Dieting outline

There are so many different styles of dieting getting around now; it can be hard to keep up with what is what! Fad diets are both the greatest thing that has ever happened to the health industry as well as the worst, it just depends who you speak to. I thought it would be beneficial to lay out an unbiased outline of some of the more popular diets being used currently so that you can discuss further with your health care professional.

IIFYM (flexible dieting)
Flexible dieting is the process of tracking your macronutrient intake. Macronutrients are the term given to the nutrients responsible for providing calories (protein, carbohydrate, fat). The process involves calculating how many calories your body should consume depending on your goal and then deciding what portion of those calories comes from which macronutrient, for example you may be aiming to eat 2,200 calories per day, 40% of that coming from protein, 35% coming from fats and 25% coming from carbohydrates. You can manually calculate this but there are many apps and programs that can easily do it for you.

The Paleo Diet is quite often referred to as the caveman diet. The overall rule being, if you couldn’t hunt for it or gather it back in the Palaeolithic era, it doesn’t enter your mouth. There is no need to track calories, just ensure that you only consume meats, fish, nuts, vegetables and leafy greens, no grains or processed foods allowed.

A Ketogenic diet is essentially focussed on consuming high amounts of fat and low amounts of carbohydrates (less than 50g per day) with the intention of putting your body into a form of ketosis. Ketosis is a metabolic process your body performs when it begins to burn fat instead of burning carbohydrates, which then produces ketones.

5:2 Diet
This is the most popular form of intermittent fasting. Following this diet would mean that for five days of the week you eat normally and then for the other two, you would fast, meaning consume between 500-600 calories. This diet has no rules as to ‘what’ you can eat; its focus is more on the ‘when’.

The above listed diets are just an example of many diets and eating plans available.

I would recommend talking to a dietitian before commencing any of the above dietary plans as this article has only covered a brief outline of what is entailed. There may be side effects or contraindications that require exploring with your health care professional. This article is intended to give you an introduction for the next time you hear any of these terms mentioned.
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