Oh my God! I’ve gained so much weight that I should go on a diet! ”- a common sentiment that was repeated by millions of women in the 1990s, the main idea being that only“ fat ”people should“ diet ”in order to To achieve “weight loss”.
This diet included a strict diet (accompanied by major hunger pangs). After losing some temporary pounds, the diet was abandoned altogether and ended with binge eating with all its might, resulting in the person gaining not only the original weight, but a few extra pounds too! Now, in the 2000s, we absorbed a lot of information, so much that the modern diet dilemma was born. As victims of the “diet culture”, we have been conditioned to believe that we need to mimic these trends in order to be healthy or “cool”. It sounds pretty fancy to order an almond milk cappuccino with a regular café latte at Starbucks or a gluten-free sourdough toastie with a regular grilled sandwich.
The range of diets available can be quite confusing because the point is no longer about eating healthy or unhealthy, but rather eating what is fashionable. Healthy eating itself is broken down into many sub-categories, such as veganism, keto, intermittent fasting, paleo, to name a few.
Every diet has its share of critics
- The vegans say meat causes cancer
- The meat eaters say that being vegan can lead to vital shortcomings
- The keto dieters say it is the healthiest diet ever, while some think it has catastrophic consequences, including a bout of acne and hormonal problems
To help you make an informed decision, we’ll attempt to break down the most popular diet trends for you.
Don’t fall victim to food culture and assume that an almond milk cappuccino is better than a normal café latte
The Ketogenic Diet (or “Why The Butter Is Blamed For What The Bread Did” Diet)
For most people, it’s just exciting that bacon and butter with grated cheese on top and whipped cream on the side are finally considered healthy. However, it is more complicated. Following a strict ketogenic diet puts your body in a state of ketosis, in which your body uses ketones as its primary source of energy instead of carbohydrates. In simpler terms, it helps the body to release fatty acids from stored body fats. For this to work, you need to be sure that 70-90% of your calories come from fat and the remaining 10-30% from protein and carbohydrates combined.
So what can you really eat while trying this?
- A small amount of protein: meat, poultry, fish, seafood, eggs
- A large amount of high fat foods like coconut, avocado, olive oil and other oils / ghee, nuts, nut butters, bacon, cheese, cream, animal fats
- A small amount of low-carb vegetables: leafy greens, cabbage, asparagus, cucumber, celery, tomatoes, peppers, mushrooms, zucchini
A list of things you can’t eat:
Fruits, grains, beans, legumes, starchy vegetables, sweet vegetables, and most processed foods, most dairy products except ghee and cheese
To summarize something:
The keto diet works great for some people, especially with metabolic disorders, neurodegenerative disorders, and insulin sensitivity. A major disadvantage of this diet is that it is unsustainable as the food choices are extremely limited. It should be followed with professional help to avoid nutritional deficiencies. A more sustainable alternative to this would be a high-fat diet, where you limit your carbohydrate intake to one meal a day (preferably before or after your workout) and stick to fat and protein for the rest of your meals.
Smashed avocados with seeds.
The vegan diet (or ‘the nutritional yeast and kombucha’ diet)
Veganism is technically a lifestyle. This is not just about eliminating all animal foods (including honey and dairy products), but also avoiding buying animal products such as fur and leather. It also means boycotting companies that live on animals for entertainment, such as circuses and bullfights.
However, a more conventional form of veganism is people following a plant-based diet. Except for ethical reasons and allergies or intolerance to dairy products and dairy products, there is no other reason to opt for this diet. A major disadvantage of this diet is the omission of an entire group of foods. You may have trouble getting all of the nutrients your body needs, especially calcium, B12, omega 3, and iron.
A very common mistake people make on this diet is to ingest packaged and processed junk like nut milk with less than 3 percent nuts and tons of chemicals. You can only get the benefits of this diet if you only eat minimally processed whole foods straight from the kitchen and not from chemical laboratories.
Here is a list of things to add to your diet if you want to go vegan: seeds, nuts, tofu, tempeh, edamame, lentils, beans, peas, amaranth, oats, quinoa, whole grains.
Vegan gluten-free pizza
Intermittent fasting (“Is it still 16 hours” diet)
In simpler terms, it means going without food for a long time. IF, combined with proper nutrition for the rest of the day, is one of the easiest ways to maintain your calorie balance or stay in a calorie deficit, thus helping you lose weight. When used correctly, it helps reduce inflammation, improve metabolic profile, and improve insulin sensitivity, all of which lead to increases in growth hormones in the body.
There are many ways to do IF. It could include skipping one meal a day, eating on alternate days, the eat-stop-eat method, and more. The most common method is the 16/8 method, where you fast for 16 hours and schedule all of your meals in the eight hour window.
How do you start?
- Start with a 12-13 hour fast and then work up to 16 hours
- Choose your eating window based on your activity level. For example, if you are a morning person and you are more active in the early hours of the morning, skip your dinner instead of your breakfast and vice versa
- Skipping a meal does not give you license to eat all day. You still need to eat healthy and maintain your caloric balance for the rest of the day
- While IF has shown great results for some, it’s not the only way to stay in deficit or lose weight
Beetroot and almond flour pancakes with vegan cheese
If you ask us which “camp” we belong to or which of these is the “best diet”, we get the feeling that there is no one-size-fits-all approach. Any of these diets work effectively when properly planned. We encourage you to work with your body instead of going against it. If you are a vegetarian, a keto diet would be difficult due to the limited food options. If you’re someone who can’t stay hungry for hours, there would be no point in trying IF.
One should not blindly imitate a diet, but decide on the following parameters:
- Adaptability / physical fitness
- Food preferences and exclusions
Your diet should be such that you can follow on your worst day, not just the best.
Nutrimend is a nutrition counseling clinic founded in 2016 by the sister duo Neha Patodia and Nupur Arya.
“Our goal is to help people develop healthy habits and not make restrictions. We coach people on how to eat properly and healthily so that they feel safe in their body and achieve their desired goals. Nutrimend is a brand that promotes intuitive eating, rejects the diet mentality, honors your hunger, respects your body and eats without fear. We believe in a holistic and sustainable approach to health. ”- Neha Patodia and Nupur Arya
Both Neha and Nupur are certified nutritionists (DDHN, DNHE and Precision Nutrition). They started by helping NGOs and the community at large through insightful conversations and discussions about lifestyle and fitness. Their shared love of health led them to set up a health café a few years later. After realizing that their real passion isn’t just about healthy eating, they founded Nutrimend in 2016 with the motto of encouraging people to take small steps towards better health.