Every year brings new diets that everyone goes crazy for. But it can be hard to separate one from the others. What's the difference between them all, and which one is better than the rest? 2014 was no different for diet fads, and there were several that celebrities, magazines, and diet enthusiasts loved a whole lot more than others. If you can't tell your Paleo diet from your low carbs, have a look at the diets below to find out what they're all about. I've even included a bit of expert advice from dieticians about whether they work.
Everyone has started getting into juicing as a way to eat more healthily in the last couple of years. With a juice cleanse, you go beyond the occasional smoothie and drink nothing but fruit and vegetable juice for 3-7 days. The idea is that you take a break from digesting all of the food that you usually eat to detox your body. People who advocate juicing say they have more energy, lose weight and feel healthier. But you should be careful, doing this for long periods. A lack of protein and carbs can you leave you hungry, tired and irritable. Even juice enthusiasts say you shouldn't do it for more than a few days at a time.
The Paleo diet is based on what some people think a "caveman" diet would have looked like. They believe that our bodies haven't adjusted to our modern diets and that we should be eating what we ate thousands of year ago. The diet cuts out grains, dairy, and processed food, and promotes fish, meat, eggs, nuts and fresh fruit and vegetables. The basic premise of the diet isn't so bad, but experts from US News think that it's not an adequate diet on almost any level. They say that a real Paleolithic diet would be hard to stick to in the modern world.
There have been lots of low carb diets for several decades now, including the Atkins diet and the recent Dukan diet. They usually involve swapping carbs for protein and getting your carbs from healthier sources like vegetables. The diet works on the principle that once your carb intake goes past a certain point, your body will start consuming fat for energy. So should you say yes or no to the low carb diet? Well, it's likely not the most efficient diet you can be on. The increased fat intake isn't great for losing weight and can be harmful to your heart too.
Another popular dieting practice this year was intermittent fasting. These diets include skipping meals or lowering calorie intake on certain days. With the 5:2 diet, for example, dieters drop their calorie intake to 500-600 calories a day for two days a week. Fasting could help to get your metabolism going, but this is a difficult diet to stick to. Feeling hungry all the time can make you tired and moody. A better idea is to reduce your portion sizes and create healthy meal plans, instead of skipping meals.