One of the greatest challenges faced by people who have spent the past several months in self-isolation is certainly the extra pounds they have put on. This was inevitable given the time we have all been spending on the couch and confined to the house with minimal movement. However, there is no better time than this to focus on our health to achieve optimal fitness.
Let’s take this opportunity to try out some of the many nutrition and diet systems that are trending for losing weight, feeling energetic and feeling younger.
Following are some of the most popular diet and nutrition trends of 2020.
1. Intermittent fasting (IF): This is currently one of the world’s most popular health and fitness trends. People everywhere are observing it to lose weight, improve their health, and lifestyles in general. When you look it up online, you will find many studies that show it can have powerful effects on your body and your brain. It could also help you live longer. So, how does this diet system work? The beginner’s guide to intermittent fasting is an eating pattern that cycles between periods of fasting and eating. It doesn’t emphasize the types of foods you should eat, but rather when you should eat them. In this respect, it’s not exactly a diet in the conventional sense but more accurately a sort of nutritional regime. The most common intermittent fasting methods involve 16-hour fasts daily or fasting for 24 hours, twice a week.
2. Plant-Based Eating: Although often confused with veganism, plant-based diets don’t necessarily eliminate animal products. This diet focuses on eating plants for the most part, such as fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, and whole grains. Plant-based diets also emphasize eating whole foods or foods that have undergone little to no processing and are as close to their natural state as possible.
3. The Ketogenic diet (Keto Diet, Ketofy Diet, Ketosis): Another popular nutrition regime is the keto diet. It’s a low-carb, high-fat diet that offers numerous health benefits. In fact, many studies show that this type of diet can help you lose weight and improve your health. Ketogenic diets may even have benefits that include reducing the chances of developing diabetes, cancer, epilepsy, and Alzheimer’s disease. Here are some of the basics of the keto diet.
Firstly, it shares many similarities with the Atkins and low-carb diets. It involves drastically reducing carbohydrates and replacing them with fat in your meal plan. This reduction in carbohydrates puts your body into a metabolic state known as ketosis. Your body then becomes incredibly efficient at burning fat for energy. It even turns liver-fat into ketones, which can supply energy to the brain.
Ketogenic diets can cause significant reductions in blood sugar and insulin levels and there are several versions of the ketogenic diet. However, only the standard and high protein ketogenic diets have been studied extensively.
4. The Primal Diet: This is an eating pattern that’s high in protein and fat, low in carbohydrates, and designed to closely resemble the diet of early humans. Like the paleo diet, the Primal Diet is based on the idea that dietary habits diverge too greatly from those of traditional hunter-gatherers.
Advocates of this diet claim that it aids weight loss, reduces inflammation, helps improve sleep, and also improves heart and skin health. In fact, the Primal Diet includes recommendations for more physical activity, mental stimulation, exposure to nature, and regular sleep. It also tends to be less restrictive than the paleo diet, allowing for moderate amounts of coffee, and raw or fermented whole fat dairy. The Primal Diet is based on Mark Sisson’s book “The Primal Blueprint.” The diet includes vegetables, fruits, meat, fish, and poultry. It discourages the consumption of grains, heavily processed foods, and refined oils.
5. The MIND diet: It aims to reduce the chances of dementia and the decline in brain health that often occurs as people get older. This diet combines aspects of two very popular diets, the Mediterranean diet and the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) diet. Many experts consider the Mediterranean and DASH diets as some of the healthiest you can follow. Research has shown that they can lower blood pressure and reduce the risk of heart disease, diabetes, and several other diseases as well.
However, researchers wanted to create a diet that specifically helps improve brain function and prevent dementia. Thus, they combined foods from the Mediterranean and DASH diets that had been shown to benefit brain health. For example, both the Mediterranean and DASH diets recommend eating a lot of fruit. Fruit intake has not been correlated with improved brain function, but eating berries has been. Hence, the MIND diet encourages you to eat berries but does not emphasize consuming fruit. It is worth noting that currently, there are no set guidelines for following the MIND diet.
To sum up, nearly all the diets that health experts keep encouraging to have a variety of food groups and moderations. Whereas, diets that restrict what you eat or when you eat it could inhibit keeping weight off in the long run. Remember, anything that seems questionable, probably is. Try to look for any scientific credentials within the question, and see if the diet's name has been attached to any scientific research published in journals. There are no ‘one cap suits all’ when it comes to diets. So, make an educated decision and stick to it. Happy dieting!
Views expressed above are the author’s own.
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