The Mayo Clinic Diet is a lifestyle strategy designed to help to remove the complexity involved in trying to lose weight in a healthy way. While healthy weight loss may sound as though it’s a pretty straightforward effort, once you get started, the amount of information available can easily become overwhelming. From food groups to macronutrients and from cardio to strength training, there are many details to consider.
The goal of this strategy is to make it easier for people to live a healthy lifestyle. The Mayo Clinic Diet is meant to provide people with confidence in knowing that the recommendations are made from experts at a reputable medical and health organization. Through this strategy, people can avoid fads and crash diets while improving the relationship they have with what they eat and with their regular activity level.
Why Was the Mayo Clinic Diet Developed?
Interestingly, while the Mayo Clinic Diet was designed to get right to the heart of the matter and provide people with directions to lose weight while living a healthy lifestyle, the timing of the creation of the diet was not necessarily chosen by the organization. Instead, there were so many unofficial versions of the diet already circulating under that name, they decided it was time to create a legitimate, official one that people could trust.
What is the Mayo Clinic?
The Mayo Clinic, the prestigious Minnesota-based organization. It is a not-for-profit organization focused on bringing health education, research and clinical practice together. It currently employs over 4,500 physicians and scientists in addition to 58,400 allied health staff and admin staff.
Publishing a Book for Common Sense Recommendations
The organization created a diet and published a book under its name in order to provide a common sense, practical and healthy way to eat nutritiously, get in shape and lose weight. It is highly user friendly and features a range of tips, recipes, pictures, graphics and additional support information to simplify weight management.
Replacing a Fad Diet with an Official Weight Management Strategy
According to the diet’s medical editor, Donald Hensrud, MD, the fad diet bearing the Mayo Clinic’s name had been circulating for years and they decided it was time to put things right with an actual healthy weight loss plan that people can actually use.
The unofficial, phony version of the diet involves consuming a low-carb, high-fat eating strategy. It promises that following this and eating grapefruit, which it claims to have nearly miraculous powers for fat burning, will skyrocket weight loss. The plan is followed for twelve days before there are two days off and then back on again. This is repeated ten times for what the diet claims will bring 50 to 55 pounds of weight loss.
On the other hand, the legitimate Mayo Clinic Diet provides a medically reviewed, scientifically sound long term weight loss strategy. The focus on building healthy eating and fitness habits that will be maintained for a lifetime in order to provide weight management as a lifestyle and not just over the short term. The goal isn’t to choose certain foods or food groups as being better or worse than others. Instead, it promotes overall wellness and understand how to incorporate health into a real person’s lifestyle.
What does the Mayo Clinic Diet Recommend?
It has a nutrition component, a fitness component as well as a preventive medicine component. That way, it’s not just focusing on getting the pounds off. Certainly, that’s a factor, but the aim is to do so healthfully so that it helps with overall health. Reducing weight in a healthy way is an important path to preventing many types of chronic disease and illness. This diet recommends eating according to the Mayo Clinic’s Healthy Weight Pyramid, boosting physical activity, keeping up healthy lifestyle habits, defining and achieving realistic goals and keeping up motivation levels.
Overall, the Mayo Clinic Diet is based on the foundation recommendations that are already being made by doctors and other health experts. It uses government data and solid research to back up its recommendations. That said, what makes it different is that it applies this data in a practical way. It provides people with ways they can use that information in their real life.
Over time, people following this strategy are meant to regularly improve their choices for nutrition, exercise and overall wellness.
The MIND Diet is a combination of two proven and popular diets: Mediterranean Diet and DASH. It was designed to focus specifically on the foods from those eating strategies that are known to support brain health. Initial research into this form of dieting suggests that it could have the potential to support brain wellness and reduce the risk of mental decline.
As there have yet to be any methods of fully preventing or reversing dementia or Alzheimer’s, the hope is to be able to use MIND Diet strategies to make as big of a difference based on lifestyle as possible.
