The different types of diets are affected by many circumstances such as religious beliefs, ethical issues, a desire to lose or maintain weight, or medical reasons. Let’s look at the various diet types but be aware not all diets are deemed healthy, and doctors state that many diets can be a severe health hazard and have significantly few long-lasting benefits. So let’s dive in and get clarity on diet types, particularly for weight loss. Then I will provide a link to a database with the best current diets on the market that have been approved by health experts.
Different Diet Types
There are numerous different types of diet, but the most popular categories are:
- Weight control diets
- Belief Diets
- Medical issues diets
- Detox diets
- Vegetarian/Vegan diets
- Fad diets
How to Pick a Safe and Rewarding Weight-loss Diet Type
It is helpful to know what a healthy diet should consist of to help you assess any diet type for weight loss. The World Health Organisation proposes the following for adults:
- Vegetables, lentils and beans, nuts and whole grains.
- 5 pieces of fruit or vegetables daily(not potatoes).
- Less than 12 teaspoons of free sugars for those at a healthy body weight eating about 2000 calories per day. Free sugars are sugars added to products by the manufacturer, chef or end-user, as well as sugars that are present naturally in honey, fruit juices and syrups
- 30% or less of total energy intake from fat. Unsaturated fats (found in avocado, nuts, fish, sunflower, soybean and oils such as olive oil) are the best choice over saturated fats. Saturated fats are in (fatty meat, butter, palm and coconut oil, cream, cheese, lard and ghee), all kinds of trans-fats, including those found in baked and fried foods, such as pizza bought frozen, pies, biscuits and cooking oils and spread. Ruminant trans-fats are present in meat and dairy foods from cows, sheep, goats and camels. WHO suggests that saturated fats should be at less than 10% of total energy intake. They also indicate that trans-fats should be less than 1% of total energy consumption and that you steer clear of industrially-produced trans-fats as they are not part of a healthy diet.
- One teaspoon per day of iodized salt.
Recent global WHO estimates recorded that in 2016, 1.9 billion adults aged 18 and over were overweight and over 650 million adults suffered from obesity.
Many weight loss diet systems have aggressive advertising in the media. But how do you know they work? And are they safe?
So let us look at how you choose a weight loss diet type that may help you do it safely and, more importantly, keep it off over time.
Your doctor or practise nurse may be able to help you make alterations to your lifestyle to obtain and maintain a healthy weight. But, if you’re having difficulty initiating these lifestyle alterations—or if these alterations aren’t enough to help you get and maintain a healthy weight—you may want to look at a weight-loss diet type or other types of treatment.
Questions to ask your doctor
It would be wise to ask your health care team the following questions:
- Which BMI is healthy for me?
Can weight loss improve my health in general, as well as any specific health issues I have?
- Could my medical conditions or current medications be the culprit for my weight gain, or are they making it harder to lose weight?
- Are there any types of physical activity, including the amount I should not do because of my health?
- What diet types do you recommend I choose or avoid?
Recognized ingredients that a weight-loss program should offer:
- Lifestyle counselling to educate you to develop and maintain better eating and physical activity routines—such as keeping food and physical activity journals
- Knowledge on getting adequate sleep, stress management, and the positives and negatives of weight-loss medications.
- Consistent feedback with supported monitoring throughout the program, via phone, online, or in-person or combined with these methods.
- Healthy weight-loss goals—typically 1 to 2 pounds a week (however, weight loss may be faster at the beginning of a program)
- A managed weight loss system with goal-setting, self-monitoring, maintaining a food journal, and counselling support.
Some retail weight-loss systems have all of these ingredients for a successful, safe weight-loss program. Look for these ingredients in any program you are considering trying.
What if the weight loss system is online?
Many weight-loss systems are now being delivered online and via apps for mobile phones. There is ongoing research on how well these systems fare either as they stand or together with in-person systems, notably longer term. Currently, professionals propose that these weight-loss systems should offer the following:
- structured, weekly lessons, either online or via a podcast, and suited to your personal goals
- access to assistance from a qualified company member to meet your goals
- a plan to track your journey on changing your eating habits and lifestyle, such as physical activity, eating healthier and using tools such as mobile phones, activity counters, and journals
- consistent feedback on your progress, goal and results provided by a qualified company member via phone, text message or email.
