ALL ABOUT DIETS
Find out which suits you
By Agnes Aui
By definition, a diet is the sum of food consumed by a person or other organisms. However, many of us are more familiar with the definition that a diet is a special course of food to which individuals restrict themselves, either to lose weight or for medical reasons. Now back in the day, there used to be only one popular diet in our community, known as the vegetarian diet where humans were herbivores. But today, many other diets have come about and many have been recommended for their effectiveness. Here, we list out everything you need to know about these different types of diets:
#1 VEGETARIAN DIET
Vegetarianism is the practice of avoiding the consumption of meat and can be adopted for many reasons including religion, weight loss, health benefits and even to reduce carbon footprint. The vegetarian diet typically includes consuming large portions of vegetables, fruits, grains and more, while obtaining protein from tofu, seitan, beans, nutritional yeast and others. There are other sub-categories of vegetarian diets, namely the ovo-vegetarian diet (allowed to consume eggs but not dairy), lacto-vegetarian diet (allowed to consume dairy products but not eggs) and the ovo-lacto-vegetarian diet (allowed to consume both eggs and dairy products). Whatever your choice may be, a vegetarian diet is known to promote consistent weight loss in the long run.
#2 VEGAN DIET
Similar to vegetarianism, veganism is the practice of avoiding the consumption of meat. Vegans also do not consume any by-products of animals such as white sugar, which goes through a refining process involving the use of bone char to get its colour. Many turn to veganism in respect for animals along with the belief that it’s healthier and better for the environment. Although many people question the nutrient balance in a vegan person’s diet, most vegans consume supplements or plant proteins to allay this concern. To make things better, many vegan- friendly alternatives have been produced and sold in common grocery stores around us, making it easier to adapt to the vegan diet.
#3 INTERMITTENT FASTING
Intermittent fasting, also known as intermittent energy restriction, is a term for various meal timing schedules that cycle between voluntary fasting and non-fasting over a given period. There are three methods of intermittent fasting such as alternate-day fasting, the 16/8 fast, and the 5:2 diet. The first, as its name goes, is fasting every other day and eating as usual the next day. The second one is allowing yourself to eat anything you want for eight hours and fasting for 16 hours. People typically do the 16-hour fast when they’re about to sleep to kill time fast. The last method allows the person to consume 500–600 calories on two non-consecutive days of the week, but can eat normally the other five days. Intermittent fasting is a popular diet but should not be done for those who have gastric problems as it is unhealthy for the stomach.
#4 KETO DIET
This diet has recently been raved about for its quick and effective weight loss benefits. The keto diet (or ketogenic diet) focuses on low carb and high fats. It involves drastically reducing carbohydrate intake and replacing it with fat. This reduction in carbs puts your body into a metabolic state called ketosis. When this happens, your body becomes incredibly efficient at burning fat for energy. It also turns fat into ketones in the liver, which can supply energy to the brain. Ketogenic diets can cause significant reductions in blood sugar and insulin levels as well. Those who find it difficult to avoid carbs, especially bread, don’t have to worry as there are many keto-friendly recipes that include ingredients like eggs and almond flour instead of bread flour.
#5 LIQUID DIET
Liquid diets are nutrition programs that require you to get either some, most or all of your daily calories from liquids rather than solid foods. Some of the sub-categories of liquid diets include meal replacement, detox diet and cleanser, and medically prescribed liquid diet. Of course, the latter is meant for those who are unable to eat solid foods for medical reasons. Many people adopt the liquid diet in an effort to lose weight quickly, and this works because a liquid diet consists of very low calories compared to solid food. Nevertheless, solid foods give us the nutrients we need which is why it is not recommended to stay on a diet consisting of liquids alone in the long term. This is because it may cause more damage than harm. However, the liquid diet is still an effective one for weight loss in a short period of time.