Does the MIND Diet Work?
The idea behind the MIND Diet is to eat foods such as nuts, berries, and leafy greens to reduce a person’s risk of developing a progressive brain disorder. The letters in the name of this eating strategy stand for Mediterranean-DASH Intervention for Neurodegenerative Delay. It was first developed by Rush University Medical Center nutritional epidemiologist Martha Clare Morris.
The development of the MIND Diet was funded by the National Institute on Aging. The first published version of this eating strategy was in February 2015. The research determined that eating in this way decreased the risk of Alzheimer’s development by about 35 percent among people who followed it moderately well. That said, among those who followed it quite rigorously, there as a 53 percent drop in Alzheimer’s risk.
More research is needed to know precisely what long-term impact following the MIND Diet can have. Still, the same research team has done more study into this eating plan and has found that its impact on preventing cognitive decline is better than both the DASH and Mediterranean Diets on their own.
Not a Dieting Plan Specifically for Weight Loss
Though the MIND Diet is considered to be very healthy, it is not necessarily a plan for weight reduction. That said, many people who have followed this eating program have found that their weight has been easier to manage. Its focus on whole grains, vegetables – particularly dark green ones – nuts, beans, lean proteins, healthy fats such as olive oil, and other nutrient dense foods helps to avoid empty calories and foods that are less satisfying. In fact, it recommends avoiding highly sugary and processed fatty foods.
Before switching to the MIND Diet, it’s a good idea to speak with your doctor. This can help you to know that it will be appropriate for you and will assist you in finding the right guidance to follow to do it properly, particularly at the start as you familiarize yourself with it.
The Eco-Atkins Diet is a weight loss strategy that was developed to provide vegetarians and vegans with an option that is meant to work as an alternative to the Atkins Diet. Like the meat-focused Atkins Diet, Eco-Atkins is also centered around a low carb, high protein eating strategy.
High Protein, No Meat
This vegetarian version of the Atkins Diet was first developed by researchers in Toronto, Canada, at St. Michael’s Hospital. Their goal had been to see whether or not a high protein vegetarian diet could bring about a reduction of both body weight and bad (LDL) cholesterol.
The research team came up with the Eco-Atkins Diet in order to respect the same protein to carb ratio as the original diet, while replacing the animal protein – which was high in fat – with a vegetable protein that is typically lower in fat. This protein was mainly in the form of gluten and soy.
What the Research Said
The results of the study were published in the Archives of Internal Medicine, when it found that the diet brought about an average of 8.8 pounds in the first four weeks, improved blood pressure, triglyceride and cholesterol levels. Bad cholesterol improved by 0.6 percent, which was significant, particularly for that amount of time.
How to Follow the Eco-Atkins Diet
The Eco-Atkins Diet requires dieters to eat foods that are made up mostly of protein, healthy fats and carbs from high fiber vegetables. Around 30 percent of the daily calorie intake comes from plant proteins, about 45 percent comes from vegetable oils, and another 25 percent from carbohydrates. Foods most commonly consumed on this diet include healthy fats, beans, soy foods, seeds, nuts, fruits, no-starch gluten products, vegetables and fruits.
As meat is excluded from Eco-Atkins, protein sources are typically soy beverages, gluten, soy burgers, tofu, and vegetarian alternative versions such as breakfast links, bacon and deli slices. Other sources include nuts, certain cereals and vegetables. There is an emphasis placed on certain vegetables over others, with a preference for viscous veggies such as eggplant, okra and other low starch options.
Fats Preferred for the Eco-Atkins Diet
The good fats preferred in this diet include olive oil, canola oil, nuts and avocado. Carbs are meant to come exclusively from cereals, vegetables and fruits. A small amount of barley and oats are permitted. However, enriched white flour based foods and sugary foods were banned, such as white rice, white bread, potatoes, and the majority of baked products such as cakes, muffins and cookies.
