According to a YouGov poll, two of the three most common New Years’ resolutions in 2018 had to do with living healthier: Eat healthier and get more exercise. Power for Life Fitness group fitness classes and personal training make it easier to accomplish the latter, but the former can be trickier, especially given the plethora of diet plans to choose from. To the rescue: We’re breaking down the most popular diet plans, how best to follow them and the resources that can help you succeed in eating healthier, losing weight or just improving your overall health.
What you need to do: Experts suggest eating a diet comprised of 70% fat, 25% protein and 5% carbs, which is about 20 grams of carbs per day. To do that, you need to fill your plate with animal protein (like chicken, steak, pork or salmon) or eggs and a variety of leafy greens and non-starchy vegetables (like asparagus, beets, broccoli, onions and mushrooms) that have all been cooked in a healthy fat like ghee, olive oil or coconut oil. You’ll need to avoid grains, bread products, processed foods and most fruit, but you won’t have to worry about counting calories.
Additional resources: Maria Emmerich was voted Keto Spokesperson of the Year at the 2018 Keto Summit. She has written eight keto cookbooks and has information on meal plans, recipes and more at her website www.mariamindbodyhealth.com.
What it is: The idea behind the Whole30 is that many of the foods that are part of the standard American diet could actually be crippling you, leaving you to struggle with bloat, fatigue, cravings, inflammation and other issues. The program challenges you to stop eating all of these foods for 30 days and see how your body responds when you are only feeding it whole, nourishing, natural foods. It is not specifically designed for weight loss, yet most people who complete the program report losing weight.
What you need to do: On the Whole30 eating plan, you cut out sugar, alcohol, grains, legumes and dairy for 30 days. What you can eat is meat, seafood, eggs, vegetables, some low-sugar fruits, healthy fats, herbs and spices. The creators stress that there are no exceptions to these rules, and that if you break them you have to start the 30 days over again. If you are using Whole30 as a guideline for how to eat healthier, this isn’t the case. But if you are using the program to identify food sensitivities and allergies and completely rid your body of the foods causing them, you do need to follow the plan closely.
Additional resources: www.whole30.comis the primary resource for this plan. They have published three cookbooks filled with Whole30-approved recipes, and there is also a page on the website with pre-made products that are allowed on the plan.
What it is: Recent health and nutrition research has discovered that inflammation is the key influence behind the majority of diseases and health problems affecting people today. Consequently, there was a move towards diets that cut out any potentially inflammatory compounds—and gluten was found to be one of these. Gluten is believed to activate inflammatory pathways in the body and even trigger autoimmune responses that make people sick, tired and overweight. A gluten-free diet aims to eliminate the foods that cause these issues.
What you need to do: Cut out all foods that contain gluten. This includes wheat, rye, oats, most pre-made sauces and dressings, cold cuts, beer and any bread products. In most cases, foods that contain gluten also tend to be high in carbohydrates, so eliminating will help balance blood sugar, steadying metabolism and promoting weight loss.
Additional resources: Danielle Walker has written four grain-free cookbooks and blogs new recipes and advice on her website www.againstallgrain.com.
What it is: A plant-based diet is essentially a vegetarian diet. The idea behind a plant-based diet is that foods like meat, dairy, eggs and highly refined and processed foods contain compounds that are naturally inflammatory and contribute to the development of diseases like type 2 diabetes and heart disease, plus contribute to fatigue, aches and being overweight. Eating plants, on the other hand, will lower inflammation, rev energy and speed fat burn.
What you need to do: A plant-based diet consists primarily of…plants! You can enjoy fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, nuts and seeds, but no (or very few) animal products. One of the common problems plant-based dieters face is getting enough protein, but optimal protein levels can be achieved by filling up on beans and lentils or using a plant-based protein powder (like pea, which is a complete protein).
Additional resources: Angela Liddon has written two New York Times bestselling plant-based cookbooks and is constantly blogging new recipes at her website www.ohsheglows.com.
Are you planning on trying a new diet or eating plan in 2019? We would love to hear about it! Come find Power for Life Fitness on Facebook or Instagram and tell us about it!