The literal meaning of the word “diet” is the food consumed by living beings. However, diet refers to the specific food items or nutrition taken to meet specific health and fitness goals to manage weight. The best diet includes the essential minerals, vitamins, proteins, and good fatty acids. Therefore, your diet plays a vital role in your quality of life.
We firmly believe that a healthy diet with an intensive workout can help you reach your health and fitness goals. So, in this article, we have scribbled some important considerations about a healthy diet which you need to ponder over. Our purpose is to make you aware of the food you eat, its nutritional value, the consequences, and how you should consume it to reach your health and fitness goals.
In the first section, learn about consuming energy food. So, read down the lines and move forward to promote a healthy and long life.
Why is a good diet important?
Food is essential for life. It gives you the energy to get up and start a new day with all the zeal and zest. Besides, good nutrition has many benefits that improve the quality of life, i.e., stronger bones and teeth, reduced risk of cancer, diabetes, and other health issues, Weight loss, diabetes management, improved gut health, and a good night’s sleep.
How you convert food into energy- the food energy process
The human body undertakes a complex metabolism process that uses the food to convert it into the energy you seek to spend your entire day actively and your life happily. Therefore, eating food is essential for the human body. To make you understand the process easier, we have tried to keep it short and straightforward.
So, let’s start with taking a simple meal. When you eat food, your body breaks complex carbohydrates into glucose in their simplest form. The cells then transport the glucose throughout the body via the blood. This is how the body gets the energy to work. However, glucose is essential only in a specific amount, and if the amount exceeds, it becomes toxic for the body and brings other harmful effects to its functionality.
So, the pancreas secretes a hormone named Insulin, which removes the excess sugar from your blood to maintain the proper blood sugar level.
It burns the excess glucose to generate energy. However, when we have a sedentary lifestyle, we need a tiny amount of energy, but the blood sugar level and insulin increase. So now, the body converts the excess glucose into glycogen, a kind of starch stored in the cell. But the Glycogen storage is also limited and, because of our inactive lifestyle, we rarely use this starch.
So, we convert the remaining glucose to fat, which results in weight gain. The fat stores keep on increasing until you break this chain of the insulin-sugar cycle. Therefore, excessive carbohydrates are harmful to the body and cause obesity. So, here we understand how a good diet is vital for our body. Let us dive into various kinds of diets serving different purposes.
Types of Diet
It is significant to understand the type of diet to determine which kind of food better suits our health and fitness goals. Every kind of food serves a different purpose. They made some diet plans to put on weight while they undertook some to burn calories. So, it is inevitable to learn about other diets to adopt a suitable dietary plan according to your body’s needs. There are nine types of diets, which are discussed below.
1. The Paleo Diet
The Paleo diet emphasizes eating raw food, i.e., whole grains, vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, etc. The theory discourages processed food items like sugar, dairy, pulses, other grains, etc. These food items do not offer the same health benefit that our ancestors enjoyed by consuming raw food.
The paleo diet is rich in protein and low in carbs. So, this kind of diet reduces obesity and excessive weight gain. In addition, it reduces calories and also the chances of diabetes and high blood pressure, etc. However, this diet discourages the consumption of legumes, which are very nutritious and good for health.
2. The Vegan Diet
We also know the vegan diet as a cruelty-free diet. It is a lifestyle that prohibits the use of animal products. It discourages all the food items directly using animals and animal-derived food as well. Such food items include meat, honey, egg, milk and dairy products, gelatin, albumin, etc. You can lose a lot of weight if you have a vegan diet because the diet is low in fats and calories and high in fiber, which keeps your stomach fuller for a long time. Studies reveal that people who consume a vegan meal have a reduced risk of diabetes type 2 and obesity. However, the diet lacks many nutrients and vitamins like iron, vitamin D3, etc., essential for human health. In addition, it limits animal meat ultimately, which is very high in protein.
3. Low-Carb Diets
A low-carb diet contains minimum carbohydrates. The diet is very effective and impactful if you lose weight. We categorize a low-carb diet into many types, but we associate all with limiting carbohydrate intake to a certain extent.
It encourages the body to use more fats as energy instead of carbohydrates. That is why the diet is rich in fats and proteins and limits carbs strictly. When you do not consume carbs, the body uses fatty acids and ketones to produce energy, reducing weight. That is why we recommend a low-carb diet for overweight people. We also know this kind of diet as the ketogenic diet, which reduces more weight than the low-fat or low-calorie diet.
One benefit of the low-carb diet is reducing your hunger, which automatically reduces your calorie intake. It maintains the blood sugar level and reduces the risk of blood pressure. However, everyone cannot handle the diet, and it increases Bad fats in some people. Nursing mothers may also experience nondiabetic ketoacidosis.
