Fad diets come and go, but there are some popular ones that have stuck around for a while. I want to go over some of them, the pros and cons and what they are. The first FAD diet I want to go over is the Atkins (and keto diet) diet. I do think this is the most known or at least name that is known: meaning most people have heard of this diet. This diet was created by Dr. Robert C. Atkins who wrote a book about it back in nineteen seventy-two. Although it’s been around a while, I do consider it a fad diet as I haven’t found any studies that link it to a longer life, I actually found research that it shortens a person’s life. I did find many studies however, that link it to weight loss, so it is successful for that goal. The question is, whether the person experiences short-term or long-term weight loss. And that varies from person to person.
Health isn’t always about weight loss either; we all have different resting weights. I’m not a fan of focusing on losing weight, it places the emphasis in the wrong area, in my humble opinion. I like to focus on a balanced lifestyle and allowing our bodies to naturally return to their resting weight. It doesn’t matter if you have thick legs, or a big booty. It does matter if you have a lot visceral and belly fat as that is surrounding your organs and making you sick. So, this is why I have placed this diet that has been around for so long, under the Fads category.
The Atkins diet is a four phased diet in which focuses on low carbs and allowing one to eat as much protein and fats as they want. The four phases are:
1. Induction – Less than twenty grams of carbs per day for two weeks to kick start weight loss
2. Balancing – Slowly add nuts, low-carb vegetables and fruit back into your diet
3. Fine-tuning – When you are close to your weight loss goal, start eating carbs again
4. Maintenance – Eat carbs again.
The foods that are avoided on this diet are sugar, grains, vegetable oils, trans fat, high-carb vegetables, high-carb fruits, starches, legumes. The foods that can be eaten on this diet area meat (including seafood) nuts and seeds, low-carb vegetables, eggs, dairy, health fats. It is clear that this diet can be restrictive and leaves out important food categories like most fruit and grains.
The main difference between the Atkins Diet and the Keto Diet is that the keto diet never adds carbs back in. It is permanently a low carb diet and lifestyle without phases. However, there are different versions. The versions of the Keto low-carb diet are as follows:
1. Standard Ketogenic Diet – typically 70% fat, 20% protein, 10% carbs
2. Cyclical Ketogenic Diet – Generally 5 keto days followed by 2 high carb days.
3. Targeted Ketogenic Diet – Add carbs only around workouts
4. High protein Ketogenic Diet – Similar to standard however ratios are 60% fat, 35% protein, and 5% carbs
If short-term weight loss goals are what is the target, both of these diets work and honestly there are tons of low carb diets available out there – these are simply the two that I think are the most widely known. However, it can be difficult to stick with long term, it can lead to gaining the weight back and it isn’t proven to make our lives longer. My personal goal is to live a long life, I don’t care what I weigh. As long as I am healthy.
These two fad diets, also require calculation, formulas, and effort to keep track of what you eat all the time. Whether this is a good idea for you, really depends on your focus and what you want Also one has to consider if they can put the work in calculating, formulating and following your guidelines and ratios. Hope this helps,