Which Diets Actually Work?
A lot of popular diets out there.
So we thought we’d create a simple video investigating which ones are scientificallysound, and actually work.
From the outside it seems like a simple equation:your weight is determined by the balance between the calories you take in, and the caloriesyou burn.
By changing what you eat or your activity level, you can tip this equationtowards weight gain or loss.
Which brings us to our first category of diets: Calorie Restriction.
Companies like WeightWatchers claim you can eat whatever you want, as long as you stay below a prescribed numberof daily calories.
Getting all your calories from junk food is technically allowed, butfrom a health perspective, it’s important to think of the nutritional value of the foodstoo.
If you don’t, you risk heart problems, nutrient deficiencies and chronic health issues.
Calorie Restriction with Optimal Nutritionor CRON diets, generally reduce their caloric intake by 20% while still meeting the dailynutritional requirements.
For example, instead of having a whole apple, a CRON dieter willjust have the apple skin, which contains most of the nutrients.
If used properly (and not excessively), calorierestriction can be a safe and effective tool for weight loss.
Next up is Carb Restriction.
Many diets likethe South Beach, Atkins, or Zone Diet suggest that carbs are the enemy of the fit body you’vealways dreamed of.
The ideology claims that when more carbs aretaken in than burned off, the liver converts them into fats.
But for most healthy, reasonablyactive people, carbs are broken down to glucose and transported to the cells for energy.
Verylittle is actually turned into fat.
In response to excessive glucose, the bodyuses insulin to turn it into glycogen, which is stored in the liver and muscles.
This glycogenmay later be broken down in times of low glucose, to refuel the body.
But the type of carbs you eat do matter – thosefrom simple sugars like honey, fruit or sugar are more readily turned into triglyceridesor fat than complex carbs like whole grains and veggies.
If you consistently eat way morethan necessary, and most calories are simple carbs, then these will be converted to fat.
Low carb diets often have extreme restrictionat first; no starches like bread or pasta, and no sugars including from fruits or evenalcohol.
This can lead to some intense side effects, including constipation, dry mouth,bad breath, fatigue, dizziness and nausea.
In studies, carb restriction dieters tendto lose weight faster, initially, compared to those simply using calorie restriction,but this is likely due to water loss, which returns in later phases when you’re encouragedto eat normally again.
On top of this, the Atkins diet, for example,promotes caloric intake from high-fat and high-protein sources, which means meats, cheeses,cream, butter and.
Losing weight? Sounds pretty good right? But many doctors show concernover the high intake of saturated fat – that may lead to more ‘bad’ cholesterol andtherefore an increased risk of heart disease.
Some claim these kinds of diets are dangerousand unhealthy, given that they promote the limitation of foods like carrots, sweet potatoes,or apples, that provide the body with important micronutrients and vitamins.
Instead, peoplerequire supplements, which the body is not able to absorb as effectively as vitamins,minerals and micronutrients in whole foods.
Then there are High Protein Diets.
The mainprinciple is that protein rich foods are not as easily broken down by the body and takemore energy to digest than carb-rich food.
This means you won’t feel hungry again asquickly, and you’re more likely to run a caloric deficit than if you ate the same numberof calories from carbs.
The Paleo Diet, for example, suggests that10,000 years ago agriculture was introduced, and the human diet changed from hunter-gatherseating primarily meat, wild fruits, veggies and nuts, to diets containing more grains.
And as a result, some believe the human body isn’t designed to digest these processedfoods like grains, dairy, and breads.
Some also believe that grains lead to inflammationrelated health problems, but this is largely untrue except in the case of people with celiacdisease.
But because of it’s straightforward guidelines,many find it easy to follow, and it does promote more nutrient absorption.
However, as paleocuts out all grains and legumes, we lose an important source of dietary fibre necessaryto keep our bowels running smoothly.
Not to mention the high protein leads to nitrogenproduction meaning stinky farts! Add to that constipation which allows your digested materialto sit longer in the large intestine and continuing to decompose and.
Now there is another class of diets we mightcall the “Just Stop Eating” Diets.
Those looking to ‘get slim quick’ might be temptedto only eat cabbage soup for 7 days, or do the ‘Master Cleanse Diet’ which only allowssalt water in the morning and a concoction of water, maple syrup, lemon and cayenne pepperthrough the day, and a laxative tea at night – but these diets are exceptionally unhealthy.
Not only is most of your weight loss from water weight, but there are many side effectssuch as dizziness, fatigue, dehydration and nausea.
The Master Cleanse can ever lead to a whitetongue, which some claim is the toxins leaving your body, but it’s actually due to swellingand a yeast infection of the mouth.
And after going through all that, you’re likely togain any weight lost after stopping.
Then of course there are straight up crazydiets.
Like eating cotton balls dipped in soup or juice so that you feel full, whichof course provides hardly any nutritional content and can cause intestinal blockageswhich require surgical intervention.
Or how about the sleeping beauty diet whereyou just.
Sleep? You can’t eat if you’re always asleep! The truth is most diets focusingon quick, dramatic results also have a ‘yo-yo’ effect, where you lose initial weight butslow down your metabolic rate, so your body starts burning less calories.
And when youstart eating again.
There’s all the weight back, and often more! After following contestants from the show‘The Biggest Loser’ for 6 years – some of which who had lost hundreds of pounds in7 months – scientists noticed something interesting.
Not only did most of the participants in thestudy regain their weight, but their metabolic rates changed.
One man in particular now burns800 fewer calories a day than would be expected for a man his size! This is 6 years afterleaving the show, showing how extreme measures to lose weight – while they may be successfulat the time – have long lasting impacts on your metabolism, making it harder to keepoff weight in the future.
The hard truth is, that even using many ofthe principled diets, about 97% of people regain everything lost and sometimes morewithin 3 years.
If you want to lose weight, finding a diet that works for you and keepsyou motivated, with small incremental changes is important.
Of course, a number on a scaledoesn’t measure how healthy a person is, though many struggle with this perception.
If food and weight preoccupations are a problem for you or someone you know, check out thedescription of this video for links with more information.