4. The Dukan Diet
They divided the diet into four phases: weight management, i.e., two weight loss and two phases for weight management. Each stage has a different dietary plan and how long you stay in one phase depends upon how much weight your body wants to lose. The weight-loss phase includes oat bran and other high-protein food items, while the other phase includes vegetables offering both carb and proteins. However, there are days when you will have to eat pure protein food items to manage your weight on this diet.
The combination of a high-protein and low-carb diet has various benefits, including the loss of appetite, fullness of stomach, and good metabolism. However, the diet also stimulates muscle loss because you strictly cut off the calories.
5. The Ultra-Low-Fat Diet
The Ultra-low-fat diet restricts your daily fat intake. However, in the long run, the diet is not very helpful in making you lose weight. It cuts off 30% of your daily calorie intake. The diet contains restricted consumption of an animal product and largely depends on the consumption of plant-based food.
Ultra low-fat diet combines high carb content and low proteins, which stimulate weight loss in obese people. Many say the diet reduces the risk of heart diseases, high cholesterol, and blood pressure. Doctors also use it to treat type-2 diabetes. However, to continue such a diet is challenging because it requires to limits a lot of yummy food items. Fats are necessary for the body because they make cell membranes and many hormones, so excessive limitation may be harmful to the human body in the long run.
6. The Atkins Diet
It is another dieting technique that includes the consumption of low carbohydrates. The diet plan suggests you should consume every food except carbs. The main reason which stimulates weight loss is the loss of appetite because it allows you to take a minimal amount of calories.
They divide the diet into phases. The first phase is the induction phase, where you will have to consume about 20 grams of carbs daily for two weeks. Then, as you move forward to attain your aim, the diet introduces more carbs into your eating routine to help to maintain the weight.
Atkin’s diet causes fast weight loss. It reduces belly fat, which is hard to mitigate and dangerous for your health as well. It also prevents you from many diseases like cholesterol, blood pressure, and unstable blood sugar level. The diet improves your blood sugar level and good cholesterol, which are healthy for the human body.
7. The HCG Diet
HCG stands for human chorionic gonadotropin, which is a hormone present in the early stages of pregnancy. The type of diet is extreme and stimulates fast weight loss. As a result, you can witness a visible loss in your weight daily. In addition, they say the diet improves metabolism and removes fat by reducing appetite.
They also divided this diet into phases. The first phase includes consuming HCG supplements, and the second phase comprises a very low-calorie diet and those supplements and HCG in other forms, like injections and sprays, etc. We know this as the weight-loss phase, and it stays from 3 to 6 weeks. After this phase, you may increase your food intake and stop HCG consumption.
However, some studies reveal that HCG neither contributes to weight loss and nor it reduces hunger.
Therefore, there are no health benefits of consuming this hormone. In addition, this type of diet stimulates muscle loss and may cause headaches, fatigue, and depression. Another downside is that FDA does not approve the diet and labels it dangerous.
If you choose this diet plan, make sure that you buy a reliable product because the market is full of scams and does not contain HCG. However, injections are a reliable source and increase HCG levels considerably.
8. The Zone Diet
The Zone diet is a low-glycemic diet where you restrict carbohydrates to 35% to 45% and protein and fat consumption to 30%. The allowed food items are high in carbs with a low glycemic index. Glycemic index refers to how much a specific food item increases the blood glucose level of your body. The diet results in weight loss and also reduces the risk of cancer. Zone diet contains each meal of protein, fruits and veggies, and some fats in almond, olive, or avocado oil in a certain amount. It restricts the use of food items that are high in GI. The diet is also said to reduce hunger. However, the research has not proved it yet.
Besides, the zone diet has many health benefits. It is suitable for those afflicting heart diseases. It also helps reduce blood sugar levels and cholesterol and is very beneficial for diabetes type 2.
9. Intermittent Fasting
Intermittent fasting is not a diet but an eating pattern, i.e., how you consume food to manage weight. It adequately combines periods of fasting and eating, which stimulate weight loss. The plan does not restrict consuming any food items but the amount of food you eat.
You can carry intermitted fasting out several ways. However, the diet pattern is pervasive among people who want to lose weight because it is straightforward. It is the most successful diet plan among the nine and an easy way to get rid of the extra calories. The research reveals the people who follow intermittent fasting lose 3% to 8% weight in 12 to 24 weeks, provided they follow the rules and do not over-eat during the eating duration.
Besides weight loss, intermittent fasting has many health benefits. This pattern also improves the rate of metabolism. It reduces inflammation, controls blood sugar levels, and also reduces the risk of cancer. In addition, it helps to repair cells, increases HCG levels, and improves insulin sensitivity in the body. However, the method does not suit everybody, and you should carry it out with a doctor’s recommendation. It is not safe for people with specific medical conditions like pregnancy, lactating mothers, or being overweight.
