Pros And Cons Of Diet

Diet do not work and never will

Will you lose weight and keep it off if you diet?  No, probably not, UCLA researchers report in the April issue of American Psychologist, the journal of the American Psychological Association:

“You can initially lose 5 to 10 percent of your weight on any number of diets, but then the weight comes back,” said Traci Mann, UCLA associate professor of psychology and lead author of the study. “We found that the majority of people regained all the weight, plus more. Sustained weight loss was found only in a small minority of participants, while complete weight regain was found in the majority. Diets do not lead to sustained weight loss or health

Types of diets

Atkins, Metabolic typing, Healthy eating, Following food cravings, Junk food diet, Average Western diet, Juicing diet, Blood type diet, Blood analysis diet, Glycemic index, Glycemic load diet, Food combination, Zone diet, Mediterranean diet, South beach diet, Low fat diets, Weight watchers, etc.

Metabolic typing diet

Uses physical, dietary and psychological traits to classify the body along fundamental systems. This allows the specific foods and nutrients to be discovered for that individual person.

Pros – Accurately determines nutritional requirement and is specific to your own body chemistry. It allows for individuals to change nutritional requirements during their lifetime as seen in the real world. Encompasses a large variation in recommendations for different people which parallels what is seen in the reality. Head and shoulders above any other nutrition system and its scientific basis and results cannot be argued.

Cons – Can be complicated and difficult to understand if following on your own and you need to use a trained advisor to get a level of analysis powerful enough to create long lasting changes 

Atkins diet

Requires the person to eat greater amounts of (bad) protein through meats and to use (bad) fat liberally. Suggests obtaining carbohydrate intake from vegetables, seeds, nuts and berries. The overall effect is a high protein, high fat and low carb diet.

Pros – Suggests removing grains and refined carbs from the diet which can benefit some people. It ensures you obtain adequate amounts of fat soluble vitamins and promotes consuming organic foods and vegetables. Will work for certain people short term but very few on a long term basis.

Cons – It does not account for the fact that people vary greatly and a low carbohydrate intake, especially to this extent, can be disastrous. It does not separate different form of meat and vegetables. It does not allow people to change nutritional needs over their lifetime. Cab be very pro-inflammatory

Low fat diet / Calories restriction

Many combinations of diet follow this theme, with the main emphasis on low fat, higher carbohydrates and controlled calories. Founded frommis-interpreted fat studies in the 1950’s. Forms the basis of Weight Watchers, Jenny Craig and many more diets.

Pros – Can work for some extreme metabolic types. Any recommendation to reduce trans-fats is beneficial.

Cons – Disastrous ( good fat is vital) for many reasons, check my article about good fat versus bad fat

“Healthy” eating diets

As recommended by the government food pyramid and all general healthy eating guides. Is also incorporated into the popular diet schemes e.g. Weight Watchers etc

Has an emphasis on lower fat and higher carbohydrates and obtaining fruit and Vegetable in good amounts.

Pros – Any diet with emphasis on increasing vegetable intake will improve many peoples health.  

Cons – Does not separate out individual differences in food requirements, meaning such recommendations can be disastrous for many people. The advice does not cater for changes in nutritional requirements during your lifetime. Grain consumption is also linked to the majority of present day health issues and thus would not be good advice, except for certain people’s body chemistry. Are confused with good fat and bad.

Junk food diet

Eating whatever food comes your way and not caring what it is.

Pros – You may be happy for a few minutes each time

Cons – Disastrous. will lead to premature aging and death. Cancer, heart diseases, etc.

Typical western diet

The average western diet is somewhere between a healthy eating diet, a junk food diet and following your foods cravings.

Pros – Very few benefits

Cons – Any possible benefits of a ‘healthy eating’ diet are usually off set by the Junk food or reliance on food cravings.  This eating style is much worse for certain body chemistries than others.

Juicing diet

Using a juicer to make any number of juices and smoothies.

Pros – Can obtain significant amounts of nutrients if done correctly

Cons– Lacks fat and protein amounts for good health. You will lose muscle and will slow down your metabolism.  Does not account for the different nutritional qualities of fruits and vegetables, grouping them all together as good. You will crave for real and good food very fast.

South beach diet

The book recommends very little in reality but for removal of heavily processed foods and avoiding certain carbohydrates which stimulate insulin production. It is a mix of Atkins diet and the Mediterranean diet with far less restrictions

Pros – Recommends reducing processed foods which is of benefit to anyone as is controlling certain insulin rising foods

Cons – Doesn’t account for individual differences and allows people too many foods that is not necessarly healthy.

Blood type diet

This bases food recommendations on your blood type which is said to indicate your genetic needs from our ancestors.

Pros – Acknowledges the fact we all have different nutritionally needs and focuses on whole foods. Doctor Glenn Chapman is a firm believer in this diet.

Cons – Recommendations have no bearing on the person’s nutritional needs with the majority of his evidence criticized. Does not account for actual differences seen in the real world or changes during your life. I do not like the idea that some people are allowed to eat as much meat as they want ( what about processed food, non grass fed meat, burnt  meat, cured, etc.)

Food combination / variation diets

Based on the fact that different foods secrete different enzymes which can upset digestion. Advises not combining certain food groups

Pros – Can help people’s digestion if it is already severely weakened.

Cons – Can be dreadful nutritionally as the body needs protein, carbs and fat at each meal.  When food is combined, you lower your insulin secretion. Does not address the cause of poor digestion or identify different nutritional needs between individuals

Zone diet

Advocates a diet of 40% protein and 30% carbs and 30% fat.

Pros – Excellent for a proportion of the population, lower your insulin secretion, reduce your craving, will help to lose weight

Cons – Does not work for the majority of people who has got no discipline, it must be good fat, good carbs and good protein high fiber.

Mediterranean diet

Based on what is commonly consumed in the south of Europe. The emphasis is on consuming good fats, carbohydrates abd good protein like fish or lean grassfed meat.

Pros -Extremely healthy, lower heart disease, lose weight, best when combined with the zone diet

Cons – Does not account for the variability between different people’s body chemistry.

Low  glycemic load (GL) diets

Makes nutritional recommendations based on the ability of the food to raise or lower insulin within the body (glycemic index/load).

Pros – Aims to reduce the glycemic foods you consume which will benefit almost everyone, you will lose weight and feel better

Cons – GI is only one  factor amongst other variables and should  be used with caution to determine what to eat. Ice ream and junk pizza can be a low glycemic load.

As a lifestyle personal trainer and nutrition consultant, I highly recommend a low glycemic load diet, zone diet and mediteranean diet combined. Remember that calorie in, calorie out matter. Keep your metabolism high by following my 9 principles.

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