I’m sure you’ve heard people saying “I eat paleo these days” and “I’m eating clean now” but what does all that mumbo gumbo actually mean? Thankfully,
you’ve got me to help lay it all out in simpler terms that we can all understand.
Paleo Diet –
The Paleolithic diet (or “Paleo” diet) takes your eating habits old school and I mean like really old school, we’re talking Stone Age here. The idea behind this diet is to eat like a hunter-gather, when our ancestors had a diet based around what they could hunt and forage and ate what their bodies needed to survive. The diet focuses on cutting out what our bodies do not need, such as processed foods and diary, by going back to the basics of how our ancestors once survived.
In the paleo diet, you can eat grass-produced meats, fish, eggs, fresh fruits, fresh vegetables, nuts, seeds, and healthy natural oils (olive, coconut, flaxseed, etc).
However, you are restricted from eating: refined sugar, potatoes, dairy, legumes (which includes peanuts), cereal grains, and processed foods. Anything that you couldn’t find in the wild in 10,000 B.C. is off limits to this eating plan.
Clean Eating –
This is possibly the biggest one on the rise among Instafitters and Fitblrs, but I’m not entirely sure that everyone knows what clean eating actually means. Clean eating is a very simple; you only eat what comes from nature. The Clean Eating advocates that it’s more of a lifestyle choice than a “diet” because the plan isn’t about patrolling your caloric intake or limiting your carbs, it’s about simply eating food that’s good for your body.
In clean eating, you eat fresh, real foods, such as meat, fish, fruits, veggies, whole grains, seeds, beans, legumes, nuts. natural oils, honey, and anything else that comes from the earth.Most clean eating sites also suggest eating 5-6 small meals each day.
Clean Eating restricts you from eating processed foods. If it was made in a plant, and not a farm, then it’s not clean eating. For the most part, if it comes with a nutritional label (with the exception of whole grain pastas and natural cheese, etc) it’s probably not clean eating kosher.
Intermittent Fasting –
Intermittent Fasting has a different concept than most other diets because instead of altering what you eat, you alter when you eat. Intermittent Fasting explores the science that we don’t give our bodies enough time to burn off the calories we intake. We cannot burn existing fat from our bodies until 12 hours past our last meal.
Basically with the Intermittent Fasting method, you eat all your meals within about an 8 hour period of the day, and you do not eat for the remaining 16 hours. By eating this way, you allow yourself not only to burn all the calories from the meals you eat but also existing fat on your body. Your calorie intake should remain about the same because you will burn off the calories you intake during the fasting period, so your meals should be large during your 8 hours of eating. Though you should remain eating somewhat healthy, what you eat is less important in this diet.
This is great for busy people like myself, so this is the eating plan I’ve been on recently. What I do is skip breakfast and then I don’t eat until around 2 when I get back from class or the gym when I eat big, then I eat my second and final meal around 8 or 9. This is meant to help burn fat and build lean muscle.
Another big trend in health and weight loss lately is the “Teatox” Cleanse. Companies liked “Skinny Teatox” and “Bootea” have come up with natural tea formulas that detox the body, lose weight, and boost energy usually over a 7 day, 14 day, or 28 day cycle. Those who teatox often post before and after pictures of their experience and the difference is certainly noticeable! Many users also teatox over and over again to keep seeing their results florish! The longer the tox, the better the results.
Most teatoxes involve a morning tea that promotes appetite suppression, provides energy, and increases the metabolism, coupled with a nightly tea that cleanses your colon and flushes out the toxins that make it difficult to lose weight. The nightly tea also contains a natural laxative (usually Senna leaf) which cleanses your system but also may increase the frequency that you use the bathroom.
During the teatox, the companies suggest a good, natural diet and active lifestyle to better your results while using the teatox.
Juicing Diet –
There’s all different kinds of juice cleanses out there. People love juicing these days. It’s a good way to get in your fruits and vegetables if you struggle with eating all 8 servings each day, because, honestly, don’t we all? Juicing can be a great way to improve your overall health and wellness with more fruits and vegetables in your system.
The Juice CLEANSE Diet is very different from juicing. The Juice Cleanse involves drinking just fruit and vegetable juice and water for 7 days to lose weight quickly and effectively. Often people use a juice cleanse as a way to jumpstart a new diet or to get over a plateau.
One con of juicing, however, is that you risk not getting enough fiber from juices rather than raw fruits and veg. A great way to combat that is using the power juices to enrich fibrous recipes, such as muffins or even as broth for a meal. Juicing can really sneak much more fruits and vegetables into your diet, as long as you’re willing to take the extra step to insure your fiber intake.
Primal Diet –
The primal diet, based off The Primal Blueprint founded by Mark Sisson, is similar to Paleo and Clean Eating, with a few major differences. Much like the Paleo diet, the Primal Diet suggests we go back to our most primal state of human existence, when we fended for ourselves in the wild (and no, I do not mean the concrete jungle).
The Primal diet wants you to eats lot of plants and animals. They advocate for a lot of protein; animals, insects, and plants. Wait, insects? Yes, insects. They also suggest you limit carb and grain intake. Mostly, however, the primal diet suggests you ditch foods packed with processed sugars and carbohydrates because those artificial elements were never a part of our ancestors’ diet.
The diet focuses mostly on having meals that combine a protein, a carb, and a fat, along with leaving an active lifestyle. The Primal Bluebrint also provides its enthusiasts with natural supplements to make their primal lifestyle go even further.
Flexible Dieting –
Flexible Dieting is all the rage for those who want to eat those processed foods here and there, or especially those looking to build muscle. Flexible Dieting relies on tracking macronutrients, which is proteins, carbohydrates, and fats. Instead of worrying about how good or bad a food is for your body, flexible dieters just worry about the protein, carb, and fat composition to make sure they’re within their daily values.
Unlike other diets, Flexible Dieting is the scientific belief that your body doesn’t care whether or not the food is good for you, it simply breaks it down. With Flexible Dieting, there are no good or bad foods, just macronutrient ratios. Basically, you can eat anything you want as long as you reach your macro goals, which is a certain intake of grams of carbs, fat, and protein each day.
This is often effective because dieters don’t have to stress about whether or not they are “being good”. The constant temptation to binge eat often is what makes losing weight so difficult. However, Flexible Dieting suggests as long as you can track how much fat, carbs, and protein you intake everyday, then you can lose weight and gain muscle.
Senior Creative Writing Major at Susquehanna University, Editing and Publishing intern, Stay-at-home businesswoman, and lifeguard of six years who also specializes in health, cartoons, and good attitudes.