Many asked me about the types of diets and my official answer is: it depends 🙂 Why it depends? Let me explain, but first, let’s start with a detailed explanation.
How does our body get energy from?
We don’t have batteries; we don’t run on gas; our body runs on:
- Sugar aka glucose. It comes from straight sugar we consume and from carbohydrates, it breakdowns into glucose. This is the quicker way to make energy. If there is not enough glucose around,
- Ketones that our liver generates by using fat, ingested and stored. This is a much slower process but the most efficient one and if there is not enough easily accessible fat,
- Protein are broken down into ketones for energy.
Our body needs all 3 for basic functions
- Glucose to help to break down fat into ketones. The brain needs glucose, and cells also need it. At last, it reduces the chances of breaking down protein (muscle mass) into ketones.
- Fat to help absorb fat-soluble vitamins such as vitamin A, vitamin D and vitamin E. Fat is also needed to build up cell walls. Fat is also a source of essential fatty acids. Our body can’t make those.
- Protein, we use amino acids to build and repair muscles and bones and to make hormones and enzymes.
It’s easy to imagine that the only solution is a balanced diet containing carbs for glucose and fibers (no soluble carbs), fat and proteins. Lacking one could put our health at serious risk.
I know someone who went to a strict, no-fat diet for 1 year and ended up in the ER with major issues. They had to put him in a coma.
What if I consume too much carbs, fat or protein?
Our body is a terrific piece of engineering 🙂 and does everything to protect us from not having enough energy even if it comes with downsides.
- Sugar or glucose is used to make fast energy, but if there it too much of it… we make fat with it.
- Protein is used to build and repair muscles, but if there is too much of it… we make fat with it.
- Fat can be used for energy and if it’s not used… it is stored where we DO NOT want it 🙂
Always remember too much of anything will have other effects on kidneys, liver, brain, even bones.
Why that? To protect us in case of starvation. Imagine, you don’t have food, thus no carbs to breakdown. Your body will start digging in to the fat reserves. When the fat stocks are empty, it melts muscles to make energy.
The picture is from a starvation experiment conducted between 1944 and 1945. As you can see in the picture, not a gram of fat left and not much muscle mass as well.
All subjects got serious depressions and mental health issues.
In today’s world, some diet plans are based on 500 calories per meal – that’s at best 1,500 per day. Users notice a quick weight loss but a much faster weight gain as soon as they stop. This is because the body then packs tons of fat in case of another starvation period.
There were many paid plans based on this fast weight loss, but many of these types of diets are gone or converted. I do not recommend a long fasting for the long term because of possible muscle loss. Intermittent fasting for a short period of time works, and I do use it.
So, what are the best types of diets?
There are many to consider but all come with risk factors.We will look at different diets some extreme, some quite popular and yes, your breakfast diet is part of your overall diet.
The raw food diet
The raw food diet is composed of completely raw and unprocessed foods. The food keeps its raw carat eristic only if it has never been heated over 118°F some say it should be much lower. Not refined, pasteurized, treated with pesticides or processed, but rich in macros. Many like me confuse with whole foods and vegan diets. Raw food, unless it’s vegan, allows eating fish, animal products and eggs but uncooked and unprocessed.
It comes with many risks consuming uncooked food as well as deficiencies in some vitamins, calcium and other much needed nutrient.
The Mediterranean diet
The Mediterranean diet is a popular diet that is based on the traditional eating habits of countries bordering the Mediterranean Sea. This diet has been associated with good health, including a lower risk of heart disease and cancer. I love the Mediterranean diet it has great recipes, awesome flavors and I really enjoy olive oil.
The Atkins diet
The Atkins diet is a popular, low-carbohydrate diet that many people swear by. When followed closely, the Atkins plan can help you lose weight and improve your health. However, there are a few things to keep in mind before starting on the Atkins diet. Foremost, it’s important to be consistent with the diet. If you don’t stick to it, you may see some negative results. Second, avoid eating too many snacks or afternoon meals during the day.
This will help cut down on your daily carb intake and result in an overall healthy lifestyle. lastly, make sure you have plenty of water available for drinking and exercise when following this diet.
The Ketogenic diet
The ketogenic diet is a diet plan that’s based on the premise that it can help you lose weight and improve your health. In fact, the ketogenic diet has been shown to be a great way to lose weight, reduce inflammation, and improve blood sugar control. If you’re looking for a new way to cook and manage your food intake, the diet might be what you need. No lean protein, no low fat,not too much protein,it can scare many. We are on keto and we love it and to help we do have intermittent fasting.
The Zone diet
The Zone Diet instructs to stick to eating a ratio of 40% carbs, 30% protein, and 30% fat. As part of the diet, carbohydrates from vegetables should have a low glycemic index, and provide a slow release of sugar into the blood to keep you fuller for longer.
Many risk associated with it as the protein levels are high and can be harmful for those with kidney problems.
The Western diet
This is what we are doing wrong 🙂 The Western Pattern Diet (WPD) or also called the Standard American Diet (SAD) is what we have raised on, it contains high amounts of processed foods, red meat, high-fat dairy, high-sugar, and often over processed and pre-packaged, It increases the risk of chronic illness, reduced ability to manage blood pressure, etc. We got out of it, you can too.
The South Beach Diet
This one is a popular weight loss diets in the United States and Europe. The concept is based on the theory that eating large amounts of saturated fat (not like olive oil), cholesterol, and sugar (huge carb intake) will cause you to lose weight and improve your health. Critics say that the South Beach Diet is not effective, dangerous, safe. You won’t lose much weight but is worth noting even if there is no scientific evidence.
The Warrior diet
The warrior diet is a weight loss plan that promise to help you lose weight and maintain your health. The goal of the diet is to reduce your risk for chronic diseases, and it’s based on eating Wholegrain foods, like sprouted wheat bread, quinoa, bulgur, and oatmeal. But I’m not sure about raw animal products, raw milk and dairy foods. Raw food diet doesn’t make me comfortable for the long term.
The HCG diet
This idea was conceived in 1954 by a British doctor and is now banned by the FDA.It is deemed dangerous and can lead to many types of cancer. Many claim you can lose up to 2 lbs a day with hte HCG diet , yet you should not take that fertility hormone for weight loss.
Finally, what is the best diet?
We are all different people with different metabolic rate, it really depends on our eating pattern and our nutritional approach.
Something you must keep in mind. If you’re a coach potato like my cat but your calorie intake is 3,000 cal per day there is no danger you will lose a single pound. In fact, you’ll gain faster than you can imagine.
The big secret for any diet is to consume fewer calories than you spend.
Where paid plans fail is have the exact same calories level every single day. Monday to Friday I’m in the office, very sedentary while Saturday I’m very active and Sundays I look more like my cat… thus each day should have a different amount of calories intake.
For Sunday out breakfast diet is very light compared to the Saturday one. We also practice intermittent fasting on Sunday evening to compensate the lack of activity 🙂
My last word, if you want to diet for any health reason, TALK to your doctor first.
If you want me to talk about different diets, contact me. I’ll be pleased to do so!