Alabama Weight Loss Experts Review 6 Popular Diets
Posted: January 20, 2023
There are many diets that purport to lead to sustainable weight loss. Some of the most popular diets restrict fat, carbs, or calories, while others aim to reduce the appetite. Since most diets claim to be superior, it can be challenging to know which may be worth trying. At Alabama Surgical Associates, we’re dedicated to helping patients in and around Huntsville stay informed about dieting practices and understand how frustrating it can be to navigate the multitude of diets and diet fads that are out there.
The simple truth is that there is no one size fits all diet that works for everyone. Below we review 6 of the most popular trending diets for weight loss and provide professional insights from weight loss experts, Darrell Doucette, M.D. and his clinical dietitians on what works, what doesn’t, and why.
The ketogenic, or keto diet, is a high-fat, low-carb diet that aims to put the body into ketosis, a metabolic state where the body is more efficient at burning fat. When you reduce your consumption of carbohydrates, it limits the body’s supply of glucose. Glucose, or sugar, is typically what the body uses as its main energy source. When you remove this energy source, fat is burned instead.
Keto From Dr. Doucette’s and Our Dietitian’s Perspective:
While this diet does promote weight loss, it isn’t sustainable long term due to the required carbohydrate restriction. Additionally, it raises cardiovascular risk due to the high intake of saturated fats.
Like the keto diet, the Atkins diet limits carbohydrates for weight loss. The Atkins diet holds that eating too many refined carbs like sugar and white flour can lead to health issues such as weight gain, blood sugar imbalances, and heart problems. The main difference between the keto and Atkins diets is that the Atkins diet has four phases, during which you go from eating almost no carbs to gradually reintroducing carbs back into meal planning.
Atkins From Dr. Doucette’s and Our Dietitian’s Perspective:
Atkins can help control certain health conditions including high blood pressure and promote weight loss, however, a high fat diet can increase bad cholesterol levels (LDL) and eventually cause weight gain.
The carnivore diet consists of eating animal products and meat for every meal. Unlike the keto and Atkins diets, which limit carbs, the carnivore is a zero-carb per day diet. Those practicing the carnivore diet eat only fish, meat, eggs, and other animal products to the exclusion of all other food groups like fruits, vegetables, legumes, grains, nuts, and seeds.
The Carnivore Diet From Dr. Doucette’s and Our Dietitian’s Perspective:
This diet can become tedious since all intake of plant foods is restricted, while too much saturated fats increases the risk of developing high cholesterol and inflammation throughout the body.
Those who practice a vegan diet abstain from consuming animal products, including eggs, dairy, and meat. Instead, a healthy vegan diet consists of a wide variety of whole plant foods such as vegetables, fruits, legumes, whole grains, seeds, and nuts.
Veganism From Dr. Doucette’s and Our Dietitian’s Perspective:
Vegan diets are full of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that can lower your risk for chronic disease, and because this diet eliminates all animal products, it can also help lower your cholesterol and protect your heart. Be careful to avoid too many starches and vegan junk food— this poses a greater risk of weight gain and protein deficiency.
Those following a paleo diet only consume foods that may have been eaten during the Paleolithic era, such as vegetables, fruits, fish, lean meats, seeds, and nuts. These are all foods that were obtained by hunting and gathering until roughly 10,000 years ago. This diet limits common farmed foods such as grains, legumes, and dairy products.
Paleo Diet From Dr. Doucette’s and Our Dietitian’s Perspective:
While a Paleo diet has less additives, preservatives and chemicals, supplements can be beneficial as it excludes any dairy or grains which contain essential vitamins, minerals and fiber that are known to be beneficial for overall gut health.
A Mediterranean diet is inspired by the eating habits and traditional cuisines of countries bordering the Mediterranean Sea such as Italy and Greece. The foundations of this diet are plant-based foods, such as fruits and vegetables, whole grains and legumes, seeds, nuts, spices, and herbs. Fish, poultry, and dairy are consumed in moderation, and red meat is only rarely consumed.
Mediterranean Diet From Dr. Doucette’s and Our Dietitian’s Perspective:
The intake of whole foods without eliminating any food groups has been proven to lower cholesterol levels and alleviate certain health conditions, however, supplements can be beneficial as the lack of dairy options can lead to lower levels of calcium and Vitamin D.
Finding The Right Meal Plan For You
If there’s one common thread throughout the most popular diets, it’s relying on whole foods. Where these diets vary is in how much of any one food group is consumed. Finding the diet that works for you will depend on what’s sustainable long-term. Weight loss success only happens with the adoption of permanent healthy lifestyle changes.
Schedule A Consultation With A Weight Loss Surgeon
If you have tried dieting and exercise, but are still having issues achieving the results you want, consider consulting with a bariatric surgeon to find out if medical weight loss or surgery may be a better solution. To set up your personal consultation in Huntsville, AL, please contact us today.