These days it feels like there are more diet plans out there than there are actual foods: Low Fat, Low Sugar, Atkins, Juicing, Intermittent Fasting, Paleo Diets and so on… Not to mention the plethora of “Amazing new diet that will make you shed 10 pounds a week” that emerge every January.
With all of this (mis)information out there, how can you possibly choose which diet will actually work for you? The sad truth is that most fad diets, if followed correctly, will cause your body to shed weight only to gain all of it back again within weeks of finishing. This is because most of these diets rely on gimmicks to make you drastically cut back on your calories, without giving much thought to which type of calories you consume.
Low Fat vs. Low Sugar
In the 80’s and 90’s the accepted truth was that in order to shed fat from the body, it was necessary to restrict the fat intake. No fat consumed = no fat retained in the body, simple! However, as anyone who has gained weight by consuming sodas, candy, high-carb foods like white bread and potatoes can attest, it is very easy to gain weight without consuming any fat at all.
The role of sugar in the diet gained greater prominence amongst nutritionists in the late 90’s. When we refer to sugar, we don’t just mean the granulated stuff that goes in your coffee, but any food that the body converts into glucose (sugar) as part of digestion. So that will include milk, bread, rice, pasta, potatoes as well as the obvious things like candy and sodas. When the body experiences a surge in blood-sugar it releases a hormone called insulin, which signals the cells in your body to absorb excess glucose. How does this excess glucose get stored? You guessed it – body fat!
Atkins and beyond
The first diet to truly send the high-fat message mainstream was The Atkins Diet, famed at the time as the diet that allowed you to eat well and get thin. Today, there are many diets that follow this same framework – low sugar and high fat – an approach now commonly known as the Ketogenetic diet. At their heart, these diets share the same philosophy: cut out as much sugar as possible from your diet and increase the fat intake.
The benefits of such an approach are very clear. By eliminating most sugars, dieters do not experience that familiar sensation of satisfaction (sugar high) followed by a crash and unbearable hunger pangs. Since fats take much longer to digest in the body, there are no peaks and troughs in blood-sugar, and dieters feels fuller for longer without consuming any extra calories than they would on a low-fat diet. In addition to the weight-loss benefits, ketogenetic diets have recently been shown to reduce the symptoms of and even eliminate type-2 diabetes in a large proportion of cases.
High Fat Diets Today
Ketogenetic diets have gained more prominence as a number of celebrities have touted their benefits, including Courtney Kardashian, Adriana Lima and Megan Fox.
The most effective ketogenetic diets today work by consuming large amounts of fat, protein and green vegetables and virtually no carbohydrates at all. A typical keto meal plan would include:
- Green Vegetables
- Double Cream
As someone who has tried many different diets for weight-loss during my life, I have become a firm believer that everybody is different and what works for one person will not necessarily be the most effective for someone else. Having said that, the high-fat diet is easily the most effective diet plan that I have ever tried. I lost body fat, maintained muscle tone and I generally found the foods enjoyable and easy to eat.
If you have struggled with diets before and haven’t yet found one that clicks with you, why not give it a try!