Getting Real Health - Holistic Health, Nutrition & Fitness Coach

Which Low Carb Diet is the Best?

***Disclaimer: Before you start a new diet regimen, please consult your doctor.***

It’s a question we’ve been asking our doctors for ages;
it’s the question most asked by my clients;
it’s a burning question we seek from top nutritionists:
Which diet is the best for weight loss?

I am going to explore many diets circulating our nutrition world and bring you some expert advice on which ones are healthy and which ones to steer clear from.

In this issue, we’ll explore three popular low carbohydrate diets.

By now you have probably heard (and tried) low carbohydrate diets like Atkins and South Beach Diet. Nowadays, there are even more low carb options like the Paleolithic Diet, The Slow Carb Diet and the BulletProof diet.

These diets aim to do one thing: Bring your body into ketosis.

Ketosis is a metabalic process that happens when you eat low carbohydrates.
Simply put: when your body doesn’t have enough carbohydrates to burn for energy, it burns fat instead.

Before you start celebrating and banishing all of your breads and pastas out of your house, you need to know that not all low carb diets are the same.

ATKINS
Created by Dr. Atkins in the 1970s, this diet is about rapid weight loss by restricting carbohydrates. It has four phases and with each phase you introduce new foods back into your diet.
Phase 1 starts out with just meat, fish, eggs, oils, cheese and some low starch vegetables. By Phase 4, you are eating grains and fruit.
To compete with other less restricting diets, Atkins introduced Atkins 40 where you allowed 40 grams of Net Carbs of carbohydrates a day.
PROS: Most people lose weight quickly and like the structure of the phases.
CONS: It is not designed to promote healthy eating, just weight loss. Foods on this diet are questionable including bacon, harmful fats, artificial sweeteners, heavy creams, and unhealthy oils.
VERDICT: While you do lose weight on this diet, the weight loss is usually short lived. The Atkins diet is just that; a diet. Experts agree that lifelong weight loss is about healthy eating and lifestyle changes which in my opinion, Atkins doesn’t promote well.

SOUTH BEACH DIET
This diet created by Dr. Agaston in 2003, is not about cutting out all carbs and fats. It’s about choosing the right carbs and the right fats. In the South Beach Diet, you have three phases.
During Phase 1, you eat meat, seafood, eggs, cheese, fats and low glycemic vegetables. During Phase 2, you slowly reintroduce whole grain breads and pastas as well as sweet potatoes. Phase 3 is the maintenance phase where you can eat what you like.
PROS: It helps you decipher between good and bad oils and carbohydrates.
CONS: The first phase is too restrictive for some, which can cause overeating later on.
VERDICT: This is a great starting off point for those who would like to lose weight quickly and would like to learn more about healthy and unhealthy carbohydrates.

PALEOLITHIC DIET (also known as the Paleo Diet, Caveman Diet, Primal Diet)
The Paleolithic Diet’s concept is simple: Eat like the cavemen did.
While some may argue what our primitive ancestors diet actually was, many believe they ate meat, nuts, vegetables, fruits and seeds. Supporters of the Paleo diet state that our bodies are not made to digest grains, dairy, sugar and legumes so to stay healthy, one should avoid them.
So what can you eat? Heart healthy fats like avocado and coconut oil, clean meat like grass fed beef and organic chicken, wild caught fish, free-range organic eggs, raw nuts and seeds, and organic vegetables and fruits. You can even have the occasional red wine and dark chocolate.
PROS: This is not a diet; it’s a lifestyle. This lifestyle promotes healthy habits by eating the cleanest, unprocessed foods available. The great part about this lifestyle is that you make it your own by creating your own guidelines. For example: Grains aren’t usually part of the Paleo Diet BUT if you really want grains once in a while, go for it! Just choose a grain that is easily digested like white rice.
CONS: It is very easy to go overboard on calories on this diet. Many gain weight at first because they lack portion control.
VERDICT: This is one of my favorite diets because it’s easily moldable to your lifestyle. It’s my top choice because it has a high success rate of those who follow it.

If you are interested in the Paleolithic diet, check out these great websites for more info:
ultimatepaleoguide.com
thepaleodiet.com
paleoleap.com

 

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