- The offer of social help from a group via online meetings, bulletin boards, or chat rooms,
Lucky for you, later in the post, you will have access to a link to a reputable source that has provided a mini database of 39 diet types based on input from a panel of health professionals. It is excellent as you can filter the various trusted profiles based on the criteria you fancy until you get the best program. But let’s crack on investigating diet types before you head off to select a plan.
Do calorie restriction and fasting diet types work?
Restricting calories happens by reducing your average daily calorie intake below your typical levels, without malnutrition or deprivation of essential nutrients.
With fasting, you do not consume food at all or severely cut calorie consumption at certain times in a day, week, or calendar month.
What Are the Different Types of Calorie Restriction or Fasting?
There is a wide selection of fasting diet types, referred to as “intermittent fasting.” You may have heard of:
- Time-restricted diets—You eat meals within a set number of hours (6-8 hours) each day, with nothing else eaten during the other hours.
- Every other day fasting—Your meals/snacks are unrestricted every other day, and none or limited calories can be taken on the days in between.
- 5:2 eating diet —Eating is unrestricted for five days each week, followed by two days of restricted calorie consumption.
These diet types get ongoing research looking at the potential benefits they may hold for health promotion and living longer. Interest in their possible health and anti-ageing benefits arises from several years of research involving various animals. Some studies noted that calorie restriction slowed the onset of age-related disorders and extended life duration in several research areas.
Given these fantastic findings with animals, research is now examining if and how limiting calories or undertaking a fasting diet affects health and lifespan in humans. Several studies have discovered that individuals suffering from being overweight or individuals that ate obese that lose weight by dieting have a positive effect on their overall health. However, researchers still have much to uncover about how these two diet types affect individuals who are not overweight, including older adults. There’s not enough scientific evidence to suggest that these two diet types are safe for the general population. It is also still unclear if these diet types are safe or even feasible in the longer term.
What are “detox” and “cleanse diet types”?
A wide variety of “detox” diets have been seen by many as a way to eliminate toxins from your body, lose weight and promote health.
“Detox” diets could involve a single process or a variety of approaches. Such as:
- Taking only juices
- Consuming only certain foods
- Taking dietary supplements/commercial products
- Taking herbs
- Cleansing your bowel with enemas, laxatives, or colon hydrotherapy (also known as “colonic irrigation”)
- Minimizing environmental exposure
- Going to a sauna/steam room.
These diets can be advertised commercially, at health clinics, or as part of naturopathic therapy.
Some “detox” diets can be unsafe and falsely advertised. So let us now look at safety when selecting a diet type.
What do the scientists say about “detoxes” and “cleanses”?
According to the National Institute for Health in the states, there have been only a few research projects on “detox” diets in humans. While some had positive outcomes on fat and weight loss, insulin resistance, and blood pressure, the research projects are of poor quality. Due to research design problems, small numbers of participants, or lack of evaluation by other scientists to ensure quality.
A 2017 research project found that juicing and “detox” diets can produce initial weight loss due to the reduced intake of calories. Unfortunately, they discovered that they seem to lead to a weight gain once an individual resumes their regular diet. Currently, there is no research on the long-term effects of “detox” diets.
Are Detox and Cleanse Diets Safe?
- containing illegal and potentially harmful substances
- using false claims in marketing that they could treat serious diseases
- unadvised marketing on the use of some medical equipment used for colon cleansing
- Certain juices in “detox” and “cleanse” diets are found not to have been pasteurized or treated to kill harmful bacteria that can make people ill. These illnesses can be severe in kids, older people, and those with altered immune function.
- Some juices contain food substances with oxalate levels, a naturally occurring substance; an example of high-oxalate foods are spinach and beetroot. Consuming large volumes of fluids high in oxalates can pose a greater risk for renal issues.
- Diets that acutely restrict calories or the variety of food groups you typically consume usually don’t lead to lasting weight reduction and may not provide all the nutrition your body requires.
