You may have noticed the upcoming trend lately: ‘intermittent fasting’. Intermittent fasting means interrupted fasting. The regime prescribes when and for how long you do and don’t eat. There are different forms of intermittent fasting.
The 5/2 method
You eat very little for two days a week and normal for the other five days.
The 16/8 method
With this method, you eat eight hours a day and fast the other 16 hours.
According to research, there is no consistent evidence that changing the time frame of food intake, such as with the 16/8 variant of ‘intermittent fasting’, makes a difference to the amount of weight you lose. If intermittent fasting helps people to eat less and better maintain a healthy weight, that’s a good thing, provided that the food quality remains good. Researchers emphasize that it is important that a change in lifestyle is sustainable in the long term. They do think that a diet such as ‘intermittent fasting’ can offer people something to hold on to, because people impose rules on themselves about when they can eat. But here too the following applies: you can make a difference with what you eat. People should therefore not focus on losing as much weight as possible, but rather on the quality of the diet and their level of physical activity.
The Pioppi Diet
Like intermittent fasting, this diet has recently become a very popular lifestyle. Why? The inhabitants of the small Italian village of Pioppi are living longer than other people around the world. The Pioppi diet is a low-carbohydrate diet or “low-carbohydrate high-fat diet” incorporating elements of a Mediterranean diet. It is recommended to eat 3 meals a day until you are full and not to snack in between. In addition, it is recommended to fast for 24 hours each week.
Products that are recommended in the diet are olive oil, butter, coconut oil, whole milk products and cheeses, all unprocessed meat and fish products, vegetables, unsalted nuts, eggs, certain fruits, dark chocolate, red wine (in moderation, one glass a day), coffee, tea and water.
Carbohydrate-rich products are not recommended. For example, bread, pasta, rice and potatoes as well as products with added sugars, soft drinks, fruit juices, honey and various types of fruit. Oils made from seeds, such as sunflower oil, products with more than 3 ingredients and light products are also not recommended. The Pioppi diet is not a typical Mediterranean diet, by avoiding all grain products and adding products like coconut oil.
As with other diets, people should not focus too much on ‘the ideal’ result. What works in a village in Italy does not have to work for you. In addition, the Pioppi diet does not correspond to what the people in the southern Italian village of Pioppi actually eat. In contrast to the Pioppi diet, a Mediterranean diet does contain grain products such as bread, pasta, rice and couscous and meat and eggs are eaten to a limited extent. Olive oil is used, but no coconut oil.
Koolhydraatrijke producten worden afgeraden. Dit gaat om zowel brood, pasta, rijst en aardappelen als producten met toegevoegde suikers, frisdrank, vruchtensappen, honing en verschillende soorten fruit. Ook oliën gemaakt uit zaden, zoals zonnebloemolie, producten met meer dan 3 ingrediënten en lightproducten worden afgeraden. Het Pioppi-dieet is door het vermijden van alle graanproducten en het toevoegen van producten als kokosolie geen typisch Mediterraan dieet.
The principle of the Paleo diet (or Paleo lifestyle) is based on the prehistoric way of life; in the days when people still hunted and gathered. Scientists have studied how humans lived and what they ate. It is believed that the human genes are geared to this primal diet, as we have lived this way for many thousands of years.
When humans started to evolve and learned how to grow certain crops and keep animals themselves (the agricultural revolution), we also started to eat differently. We started eating grains, milking cows, and over time we developed more and more methods of processing these foods. If you plot this event on a timeline of human existence, the agricultural revolution is actually not that long ago.
Hunters and gatherers already ate Paleo. They mainly ate vegetables, meat, fish, eggs, fruit and sometimes some nuts and seeds.
A big change in our diet. We started growing foods and started processing them more and more.
Food from a factory?
Today much of our food is produced in factories, with a lot of artificial additives and especially a lot of sugar. Our body doesn’t respond well to that. We feel tired and get all kinds of little ailments.
Back to basic
Back to our great-great-grandparents, back to our roots. Healthy food as nature intended. By eating only those things that make us feel super good, we feel fit and healthy again.
The starting point
Our genes are not adapted to the way we eat nowadays. The consequence is the increasing of all kinds of diseases; diabetes, cardiovascular disease, autoimmune diseases, and so on. In addition, more and more people are overweight and vitamin and mineral deficiencies have become normal. Medical science often does not have an answer to this and the ‘treatment’ is aimed at combating symptoms.
Everything is increasingly mass-produced and this results in food containing less and less nutritional value (less vitamins and minerals) and animals being injected with hormones and antibiotics. When eating this meat we also take in these substances and they ensure that our body has an increasingly difficult time excreting (detoxifying) these substances.
The Paleo lifestyle has solution for this: treat and prevent disease, and promote health by eating the way prehistoric humans ate. In short, this primal food consists of:
- Nuts and seeds
As you can see, it contains no grains, no dairy products, no legumes and no sugar. In addition, it also contains no chemical additives.
