When it comes to weight loss, exercising more does not quite provide the results one expects. You do need to be active to burn calories and build strength but also need to make major dietary changes. Eating nutritious food while you are trying to shed off excess pounds is important. Even if you spend two hours every day in the gym, you will not have visible results if you do not eat balanced meals. In this article, we share with you the 7 most popular diets of 2017 that are going to rule 2018 also.
Until a few years ago, most popular diets could be grouped into two categories:
- low carb diets
- high protein diets
People also followed liquid diet to lose a few pounds rapidly. High-fat diet never really caught on despite experts swearing by it. However, times have changed and there are now various diet plans, each suitable for different types of people.
In this post, we look at 9 of the most popular diets of 2017, which we think will stay well into 2018 and beyond:
1) Paleo Diet
Also known as the caveman diet, this diet plan consists of foods that can be fished, hunted and gathered such as seafood, meat, eggs, nuts, fruits, vegetables and herbs. This diet follows the eating patterns of people from the Palaeolithic age.
Some of the important features of Paleo diet are:
- Processed foods such as wheat flour, pasta, cereal, dairy, etc. are a strict no-no.
- Calorie counting is not important if you are on a Paleo diet and you can eat until you are full.
- Fruits are not restricted in this diet, though this is a low-carb and high-protein diet.
- This diet is not suitable for vegetarians and vegans since the sole source of protein in this diet is meat.
2) 5:2 Diet
If following a strict diet on all days of the week does not sound appealing to you then you need to try out the 5:2 diet. Also known as the fast diet, this diet plan allows you to restrict your calorie intake over the course of a week by fasting for 2 days. You do not have to go crazy counting calories for the rest of the 5 days and can stick to your regular diet.
Here are the top features of the 5:2 diet:
- There are 5 normal eating days in which you can eat healthy food without counting calories.
- On the fasting days, you consume one-fourth of your total required calorie intake.
- The fasting days need to have at least one non-fasting day between them.
- To achieve visible results, people are advised to eat healthy food in the right quantity instead of binge eating.
- This weight loss diet is easier to manage than a calorie-restricted diet since one does not have to pay attention to the calorie intake of the whole day or each meal
3) Alkaline Diet
One of the top diets of 2017 was the Alkaline diet. This modern diet is believed to help our bodies regulate our digestive acids. High acidity levels are turned to fat and lead to various diseases such as arthritis, osteoporosis, fatigue, kidney issues, etc. If someone cuts back on acid-producing food and starts eating alkaline diet, the bad effects of acidity can be reversed. This additionally helps lose weight and allows one to get more healthy. A vegan diet is quite similar to the alkaline diet since both of them cut back on animal-based products.
Some features of the Alkaline diet are provided here:
- You need to cut back on acid-producing food such as meat, dairy products, high-sugar items, processed foods, alcohol, etc.
- Develop healthy eating habits by incorporating more fruits, vegetables, seeds, nuts and legumes to your diet.
- Make sure that you eat legumes to meet your protein requirements since you will not be consuming meat and dairy products.
- When you eat wholesome food items such as fruits and vegetables that contain a lot of fibre, you tend to consume fewer calories in general. This factor also promotes weight loss.
4) Ketogenic Diet
The primary source of energy for the body is glucose that it gets from the carbohydrates in your diet. When the body does not have glucose for energy then it starts using up the fats store of the body for fuel. This produces ketones, a type of acid, in the body by a process known as ketosis. If you follow the ketogenic diet, you can burn the fats stored in your body.
Here are the features of this healthy diet plan:
- It is a low carbohydrate and high fat diet since the main motive of the ketogenic diet is to reduce the availability of glucose that is used as a fuel for the body.
- Since the body burns the fats stored in the body, you will see considerable inch-loss after following this diet.
- Ketones are eliminated with urine which is the main reason why drinking plenty of water is important in a ketogenic diet
- The process of ketosis produces ketones, a type of acid, and if not monitored well, the body can become increasingly acidic and this can lead to serious health repercussions later.
5) Atkins Diet
This is one of the popular diets that promises to turn your body into a fat burning machine. The diet is divided into four phases. The first phase is the rapid weight loss phase. In this phase, you can only consume up to 25 g of carbohydrates in a day with no restrictions on proteins and fats. Over the next three phases, the weight loss is more gradual since carbohydrates are slowly introduced back into your diet.
