What to Know Before Trying These 3 New Diet Trends

In September of last year, I made a goal to start working out again. I had been such an active kid, and then during high school, I got progressively less active as schoolwork began to take up much of my time. I started slowly, and then soon I was hitting the gym three or four times a week before class started. To me, that was self-care. That was time I took out of my day, usually before the sun was even up, to focus on my fitness. The benefits were incredible. I was not only getting physically stronger, but I noticed that I was more relaxed and able to focus better in school.

That routine was something I was very proud of, but as COVID-19 swept over the world, the gyms shut down. This resulted in a lot of people wondering how they could stay fit. In addition, many people had trouble maintaining their weight during quarantine. The stress had a lot of us craving comfort food, and many people began to have more time to cook yummy, yet sadly, unhealthy meals. This has led to an increase in many new diet trends that have gained popularity on social media. Let’s take a look at three of them and their possible risks and benefits. 

  1. 1. Keto

    According to Eat This, Not That, Keto is a “low carb, moderate protein and high-fat diet that purports to put the body in a metabolic state known as ketosis. Ketosis is when the liver produces ketones, which then becomes the body’s main source of energy instead of the glucose from carbs.” Your body is basically burning fat instead of sugar. Many people have reported positive weight loss effects, but there are some risks.

    According to health.com, there are seven main dangers of keto. First is the “Keto Flu.” Around 25% of people experience flu-like symptoms, such as vomiting, gastrointestinal issues and fatigue for a few days following the start of a keto diet. Other side effects include diarrhea, reduced athletic performance, weight regain within a few months of starting the diet, decreased metabolism and increased risk of heart diseases and diabetes. Overall, keto can help you lose weight, but there are risks that you must be aware of. If keto sounds like something you are interested in, consult with your doctor or a nutritionist for guidance. 

  2. 2. Intermittent Fasting

    Intermittent fasting is eating as you would normally for a certain number of hours per day, and restricting your diet to water and plain coffee or tea for the rest of the day. According to Hopkins Medicine, “our bodies have evolved to be able to go without food for many hours, or even several days or longer. In prehistoric times, before humans learned to farm, they were hunters and gatherers who evolved to survive — and thrive — for long periods without eating.” A very popular way to do intermittent fasting is the 16/8 approach. This is where you eat for 8 hours out of the day and fast for 16. Benefits of intermittent fasting include: boosts thinking and memory, improved heart health, increased physical performance and weight loss. Business Insider names several risks of intermittent fasting. The most common problem with intermittent fasting is increased anxiety because “depriving yourself of food for an extended period of time may increase levels of cortisol, the body’s stress hormone.” Other side effects may include hair loss or feeling “hangry.” It is important to listen to your body. Although intermittent fasting can have great results, if something feels wrong you may need to check in with a doctor or stop the diet altogether. 

  3. 3. Vegan

    Vegan diets have gained a lot of popularity on social media in recent years. This diet cuts out all animal-based foods such as meat, dairy, eggs and even honey. The diet is popular for ethical reasons, and additionally, it is very helpful for losing weight. According to Forbes Magazine, even though a vegan diet can be very healthy, it is very easy to find high calorie, overprocessed foods that are vegan. Eating these foods can put you in a calorie surplus, which is when one eats more calories than their body burns in a day, leading to weight gain. If you decide to go vegan, it is important to research healthy vegan foods to lose weight.

While there are many new diet trends, it is important to research the pros and cons of each one before trying them out. Before doing anything drastic, talk to your doctor to get professional guidance. What works for one person may not work for everyone. Most fad diets can be very hard to stick to. What matters most is staying healthy, eating mostly healthy foods and working out. It is important to find a balance between staying healthy and allowing yourself treats and breaks from working out.