A ketogenic diet is a diet that contains very few carbohydrates, which makes your body burn fat effectively. The name ketogenic diet is derived from the term ketosis. Ketosis is a process that keeps your body working if you eat few carbohydrates. Although there are no strict criteria for the ketogenic diet, long-term ketogenic foods always contain a relatively high amount of fat, very few carbohydrates and an average amount of protein.
In the short term, a ketogenic diet doesn’t have to be high in fat. The body can also use the stored body fat as an energy source if you eat very few carbohydrates. Overweight people have more fat and are therefore more likely to burn fat. This is possible as long as you have excess body fat. If you want to stay in ketosis after that, you have to get the fat that is needed to provide your body with energy from your diet.
What can you eat on a ketogenic diet?
To get into and stay in ketosis, you should consume a maximum of 1 to 1,5 oz of carbohydrates a day. Foods with a lot of carbohydrates such as grain products therefore are not part of the diet. Foods that are very low in carbohydrates are:
- Natural fats such as coconut oil, butter and olive oil
- Full-fat dairy products
- Nuts, such as macadamia and pecan
- Vegetables (no tubers)
- A limited amount of red fruit
To compensate for the water you lose each day, it’s important to drink enough water.
What foods should you avoid on a ketogenic diet?
Sugar and starch are carbohydrates. Foods containing sugar and starch should therefore be avoided. These include:
- Fruit (excluding a limited amount of red fruit)
- Potato chips
- Soft drink
- All processed products
How does a ketogenic diet work?:
The two main energy suppliers for the body are carbohydrates and fats. If you eat few carbohydrates, your body is forced to switch to burning fat to meet its energy needs.
Body cells can use fatty acids for energy, brain cells cannot function directly on fatty acids. In order to also provide the brain with energy, the liver converts fat molecules into ketones. These ketones are transported via the blood to the brain to serve as fuel. Ketones are a powerful fuel for the brain.
What are the benefits of a ketogenic diet?:
Besides the fact that the Ketogenic diet reduces the feeling of hunger, so that losing weight takes much less effort, the Ketogenic diet has more benefits:
- Mental and physical stamina are increased by the ketogenic diet
- Type 2 Diabetes can be reversed with the Ketogenic diet
- Reduced risk of cardiovascular disease due to improved cholesterol profile through the ketogenic diet
- Reduced risk of cancer through the ketogenic diet
- Epilepsy can be controlled with the ketogenic diet
- Migraine attacks can be greatly reduced by the ketogenic diet
- Improve Blood Sugar and Insulin Levels with the ketogenic diet
- High blood pressure can drop when you’re on a ketogenic diet
- Acne can be greatly reduced by following a ketogenic diet
In addition, there is research showing that the ketogenic diet can help with the following disorders:
- Anxiety Disorder
- Bipolar disorder
- Compulsive disorder
- Parkinson’s disease
What are the disadvantages of a ketogenic diet?:
When you start following the ketogenic diet, your body has to make a big switch. Especially in the first week you can experience complaints such as fatigue, headache and difficulty concentrating. This phenomenon is also called the keto flu, although it is of course not a real flu. Fortunately, this disappears automatically after a maximum of five days and you feel fitter and more energetic than before.
There are many different ways to eat ketogenic. Living on eggs with bacon is ketogenic, but not healthy. A healthy ketogenic diet also consists largely of vegetables. This gives you enough fibre and prevents constipation. Also make sure to drink enough.
In the early weeks of ketosis, your breath may smell like acetone. For most people, this disappears once the body has adapted to the new diet.
Impact on life
In addition to these physical discomforts, perhaps the biggest drawback is the impact of this diet on your daily and social life. To eat really ketogenic, you can, as mentioned before, consume a maximum of 1 to 1,5 oz of carbohydrates per day. In practice, this means never eating a sandwich, fried rice or one ice cream again. This is a big task for most people.
Can you follow a ketogenic diet for the rest of your life?
If you have the discipline, following the ketogenic diet for the rest of your life can do a lot of good for your health. But, of course you have to do it right. You have to ensure sufficient variety in your diet, including lots of vegetables, fibres and healthy fats.
A more realistic way to also have the many health benefits, may be to follow a low-carbohydrate diet. A low-carbohydrate diet is less strict and leaves more room to occasionally enjoy products that contain carbohydrates.
Crash diets can help you lose ten pounds in a short amount of time, but people are often back at their old weight within a short period of time. People often do not realize that after losing weight they have to adopt a different lifestyle in order to maintain the weight loss. In addition, all kinds of things can change internally, which causes your body to induce a feeling of hunger after weight loss. As a result, especially with extreme weight loss, you tend to eat more again and it becomes more difficult to maintain a healthy weight.
Of course it is nice to see that you lose ten pounds in a short period of time, but losing five pounds in combination with a healthy lifestyle also has many positive effects on your body. Such as reducing the risk of chronic diseases. It is therefore advisable not to focus on the amount of weight you want to lose, but to strive for a healthy lifestyle and be happy with long-term steady weight loss.
For example, eating a little less calories each day will also give you the result you want in the long run and is easier to maintain. In addition, such a method prevents you from getting hungry.
In short: what works and what does not work in terms of weight loss, differs per person Above all it’s about creating a healthy diet and lifestyle that you can maintain.