The Pros and Cons you should know before trying that new diet

Written by Liza Brunell

Adv Dip Health Science Naturopathy, Nutrition          Hi there, my name is Liza, I am a Naturopath, Herbalist, Nutritionist from Brisbane, Queensland. And I’m here to show you how easy good nutrition and healthy living can be.

February 1, 2022

Different diets pros and cons

There are varied reasons that someone may decide to embark on a new diet, for example health concerns, steady weight gain over a certain period of time, lack of energy, hormonal issues just to name a few. I also find it interesting to hear of how most individuals consider how healthy their current diet is, with the majority associating or considering their eating habits as meeting healthy nutritional guidelines. Unfortunately, this is not the case for many as their idea of what is healthy or unhealthy is often dictated simply by clever food marketing and not so innocent company agendas.

If you are reading this blog, it seems likely that you are considering revamping your diet as it may not be working for you. Before you decide on the type of diet that will work best for you it may be best to look at the good, the bad and the ugly of dieting in general.

Pros of Diets in general

Even considering starting a new diet means that you are becoming more aware of the foods that you are eating, this unbelievably is a great start. This is the beginning of thoughtful consideration regarding your current lifestyle choices. By having some understanding of the foundations of good nutrition and beginning to listen to how your body responds to certain foods is a great stepping stone to living a much longer and healthier life. It is important to have a healthy relationship with food, and in listening to how your body reacts after you have eaten certain foods this will help you ascertain which eating plan will inevitably be the best for you.

The key to improving your health outcomes and quality of life will help keep you motivated and overall feeling much better in general. This motivation works towards the improvement of many aspects of your life not without being centred around physical appearance alone.

  • One of the benefits of being healthy is feeling confident. Confidence is key when it comes to looking for new opportunities. Improved confidence may lead to better job opportunities, improved fitness levels, increased levels of perseverance, and an understanding of what it takes to achieve success.
  • Feelings of control as you manage the foods you eat leading to better overall health.
  • Learning more about the benefits of good nutrition and becoming more aware of the foods we eat and how they affect us both physically and mentally.
  • Find new connections. Although social media has it’s down sides it is likely that you will be able to find other like-minded people through social media groups and forums that will give you the support needed to help you to stay on track.

Cons:

  • Just using the word diet implies restriction and potentially feelings of hunger.
  • Initially as you change your eating habits you may lack energy and have headaches as your body gets used to this new way of eating.
  • Some diets may lead to a shortage of important nutrients which means it is crucial that you make an informed decision on the specific diet that you choose to go ahead with.
  • One of the biggest downsides of dieting is fear of failure. Dieting can be difficult at times, for those that fall off the wagon or don’t finish the diet this may lead to feelings of discouragement. What you need to understand is that hiccups often happen, the most important thing is to remember why you started the diet in the first place, and don’t beat yourself up. Remember that nothing could be more empowering than acknowledging what happened and getting straight back into your healthy eating plan.

Now let’s look at some different diet pros and cons

Keto Diet:

Pros:

  • Limits carbs and puts you in ketosis where your body starts burning fat for fuel. Ketosis promotes enhanced mental clarity, energy, and satiety.
  • There is no need to count calories or be concerned about portion sizes.
  • Eliminates foods that are often associated with food intolerances or sensitivities.
  • Keto diets have shown to be extremely beneficial for treating certain diseases and disorders such as epilepsy, bipolar disorder, diabetes, and Alzheimer’s disease.
  • Individuals are allowed to consume a vast variety of foods especially meat and good healthy fats.

Cons:

  • As your body transitions from burning carbs to burning fat for fuel some may experience flu like symptoms known as keto flu.
  • Sticking to a low carb eating program for extended periods of time does not suit everyone.
  • For individuals who follow a vegetarian or vegan lifestyle, it can be a challenge to find protein and fat sources that do not come from animal sources. Even then, there is still the issue whether the plant protein and fat source can provide all the daily nutrient requirements.