Despite the fact that following Eco Atkins Diet strategies does help some dieters to improve their overall nutrition, the improvements in this and in weight loss were not all that much better than other nutritionally balanced weight loss diet plans. It is primarily the cholesterol improving benefits of this diet that makes it stand out from other balanced vegan or vegetarian diets.
Which Atkins Version is Better?
A former president of the American Heart Association, University of Denver professor Robert Eckel, MD, calls both the Eco-Atkins Diet and the Atkins Diet too restrictive for the majority of people to continue following over the long term. That said, between the two, it was the vegan and vegetarian version that was labeled as better by Dr. Eckel.
Still, whether or not the Eco-Atkins Diet is for you isn’t just a matter of whether or not it is better than the original eating strategy. There are many factors to consider as you decide if you should give this method a try. It is a very restrictive diet and would be even tougher for someone who is not already used to a vegetarian lifestyle.
For many people, that means that the change will be only temporary as most people find it challenging to keep up a highly restrictive lifestyle change over the long term. This risks not only dropping this healthy lifestyle but also returning to an old one that caused the weight to be gained in the first place. Also, after feeling as though a diet such as this one has failed, it can be more difficult to start a new strategy. The disappointment and feeling of failure can become a barrier instead of a motivation.
Beyond that, the Eco-Atkins Diet can also prove challenging to individuals who don’t have a great deal of experience in nutrition and eating a balanced diet without any meat. This can cause a spectrum of potential nutrition problems and related symptoms.
The Ketogenic Diet, also known as the Keto Diet, is an eating strategy for weight loss that is not dissimilar to the Atkins Diet and other very low carb diets. The goal of this plan is to achieve a state of ketosis in the body, which is a state in which the metabolism functions differently as a result of very low carbohydrate intake. Often, it results in improved fat burning when compared to many other forms of weight loss strategy.
The History of the Ketogenic Diet
One of the Keto Diet’s founders is Dr. Russell Wilder. His contribution occurred in the 1920s, when he became the first person to test diabetes patients for insulin. He was among the heads of the Mayo Clinic at the time and eventually took the top spot in the department of medicine, metabolism, and nutrition.
The purpose of the Ketogenic Diet strategy is to improve the body’s rate of fat burning by making the right food choices. This can be further enhanced by selecting foods that encourage ketone production in the liver. Ketones are energy molecules the liver produces from fat. They provide the body and the brain with fuel.
There are three main types: acetate (acetone), acetoacetate (AcAc), and beta hydroxybutyrate (BHB). Of the three, BHB isn’t actually a true form of ketone, but it still plays a central role in brain stimulation and the formation of new neural tissue, which is a function at the heart of ketosis. The main ketone is AcAc, which is typically converted into either energy or BHB.
Drawbacks of the Keto Diet
Ketosis can help to boost the rate of fat burning and many people find it to be effective as long as they maintain it efficiently. That said, the process is not without its drawbacks. Among the most noticeably struggles can include a symptom called “keto breath,” where the breath gains a very distinct odor from the way the body is functioning. The urine often changes smell as well.
Advantages of Using the Ketogenic Diet
While on the Ketogenic Diet, the body’s main source of energy is the fat already stored on it. It is for this reason that it can sometimes lead to rapid weight loss, as the body will burn away stored fat in order to function and give you the energy you need to get through your day. That said, while this diet may be marketed mainly as a weight loss strategy, it isn’t necessarily meant exclusively for that. It can also be used by people who have mild to severe health conditions. It is also often opted for by people trying to lower their body mass index and/or achieve a healthier overall body. In fact, it was once used – and is sometimes still used – as a part of the effort to treat children suffering from epilepsy.
This has made the Keto Diet very popular over the last few years. As its effectiveness for fat burning was identified, it took off as a weight loss diet.