The most known methods are;
The 16/8 method: In this method, skip breakfast, eat for eight hours and fast the next 16 hours.
The eat-stop-eat method: The method requires you to fast once or twice a week thoroughly. The fasting should not be consecutive.
The 5:2 diet: In this method, you need to restrict calorie intake to 500 to 600 calories only twice a week, non-consecutive.
The Warrior Diet: The diet restricts you from eating all day heavily. The plan allows you to eat whole fruits and veggies and a heavy meal.
Diets to lose weight
There are various ways how you can manage your weight. Each type of diet does not suit every individual. However, some specific patterns allow you to lose weight faster. A crash diet is one of the fastest ways. Let’s learn about the terminology and know how it can help us.
What is Crash Diet?
If you want to lose weight faster, the Crash diet is an easy way. However, it allows you to lose weight in the short run. In addition, it is a low-calorie diet, so that continuous dieting may lead to serious health consequences like hair loss, irregular periods, and low immunity. Therefore, do this course safely, keeping few considerations in mind. Those afflicted with a disease or have a specific medical condition must consult the doctor before starting the diet.
Types of Crash Diet
It is a type of crash diet where you live upon the lemonade and feel sick and hungry. People who are overweight or have low blood pressure must not adopt this method. The diet involves consuming lemon juice rich in vitamin C, with a few teaspoons of maple syrup and cayenne pepper. It is pretty difficult to continue this dieting plan because it may cause nausea.
Juice Cleanse Diet
Juice Cleanse Diet involves consuming different fresh fruit and vegetable juices that contain many essential vitamins and minerals. The juices are rich in fiber, so keep your stomach full for a long time. Vitamins present in the fruit juices are good for health and remove many toxins from your body. In addition, the liquids are good for skin and hair. However, this method of dieting is not bearable in the long run.
Cabbage Soup Diet
Cabbage soup is a very effective soup for losing weight quickly. Cooks make the soup using cabbage as the chief ingredient and different other veggies. To diet properly, who needs to consume this cabbage soup throughout the day. It helps to slim down and works miraculously in a short time. However, daily consuming the same item may cause boredom, and you may not continue it for a longer time.
Grapefruit is a known weight-losing agent. This citrus fruit also contains vitamin C, which is good for health and helps to lose calories quickly. The fruit is also suitable for diabetes patients. You can combine consuming grapefruit with other healthy food items; otherwise, it will cause nutritional deficiencies in your body. The constant usage may also erode your teeth.
We know the Hollywood diet as the Hollywood diet because it was first adopted and introduced by Hollywood actors. It uses a drink known as an herbal mix, which you have to consume to lose weight. The mixture is readily available at the local market and online stores. The drink claims to lose several pounds dramatically and is widely famous among users. However, the FDA has not approved this drink, and the producers have not proven the claims. In addition, it may reduce your immunity and irritate as well.
Chicken Soup Diet
Chicken soup is a favorite known soup, and what is better than having it in your diet plan. The diet plan involves consuming chicken soup for seven consecutive days. To enhance the flavor and avoid boredom, you can add different veggies, like corn, carrot, spinach, cabbage, etc. These additions make the soup rich in vitamins and minerals good for health. You can also combine it with a light food item of your choice to lose calories effectively.
What are fad diets?
A fad diet is a random diet plan that often promotes weight loss. However, the promoters do not prove the weight loss effects, and the diet restricts several essential nutrients necessary for health. That is why the diet plan would not benefit you in the long run and may be harmful.
We consider the diet a quick way to lose calories, but it contains some food items that are not proven to reduce weight or may lack the essential nutrients that are the markers of good health. Nevertheless, actors and other celebrities usually adopt this type of diet and promote it using different platforms.
The plans may contain a high protein diet, low-carb or low-calorie diet but lack other food items which may compensate or balance the diet. For example, some do not have grains, while some plans lack the consumption of lectins. So, it is better to adopt a balanced program that compensates for the deficiencies of your body. The fad diet is not suitable for those who have a particular medical condition like the lactating mother, heart patients, or diabetic people because they may cause a severe imbalance of hormones and deficiencies in the body.
We only recommended this type of diet in specific circumstances. However, despite the several downsides, this diet addresses the major lifelong problems of the people temporarily.
The major of them is obesity and excessive weight. It helps to lose weight, but if you stop it, you will regain the weight speedily. In addition, this kind of diet does not account for a lifestyle change that needs to be accounted for to keep yourself healthy and fit.
