There comes a time in life when the fun task of eating whatever the hell you want is followed by the dread of realising what it might be doing to your body. There's nothing wrong with eating a hot chip or five, of course, but there are some health benefits associated with being a bit more conscious about what you eat. In these cases, some people prefer to exercise their own autonomy and self-regulate the moderation of what they eat but others turn to special diets to help them out.
Diets are often fads with varying results, depending on your lifestyle and body, but plenty of health fanatics swear by them. In the interest of all things not keto, here are some alternatives to consider if this is the path you'd like to take.
Carbohydrates (or 'carbs' for short) have become something of a scapegoat for Australia's rising obesity levels. Because sugar is a carb, it might seem like a good idea to eliminate all carbs from your diet. In reality, carbs contain key nutrients that the human body requires to function properly. Here are five dietitian-approved carbs that most people should definitely stick with.
We're not medical professionals or dietitians at Lifehacker Australia so each of these diets should be taken as a guide. Consult a professional to ensure you're getting a balanced diet.
This diet has become popular in recent years after people cottoned on to the fact that the Mediterranean population had far healthier hearts than those in North America and Northern Europe, according to Mayo Clinic.
So, what's it consist of? Well, according to Mayo Clinic, quite a bit.
- Eating 7-10 portions of vegetables or fruits daily.
- Switching to whole grains with pasta and bread.
- Weekly portions of fish, poultry, beans and eggs.
- Moderate portions of dairy products.
- Limiting how much red meat you eat.
- Healthy fats like olive oil.
As the name suggests, this diet, introduced by US dietitian Dawn Jackson Blatner in her 2008 book, focuses more on being flexible than a strict regime. The aim of it is essentially switching to a more plant-based diet and cutting out more of your meat intake and a great offshoot means you'll likely save a few pennies while you're at it.
If you're a certified carnivore and meat is part of nearly every meal you have, the best way to transition into this is by starting small. Start with trying one meatless main meal a day and once that's bearable, try out a full day without meat. Once you begin experimenting with more cooking without resorting to chucking in some sort of meat, you can even attempt multiple days a week without meat.
Most diets have a purpose and while losing weight tends to be most common motivation, others, like the DASH diet, have an important motive. The name itself stands for Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension and it's aimed at preventing or reducing high blood pressure, according to Mayo Clinic.
The main way it does that is by reducing salt intake and focusing on foods high in potassium, calcium and magnesium. The standard diet recommends limiting your salt intake to 2,300 milligrams a day. It sounds a bit difficult to follow but by focusing on the following foods, it should be achievable.
- Eat 4 to 5 servings of both vegetables and fruits a day
- Dairy should be 2 to 3 servings a day
- Eat 4 to 5 servings of nuts, seeds and legumes per week
- Limit sweets to less than 5 servings a week
- Cap meat and poultry servings to six 30 gram servings per day
The Hibernation Diet
This one's been around since 2006 when a pharmacist, Mike McInnes, and his son released a book explaining that a big dollop or two of honey before bed every night could be the key. The book explained how this little hack could help balance your blood sugar levels and activate your liver so it kicked into fat-burning gear while you slept.
But other than that trick, you'll need to still avoid highly refined, processed foods because they're the big bad guys of this story.
Five people have recently told me they were going to "try keto" — the most recent after gushing about a mutual friend who has been doing keto, aka the popular ketogenic diet, and getting awesome-looking results. You've probably heard rumblings about keto, but what the heck is it? And is it too good to be true?