Among the main advantages of following this type of diet is that hunger is rarely a problem. Moreover, blood sugar levels drop and stay stead because you are consuming more proteins and fats than carbs. That said, many people struggle with certain challenges when following this diet, such as the fact that it is highly restrictive, difficult to keep up over the long term and can sometimes result in constipation due to the reduced fiber intake from cutting carbs.
Is Keto Dieting For You?
No single type of dieting is right for everyone. There are many things to take into consideration, even when you’re looking at some of the more popular or successful strategies. Your first step, as annoying as it might seem, is to talk to your doctor. Yes, it is a nuisance and is possibly an expense. However, it is one of your top ways to know if you’re choosing a weight management strategy that will be safe for your medical and health needs. It is also the best way for you to know if it will be possible to use this strategy to meet your goal expectations.
While talking to your doctor, discuss the specific version of the ketogenic diet that you intend to follow. Talk about the types of foods you will be eating. This will help you to make sure you’re keeping your nutrition where it should be. Beyond that, be sure to remind your doctor of any medical conditions you have, medications you are taking, and even any supplements you use. Remember that this should include medications and supplements you’re not only taking currently, but also any you already know you will be using throughout your weight management efforts.
The reason is that the way you eat and putting your body into ketosis can alter the way certain drugs are absorbed or the way they function. Moreover, this diet works in direct opposition to certain types of obesity medication, such as fat blockers.
The Mediterranean Diet is an eating strategy that has received a considerable amount of attention from the scientific community and the media. It is praised as a heart healthy eating plan that also comes with a range of additional potential advantages such as the potential for weight loss.
This eating plan has undergone a number of different studies of different natures, sizes and purposes and many have brought about positive results.
What is the Mediterranean Diet?
The Mediterranean Diet combines well balanced nutrition with the traditional food preparation methods used in the Mediterranean region. These flavors have been used as a part of that culture for a long time, but interest in it as a healthy lifestyle started in the 1960s.
At that time, researchers observed that people living in the Mediterranean regions of Italy and Greece had a lower prevalence of coronary heart disease and that it caused fewer deaths than was the case in northern Europe and the United States. Studies into the regions have shown that the traditional way of eating is indeed linked with a reduced risk of factors associated with cardiovascular disease.
As a result of the research into the Mediterranean Diet, it has become one of the healthy eating plans the Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends for the prevention of chronic illness and the promotion of overall health.
The World Health Organization (W.H.O.) also recognizes this eating style as a sustainable healthy dietary pattern. The United National Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization recognizes it as an intangible cultural asset.
What’s Involved in the Mediterranean Diet?
To follow the Mediterranean Diet, you will need to eat in a way similar to the traditional cuisines of peoples traditionally living along the Mediterranean Sea. This means that there isn’t a specific strict way of eating. After all, this diet is made up of meals eaten by people from multiple countries over time. People don’t naturally choose only a small number of very specific dishes.
Instead, it is more of a style of eating. The traditional Mediterranean Diet is typically high in fruits and vegetables, nuts and seeds, whole grains, beans, and olive oil.
The primary parts of this type of eating strategy include:
- Eating fruits, vegetables, whole grains and healthy fats each day
- Eating poultry, fish, eggs and beans each week
- Eating a moderate amount of dairy products
- Eating a limited amount of red meat
Other additional factors often valued as a part of the Mediterranean Diet are enjoying one glass of red wine on occasion, remaining physically active, and eating meals with friends and family.
The Nordic Diet is an eating strategy based on the traditional way of eating from Iceland, Finland, Norway, Denmark, Sweden and Greenland. Just like the Mediterranean Diet, which is also based on the traditional foods in a specific part of the world, it was not developed with weight loss in mind. Instead, it is meant to be healthy, balanced and delicious and can result in weight loss by correcting certain nutritional issues such as overeating or consuming too many processed foods.
What Do You Eat on the Nordic Diet?
When you’re following the Nordic Diet, you’ll be using the following guidelines to help you make the right choices:
- Whenever possible, choose more vegetables, fruits, seasonal and organic foods.
