There are a plethora of so called fat burning diets out there on the market. It can sometimes be confusing as to which ones are actually healthy and which are not. The goal of this article is to discuss some of the popular recent dieting trends and help you to understand the facts concerning these fat burning diets.
Lets start out with the infamous;
The Atkins Diet
This diet supposedly works by cutting out carbohydrates, food like bread, rice and potatoes. Our bodies use carbohydrate as its primary energy source, when these are cut out, the body must use fat and protein instead. On the face of it this might seem like a good idea, the problem is the metabolic processes involved in using fat for energy instead of carbohydrates can lead to various health difficulties such as kidney problems, gout and headaches due to increased uric acid and ketone’s. On this type of diet there can be low amounts of dietary fiber which leads to constipation and chronic bowel disease. There is also a common held belief amongst experts that the high amounts of animal fat eaten on the Atkins diet has a negative effect on cholesterol levels which over time can lead to heart disease. Having said all that, this type of low carbohydrate diet can be very effective in helping you to lose fat quickly, the key is to use it in moderation and not as a lifestyle diet.
The next of our fat burning diets is;
The Zone Diet
Barry Sear’s ‘Zone Diet’ is a high protein, low carbohydrate, semi-starvation diet. This diet focuses on balancing the ratio of carbs, fat and protein. It is suggested that by consuming the correct amount of these components your body’s insulin production is controlled. The theory is that when insulin is at the correct level the body burns fat more effectively. The ideal ratios suggested are 40% carbohydrate, 30% protein, and 30% fat with a concentration on avoiding ‘bad’ carbohydrates. Whilst on this diet many people claim that their general alertness and energy levels are increased. The problem with this diet is the emphasis on restricting calories which makes it very difficult to stick to for any length of time.
The South Beach Diet
Another of these fat burning diets is the South Beach diet which includes many celebrity advocates. This diet involves minimizing the consumption of bad fats and bad carbohydrates. It has three phases and begins with a somewhat restricted two-week induction phase. In this phase most carbohydrates (such as pasta, rice and breads) must be avoided. Plenty of protein is on the menu however with chicken, turkey, and fish along with nuts, eggs, salads, and vegetables.
The second phase includes specific meal plans and recipes. It reintroduces some of the foods avoided in Phase 1 – but only sparingly. This phase is used until a specific weight loss goal is reached. The third and final phase is more about living a healthy dietary lifestyle to maintain weight. The South Beach Diet may seem similar to the other fat burning diets we have discussed but other than the first phase, which definitely emphasizes low-carbs, it is not a strict low-carb diet. This diet is all about balancing the good and the bad carbs.
The Fat Loss 4 Idiots Diet
This diet has been growing in popularity. It involves a process know as calorie shifting. Nutritionally it is a reduced carb diet that cycles macro-nutrient ratios (to try and trick your metabolism). There are no processed foods included in this plan, it relies on whole foods, although after every 11 day cycle on this diet you are allowed 3 cheat days where within reason you can eat what you want. There is no calorie or carb counting and no limit on portion size, just eat until you feel full. This diet program is online and creates your own personal diet plan after you input foods that you most enjoy, it then creates an 11 day plan with 4 meals per day utilizing many of your favourite foods. This is one for the person who has tried the other fat burning diets without success, the Fat Loss 4 Idiots diet is far easier to stick to in comparison with the other diets mentioned here as it sets out a clear plan incorporating foods you like and also allows ‘cheat’ days.
Ultimately the best way to keep weight off is to change your lifestyle habits. Fat burning diets are a dime a dozen, it is more common sense than anything else. Avoid processed and sugary foods and drinks, have a balanced dietary plan and follow a quality exercise program.