Healthy Eating Done Right
Who doesn’t want to look fabulous and feel great? Sometimes dropping a few kilos is necessary. Now while there are plenty of diet plans out there to help achieve your goals, being smart with your choices is key. Sometimes, the fast and easy way might not always be the smartest. Let’s break a few popular diets down with the help of Shehani Ariyaratne, Nutritionist and Dietician at Asiri Medical Hospital.
1. THE KETOGENIC DIET
Keto depletes the levels of glucose stored in the body and burns fat faster
Popularly known as Keto, this diet is all about consuming a high amount of healthy fats, a moderate amount of protein and a low amount of carbs with absolutely no type of sugar. Keto depletes the levels of glucose stored in the body and burns fat faster. During this process, your body will be in a state of ketosis since it will be burning fat instead of sugar.
Pros: Weight loss takes place (depending on how well your body reacts to Keto) over a short period under medical supervision. Improved energy levels from low consumption of sugar. You may feel less hungry due to consuming a large amount of fat.
Cons: A deficit of carbs can lead to an urge to overload on it. Leads to Ketoflu where you have headaches, weakness, irritability, constipation, nausea and palpitations. Not recommended for diabetics and kidney failure patients.
2. INTERMITTENT FASTING
It’s meant to help regulate insulin levels
There are a few options here like crescendo fasting, eat-stop-eat, warrior diet and more. However, in the original method, you fast for 14-16 hours and you are allowed to drink water during the fasting period. For example, if you have dinner by 8 PM, you will eat again at 10 AM the following day or later. It’s meant to help regulate insulin levels and reduce insulin resistance. It’s not advisable to do this every day.
Pros: Fairly easy to do, since you’re asleep for most of the duration of the fast.
Cons: If done over a long period of time, expect possible headaches, gastritis, bad breath, hair loss, pale skin, acne, irregular periods, fertility issues, anxiety, metabolic stress and difficulty sleeping. Possibility of not losing any weight. Not ideal for those with gastritis or diabetes.
3. THE MEDITERRANEAN DIET
This is a modification of a balanced diet
With this type of diet, you can eat fruits, vegetables, nuts seeds, legumes, fish, seafood, whole grains, potatoes, and extra virgin olive oil. You can have poultry, eggs, cheese and yoghurt in moderation and rarely eat red meat. What you avoid are sugary beverages, added sugars, processed meats, refined grains and oils, and other highly processed foods.
Pros: Can reduce heart disease as this diet encourages eating a lot of fish. This also leads to helping with constipation and weight reduction.
Cons: Consuming too many fruits isn’t a good idea if you’re diabetic. Not suitable for patients with underlying chronic kidney diseases (CKD). Proper serving sizes are not given. Taking this high fibre diet in the long run can cause a deficient in absorbing certain nutrients e.g. minerals.
4. A BALANCED DIET
Losing extra inches should not come at the expense of your overall health.
As tempting as these diets may sound, losing extra inches should not come at the expense of your overall health. Completely eliminating any one of these food groups is never a good idea and can result in complications. A balanced diet is probably the best (and safest) form of dieting, where you consume carbs, protein, fats, vitamins and minerals in right proportions. Generally, dieticians customise a plan according to your build and existing medical conditions you may have. You get specific serving sizes and in the long run you won’t tire easily of your meal plan.
The thing with weight loss is that it needs to be gradual in order to be long-lasting. The recommended weight loss is between 450g and 1kg per week. Any more will harm your health in the long run.
According to Shehani, a good way to curb an extra healthy appetite is to eat a salad, vegetable soup or boiled vegetables before your main meal. This way, you won’t be tempted to over-indulge.
For more information and assistance with tailoring a diet plan just for you, reach out to Asiri Medical Hospital.
Asiri Medical Hospital
181, Kirula Road, Colombo 5
T: +94 11 4 523300