- Eat more whole grains.
- Choose foods from the wild, lakes and seas.
- Eat less meat but choose high quality meat when you do have it.
- Choose less sugary and less processed foods.
- Waste less food.
- Prepare more foods at home.
Losing Weight with the Nordic Diet
As people start using this eating strategy, they will often lose weight. This is particularly true when it comes to the fat they carry around their middle. This is good news not only because many people want to lose the weight around their waists the most. That said, it is also a great place to lose weight when it comes to your health. The middle is one of the most dangerous places to carry extra fat stores, and one of the most beneficial places to lose it.
Reducing Heart Disease Risk with This Eating Strategy
Risk factors for heart disease include high blood pressure, glucose, unhealthy cholesterol levels, and insulin levels that aren’t ideal. These are all areas improved by the Nordic Diet among many people. Scientists believe that both weight loss and eating these types of food will help to support heart health and improve heart disease risk factors.
An Environmentally Friendly Eating Strategy
Among the Nordic Diet’s primary goals is eco-friendliness. Therefore, though it’s healthful to eat more plant-based foods than animal-based ones, it’s also great for the planet. Moreover, since this diet encourages us to eat more local and in-season foods, it reduces the distance ingredients need to travel and, therefore, the carbon footprint your diet leaves behind. Equally, foods picked when they’re ripe and consumed close to the time they were picked, they provide higher nutrient levels.
At this point, there are very few people who haven’t heard of the Atkins Diet. It was the first major fad to place low carb dieting into the spotlight. Though it was first created in 1972, it wasn’t until over twenty years later that it truly reached its peak.
Still, even after the Atkins Diet exploded in popularity, what most people learned about it was that it required dieters to consume a low carbohydrate diet. In fact, many people believed that it involved the attempt to eat no carbs at all. Many myths circulated and distorted the main understanding of what this eating strategy involved.
If you’re curious about the truth behind this diet, read on and discover what it’s truly about.
What is the Atkins Diet?
The Atkins Diet, also known as Atkins 20, is a low carb, high protein, moderate fat intake eating strategy that is meant to help you to quickly lose weight without suffering from hunger or feeling deprived from the foods you love. At the time that it first came out it had a certain amount of popularity, but it went through a significant return around the turn of the millennium.
At that time, millions of people were using the strategy to try to shed the pounds, including many well known celebrities. The diet had a popular website, books and a range of other branded products. In fact, many grocery chains carried special Atkins food items that helped people to enjoy their favorites without overeating carbs.
An Evolving Eating Strategy
The Atkins Diet has shifted and changed over the years in order to keep up with the latest nutrition and health research. The original strategy was revolutionary but was found to be flawed in some of its principles. The most recent form of Atkins now focuses more on lean proteins, healthy fats and veggies that are high in fiber.
Four Phases to the Atkins Diet
This diet is broken down into four phases to be followed by the dieter. That said, no matter the phase, the main proteins and fats to consume are meat, seafood, poultry, eggs, cheese, butter and oils. At the same time, sugary and starchy carbohydrates need to be avoided. They include foods such as potatoes, bread, chips, pasta, candy and cookies.
The Atkins Diet starts off rather restrictive but works its way toward allowing a growing number of foods once the body has adapted and adjusted.
- Phase 1 is meant to cause the body to stop burning carbs and to start burning fats instead, a process called ketosis. During that phases, weight loss typically occurs quite quickly. In this phase, dieters eat proteins, fats, and no more than 20 grams of carbohydrates, all of which must come from vegetables.
- Phase 2 starts to introduce some new foods into the dieter’s allowable options. This is a time of gradual trial and error, allowing the dieter to determine how many carbs they can eat while continuing to lose weight.
- Phase 3 doesn’t begin until the diet has only around 10 pounds left before reaching their weight loss goal. This teaches the dieter how to polish off the rest of the weight loss they still have left.