Atkins Diet:

Pros:

  • As a style of ketogenic diet that has been around since the 1970s, eating lower carb will transition you into a state of ketosis or fat burning.
  • Loading up on quality proteins and good fats will help you feel satisfied for longer periods of time reducing cravings.
  • Minimises the intake of processed foods and excess sugar leading to quick results within weeks.
  • Simple to follow

Cons:

  • Cuts out whole grains and dairy products except for butter which can be too restrictive for some.
  • Potentially may experience keto-flu or flu like symptoms or rashes as your body switches to fat burning.

DASH Diet (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension)

Pros:

  • Another program designed to shift you into ketosis and encourages eating more protein, helping to keep you feel fuller for longer.
  • Studies have shown the plan reduces blood pressure, LDL cholesterol and triglycerides.
  • Encourages making healthy food choices and the reading of food labels to assist with eliminating hidden sources of sodium and sugar.

Cons:

  • Restricted eating may prove to be a downside for those that have negative relationships with food.

Dukan Diet

Pros:

  • Promotes rapid weight loss without leaving you feeling hungry, once again there is an emphasis on higher protein meals with lower carbohydrates.
  • Eliminates gluten which may cause sensitivities or intolerance in some individuals.
  • Adapted to change the way you buy and consume foods.

Cons:

  • 100 allowed food list, initial phase individuals are allowed to choose from 68 listed high protein foods with the addition of 28 vegetable choices.
  • Every week in the Stabilisation phase individuals must spend one day eating only proteins.
  • May be challenging for vegans and vegetarians.

Gluten-Free Diet

Pros:

  • Excludes gluten, a protein found in wheat, barley, and rye, which is detrimental to those with coeliac disease.
  • Many foods including fruits, vegetables, healthy fats, dairy, and beans are on the allowable food list.
  • Avoidance of packaged or processed foods.
  • Brain fog, bloating and headaches disappear
  • Skin may improve as gluten sensitivity may trigger an inflammatory response leading to conditions such as rosacea and eczema.
  • Potential weight loss as an intolerance may cause weight gain.
  • Gluten free diets are now well catered for in cafes, restaurants, and supermarkets.

Cons:

  • This is definitely a time in which it is important to read the labels on the packaged foods. Unfortunately, many gluten-free options tend to include hidden sugars and fats.
  • processed gluten-free foods can be expensive
  • Eating too many gluten-free products such as cakes, cookies, muffins, pastas, and breads thinking that they are a healthier option will inevitably lead to weight gain.

Intermittent Fasting:

Pros

  • Easy to follow as eating windows are restricted.
  • Less time spent eating and preparing meals.
  • May assist with weight management and reduce the temptation to snack late at night.
  • Improves autophagy (our body’s way of clearing damaged cells) and balancing insulin levels.

Cons:

  • Not recommended for those with negative food relationships.
  • Fasting may not be ideal for those who have increased levels of cortisol or are highly stressed as fasting can be a temporary stressor on the body.
  • There are different options or styles of fasting that you can incorporate to fit your individual needs or lifestyle such as 16:8, eating one meal a day.
  • Benefits associated with ketosis, fat burning and blood sugar regulation.

Cons:

  • May be challenging to maintain long term.
  • Difficult for some not to overindulge during the eating window which may negatively impact any weight management efforts.

If you are considering making nutritional changes and improving your lifestyle there are many pros associated with starting the hCG Australia 23-day starter program and you may find that this is a good place to begin. The program strips food down to basics by eliminating harmful processed foods and refined sugars and enables your body to release unwanted fat stores. The program then gives you the perfect guide to reintroducing the right healthy foods which not only provides a unique opportunity to identifying inflammatory foods that may have been wreaking havoc on your body for years, additionally, the program has the benefits of quick weight loss keeping you motivated and quickly on track to achieving your weight loss goals. Allowing you the foundation for healthy living for life.

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