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Nutrition

The Great Debate: Navigating Through Today’s Popular Diet Trends

New diets are constantly emerging in the public domain, each one promising to be better than the last. In the U.S., weight loss is a multi-billion-dollar industry, which is the primary motivation of businesses and authors to develop the latest and greatest products and books. Before you begin a popular new diet, become an informed consumer. It’s important to set yourself up for success with a sustainable approach to eating well. Let’s take a look at some of the most popular diets today from a nutrition perspective.

Paleo Diet

This primitive and fairly limited diet–which alleges many of today’s chronic ailments are due to what we eat–is modeled after what human ancestors (think: hunter-gatherers) consumed: animal protein, animal products like eggs, some full-fat dairy, vegetables, fruits, raw nuts and seeds, and a smattering of legumes. There’s no restriction on spices, so go bananas (this potassium-filled fruit also okay)!

Pros

Cons

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Ketogenic Diet

In the world of Keto, fat is fuel! But also, fat burns fat (not a bad deal!). That’s why this high-fat, moderate-protein, super low-carb diet helps followers drop weight fast (mostly from the abdomen).

Pros

Note: Very high fat diet can negatively impact cholesterol and inflammation levels and decrease energy levels.

Cons

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The Military Diet

This 3 day on, 4 day off diet plan professes a 10-lb pound weight loss in just a week. Not a bad deal, but the downside…there isn’t a lot of variety and it can leave you feeling hungry. In fact, many nutrient-dense foods fall outside the Military Diet.

Pros

Cons

Clean Eating

As its name suggest, this straightforward diet relies on eating wholesome, minimally processed foods, with lots fresh fruits, veggies, whole grains, and lean proteins.

Pros

Cons

HMR Dietvsco_081014

Not for the faint of heart, this ultra-low-calorie diet relies on shakes, nutrition bars, cereals, and soups with some fruits and veggies to round things out. Designed for those wanting to lose larger amounts of weight and fast, it may not be a good fit if you’re just wanting to drop a few lbs.

Pros

Cons

Following a plan that promises weight loss and and an improved quality of life can seem like the best course of action when you’re not feeling great about your body or health. However, the vast majority of diet plans are not designed to be healthy for us long-term and they do not make transitioning to a sustainable eating approach easy. In fact, most diets tend to instill a state of mind that makes us feel deprived and either “on track” or “off the rails”. They can lead to irregular eating patterns and behaviors that do not support a healthy relationship with food. If the promises of a diet sound too good to be true, they probably are. Increased restrictions with food rarely ends well.

Despite all the prescriptive, restrictive options out there, the simplest approach of all is best: listen to your body. Set realistic goals, keeping in mind if your objectives are not extreme, your eating plan does not need to be either.

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About me

Jeanne Reilly is a nutrition and lifestyle coach, consultant, fitness enthusiast, and home chef. She knows the media and social norms today do us no favors when it comes to a balanced relationship with our bodies, food and fitness. Through working to overcome her own struggles with health and mindset, Jeanne cultivated a passion for helping others re-discover the innate freedom that comes with a positive, fruitful relationship with food and movement. Good nutrition does not have to be complicated. Individuals and groups now work with Jeanne to form and seamlessly incorporate habit-based, sustainable practices that enable them to achieve and maintain all their goals for a lifetime.

5 comments

  1. Perfect Bar Team,

    Thank you, thank you, thank you for writing this post about the pros/cons. You’re 100% right that each of these plans has a set of pros, but more often than not, the cons far outweigh them. I wish I knew sooner how dangerous it is to buy into the diet mentality. After struggling with an eating disorder for over a year now, I never imagined I would need to re-build my relationship with food. I can happily say, though, that the healthiest choices are made in moderation, including dessert 🙂

  2. I am approaching almost 60 and my body has gone through many changes, especially major weight gain and slower metabolism. Both of which lead to lack of energy and motivation when it comes to exercise. Unfortunately my job is sedentary which doesn’t help. I have been struggling with the return to healthy living and serious weight loss. Unfortunately there are many diets out there, some good, some trendy, some for some people and not others….One can spend All the time and then some, including major finances, looking for the right combination. Since I have no direction I am trying to piece things together. While, Yes, the perfect bars are high in calories and sugar evoke the protein and nutrients it offers and have been using them as meal supplements. I don’t see it helping with weight loss, but it does give me a sense of energy and long term hunger (lack of) satisfaction. I’m now living in San Diego, am motivated ( and also somewhat intimidated ) by all the health Conscious people….Any advisement or direction is appreciated!

    1. Hi, Kathy! Thank you for sharing your story. We are happy to hear that Perfect Bar keep you fuller, longer and you enjoy the taste! 🙂 We understanding navigating all the diet trends and mixed advice can be hard. We encourage all of our fans to talk with their doctor about what is best for them because long-term health is such a personal journey. We wish you the best!

    1. Hi, Cecilia! All of our bars are vegetarian. And though some of our fans with diabetes say our bars work well for them, we’d encourage you to talk with your doctor if Perfect Bar is right for you. Thanks!

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