Do ‘Fad’ Diets Really Work? Three of the Most Common Examined

The start of a new year brings with it lots of resolutions and promises that we make with ourselves.

These can be career-orientated, financial, or involve our love lives, although it seems that the most common new year’s resolution is always to lose weight and lead a healthier lifestyle.

Unfortunately, this can lead some people to poorly-researched internet diets, ‘fad’ eating plans, and plenty of other bad ideas that are not supported by science or medicine.

In this article, we have listed three popular diets that have found their way into popular culture. And, at the end of the piece, there are some handy bullet points that will help you to get your new year off to a happy and healthy start.

Intermittent Fasting

There are a number of diets, including the popular 5:2 plan, that dictates that you should ‘fast’, to some extent, during part of the week. Again, the results of such an approach tend to be mixed and are rarely supported by medical professionals.

There is some science to it: any diet that lowers calorie intake will help you to lose weight. But at what cost to your physical and mental wellbeing?

With no confirmed medical research into its advantages, we suggest you leave the intermittent fasting plan to the Hollywood elite.

The Mediterranean Diet

At last, here’s a diet plan that is proven to have some health benefits!

The Mediterranean diet, as the name suggests, is based on foods typically across the sunnier parts of Europe. Think fresh fruit, vegetables, fish, grains, legumes, and even olive oil.

Such an eating plan has been proven, according to a number of scientific sources, to help with weight loss and also aid the prevention of heart disease, strokes, and type 2 diabetes.

It has also been reported that by the year 2040, Spain is likely to have the longest life expectancy in the world, closely followed by Greece, Italy, and Portugal.

The Keto Diet

It should be noted that the ketogenic diet plan, shortened to keto, has been met with mixed reviews from medical professionals.

In short, this is a low carb, high-fat diet, in which the idea is to put your body in a state of ketosis – meaning that fat stores are used for energy, causing weight levels to drop drastically.

An extreme version, the ‘dirty keto’, allows individuals to eat fast food and takeaways while still losing weight – that’s a general idea, anyway.

There is no scientific evidence to suggest that the keto plan works, however, and a balanced diet still comes highly recommended.

There are plenty of keto advocates, however. Halle Berry swears by the plan and looks fantastic at the age of 53, while heavyweight boxer Tyson Fury believes the keto plan saved his career and his life.

The ‘Gypsy King’ ballooned to 385lbs as he battled a series of mental health problems, and that began to impact upon his physical wellbeing too. But a chance meeting with trainer Ben Davidson reignited Fury’s love of boxing, and he was determined to get back into the ring.

Utilizing the keto diet and a light exercise regime, the 31-year-old lost a staggering 130lbs in 18 months.

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Not only that, Fury is back in boxing and, on February 22, he will challenge Deontay Wilder for the WBC heavyweight title. Not only that, he is the favorite to win according to the latest boxing odds for Wilder vs Fury – what a redemption story that would be!

Like all of the diets on this list, the keto plan is not endorsed by medical professionals. But, in the short term, it might just work for you.

If you want to lose weight well in 2020, instead follow these simple guidelines and you won’t go far wrong:

  • Eat regular meals
  • Manage your portion size
  • Avoid junk foods
  • Increase your vegetable intake
  • Drink plenty of water
  • Follow calorie guidelines for your gender, age, and size
  • Exercise at least three times per week