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If you’ve ever embarked on a weight loss and/or muscle gain journey, the first step usually starts with changing your diet. A quick search on the internet will give a list of different diets that celebrities swear by or are highly recommended by fitness experts with drool-worthy bodies. If you’re serious about your fitness or health goals, a solid diet plan is a must. But which one? Here’s a list of the 5 most popular diets and how they work.
1. FODMAP Diet
FODMAP stands for Fermentable Oligosaccharides Disaccharides Monosaccharides and Polyols. If you’re wondering what the words mean, each one of them is a type of short-chain carbohydrates and sugar alcohols, which occur naturally in foods. This diet is targeted at people who have digestive issues such as gut flora imbalances, fructose malabsorption, or other unexplained digestive distress. These carbohydrates are consumed regularly by people but some people find it difficult to digest them. In such people, they cause digestive disruptions within the gut, such as
gas, bloating and nausea. The diet recommends that you avoid foods with these nutrients which, in turn, is supposed to reduce the symptoms.
2. Macros Diet
You may have come across people who are obsessed with their portions. So much so that they weigh their food and eat specific amounts. This concept is known as macro counting. The Macros diet advocates segregating your food into macronutrients and having a specific amount of each macronutrient. These macronutrients are protein, carbohydrates, and fat, and each food you eat is composed of a certain percentage or number of grams of each. People who follow this diet stick to consuming only specific numbers of each macronutrient. As a result, the macronutrients of each food to help them reach their daily goals. This diet is popular because it’s not too restrictive in terms of what you can eat as long as you have it in the required quantity. However, it’s a bit of a numbers game and requires meticulous counting and weighing.
3. Paleo Diet
This diet has become very popular in the last few years. You may have even seen foods on grocery store shelves labeled paleo or paleo-friendly. The word paleo comes from the Paleolithic age which ended roughly about 10,000 years ago. The idea behind the paleo diet is to eat like how human ancestors did and how human bodies were designed to eat. This means eating more unprocessed or minimally processed foods. The paleo diet encourages lots of fruit and vegetables, meat, poultry and fish, nuts and seeds, eggs, herbs, and spices. It eliminates grains and grain products (both gluten and gluten-free), as well as legumes, dairy, sugar, and any processed ingredients and products.
4. DASH Diet
This diet is aimed specifically at reducing hypertension, also known as high blood pressure. DASH stands for Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension. With an increasing aging population in the United States and an increasing number of
people being diagnosed with hypertension, doctors are encouraging patients to change their dietary habits to reduce their blood pressure. The DASH diet helps control your blood pressure by encouraging you to reduce the sodium in your diet and eat a variety of foods rich in nutrients that help lower blood pressure, such as potassium, calcium, and magnesium. Because the DASH diet is a healthy way of eating, it offers health benefits besides just lowering blood pressure.
5. Ketogenic Diet
The main source of fuel for your body is carbohydrates. The carbohydrates you consume are changes into glucose which is immediately used by the brain and cells or sent to cells to be stored as glycogen. The ketogenic diet aims to create a shift in this pattern of metabolism. It involves drastically reducing carbohydrate intake and replacing it with fat. The reduction in carbs puts your body into a metabolic state called ketosis. When this happens, your body becomes incredibly efficient at burning fat for energy. It also turns
fat into ketones in the liver, which can supply energy for the brain. This diet has gained a lot of popularity because of its success rates. However, it goes against the body’s inherent survival methods and can have negative effects like increased hunger, sleep issues, nausea, digestive discomfort.