- Phase 4 is the last one and is meant to be maintained over the long term. This phase is designed to make sure that once the weight has been lost, it will never come back.
A Less Restrictive Form of Atkins
It should be noted that there is a less rigid form of the Atkins Diet, called Atkins 40, which goes by similar strategies as the Atkins 20 version, only it is not as restrictive. For example, during the first phase, dieters can eat 40 grams of carbs instead of just 20 grams. Moreover, there aren’t any food groups that are completely excluded. There are limits to certain fats, but no rigid guidelines regarding the consumption of many proteins such as meats.
Other versions of this strategy have been created to appeal to people who are concerned with the environment or who want an option that is plant-based, such as Eco-Atkins.
No matter which version of the Atkins Diet you’re considering, it’s very important to speak with your doctor first. This eating strategy is not appropriate for everyone and may even be dangerous for people with certain common medical conditions. Talking to a medical professional will help you to know if this is the right option for you or if an alternative may be safer and more effective.
The Engine 2 Diet is a weight loss and cholesterol reducing strategy developed by Rip Esselstyn. Esselstyn is a former firefighter from Texas and published his diet in a book called “The Engine 2 Diet: The Texas Firefighter’s 28-Day Save-Your-Life Plan that Lowers Cholesterol and Burns Away the Pounds.”
What is The Engine 2 Diet?
This is a plant-based diet which, according to its creator, is primarily focused on eliminating junk foods from an everyday diet.
The Engine 2 Diet refers to junk food as processed and refined foods as well as meat and dairy. Instead, the follower will consume only nutritious foods consisting of whole, plant-based options. The book encourages dieters to learn how to live, eat and cook in a way that is healthy overall.
Two 28-Day Plans
There are two 28 day diet plans that comprise the Engine 2 Diet. The first plan is called The Fire Cadet. That option is a more gradual approach to adopting this lifestyle. The second plan is called The Firefighter, which is far more extreme.
Dieters can choose one or the other of those two plans based on what they feel is most appropriate for their needs and expectations. At the same time, both the Fire Cadet and the Firefighter plan have identical goals. Their purpose is to take four weeks in order to eliminate junk, meat and dairy from a person’s diet. Instead, followers eat only vegetables, fruits, whole grains, nuts, seeds and legumes.
The Fire Cadet Plan
The Fire Cadet Plan is broken down into four weeks.
- During the first week, the dieter must eliminate all refined foods, processed foods and dairy from their diets (keeping in mind that this is the more gradual and moderate plan).
- In week two, all meat, poultry, fish and eggs are eliminated. During week three, any extracted oils (such as conola, olive and coconut) are eliminated.
- During week four, additional vegetables, fruits, whole grains, nuts, seeds and legumes are added to the diet.
This is clearly a restrictive diet, particularly at the beginning. Though it does progressively allow for additional food types to be consumed over time as the dieter moves through the four weeks, it certainly doesn’t mean that the dieter will be returning to a more traditional way of eating by the last week.
On the other hand, the more intense Firefighter plan (that’s right, the Fire Cadet was the gentler of the two) dives right in at week four and continues that lifestyle for four weeks.
Therefore, right from the start, dieters will need to eliminate all animal based products as well as refined and processed foods and extracted oils. These are replaced with the fruits and veggies, legumes, whole grains, seeds and nuts.
The main difference between this plan and the Fire Cadet Plan is that there is a gradual progression in the first plan. This one plunges head-first into the restrictions that will be maintained over the complete 28 days.
Moreover, the author also recommends that anyone following the diet should stop drinking any alcohol for at least the four weeks during which they are introducing themselves to the diet. This is true regardless of which plan you start with.
Engine 2 Diet Resources
To make things easier to understand, the Engine 2 Diet book provides a full list of what can and cannot be consumed at any given time throughout the 28 days. Many people who have followed this diet have found that this additional resource is an important investment into the diet.
