Diet can be a dangerous word. For some, it may be synonymous with feelings of resentment, guilt or shame for either attempting one, failing one or not being on one. What nobody ever tells us though is that diets are highly individualised. What goes on in one person’s body is not the same as the next, therefore, a diet should be tailored to an individual.
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So, what are the diets not worth your time and what are the diets that are more appropriate for a wider group? Georgina Moore, Dietitian for Sumo Salad helps debunk the diet myths to help set the scene straight.
No, Google has not released a new diet, but it may as well have since it’s often our first port of call. If we do consult Dr. Google, we have a responsibility to our health to filter out the bad information and digest the good stuff. Leaving our health in the hands of a search engine can be a slippery slope to prescribing yourself to a diet without professional advice. The moral of this diet is to know that each body is designed differently and runs on different “juice”. What you feed one body, may not be right for the next. Consult your Dietitian or Nutritionist before overhauling your diet.
It is certainly possible to eat a croissant for breakfast, sausage roll for lunch, soup for dinner and still be within a healthy weight, however, your body will not be performing at it’s best. While calories are a good guide for weight management, they don’t tell you if you’re meeting your nutrient requirements, which is important. This isn’t to say ditch the calories counting, just don’t base your entire diet on it. Instead of counting calories start counting the variety of foods you include in your diet.
With the assistance of Dr. Google, we have not only become very good at diagnosing ourselves, but also prescribing ourselves to supplements to improve our health. However, the result may end up just being expensive urine or, more seriously, vitamin toxicity. If you are following a healthy diet, you will be getting everything you need from your food. If you are not feeling well, rather than self-diagnose & self-treat, head to your doctor for a check-up.
Low FODMAP diet
Food intolerances have become increasingly common; however we may not always know the foods triggering the response. If we continue to play the game of food roulette, we may end up damaging our gut lining, leading to malabsorption of nutrients and consequently suffer from deficiencies; or we may be restricting our diet unnecessarily. No one should go day-to-day feeling so-so and not knowing why. The low FODMAP diet eliminates carbohydrates that the body may not digest properly and then reintroduced them one at a time as a ‘challenge’ to see how the body responds. The low FODMAP diet must be undertaken with supervision from a dietitian. It is very restrictive and it can take quite a while to work out what foods and how much the body can tolerate; however if it leads to be free of gastro symptoms, then it is definitely worthwhile.
This has been one of the most widely researched eating programs and involves 5 days of regular eating made up of roughly 10,000 kjs and 2 separate days of fasting made up of 2,000 kjs. The diet has been recommended for people struggling with weight and want to lose stubborn fat, however research on the long-term effects are not conclusive. Research has shown that the effects of fasting are said to act on insulin and reduce overall blood sugar.
While this is more an eating pattern than diet, consult your choice with a health practitioner and they can advise if it is suitable for you.
Restriction or elimination diets don’t work for everybody, therefore a flexitarian might just! Going flexitarian means that your overall meat consumption is reduced in favour of more plant-based foods. Flexitarian embodies a balanced approach to food i.e. one day you eat meat and the next day you might not. This has not only been shown to be better for your health but also improves your carbon footprint.
Start with one day without meat a week and gradually build up to two to three days. Supplement your meat-free options with eggs, lentils, beans, nuts and seeds, which are good sources of protein that will help keep you filling fuller for longer.