As the holidays start to roll in, so do the endless treats and hearty meals. But, unfortunately, it’s all too easy to overindulge in pastries, candies, cookies, and more, especially at parties and holiday festivals.
Whether you want to diet in preparation for the holidays, plan to lose some pounds after, or just want to change up your lifestyle, this list of diet plans can help direct you in the right direction.
1. Paleo Diet
This type of diet requires you to turn back the clock. Like, all the way back. The gist of the paleo diet is to eat as your earliest ancestors did. There’s a strong focus on fruits, vegetables, nuts, and whole foods, and lean meat. You don’t have to cook over an open flame, but you eliminate many artificial additives found in many of today’s food products.
People on the paleo diet naturally consume fewer calories and carbs, leading to accelerated weight loss. It has also shown promise in protecting your body against heart disease and other illnesses that are brought upon by unhealthy eating. However, you are sacrificing certain foods such as whole wheat and dairy, which have nutritional properties you might be missing out on.
2. Intermittent Fasting
Of all the diet plans, this is one of the few that focuses less on what you eat and more on when you eat. Intermittent fasting has been practiced for many years, primarily by religious groups expressing their devotion by mastering their bodies. Today, studies have shown that there are some health benefits associated with intermittent fasting that all can enjoy.
There are a few different ways to practice intermittent fasting, depending on your preferred timetable. The most common approach is to go 24 hours without eating or to skip two full meals. Other methods are more lenient, but still have similar effects. Use your Calendar to follow your pattern of choice depending on your physical capabilities and health goals.
In addition to cutting out calorie consumption entirely for a short time, intermittent fasting has shown capabilities in increased cellular repair, reduced inflammation and cholesterol levels, and even decreased your risk of type 2 diabetes. Just be sure not to fast too often. The word intermittent is very important for making sure you don’t overexert yourself.
3. Dukan Diet
Your Calendar will help you get the most mileage using the Dukan Diet. Created by French nutritionist Pierre Dukan, this diet plan consists of four parts that your Calendar will help you track and manage.
The four phases are as follows:
It’s called the Attack and is where most of the weight loss comes from. Just like with keto, you cut out the carbs and eat a ton of protein to kick your metabolism into overdrive. Some light exercise is also encouraged to speed the process along. The Attack Phase is short, lasting around a week long. Then, some oats and a lot of hydration top it all off.
After your initial rapid weight loss, the “cruise” phase comes into phase. You can now introduce some non-starchy vegetables into the mix, as well as some extra oats. The weight loss comes more slowly, but also more consistently. The guideline for this phase is roughly three days for every pound you hope to lose, so use your Calendar accordingly.
As you know, the most critical part of dieting is not regaining the weight you’ve lost. That’s what the Consolidation Phase phase is all about. Your Calendar will now be calibrated to your Consolidation Phase, with five days for each pound you lost in the past two. In addition, fruits. Fruit, starches, and a few cheat meals are now allowed as you maintain your new weight.
The final phase of this diet is called “Stabilization” and is to be followed indefinitely. After that, you’re allowed to eat whatever you want, although trying to stick to a healthy eating pattern as guided through the first three phases. The difference here is that once a week, you revert back to your “attack” phase plan as a way to stay on top of your new lifestyle.
Of all the diet plans on this list, this is the most extensive and the one with the least amount of research done regarding its benefits. If your goal is simple weight loss, it’s certainly worth a try, but know that any other effects of this diet haven’t been studied and are largely unknown.
The ketogenic diet, known by its shorthand form keto, is essentially a low or zero-carb diet. The idea is to eat protein almost exclusively until your body enters ketosis. Ketosis is when your body stops burning through carbs and starts eating away at the protein and fat in your body, leading to slimming and weight loss.
Since your body consumes carbs for energy first, the keto diet speeds up your weight loss journey by tearing down a significant obstacle. As a result, people often lose weight more quickly through keto than through other diets, but any additional health benefits are less certain.
It is important to note that it takes your body up to a week to enter ketosis. If you consume a fair amount of carbs, you can exit ketosis and have to start all over again. Your Calendar can help you stick to your goal of avoiding carbs for long enough to see the weight loss benefits.
5. Vegan Diet
Vegans live a life in harmony with nature, vowing never to consume products derived from animals. The promise is not to have any meat, dairy, eggs, and more — all of these products are eliminated from your diet. In addition, the Keto diet is low in fat and high in fiber, making you feel full for longer, preventing overeating.
The biggest problem with veganism is that you often deprive your body of numerous vitamins found in protein-based meats. Therefore, supplements need to be considered to get the nutrients you need. Otherwise, the primarily plant-based diet keeps your body clear of much of the gunk commonly found in today’s processed foods.
Dieting is never fun, but taking control of your body unlocks so many opportunities for you. You can improve your quality of life, reduce your risk of diseases, or enjoy an extra piece of pumpkin pie at Halloween. All great reasons to consider even a short-term diet to end the year.
Image Credit: lisa1172019; pexels; thank you!
Student at UC Berkeley, currently working on a degree in Electrical Engineering/Computer Sciences and Business Administration. Experienced in CSX, productivity management, and chatbot implementation.