The reason is that it can be difficult to know what is and is not allowed when it comes to the specifics. Even if full categories of the rules are understood, there are certain foods that can seem to be in a gray area and the dieter may need clarification.
Beyond the eating strategy, the Engine 2 Diet also offers dieters an exercise plan. The plan is broken down into the four weeks so that the dieter can know what he or she should be doing as a workout at any given point throughout the 28 days.
Overall, this is considered to be a vegetarian or vegan diet, but only over the short-term, making it somewhat of a fad diet as opposed to one that is necessarily geared toward the longer-term.
The SlimFast Diet is a plan that has withstood the test of time. It has been around for decades. That said, it should be noted that while the diet does still exist, it has evolved over time so that it doesn’t necessarily look the same as it did when it was first launched in 1977. The SlimFast Diet was originally created by the Thompson Medical Company, which was founded in the 1940s. In 2000, it was purchased by Unilever which sold it to Kainos Capital in 2014.
What is the SlimFast Diet?
This diet is based on the use of meal replacement products including shakes, smoothies, and bars, among other branded items such as 100-calorie snacks. The premise is that it allows the dieter to replace his or her usual meals and snacks with pre-packaged foods that will automatically control caloric intake.
This diet is sometimes known as the 3-2-1 Plan, as the dieters who follow it are permitted 3 snacks, 2 meal replacements and one low calorie meal per day. Of all those snacks and meals, only the “1” is made of actual whole foods. The rest are required to be SlimFast products.
How to Supply Yourself to Follow this Diet
The official SlimFast website lists meal replacements in the form of four different shake flavors (creamy milk chocolate, strawberries and cream, rich chocolate royale, cappuccino delight, and French vanilla), three smoothies (creamy chocolate, vanilla cream, and mixed berry yogurt), two bars (chocolaty crispy cookie dough and chocolaty peanut butter pie), and two cookies (peanut butter chocolate chip and double chocolate chip).
On the other hand, there are also SlimFast brand snacks from which to choose. There are two of them listed on the official website. They include mesquite BBQ baked chips, sour cream and onion baked chips.
These products are all that can be consumed for the three snacks and two meal replacements that must be eaten per day. For the remaining meal, the SlimFast website offers a number of different recipes that can be followed in order to stay within the small calorie limit. On the whole , the recommendation is to make sure half the plate is filled with veggies, one quarter contains a lean protein and the remaining should consist of a whole grain.
Why Do Some Dieters Choose the SlimFast Diet?
Dieters who are looking for a quick and easy way to control calories without much counting or food prep might find SlimFast convenient as everything is already prepared aside from one meal per day. This type of structure is quite straightforward and doesn’t leave much room for confusion. When followed as directed, many people are more than likely to lose weight by using this strategy. Overall, the reviews regarding the taste of the SlimFast products have been quite positive and the products are sold both online as well as at several large retail chains.
Drawbacks of This Type of Dieting
On the other hand, as convenient as this type of dieting may be, following this type of strategy doesn’t teach the dieter how to build the right habits for keeping the weight off over time. After all, if eating is at the core of why a dieter has gained the weight in the first place, then replacing his or her meals with bars and shakes will only help over the short term.
Once the weight is lost, it is unlikely that the dieter will want to keep eating shakes and bars instead of meals. Unfortunately, as the diet does not teach the individual how to eat in a way that supports weight control, the result can be that he or she regains the pounds in a relatively short period of time.
Another drawback to the SlimFast Diet is that the products aren’t cheap. Therefore, following this diet for any length of time can become quite costly when compared to a standard grocery bill. This is another reason that this is often considered a short-term or fad diet instead of something dieters can keep up over the long term.
It’s very important to speak with your doctor before starting a meal replacement eating strategy such as the SlimFast Diet. This can help you to make sure you won’t be harming your nutrition or bringing on unwanted side effects that could risk your results or even your health.
