One-Stop Guide to Your Ideal Diet Plan
With so many diet fads around us, it becomes a little difficult and annoying to around and choosing the right diet plan for your body and your requirements. Every time I start a diet, someone comes around telling me about this new type of diet that I’ve never even heard of and how that one is much more effective than the one I’m doing.
So frustrating. So, let’s make things easier for everyone. Here, I’ve listed all the diet fads that I’ve ever come across, explaining what they are and whether or not they are right for you. If you know some fads that I’ve missed out on, please add them in the comments section, below. Stay on till the end, where I’ll tell you what my views are on what is the best to follow.
1. MACROBIOTIC DIET
This diet is based on zen Buddhism. It follows the principles laid forth by zen Buddhism which are, in short, to reduce intake of animal-based products, eat in moderation, and increase consumption of the locally available, organic fruits and vegetables.
The main principle that this macrobiotic diet is based on, is the concept of balancing Yin and Yang. Yin and Yang concepts originated in ancient China and date back to tens of thousands of years before Christ. It was initially used to describe 2 sides of a mountain-yang representing the sunny side of the mountain or day time or summer and yin representing the shady side of the mountain or winter or night time.
Keeping with this trend, yin signified coolness, peace, mindfulness, and introspection while yang signified sunshine, warmth color, and expression. When extrapolated to our diet, yin represents the cold foods that provide coolness to our body and yang represents warm foods that are heat-producing in our body. The macrobiotic diet suggests we should maintain a balance between both types of foods.
Not only warm and cool, but this yin and yang concept can also be applied to the acid and alkaline aspects of our food intake. The idea is to strike a balance. In practice, the macrobiotic diet promotes the use of ‘locally grown’ whole grain cereals, fruits, and vegetables. Foods such as brown rice, barley, millet, oats, and quinoa are the most appropriate foods according to this diet, in association with balancing yin and yang.
Vegetables like tomatoes, peppers, potatoes, spinach, and beetroots are not recommended in routine usage as they are considered to be too ‘yin’, therefore throwing our food off-balance. Not only food items, but this diet also requires us to use utensils that maintain yin and yang in balance. It restricts the use of Teflon and stainless steel utensils and promotes vessels made of wood and glass.
Sample daily diet plan for Macrobiotic diet
- 2 servings of roasted, rolled oats
- 2 slices of multigrain, whole wheat bread
- Floral based tea-chamomile, green, Bancha
- Vegetarian, cucumber-based sushi
- Tofu salad with vegan dressing/lemon-based dressing
- Vegetable-based soup-clear/pulpy
- Boiled, brown rice
- Boiled vegetables-with or without curry.
- 1 cup of green coffee
Side effects of the Macrobiotic diet
Because of improper knowledge, a wrong version of the macrobiotic diet which involved eating only brown rice and water was spread wide and far and that led to several nutritional deficiencies. Some cases have even reported the death.
The strict versions of the diet are very harmful too, as they don’t allow the use of animal products, and that too leads to several nutritional deficiencies. People with pre-existing health conditions like Diabetes and cancer must particularly avoid following this diet. Children and Pregnant women too are strongly advised against this diet as this could hamper growth and again predispose to severe nutritional deficiencies.
2. MEDITERRANEAN DIET
The Mediterranean diet tells us to have consumed conventional foods i.e., the food that used to be consumed traditionally, way back in the early 1900s in countries like Greece and Italy. This is so because their heart and general body health are compared to the current heart and body health of the average American ad they were said to lead better, longer, and healthier lives.
They had a lower risk of the so-called lifestyle diseases and it is assumed to be because of their diet patterns. Studies have also shown that this diet could lead to weight loss and improve heart health by preventing diseases like strokes and heart attacks.
This diet allows the usage of meat and is not as strict as the macrobiotic diet. They condemn the usage of red meat but you’re allowed to eat fish and white meat. In fact, fish is considered very healthy for heart health. Poultry, cheese, eggs, milk and other milk products are required to be consumed in moderation and sugars and artificially sweetened drinks and desserts are not allowed, at all.
While on this diet, one must avoid said ‘unhealthy’ foods like extra added sugars, refined grains like all-purpose flour, white bread and pasta; trans-fats like ghee, butter; refined oils like soybean ad sunflower oils-especially if not fortified; processed meats; and canned foods.
Water is supposed to be the only drink you consume when on this diet. Fruit and vegetable juices are also condemned as they are less healthy compared to consuming the whole fruit. Coffee and tea are allowed but in moderation. Some sources say alcohol in the form of red wine can be allowed as one glass per day, too.
Daily diet sample for the Mediterranean diet
- Strawberry oats smoothie made with greek yogurt
- A sandwich made with whole-grain bread with a lot of fresh veggies inside avoiding ayo and cheese
- Green tea
- Salad with olives, tomatoes and garnish with feta cheese.
Side effects of the Mediterranean diet
There is always the risk of gaining weight, rather than losing, when you use nuts as yours nack and replace processed oils wth olive and groundnut oils. You may find yourself getting anemic and dizzy, especially women, as your iron levels may falter. Reducing the intake of dairy products can result in lower calcium levels. If wine is consumed in the Mediterranean diet, it must be avoided by recovering alcoholics and people with liver disease.
