With so many diets out there to choose from (Paleo, Vegan, No Carb, High Fat, The Grapefruit diet, The Skinny Bitch Diet, Mediterranean…..etc etc) people often as us which diet would be best for them. Their is no real short answer for that question because their is no one size fits all diet.
We tend to not tell people to prescribe to any ONE particular diet. Instead, the simplest solution is to make healthier choices, reduce your portion sizes, eat small meals frequently and make sure you get enough protein and fiber. Probably not the answer you were looking for but it’s the truth.
The problem with many of these main stream ‘diets’ is that they don’t work great long term. Even Paleo, and we’ll explain why.
The Problem With Paleo
We absolutely love the Paleo diet since it stresses the elimination of processed foods, a leading cause for chronic illness in our country. We also like the emphasis on choosing fresh, organic foods. The Paleo diet allows you to eat more fat than an average diet since it eliminates carbohydrates and legumes. The idea is that your body will use the fat for energy instead of the carbs. While this is true, we find that most people who do the Paleo diet long term do not succeed in losing weight. Key word here, *most. Not all people. There are plenty of athletes who do phenomenally well with the Paleo diet and are in excellent shape. BUT- most people end up having a hard time completely eliminating carbs. What happens then is that they increase their fat intake and don’t completely eliminate the carbohydrates, making it difficult for them to lose weight.
We love the Paleo diet as a 14 or 21 day cleanse. It eliminated toxins in the body, hormones and sodium which can result in weight loss and a significant decrease in bloating. At Ultimate Fit Zone in Monmouth County, we offer a great 14-day Paleo Cleanse for anyone interesting in jumpstarting their weight loss and cleaning out their body.
Going vegan has become a huge trend in Hollywood with celebrities like Samuel Jackson, Beyonce, Jay Z and now even Jennifer Lopez announcing their adoption (or temporary adoption) of the vegan diet. Vegan food is not only delicious but it’s incredibly nutritious. Plus it gives our bodies plenty of plant based nutrients which we all need more of. If you are going to go vegan, you most likely will not get enough protein to keep your body fit and lean. Listen carefully to what we are saying – it IS possible to get plenty of protein on a vegan diet. There are hundreds of bodybuilders and professional athletes who are vegan and get more than enough protein. The problem with most people though is that they won’t take the time needed to ensure their vegan diet contains enough protein to help them lose weight, stay fit and healthy. Many vegans I know are struggling with their weight because they simply replace meat or other animal products with simple carbohydrates. That is not a healthy eating plan. You have to research, find the best sources of vegan protein, and make sure they are incorporated into your every day diet.
This is perhaps one of our favorite diets because it emphasizes modest amounts of all things good; meat, fish, poultry, nuts, healthy oils, grains, vegetables, fruits and even cheese. The best of all worlds. Things can go wrong however, if you indulge in too many of the good fats. You know the saying, ‘you can never have too much of a good thing’? Well- that’s not so true. While nuts and certain oils contain good, heart healthy fats, they are very high in calories and if you don’t balance them into your diet carefully along with reduced complex carbohydrates, you could end up packing on the pounds instead of taking them off.
If you want to lose weight, unfortunately there is no magic pill in a bottle. Eating healthy, fresh foods and increasing your protein intake (whether it be meat or vegan forms of protein) is the best way to shed pounds and keep them off. We typically recommend people do three things when they come to use to lose weight:
1. Increase protein intake
2. Increase water intake
3. Increase meal frequency
If you would like help losing weight and getting on a new eating plan that you can make a part of your lifestyle, take a look at our customized weight loss programs.