- Colon cleansing programs could have some severe side effects. Dangerous side effects can occur in dieters who have a history of colon surgery, gastrointestinal disease, painful piles, kidney problems or cardiovascular disease.
- “Detox” programs can include laxatives, which may cause diarrhoea that is severe enough to cause dehydration and an imbalance in electrolytes.
- Consuming large volumes of water or herbal teas and not having any food for several days in a row may lead to critical electrolyte imbalances.
Take control of your health—speak with your doctor and health care providers regarding any “cleanses” or “detoxes.” That way, you can make a shared healthy, well-informed decision.
So are all fasting diets regarded as either detox or cleanse diets?
Many fasting diets on the market with “detox” claims; other fasting diets—including intermittent fasting and periodic fasting—are actively being researched for
- health promotion
- improved ageing
- weight loss.
As yet, there are no complete answers about their effectiveness for human health. It is also worth noting that fasting can give you headaches and cause fainting, weakness, and dehydration.
So what about Fad Diets?
There are reckless ways to get rid of excess weight, such as fad diets that lure you in with the false hope of fast weight loss, but unfortunately, they advise potential dangerous practices. Diets such as HCG weight-loss are promoted with advice for individuals to take an acutely restrictive diet plan.
The US-based FDA has advised the public to steer clear of weight-loss diets of HCG (human chorionic gonadotropin). These diet aids are usually offered as oral drops, pellets and sprays, and can be bought online or at weight loss clinics. The placenta produces the hormone HCG during pregnancy.
Several of the top HCG products profess a reset to metabolism and alter “abnormal eating” and help you shed 20 to 30 pounds in just over a month.
However, there is no substantial evidence that HCG increases weight loss or decreases the hunger associated with calorie-restricted diets. That is even on the prescribed label of this product!
Very Low-Calorie Diets Are Dangerous
Sustaining yourself on 500 calories a day is unhealthy and dangerous. There is an increased risk for side effects, such as gallstones, electrolyte imbalances that prevent the body’s muscles and nerves from functioning correctly, and an abnormal heartbeat. Therefore deficient calorie diets can be potentially fatal. So quit considering or using HCG products to lose weight and the lethal dieting instructions.
Does a vegan diet type help weight loss?
If you’re hoping to lose weight, a vegan diet may have crossed your mind. Vegans abstain from meat, fish, eggs, or dairy. They consume vegetables, fruits, beans and legumes, plant-based milk and other related products, and soy meat alternatives.
Many opt for the vegan diet out of ethical concerns for animals. New research has identified a range of ‘mutually beneficial’ foods that enhance human health and have a low effect on the environment. According to a recent study, going vegan may even help you lose a considerable amount of weight.
Six ways to jumpstart a healthy weight loss type of diet
- Reduce the amount of fat you eat, trim the fat off meat, buy skimmed or semi-skimmed milk instead of whole fat dairy, pick a low-fat spread, and switch cream to low-fat yoghurt
- Consume whole-grain foods, wholemeal bread, brown pasta and rice. These products are digested slower than white varieties; therefore, you feel full for longer.
- Don’t skip breakfast; it will provide the energy you needed for your day.
- Eat at least five portions of fruit and vegetables daily.
- When snacking, try a drink first, such as water or tea. Many times we think it’s hungry when it’s thirst.
- Switch drinks high in calories for lower calories. Remember that alcohol is high in calories, so a reduction can help control your weight.
- Avoid buying fake or unlicensed medical products sold as slimming products. Know what you’re buying.
A great book, Mind/Body Nutrition, by Marc David, takes the focus away from food on your plate and tunes into the “brain in your belly”. This “belly brain”, the control centre of your metabolic processes, can lead to weight loss without deprivation and health and well-being without pain.
The main nugget I took from this book was that there are no good and bad foods, food is neutral, the secret is in the dose.
I also related to this book because he accepts that people will have different diets at different times of their lives. However, the knowledge provided in layman terms helps you assess what and when you put food in your mouth for nourishment.
So hopefully, you now have the knowledge to look at the different types of diet for weight loss safely. So as promised, here is the link to that database on the various weight-loss diets.