3. MILITARY DIET
This diet claims to allow for rapid weight loss-as much as 4 pounds or 2.5 kilos per week. All this, without strenuous exercise or drugs. This diet requires you to follow the special food-combinations 3 days a week and follow a normal eating pattern on the remaining 4 days.
On your diet days, you’ll be consuming a low-calorie meal plan consisting of chemically-compatible foods that will accelerate your fat burning and ensure weight loss. Or so they claim! Ideally, this diet engineered to achieve quick weight-loss goals for a short duration of the diet, but you can also continue the 3-4 cycle for as long as you want.
Sample diet plan for the military diet
- 1 slice of multigrain bread with 1 teaspoon nut butter.
- One cup of black coffee
- 1 apple
- 1 chapatti or multigrain bread with ½ cup tuna or ½ cup tofu
- 1 cup black tea or coffee
- 1 small apple
- 1 banana
- 3 ounces white meat/1 cup cottage cheese
- 1 slice whole-wheat bread
- One boiled egg
- 1 banana
- 1 scrambled egg
- 1 cup tofu
- 2 hot dog sausages
- 1 cup boiled/steamed broccoli
- 1 banana
- 1 apple
- One slice of parmesan cheese
- 1 slice of whole-grain bread
- 1 egg
- One slice of whole-grain bread
- 1 cup coffee
- 1 cup vanilla ice cream
The remaining 4 days of the week aren’t guided by any guidelines but you must strictly adhere to the normal diet and refrain from binging and snacking.
Side effects of the military diet
So, this one was very new to me. I have never heard of the military diet before and on researching, I came upon the official website-militiarydiet.com-it is a pretty intense diet plan with very interesting schemes of dieting for 3 days out of 7! Seems easy? Think again. What most people would tend to do, is follow these 3 days very religiously and the go back to binge eating and junking fo the next 4 days of the week. This creates a toxic relationship with food. Adhering to this diet for a long time can cause nutritional deficiencies, too.
4. MIND DIET
MIND stands for Mediterranean-Dash Intervention for Neurodegenerative Delay diet. It combines principles of both Mediterranean and DASH diets. This is for brain health as these diets were shown to improve cognition.
This is strictly a diet for neurodegenerative patients and not for us, healthy individuals.
5. PALEO DIET
This diet follows the eating habits of Paleolithic er. Guess what that means? Raw food! Mainly raw meat, as this was during the pre-agricultural times. Yuck? I think so! But some people will swear by it. Let’s find out more about it. The Paleolithic humans were on a plethora of diets-all depending on what was available to consume at a given time. The basics that we can follow are to consume meats, fish, eggs, nuts, fruits, and vegetables while avoiding any form of processed or industrially packed foods.
Sample diet plan for the paleo diet
- 1 boiled egg
- Vegetables fried in coconut oil
- One apple
- Boiled chicken salad
- 10-15 nuts of choice
- Boiled beef patties
- Vegetable salad
Side effects of the paleo diet
It can give you low blood sugar as you are not consuming carbohydrates anymore and the quantity of food taken is also less. It can lead to cravings which could end up giving a fast-binge cycle which is very toxic for your body. Bad breath, ketosis, and change in bowel habits are some other side effects. I would not recommend this diet as it is barbarian and there are many healthier diet fads that you can follow
6. DASH DIET
Dash stands for Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension. This diet essential to control blood pressure but can also use as one to lose weight. It is a diet rich in raw fruits and vegetables and low in sodium. It promoted by the US-based National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. This diet is not a fad but is a lifestyle change.
It is a life long approach to a healthier lifestyle. It designed primarily to help treat or prevent hypertension. This developed to lower blood pressure. This diet is mainly for reducing the salt intake and promote the consumption of foods rich in potassium, magnesium, and calcium.
Since DASH is just a healthy way of life and not a diet fad, it helps promote weight loss and offers other health advantages other than just lowering blood pressures.
There are 2 versions of the dash diet-Standard DASH and Low-sodium DASH. As recommended by your clinician, both diets aim at improving the blood pressure by reducing the intake of sodium in the body.
Sample diet plan for the DASH diet
- 1 slice whole-grain bread
- One orange
- 1 cup milk
- 1 bowl salad made with fresh vegetables
- One banana
- 10-15 almonds
- 1 bowl freshly cooked soup-not sieved
- ½ cup of brown rice
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- One cup fresh berries
- 1 pear
- 1 cup warm, fat-free milk.
Side effects of the DASH diet
Since his diet is more of a lifestyle change with not many restrictions per se, it doesn’t have any side effects. The only precaution to be taken is for patients suffering from hypotension or low blood pressure. I’d advise them to steer clear of this diet plan.
Having a toxic relationship with food and after trying most of the diet fads around us today myself, I have come to this conclusion today that no diet fad is worth it. Whether it is for losing weight or for greater health benefits, a small diet will simply not cut it. You have to make certain lifestyle changes.
These lifestyle changes pertain not only to your diet but also to your physical activity score. Eat-in moderation. A few days of splurging never harms anyone. With that in mind, I hope you’ll make wise decisions when it comes to your body and mind.
We hope this article helped you to know about One-Stop Guide to Your Ideal Diet Plan. You may also want to see our guide on How to use Menstrual Cups without leakage, and How To Maintain Hygiene In Intimate Area.