Diet Decoder

One of the most misunderstood four-letter words is diet! In this episode we break down some of the most popular weight management diet plans.

Starting with the "Clean Eating Diet” which is best described as a diet of whole, nutritious foods that is high in protein and moderate in carbs and fats. The soul of clean eating is consuming food the way nature delivered it or as close to possible. It’s not to be looked at as a diet but more of a lifestyle approach. Clean foods should contain just 1-2 ingredients and also avoids things such as refined foods such as white flour, sugar, bread and pasta. This style diet is great for those that enjoy structure and make the time to prepare their meals and weight them out.

Next, the macro diet, also known as “iifym” and “flexible dieting,” is an approach to weight management that has gained in popularity the last few years. It’s a diet that is not meant to make you feel deprived, but is intended to feed your body the ideal nutrition that makes it more efficient. A benefit of this diet is that it offers you the ability to eat a larger range of foods you enjoy without having to give up your favorites and it is also a great diet to help you learn portion control since you need to weigh your food.

The keto diet is gaining popularity, especially in men it seems. “Keto” short for ketogentic is a very low-carb, high-fat diet that shares many similarities with traditional low-carb diets. It involves drastically reducing carb intake and replacing it with fat. The reduction of carbs puts your body into a metabolic state called ketosis. When this happens your body becomes efficient at burning fat for energy. There are a few types of a keto diet:

  • Standard ketogenic diet (SKD): this is very low carb, moderate protein and high fat. It’s usually 75% fat, 20% protein and 5% carb

  • Cyclical ketogenic diet (CKD): involves periods of higher carb refeeds such as 5 keto days followed by 2 high carb days

  • Targeted keto diet (TKD): This diet allows you to add carbs in around your workouts

  • High protein keto diet: similar to the standard keto diet but includes more protein and is usually 60% fat, 35% protein, 5% carbs

The Paleo diet is allso known as the “caveman diet” meaning that if a caveman didn’t eat it, neither should you. It’s a diet that consists of meat, fish, nuts, leafy greens, vegetables and seeds. Paleo is beneficial for folks that hate counting calories or tracking food and can truly hold a lifestyle of just those items on that list we mentioned above.

In general as you know, a vegetarian is one that excludes animal products. The main differences are:

  1. Lacto-ovo vegetarians eat milk products such as milk, cheese and yogurt and eggs but no meat, poultry, seafood or fish. “Lacto” meaning “milk” and “ovo” meaning eggs.

  2. Lacto-vegetarians eat milk products but not eggs, meat, poultry, seafood or fish.

  3. Vegans are total vegetarians.

A vegetarian diet is good for those that feel it is wrong to use animals for food, want a diet that will cost less since it doesn’t include meat, and for those who do not like the taste of meat, it can be a healthy diet since you get more fiber and antioxidant rich foods. Studies have shown a vegetarian diet can improve symptoms of psoriasis and it can be a heart-healthy plan.

The vegan diet excludes all animal products including milk products, eggs, honey and gelatin which comes from the bones of animal tissue. Veganism is not a new concept but it has been receiving more and more attention lately, partly due to several documentaries on Netflix. Online searches show the search for the term vegan has risen more than 250% in the last 5 years. The term vegan was coined in 1944 by a small group of vegetarians who broke away from the Leicester Vegetarian Society to form the Vegan Society. This group of people chose not to eat any animal products at all so they felt the need to break away and form their own group to better identify themselves and their views. The word vegan was developed from the first and last letters of the word vegetarian.

People choose to go vegan for ethical reasons and/or for their health. Some are interested in how plant based diets may reduce heart disease, cancer and premature death. Other are encouraged by reports that lowering the amount of meat you eat may reduce the risk of Alzheimers. Some choose it to avoid the side effects linked to antibiotics and hormones used in animal farming. And finally, studies link vegan diets to a lower body weight and BMI so some use this diet to shed body fat.The vegan diet excludes all animal products including milk products, eggs, honey and gelatin which comes from the bones of animal tissue.

Intuitive eating is a form of attunement of mind, body and food. Most food with diets are looked at as “good” or “bad” foods but with an intuitive diet you let those phrases go and rely on your internal cues. The “10 principles to Intuitive eating” described on promote a healthy relationship with food. These 10 principles are:​

  1. Reject the diet mentality

  2. Honor your hunger

  3. Make peace with food

  4. Challenge the food police

  5. Respect your fullness

  6. Discover the satisfaction factor

  7. Honor your feelings without using food

  8. Respect your body

  9. Exercise and feel the difference

  10. Honor your health

Intuitive eating is good for those that practice will power, prefer to not track calories or food, have a good relationship with food and eat a majority of healthy foods to gain proper nourishment.

The tour-de-diet has come to a close!

Mentioned on the show:

  • Wands for Life: a non-for-profit that collects and cleans mascara wands to use in animal rescue programs. To learn more, click here.