Top 5 Diets to Avoid and Top 5 Diets to Adopt

Drink less, smoke less, eat healthier, move more… whatever your 2019 resolution may be, chances are high that you’ve already (kind of) slipped up a couple of times on whatever goal you have set.

Hopefully, our earlier post on the top 10 Montreal gyms inspired you to trim your waist and look better and fitter for the shiny New Year!

But did you know that weigh loss follows a special formula: 80 percent diet and 20 percent exercise. That means that if you’re wolfing down empty calories after a drenching workout, you might be disappointed by your reflection in the mirror.

We’ve compiled a list of head-ache inducing diets that fitness trainers and nutritionists pooh-pooh. And, of course, we’ve set up a list of sensible diets that are given the thumbs’ up.

Top Worst Diets:

  1. The Keto Diet

Sigh, the Keto Diet. Last year, it divided fitness instructors, health and wellness celebrities, and nutritionists. In simple terms, the keto diet is a very low-carb diet, focused on helping you shed fat. Ideally, the keto dieter reduces her or his carb intake to 50 grams a day. Nix pasta, potatoes, bread, rice and noodles. Avoid processed foods and sugary foods and aim to consume healthy fats including avocado, salmon, meat, vegetables that grow above the ground, and cheese. The problem with the Keto diet is that it is too early for registered dietitians and doctors to qualify its merits. In the long-term run, it may turn out that the Keto diet does have its benefits, but it’s simply too early to know. Dietitians also warn that the keto diet helps you lose water weight fast when you are in the state of ketosis, but that the weight can very easily be won back.  

  1. Juice Cleanses

Sure, juice cleanses tend to be the rage among celebrities. Alright, the photos you post of yourself with your cleanse look so good on Instagram, but let’s take an honest look at juice cleanses. They limit nutrients, are concentrated sugar calories, and basically contain little to no protein. As such, juice cleansers rarely feel full, and tend to binge on those delicious foods when they have successfully finished their cleanses. What was the point of that?

  1. The Carnivore Diet

Meat lovers tend to think this diet is just the ticket, and they may be right when it comes to their taste buds, but not to their gut. Also known as the “caveman diet”, the carnivore diet is basically composed of steak, eggs, grass-fed butter, and cheese. Your body will be full of protein and fat, but will be craving plant-based foods, which are not allowed. According to its followers, the carnivore diet trains the body to run on fat rather than carbohydrates, but specialists remain skeptical of this diet, pointing out that the glaring lack of dietary fiber could lead to serious health issues such as bone loss, organ damage, and more, not to mention larger-than-life issues such as climate change. Toss out that chicken, folks. Trust us on this one.

  1. The Cookie Diet

We kid you not, the cookie diet does really exist. Designed by a health physician in 1975, the Cookie Diet was aimed at overweight patients who couldn’t resist a good cookie. Basically, these cookies are full of protein and fiber, and are pre-made for those trying to snack on something healthy rather than something sugary. Followers of this diet, which has currently been adopted and spun by power-hungry companies, are encouraged to eat between 6 and 9 cookies a day. The problem with these cookies is that the follower’s behavior further perpetuates and encourages an unhealthy relationship with food. Rather than take on healthier habits, such as consuming whole-foods, this diet allows you to cheat. Move over, cookie monster, and pick up some carrot sticks.

  1. The Potato Diet

Mashed, chopped up, pureed, whole, whatever rocks your boat, eat potatoes! Followers eat between 2 and 5 pounds of potatoes a day. No other food item is allowed. For some, this diet’s a dream. For example, an Australian native named Andrew Flinders Taylor dropped 117 pounds after eating potatoes, and only potatoes, for a year. If variety is the spice of life, we’re not sure how followers of the potato diet can claim to be happy, but some clearly do. Furthermore, potatoes lack fibre, protein and fat. Overall, the potato diet can even be dangerous, given that it can mess with your muscle density and strength, among other factors.

So… now that we’ve had a good laugh at those ridiculous diets out there, it’s time to shed light on some of the effective weight-loss solutions for your 2019 body. The time for a new and better you is now!

  1. The Mediterranean Diet

A favorite among dieters, health food experts and nutritionists alike, the Mediterranean Diet can also be perceived as a source of pleasure. The idea is to enjoy lengthy meals with family and friends and to conscientiously indulge in healthy foods. Rather than focusing on restriction, the diet encourages followers to choose veggies, fruit, 100% whole grains, pulses such as beans, chickpeas, peas and lentils, and to opt for lean protein such as seafood, eggs, and some meat. So pop open a bottle of red wine, snack on some nuts or a piece of cheese, and let’s lose weight the healthy way! Side note: there is even research indicating that women following the Mediterranean Diet can even prolong their life span. Buon Appetito!

  1. The Volumetrics Diet

As its name suggests, the Volumetrics Diet allows you to indulge in plenty of vegetables and fruit. Think large salads, never-ending bowls of spinach, and you’re on the Volumetrics Diet. The great thing about this diet is that it encourages dieters to eat plenty of healthy foods at regular intervals, which means that they usually feel full and good about themselves. Not bad! Fork that lettuce!

  1.  The DASH Diet

Ideal for people struggling with hypertension and diabetes, the DASH diet lays heavy emphasis on whole grains, fruits and vegetables, low-fat dairy and lean protein while restricting sodium in all its forms. Your blood pressure is sure to say “thank you” if you follow this diet!

  1. The Flexitarian Diet

This diet is perfect for people who like to swap things up (forget the Potato Diet). For flexible vegetarians, this diet promotes the consumption of beans, peas and eggs for protein, but also allows for an occasional intake of meat. This diet is interesting for those who are not used to dieting and who may have struggled with a yoyo relationship with food in the past. Created by dietitian Dawn Blatner, the diet is more of a lifestyle than a regime, but repeatedly promotes the idea of eating plant-based foods and less meat.

  1.  Weight Watchers Diet

Currently revamped as the “WW” lifestyle that follows the slogan “wellness that works”, Weight Watchers is more of a support group than a diet. You get a daily “points” target and are encouraged to eat the types of foods you like, within reason, naturally. On the down side, there is a monthly subscription charge, so watch out if your wallet is thinning.   

The bottom line is that your relationship with food has to be healthy. Don’t snack in secret, don’t succumb to your cravings, but don’t restrict yourself to the point of exhaustion. A balanced, well-proportioned diet that is inclusive over exclusive is the way to go.