Does carb cycling, a keto diet, intermittent fasting sound familiar to you?
Sure, it does, because we have been bombarded with various ways to lose weight, especially when summer arrives, this year, in particular, the pandemic perhaps attracted a little more interest in knowing “quick” and “effective” methods.
Leaving aside the issue of weight loss, we must not ignore that some scientific studies have shown that these methods provide health benefits. However, medicine and research are constantly evolving.
Before we talk about which method best suits your goals, let's quickly go over three of the ones that resonate the most today.
This method consists of having days in which you consume a greater amount of carbohydrates and days in which you consume a lesser amount of carbohydrates. That is why those who go with this type of diet argue that by following this method it’s possible to have the best of both worlds. Keeping in mind that you will have the number of carbohydrates necessary to build muscle but at the same time, you will have low carbohydrate days which will allow your body to burn fat more easily.
They also mention several benefits at the hormonal level because they claim that following the protocol of the diet, there is an improvement in the increase in leptin...
But what is leptin you may ask? According to Healthline, “Leptin is a hormone produced by the fat cells in your body. It is often referred to as the "satiety hormone" or the "hunger hormone.”’
The keto diet consists of following a very low-carbohydrate and high-fat diet plan, leading the body to a metabolic state of ketosis. At this point, the body converts fat into energy. Keto advocates claim that this type of diet can cause decreases in blood sugar and insulin levels.
One of the most common mistakes when starting this type of diet without expert advice is that by reducing carbohydrates, there is an increase in protein consumption, moving away from what would generally be an ideal ketogenic diet. An ideal ketogenic diet is characterized by 60% fat, 35 % protein, and 5% carbohydrates.
As you can see, these types of diets usually tend to radically exclude total food groups such as carbohydrates.
This is an option for the distribution of feeding schedules, which consists of alternating periods of feeding with periods of fasting. There are several hourly distributions, but the most popular is the one that fasts 16 hours a day and consumes food in an 8-hour window a day.
Although its benefits are still under study, there is talk of an improvement in insulin sensitivity, cholesterol reduction, and a delay in aging.
The world is divided when it comes to the benefits of intermittent fasting, but in my opinion, one of the most frequent mistakes that people make when starting to implement this diet is starting it without any advice from a nutritionist or an expert to make sure that you are aware of what your daily nutritional requirements are.
Doing it without any advice from an expert can bring more contraindications than benefits. It has also been said that not all people are suitable for this type of “diet” due to its schedules.
Now that we have a general outline of these "types of diets", before choosing the one that suits you best, consider seeking the advice of an expert, a real one (not one from social media). Not receiving advice from an expert could lead you or anyone to follow advice from an inexperienced individual that could bring you more complications than benefits.
For example, a poorly managed ketogenic diet can lead you to gain twice the weight you plan to lose, or intermittent fasting without advice can lead to malnutrition or fall into bad habits.
Keep in mind that you must choose a type of diet that IS SUSTAINABLE OVER TIME, that is the key phrase! It is useless to try to achieve a diet that you follow for 1 - 2 months and not continuing it because you “miss” or “crave” a certain type of food or snack and therefore you stop doing the diet.
None of these plans/diets or any type of foods have the power to make an individual lose weight or gain weight, our body is such a perfect machine that it would be cruel if we were as simple or basic as that.
That is why success or failure depends on many factors but if you look closely, these methods have as a method to achieve a calorie deficit either by modifying the hours of food intake or eliminating food groups. What reaffirms our theory is that one or another of these options is better or works better for you, everything will depend on your body's reaction. Meaning how you feel once you start the appropriate one, whether it is suitable and you can adapt to your real-life and whether it generates well-being or, on the contrary, generates frustration.
Choose wisely, choose health!