Two of the Most Popular Diets Today and the Risks They Come With

In case you have embarked on a mission to lose weight, finding the right diet which will suit you can be a tricky task. There are so many to choose from, and they all promise wonders. However, finding a diet based on sound scientific principles is rather difficult. Studies have shown that following a reasonable diet low in processed foods and rich in proteins and plants can help lose weight. There are many diets which have been popular for the last few years, and although they can lead to weight reduction, some of them can also lead to significant health risks.

  1.       Intermittent fasting

More and more people who want to lose weight quickly are opting for this diet. It consists of cyclical periods of eating and fasting. Instead of restricting foods, it allows you to eat everything during a particular time, and then this period when eating is allowed is followed by a period when you do not eat anything. There are a few options:

  •         The 5:2 diet: For five days a week you eat regularly, and on two days your calorie intake should be between 500 and 600 calories.
  •         The 16/8 method: You do not eat breakfast, and then you eat all your meals in the eight-hour window, followed by fasting for the remaining 16 hours.
  •         The eat-stop-eat method: Once or twice per week you fast for 24 hours.
  •         The warrior diet: During the day you eat small portions of raw vegetables, fruits, dairy, and hard-boiled eggs, and you have one huge meal at night.

Benefits

Weight loss comes rather quickly, and metabolic rate is increased short-term, can reduce inflammation due to oxidative stress, and muscle mass loss is minimal in comparison to some other diets. It can lower blood sugar levels, triglycerides, cholesterol levels.

Risks

Although this diet can suit the majority of people because sugar level drops it should be avoided by some (primarily children, teens, women, people at risk for diabetes 1, underweight people). Some studies even suggested that it can affect hormones in women, and there have even been reports that it affected menstruation cycles in some women.  It can also lead to various problems such as dizziness, anxiety, insomnia, constipation, lightheadedness, and even weight gain.

  1.       The Paleo Diet

The basic premise of this diet is that modern-day humans should go back to their roots and eat the way their Paleolithic ancestors did. This means that you can only eat food that can be gathered, hunted or fished (seeds, fruits, vegetables, eggs, nuts, spices, herbs, meat, and seafood). Any food which is processed is forbidden, so forget about refined sugar, dairy, wheat, and salt. Basically, the paleo diet is a high-protein, low-carb diet.

Benefits

When you eliminate processed foods, which are rich in sugar and fat, and instead opt for fresh vegetables and fruits, you will definitely see the weight coming off because the calorie intake will be reduced.

Risks

When you cut entire food groups from your diet (such as dairy, legumes and whole grains), you need to supplement their deficiency properly. Such a restrictive diet can lead you to consume a greater amount of other food groups containing unhealthy, saturated fats, and you can be at risk for prediabetes.

Conclusion

Before choosing any diet, especially those that are very restrictive, you should always consult a doctor or a nutritionist. You need to find one which will cater to your specific needs, and take into consideration the risks that come with each one. You should also consider the long-term health consequences they entail, and remember what works for someone else may not work for you.

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