Features of the Atkins diet:
- You need to cut processed carbohydrates and alcohol from your diet.
- Include more fat and protein sources in your diet including meat, eggs, butter, cream, cheese, etc.
- The initial low intake of carbohydrates can be uncomfortable since it can cause nausea, headache, tiredness, etc.
- High intake of saturated fats, processed meat and salt in this diet make it unsuitable for people dealing with hypertension, high cholesterol, etc.
6) Raw Food Diet
The raw food diet has been gaining popularity in the past few years. You need to include loads of fresh and preferably organic fruits and vegetables to your diet. It is an easy diet plan since you do not need to cook a majority of the food that you are going to eat. The variations to this diet plan include adding animal-based food as well.
Here are the features of the raw food diet:
- You need to consume at least 80% of your food raw, including meat.
- Grain and bean seeds are soaked in water and then consumed, since they cannot be consumed raw. Fruits and vegetables are never cooked for this diet.
- Since heat destroys a lot of nutrients and enzymes in the food, the raw food diet enables people to assimilate all the nutrients from the food item.
- It can be considered as a high fibre diet. The fibre in your diet will help you digest your food well and also regulate your bowel movements.
- Consuming raw meat can cause serious issues if the meat is contaminated with germs. So, remember to buy only from stores that stock these products. Some dieticians also supply the meat or can guide you to stores from where you can buy safely.
7) South Beach Diet
This is an ideal diet plan for people who need to see visible results to stay motivated to continue on a diet. Developed for heart patients to lose weight and get healthy, the South Beach diet is a low Glycaemic Index (GI) diet in which people do not need to count calories or check portions. There are three phases to this diet.
Here are the key features:
- The Glycaemic Index of a carbohydrate source is a key factor in the South Beach diet. If the GI is high, this means that the food item is readily digested by the body and the blood sugar levels rise suddenly. A low GI means that the food item is digested slowly and there is a gradual rise in the blood sugar levels.
- In the first phase of the diet that lasts two weeks, carbohydrates are restricted including fruits, processed sugars, etc. There is no restriction on the protein and fat intake.
- In the second phase, that can last as long as the person needs to lose weight, carbohydrates with low GI are added back to the diet.
- The third phase, known as the maintenance phase, is more like a healthy eating lifestyle in which the person eats a balanced diet on a regular basis with a weekly cheat meal.
8) Weight Watchers Diet
This diet plan not only provides you with a diet and exercise plan but also a support network that you can rely on to stay focused on your fitness goals. Unlike other diets where you feel alone, the Weight Watchers diet helps you build a support group of people who are also trying to lose weight. This diet follows a point system in which you monitor yourself on a daily basis.
Here are the features of this diet:
- The diet plan is decided on the basis of the body and lifestyle of a person when he decides to join the programme. Each person has a maximum daily and weekly point intake set when he joins the programme.
- The points are allocated on the basis of the carbohydrate, fat and protein content of an item. High protein content means fewer points whereas high carb or fat content means more points.
- You are supposed to consume more food items that have fewer points and less food items that have higher points.
- Exercise and other physical activities help add up “Fit Points”. You need to keep track of your food intake and activity levels.
9) Slim-fast Diet
Plenty of low-calorie meal replacement diet plans grew in popularity in 2017 and Slim-fast diet is one of them. This diet recommends eating three snacks, two meal replacement shakes or bars and one regular meal per day. This is a restricted calorie diet.
The features of this diet are:
- You can only consume Slim-fast snacks and meal replacement products in this diet and a regular meal made from a list of recipes available on the Slim-fast website.
- This diet plan is designed to help you lose up to 2 pounds per week.
- You can follow this diet as long as you want until you reach your goal weight. After that, you can consume 2 regular meals, 2 low-fat snacks and one meal replacement shake per day.
When you want to go on a diet to lose or gain weight, research carefully and find the best diet for your body type and lifestyle. Restricted diets can make you feel frustrated which is the main reason why it is important to make substantial changes to your lifestyle. You need to learn to eat better and exercise regularly. Relying on quick fixes to lose or gain weight does not work as we tend to get back to our original condition within a few weeks. A good way to know which diet works for you is to see a dietician/nutritionist who can guide you on what plan to go for. Talking to a professional also means you are more likely to eat healthy and lose weight as planned.