The 5:2 Fasting Plan is a type of very low calorie weight loss strategy typically considered to be a fad diet. That said, despite the fact that this strategy has been around for a while, the recent popularity of IF has spiked the number of people following it. There are many people who use this technique and swear by its effectiveness.
At the same time, many dietitians caution that the majority of people who try to use diets like the 5:2 Fasting Plan will not be able to keep it up over time. Indeed, there will be some success stories. However, most people cannot adhere to this type of diet long-term.
What is the 5:2 Fasting Plan?
It is based on an intermittent fasting (IF) strategy. The basis of the way this plan works is for a dieter to eat normally for five days out of the week. That said, the remaining two days of the week are considered to be “fasting” days, in which the caloric intake is significantly slashed. Therefore, the 5:2 ratio stands for 5 days of normal eating and 2 days of fasting.
What is Fasting?
The fasting days typically require you to eat only about a quarter of the number of calories you would usually eat in a day. For example, if your typical daily calorie intake is around 2,000, then your fasting days would require you to eat no more than 500 calories, an extremely low caloric consumption.
Does Fasting Work?
Medical studies have been increasingly supporting the use of fasting to help to achieve effective weight loss. This includes strategies similar to the 5:2 Fasting Plan. When compared to many forms of calorie controlled diets, this style can help to keep up a continual rate of weight reduction.
At the same time, those research studies have also found that people following diets involving intermittent fasting are less likely to develop certain medical conditions such as type 2 diabetes and certain forms of obesity related cancers.
Beyond weight loss, those who believe in this type of dieting also say that it helps to boost longevity, heightens brain function, provides Alzheimer’s disease protection and guards against other types of dementia. However, it should be pointed out that as much as supporters of the 5:2 Fasting Plan may believe in these benefits, there is little to no research to support those claims.
How is the 5:2 Fasting Plan Different?
To be fair to the 5:2 Fasting Plan, the research conducted on fasting have not involved this specific strategy. Indeed, it was conducted on similar fasting efforts. That said, they have not been this precise plan, so its unique properties could conceivably make a difference.
Among the known advantages of the 5:2 Fasting Plan is that it will indeed lead to fat loss when followed properly. It offers a certain amount of flexibility as the dieter can choose whichever two non-consecutive fasting days, they would like to observe each week.
This means that dieters can shift fasting days around certain occasions such as social engagements so that they don’t have to bow out of eating a meal when they’ve been invited to dinner just because it happened to fall on a fasting day. Moreover, because only 2 days per week are for fasting and the rest remain normal, many people find it’s easier to stick to this diet than to ones that require daily calorie control.
This is important, as most fasting plans are rigid. This is among their top problems. It isn’t that intermittent fasting doesn’t work if followed precisely. It is that many people misinterpret it or find that they cannot realistically fit it into their lives. Practice is much different than the way it works on paper. The 5:2 Fasting Plan was created to try to work around that challenge.
The Long-Term Problem
Unfortunately, the number of people who are likely to stick to this diet until they reach their goal, and then keep the weight off once it’s gone is not terribly high. It requires a great deal of self-control and self-discipline. While non-fasting days do allow for normal eating, it is still important not to overeat as this will only negate all the benefits accumulated during the days when calorie intake is severely restricted.
Many people find that as long as things are going well and they feel motivated, it’s simple to stick to the 5:2 Fasting Plan. However, as soon as anything becomes complicated in life – stressful events, illness, travel, special occasions and others – it becomes impossible to keep up with the IF. An effective long-term diet requires you to be able to keep it up the majority of days regardless of what’s going on in your life. This is why most doctors recommend a healthy lifestyle as opposed to a strict, regimented program.
Furthermore, many people who fast suffer unpleasant side effects from their low calorie intake. This can include lightheadedness, weakness, dizziness and fainting, among others. Irritability, anxiety and poor concentration are also common side effects of this type of dieting.
This diet isn’t necessarily safe or appropriate for all dieters. Be sure to check with your doctor before trying this or any other diet that involves fasting.