Tis the Season for Fad Diets: Diet Reviews

It’s a new year! This is the time where gyms are the most packed and “how to lose weight fast” is a top Google search. Yes, there’s a ton of fad celebrity diets out there, but I didn’t want to write about those. Frankly, almost all of them offer no long term results and are dangerous. A diet change should really be a life change – yeah, you can lose 15 pounds on the diet, but as soon as you stop the diet, you’ll gain back everything you lost (and probably more.) There’s a new phenomenon replacing fad diets called a Way of Eating (WOE.) Think of them as long term/lifelong lifestyle changes. Thinking of getting healthier and looking for long lasting results? These “fad” lifestyle changes can be good for you! Try a one for a week and see what changes happen to your body and if you like them or not.

1. Keto

Basically, this is a high protein, low carb diet where you keep track of how many grams of fat, protein, and carbs are in a food, also known as macros. There are many different versions, but the most popular one has you track macros based solely on height and gender, and you don’t eat more than 20g of carbs a day. No carbs?? What! The good news? You can eat pretty much as much meat, veggies and dairy you want, lose weight fairly quickly, and gain lots of muscle from working out. This method of dieting causes the body to go into ketosis, which means your body is almost completely fueled by fat. There are other health benefits like having high energy and not feeling sloth-like after eating. It is best to see a doctor/nutritionist for all diets, but especially this one. If done incorrectly, you could find yourself in the hospital with “keto flu.”

2. Paleo

Created by Dr. Loren Cordain, this diet is based on foods eaten by our ancestors while they were still hunter-gatherers and running away from lions and tigers and crazy monkeys. This is similar to keto in that it’s also a high protein, low carb, high fiber diet. With Paleo, you can eat lots of fruit, whereas with Keto you can’t. You don’t eat cereal grains, legumes (That means no peanut butter!), dairy (No cheese!), refined sugar and oils, potatoes (?!) or processed foods. You eat tons of fish and seafood, grass-fed beef and chicken, fresh fruits and veggies, eggs, healthy oils, and nuts and seeds. Also, you are allowed three non-Paleo meals a week and you can have wine with them! Are the results worth giving up potatoes and cheese? See for yourself! This way of eating optimizes your health, minimizes your risk of chronic diseases, and helps you lose weight.

3. Raw Till 4 Vegan

This special type of Vegan diet is just what it sounds like: you only eat whole, unprocessed foods, mostly fruits and veggies, until 4 o’clock. No oils, animal products, and little to no fats or seeds are consumed. Because there are not a lot of calories in fruits and veggies, it is important to count your calories to make sure you are getting enough. This is the famous “eat as much as you want” diet without pills and excessive exercise. There are many YouTube videos that have meal ideas and advice on how to succeed on this way of eating.

4. Gluten Free

First off, what is gluten? Gluten is a protein found in wheat, barley and rye. People who have Celiac disease – an autoimmune disorder where gluten damages the small intestine – cannot eat gluten at all. Some people have a gluten sensitivity and feel better without it in their diets. Many people think that cutting out or avoiding gluten, even when they don’t have the disease or sensitivity, is healthy for them and helps the body lose weight. Is it true? Or is it all in the mind? Some studies have actually found that a gluten-free diet resulted in weight gain, because gluten-free foods may also be higher in sugar and fat. Some people lost weight, perhaps because many processed foods have gluten in them, and eliminating them caused people to eat healthier whole foods like fruits and veggies. For anyone questioning if they have a gluten sensitivity, consult your doctor, because it may be something else, and watch what you eat – if you always feel bad after eating bread, then totally cut it out! But if you’re considering this because it’s trendy, it’s probably best to look at a different way of eating that could be more beneficial to you.

5. “Smoothie Cleanse”

Ah, the craze that has swept the world! From America to France to Japan to Australia, people everywhere are making beautiful smoothie bowls. It started with JJ Smith’s “10-Day Green Smoothie Cleanse” where you drink only smoothies for 10 days to “detox and cleanse” your body and then continue to commit to a lifetime diet of unprocessed foods, tons of fruits and veggies, and minimal sugar. For many people who don’t like eating fruit or need a quick meal, smoothies and smoothie bowls are a great option. They are full of vitamins and minerals, super quick to make, and of course, make your Instagram look top notch. If you aren’t looking for a huge change, trying smoothies is a great option – especially if you like to sleep in and end up rushing around in the morning!

Everyone’s body is different and has different needs. Your body may feel really good on Keto, but awful on Raw till 4. Your friend might feel the opposite. It’s okay! Find what works for you!

There are many Facebook groups and YouTube channels for each lifestyle where you can find tips, recipes, and support. Do you research and always talk to you doctor or dietician before making drastic changes to your diet. Good luck!


Image Credit: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6


Sources: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5