Now the question is how to identify the fad food items. There is no specific approach to this, but you can locate the diet as a fad that offers you a quick solution to your weight loss problem, whether it has proven results. They include those food items found or believed good for health and weight loss in the fad diet. Many recommended these food items because of a single study.
We also know those food items recommended by celebrities and popular scientific organizations are fad diets. You can also get a reasonable idea of this diet by listing its food items. We determine this diet suitable for customer reviews and testimonials and usually lacks one or more of the five food groups.
Diet for muscle-growth and fitness competitors
Bodybuilding or shaping your body involves your dieting plan and exercise because food plays a vital role in keeping you fit and healthy. So, meal planning is a critical element to be taken care of if you want to look muscular. In addition, food comprises nutrients vital for you to recover from an intense workout.
Your diet must include all the ingredients which stimulate the growth and development of muscles in your body. And it’s not only about eating the correct food item and the amount and frequency of food. It is also essential to avoid the wrong food items, which may deteriorate your muscle health.
So, here is a quick guide for fitness freaks to choose the right food items with the proper nutritional value to reach their bodybuilder dreams.
Foods Items you should consume:
Here is a quick view and a list of food items that are good for the growth and development of muscles.
- Meats, poultry, and fish: Sirloin steak, ground beef, pork side, venison, chicken breast, salmon, tilapia, and cod. This food is rich in proteins.
- Dairy Products: Yogurt, cottage cheese, and skimmed milk.
- Grains: Bread, cereal, crackers, oatmeal, quinoa, popcorn, and rice.
- Fruits: Oranges, apples, bananas, grapes, pears, peaches, watermelon and berries, grapefruit, lemon, and citrus fruits.
- Starchy vegetables: potatoes, corn, green peas, green lima beans, and cassava help build mass.
- Vegetables: broccoli, spinach, leafy salad greens, tomatoes, green beans, cucumber, zucchini, asparagus, peppers, and mushrooms.
- Seeds and nuts: Almonds, walnuts, sunflower seeds, chia seeds, and flaxseeds.
- Beans and legumes: chickpeas, lentils, kidney beans, black beans, and pinto beans.
- Oils: Olive oil, flaxseed oil, and avocado oil.
Food items that you must not consume:
There are few food items that people must not consume or strictly limit consumption to get a good shape.
Alcohol is the first, which you should consume in small amounts if you want to build muscle mass because alcohol slows muscles growth. You must avoid preservatives and added sugars because they contain more extras and fewer nutrients, including a balanced diet. The food items, including added sugars, are candies, cakes, pastries, ice cream, and beverages. Deep-fried things are slow and prevent muscle growth. You must avoid the processed food as much as possible, and one should try to consume raw food instead.
Make sure you don’t consume any food items before working out, which slows down the metabolism in your body and disturbs your stomach. Such food items include high fats like butter, cheese, cream, etc., High-fiber food like beans and broccoli, and carbonated drinks.
Best diets to achieve health and fitness goals
A healthy diet is essential for quality of life. A healthy diet refers to a balanced meal and contains adequate nutrition, including vitamins, proteins, and minerals, needed for the body’s growth, development, and functionality. Such a meal boosts your immunity and reduces diseases like heart diseases, cancer, and diabetes. A healthy diet includes all five food groups, which includes;
- Staples like cereals (wheat, barley, rye, maize, or rice) or starchy tubers or roots (potato, yam, taro, or cassava).
- Legumes (lentils and beans).
- Fruit and vegetables.
- Foods from animal sources (meat, fish, eggs, and milk) (Source: WHO)
WHO (World Health Organization) recommends breastfeeding as a healthy diet for babies. The milk contains the nutrition to boost the development and growth of children in the early stages of life and prevents the risk of diseases like cancer and diabetes. Mothers should breastfeed a child for up to six months. After that, mothers should feed toddlers the combination of breast milk and other nutritious semi-solid food items.
We also considered raw vegetables and fruits a healthy diet.
Research reveals that those who eat more veggies and fruits have a reduced risk of obesity, cancer, and heart diseases. In addition, they contain essentials like vitamins, minerals, fiber, and antioxidants for significant growth.
There are two types of fat, i.e., good fats and bad fats. Eating too many fats, oil, and concentrated products containing saturated trans-fats leads to high cholesterol, increasing the risk of heart diseases. Instead, take plant-based unsaturated oils like olive, soy, sunflower, and corn oil if you consume fatty food items. In addition, avoid animal-based fats.
A salty diet and added sugars are also harmful to health. Sugars must be less than 10% of the total food intake. Such foods include cookies, cakes, chocolates, and ice-cream, etc.
So, these were the healthy dietary food items that contain a lot of nutrition to improve the quality of life. So, we hope you could incorporate good food into your routine.