Choosing a diet that is right for you is more than simply restricting calories and increasing the amount of exercise you partake in each day. Understanding how diets impact the body and ultimately affect your overall health is essential when searching for a lifestyle that is truly fitting for your needs. Comparing the pros and cons of today’s most popular eating lifestyles is a way to gain insight into the world of nutrition when making positive changes for your body and the future you desire for yourself.

Intermittent Fasting
Intermittent fasting occurs any time after 12 hours of not eating and digesting any foods or liquids (other than water).

  • In many lifestyles when losing weight, intermittent fasting helps to break plateaus while giving your body a rest from producing hormone and glucose spikes throughout the process.
  • By training your body with intermittent fasting it becomes much easier to stick to scheduled meal times.

However, for those who are struggling with low blood sugar or diabetes, intermittent fasting is not always easy (or possible). By keeping yourself from eating, it is much more likely that you will experience dizziness, low energy, or the inability to focus if you are not well-adjusted to a diet that does not require sugar or high carbohydrates with each meal.

The ketogenic diet has become increasingly popular with the temptation of eating meats, cheeses, and vegetables without carbohydrates and sugar.

  • Eliminating processed foods and sticking to a high fat, moderate protein, and low carbohydrate way of eating is a way to level hormone release while also getting glucose under control.
  • The main purpose of the ketogenic diet is to release ketones from the brain to quickly eliminate stubborn fat from the body (as opposed to relying on glucose and sugar).

For individuals with high blood pressure and diabetes, it is essential to speak to your doctor or healthcare professional prior to attempting the keto way of life.

Paleo eating is similar to the ketogenic lifestyle, although it allows for more freedom when choosing to eat breads and fruits.

  • Paleo diets promote wellness through natural ingredients and still steer clear from processed foods and meats, ultimately keeping your everyday diet much healthier.
  • Switching to a paleo-based way of eating is possible by learning more about natural foods and eliminating ingredients that are not wholesome or unprocessed.

For some, a paleo diet may feel time-consuming and challenging while retraining the mind any time you are shopping for groceries.

Vegan and Vegetarian Options
A vegan or vegetarian diet is often appealing to those who are animal rights activists or individuals who simply believe that ingesting meat regularly is not ideal for the human body.

  • Eating plenty of vegetables, fruits, lentils and beans are main sources of both vegan and vegetarian ways of life.
  • Individuals who have had a meat-heavy diet throughout their lives may find themselves tired, dizzy, or even nauseous when attempting to go vegan or vegetarian for the first time.

Ensuring you are getting all of the vitamins and minerals you need each day is imperative when choosing to eat a non-meat centric diet, as this can lead to muscle waste and cognitive impairment (or starvation in the body) when it is not done properly.

With a clear understanding of various diets and lifestyles that are most prominent in today’s society, move forward with your goals feeling confident and ready to take on the challenge of healthy eating. The more comfortable you are with the eating style you have chosen, the easier it is to stick to a strict regimen to ensure you remain as healthy as possible while hitting any weight goal you have set in place.

For more information, visit Careworks.

Author:  Sarah Vidumsky, PA-C