The Keto Diet
Yep, expect to see Keto everything again this year.
The diet rose to prominence last year after celebrities like Kim Kardashian and Gwyneth Paltrow swore their allegiance to it. What’s more, ‘keto recipes’ was the most searched recipe theme on Google of the year.
Much like the Atkins diet that rose to fame in the 2000s, keto is all about eating food that’s high fat, medium protein and low carbohydrate in order to put your body into a state called ketosis.
This means the body breaks down fat (the main source of energy being consumed) and use this as its main energy source or ‘fuel’. When dietary fat is metabolised for energy, by-products called ketone bodies (molecules that are made by the liver from fatty acids) are produced which are used up by the body’s tissues, muscles and the brain.
Lyndi says that while you can lose weight on the keto diet, it’s not healthy to stay in ketosis for long.
“Advocates recommend you cycle on and off ketosis, which is a giveaway that this is a completely unsustainable approach to weight loss,” she adds. And that’s not all.
“It’s a highly restrictive diet without much room for flexibility. Eating out and socialising can be much harder on this diet.”
If you’re after sustainable weight loss, it’s best to stay away.
Known as IF for short, intermittent fasting is when you restrict what you eat at different times of the day or week to create a calorie deficit through periods of starvation.
There are a few different diets that fall under the IF umbrella including the 5:2 diet when you fast for two days of the week and the 8:16 diet where you fast for 16 hours a day which is very similar to the high strain of the new Dubrow Diet made famous by Real Housewife Heather Dubrow and her husband Terry Dubrow.
IF has risen in popularity thanks to stars like Chris Hemsworth and Hugh Jackman who restricted their calories dramatically when they were preparing for certain movie roles.
Aside from weight loss, there are a few benefits that are associated with IF including insulin sensitivity (great for diabetics) and reducing cravings.
And while fasting will help you lose weight due to the restricted calories, if you aren’t willing to keep it up for the rest of your life, your results won’t last that long.
“Any diet, especially a starvation diet which is what IF is, is going to be bad news for your relationship with food and may make it harder to eat healthier in the long term,” says Lyndi.
Dubbed ‘the new calorie counting’, counting macros involves eating a certain amount of carbohydrates, fat and protein.
But Lyndi says this approach could be even worse than calorie counting as you’re tracking three metrics instead of one.
“While people experience weight loss as a result of counting macros, this diet requires constant recording of everything you eat which can lead to an obsession around food,” says Lyndi.
It’s another case of unsustainable eating and you’re much more likely to fall off the wagon.
All diets work...until they don't
There’s always a hot new weight loss trend but the important thing to remember is diets tend to be unsustainable.
You get to a point when you realise you don’t want to count how many grams of specific nutrients you’ve eaten or just want to eat a bowl of carbs and when that happens, you’ll regain the weight and more.
Lyndi recommends that before you embark on a diet, ask yourself if you can live on it for the rest of your life.
“The only solution then is to adopt healthy habits, one by one and make slightly healthier choices until one day in the future the small changes have added up and you look around and realise you reached your goal and you never need to diet again… and it’s amazing.”
(Text: Alex Lilly, bauersyndication.com.au / Additional reporting: Natalya Molok)