people do find it daunting and view the task of calculating everything they eat as too time consuming. There is also room for error when estimating food quantities when you eat out as it’s not very practical to carry food scales with you all the time. Food apps such as MyFitnessPal do make this a lot easier but there is still a learning process involved before you can effectively master IIFYM.
There is more than 1 way to lose weight, so plan your diet in a way that best fits your lifestyle and preferences. The diet that you’re most likely to adhere to is probably your best bet for continuous progress. Just remember to consider the health implications of any restrictive diet you choose. I personally promote a balanced approach. Just because some foods are not recommended to eat it excess, does not mean you can’t eat them in moderation. Life’s too short not to eat what you want from time to time!
By Rishi Haria – Lab Coach