Believe it or not, dieting isn't always your best bet.
It happens every day — some celebrity on some social media says that your body isn't good enough because it doesn't look like theirs. Half the time, not even their body looks like that. We've seen problematic waist trainers, diet smoothies and pills, and the fad diets that come and go every other season.
There are two fad diets taking the Internet by storm, the Keto diet, and intermittent fasting. There are, of course, other diets that have been tried and sworn upon, but I find that these two are on the top of most people's list as the diet they are considering recently and encouraging others to join.
The Keto diet is designed to almost entirely remove sugar and carbohydrates from your diet. While cutting carbs can be good (especially if you live on pasta, bread, fruit, and have a sweet tooth like me), the entire removal of carbohydrates can prove to be dangerous. Large amounts of added sugar or sugar substitutes will undoubtedly have negative effects on your health, but to completely cut out all forms of carbohydrates is not giving your body the fuel it needs.
The basis of the Keto diet is to encourage your body to use the fat that it already stores, and the fats that you are intaking to fuel your body when it needs energy. Generally, the body uses the sugars that you intake as its primary source of energy. The removal of carbohydrates may make you feel sluggish and lack energy, which often results in a lack of exercise. Like most diets, the fad keto diet will only be successful if you exercise along the way.
Consider exchanging the fad keto diet with a ketogenic diet. Ketogenic diets decrease the amount of carbohydrates that are taken in, and encourages the body to utilize fats. Ketogenic diets are recommended by doctors as they do not entirely remove carbohydrates from the diet, as sugar (natural sugars found in fruits and grains) is necessary to provide short-term fuel, especially when maintaining an active lifestyle. Utilize small amounts of carbohydrates to keep your energy up, and maintain a healthy, active (150 min/week) lifestyle to burn the fat.
Ketogenic diets are recommended for weight loss, just try to steer clear of the famed Keto diet, which is going to cut out the nutrition you need.
Intermittent fasting is a far newer fad diet taking the Internet by storm. This time, no one tells you what to eat, but rather when to eat it. It seems rather unproblematic, but there are a lot of ways a constricted diet time can be negative for your health.
Intermittent fasting offers more than one-time frame to eat food, and you can pick. Generally, you can eat in an eight-hour or six-hour time frame if you choose a straight time frame. Others choose to break it up, utilizing only two hours at a time, multiple times a day to eat. This makes it seem flexible to busy lives, but very few people have never had a day where things have gotten so crazy they couldn't eat when they wanted to. Intermittent fasting suggests that if you are not eating within your expected hours, you are not to eat anything. This results in skipped meals and a loss of nutrition, eventually decreasing calories on days in which your life just gets the better of you.
Some dieters find the time that they can eat filled with either high-calorie, low nutrition food, or food with high-nutrition and limited calories.
There are two problems with this. Your body needs calories to live, that's literally how you survive and do anything. Calories are measures of energy. Filling your body with potato chips and cookies sounds like a tasty time, and likely very filling in the short-term, but you will be hungry later. Feeling so worried about being on a diet has other dieters turning to carrots and celery, in an attempt to eat foods that are classicly healthy. This will also result in hunger later, likely outside your eating window.
If limiting when you can eat works for you, go for it, but don't deprive yourself of food if your schedule makes you eat outside the window. If time-tables work, pay attention to your body and determine when you tend to get the most hungry, then adjust. If you eat lunch at 11:00 and are hungry by 2:00, consider eating lunch later or eating a healthier snack at 2:00 instead of visiting vending machines. If you find yourself always ready for a late-night snack, eat dinner later, or add more veggies to your plate to have a more filling meal.
Ultimately, whatever diet works for you is best for you. Listen to your body, but don't be afraid of filling your body up with good food. The goal of dieting should be health because you are already beautiful.
*Disclaimer: I am not a licensed dietician. All suggestions in this article are merely suggestions, and what I have discovered in nutrition-based readings and classes. Please consult a licensed professional for more specific information.