Diet Doc's Guide to Understanding Mainstream Diet Plans
The South Beach diet
Dr. Arthur Agatston designed the South Beach diet in the mid–1990s in response to the American Heart Association’s guidelines, which the doctor believed failed to provide long-term results.
The first phase of the diet requires two weeks and focuses on eliminating carbohydrates from each meal. Sugar and alcohol also go by the wayside.
Some of the foods avoided in the first phase are reintroduced after those initial two weeks. And in this second phase, wine and some carbohydrates also return.
The third phase requires a dieter to stick to the eating plans formed during the first two phases. This form of eating should continue for the rest of the person’s life, a fundamental change in the way that person’s lifestyle.
The South Beach diet website, and book by the same name, both offer healthy recipes, which cannot only help during the initial weightless, but also during a person’s life.
There are distinct benefits of the diet, including a gradual process intended to allow the dieter to make life-long adjustments to eating habits. The diet allows for eating a variety of foods, including some forbidden by other diets. And, a dieter does not have to count calories or calculate the amount of carbohydrates consumed.
However, some people find the food list too restrictive. Elimination and reintroduction of fats and carbohydrates can create health concerns. And, some elements of the diet do not fit into the American Diabetes Association’s dietary recommendations.
The Zone Diet: putting the focus on insulin
The zone diet works to strike a perfect balance, with a person maintaining a diet that is 40 percent of protein, 30 percent carbohydrates, and 30 percent fat.
The goal is to manage the amount of insulin the body produces, naturally adjusting the amount of the hormone to promote weight loss.
Author Barry Sears published in 1995 the Zone diet, which was also supported by a website and book complete with recipes and details of the overall strategy.
While most food options are allowed in the diet, a person must consider each meal in the contest of the 40–30–30 ratio, which can require serious planning and effort.
Each food item is broken down into blocks slotted into the appropriate zone of the ratio. A normal protein portion is considered palm-sized. The addition of olive oil is often recommended.
The diet proved popular because it did not require elimination of all carbohydrate-heavy foods.
A diet that promotes insulin production also creates the feeling of fullness, which limits diet cheating.
And, some athletes consider the diet a benefit to performance. However, others have questioned the diet’s ability to improve sports performance.
Similarly, the zone diet can also confuse some dieters. And while there is no calorie counting, a person must track the grams of proteins, carbohydrate and fat in each meal.
Also, there is no independent research validating that the 40–30–30 ratio normalizes insulin levels.
Understand The Stillman Diet
No carbohydrates. No fats. Those are the basic restrictions behind the Stillman diet, created by Doctor Irwin Maxwell Stillman
Adopting the Stillman diet means eating with a focus on proteins, although it does allow a selection of dairy products.
One difference between the Stillman diet and most other weight-loss plans is that it does not limit the amount of food you eat.
Instead, the diet limits the food choices to a select list, including lean meat such as veal, lamb and beef. Chicken and turkey are also allowed, as are seafoods.
The food can be broiled, smoked or boiled.
Eggs, preferably boiled, are allowed. Other dairy items included cottage cheese, pot cheese, and farmers’ cheese made from skimmed milk.
Butter, oil and margarine are all prohibited. But, coffee, tea and clear carbonated drinks are allowed.
The diet is known for quick weight-loss, and is popular with people who do not wish to give up items such as meat or coffee. And, it’s an option for people who dislike fruits and vegetables.
However, the diet is also restrictive, disallowing fruits and vegetables other diets consider beneficial.
There is some thought the diet is too high in proteins, which raises health concerns for the heart and other organs. And, it can lead to constipation and dehydration.
As with any diet-only, weight-loss solutions, there are positives and negatives about the Stillman diet.
Can a diet with more fat and protein help you lose weight?
A diet high in fat, with just the right amount of protein, and with low amounts of carbohydrates can unlock weight-loss for many people.
It’s known as ketogenic diet, which often performs best when supervised by a medical professional.
The goal is to change the way the body uses energy from food.
During a ketogenic diet, the liver converts fat into fatty acids and a substance known ketone bodies.
While an indication of someone who is losing weight, the presence of ketone bodies can be a warning a person has a serious problems such as diabetes.
As a result, medically supervised weight-loss plans can monitor patients for not only successful diet results, but also signs of other health problems.
During a typical supervised diet, a patient requires from between one and two weeks before the body adapts to the high-fat, moderate-protein, and low-fat diet.
In a medically-supervised program, physicians might add vitamin B12, as well as other supplements, to prevent negative symptoms, such as headaches and muscle cramping as patients go through keto-adaption.
The goal is to balance the diet, existing health needs, and supplements to jumpstart weightless in each patient.
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