Is a Trendy Diet for You?

Whole 30, Keto, Paleo, Gluten Free, Sugar Busters
Chances are you know someone who is following one of the above eating plans and raving about their results. But what do they all mean? How are they different? Does following a trendy eating plan mean you can never have cake again? Or red wine?
 
I am here to break down these popular diet plans for you ...
Keto - probably the hottest trend in “dieting “right now.
 
The Keto diet is a very low carb, high-fat diet. The reduction in carbohydrates puts your body into a metabolic state called "Ketosis" where you burn fat for energy. Most people on a Keto diet take in between 20-40 grams of carbs a day. This is too low to allow for fruit and is usually made up of vegetables.
 
PROS

• rapid weight loss

• ability to eat previously "off limits" foods such as whole eggs, butter, full-fat cheeses and nuts

CONS

• limited nature of available foods

• lack of energy when beginning the plan ( “keto flu” )

• rapid weight gain when "indulging" in carb-heavy foods.

Whole 30 - this plan asks you to eliminate dairy, grains, alcohol, soy and sugar/sugar substitutes for 30 days.

PROS

• a surplus of online information and recipes

• ability to determine "trigger" foods

• many people find blood sugar stabilizes, skin clears up and joint pain diminishes during the 30 days

CONS

• the limited amount of choices (eggs for breakfast for the next 30 days anyone?)

• unforgiving nature of the program - if you make a single slip up the rules stipulate that you start over at day 1.gg

Paleo - Full disclosure - I am a big fan of this style of eating and have been following it for the last 3 years.

The Paleo Diet eliminates dairy, grains, soy, legumes, and sugar. Primal is a subset of Paleo that allows some full-fat dairy and legumes - this is the plan I follow.

PROS

• unlimited resources available

• many people find that chronic inflammatory issues clear up on this eating plan

• allows for dark chocolate and some alcohol, which makes it easier for people to stick to than W30

• unlike Whole 30 there is no ' starting over" if you eat an off-limit food. Although you may find that you do not feel too good adding some things back after you have eliminated them.

CONS

• it's initial restrictiveness, an adjustment period to the lower carbs (I eat about 100 g of carbs a day so it is not as low carb as Keto)

• constant reading of labels (there is soy is so many grocery products as well as restaurant foods)

Gluten Free is, of course, eliminating all foods that contain gluten - which is a protein found in flour.

PROS

• improved overall health if a true allergy or intolerance is found.

CONS

• there is no health benefit to following a gluten-free diet unless you have Celiac disease or gluten sensitivity.

• gluten-free versions of many foods are less healthy than their wheat-containing counterparts.

Sugar Busters/Sugar Detox - this style of eating sounds basic and intuitive until you realize that sugar is in ketchup, yogurt, granola, salad dressings, bread...just about everything you purchase ready-made.

PROS

• eliminating added sugars will almost always result in weight loss

• improved skin appearance

• decrease inflammation in the body.

CONS

• can be expensive and time consuming to make your own versions of common high sugar grocery store products such as condiments.

Each of the plans above can result in weight loss, in some cases rapid weight loss.

And as mentioned, by following a restrictive plan many people are able to identify certain foods that cause specific problems. Another thing these plans can do is to help you" detox" from the cravings for certain food items. Often once people eliminate something, particularly sugar, for 30 or more days, they find their desire for it decreases or even disappears.

But in order to be successful, an eating plan has to be something that you can follow long term.

I am always in favor of limiting white flour products and sugar. I believe that everyone can benefit from that. I am not a fan of having to restrict fruits and particularly vegetables. Beans and peanut butter are healthy foods that should have a place in most people's diets. Militant label reading is not a bad thing at all.

I personally am a fan of 30 day elimination diets such as Whole 30 (without the 'starting over’ caveat) or Paleo in order to "clean out" our systems of overly processed foods, encourage the consumption of more whole foods, create an awareness of how certain foods make us feel, and become educated about what is in the food that we buy from the grocery store.

After the 30 days is up a gradual adding back of foods allows you to see how each group makes you feel. From there you can make educated decisions about what you want to allow into your daily eating and what you want to avoid.

For many people, the answer to weight loss and sustainable healthy eating is to gradually adopt a nutrition plan rich in lean proteins, fruits, and vegetables, limited fats and sweets. But for others, a more dramatic and even limited style of eating can be the answer.

Hopefully, the above information answers any questions you may have about these plans. Everyone's body and metabolism are different and there truly is no one size fits all approach to nutrition so it is important to be informed about your options.

With any approach to nutrition is it important to realize that sustainable weight loss is multifaceted and, more often than not requires a solid fitness and strength training plan to accompany it. It is important that weight loss reflects fat loss and not muscle tissue. Combining solid nutrition and strength training will give you long term continual results.

For questions about any of the above, or to hear about my personal approach to nutrition, as well as to set up a free assessment or some personal training, please feel free to contact me at Mleipholtz@msn.com 763-439-3191 

Megan Leipholtz, Certified Personal Trainer @ Fitness Evolution, Buffalo