Trying to lose weight can be frustrating. We’ve all made it our number one New Year’s resolution a couple of times now—but here we are again. Many have touted the weight loss benefits of dieting and exercise. But the question is: which diet or exercise should you follow? Practically all of them claim to be effective.
Before we get into the details of the three most popular diets today, we’ll just begin by saying that no one-size-fits-all diet exists. Sometimes the right diet is the one you feel you can stick with. With that said, we’re dishing out the details on the Mediterranean, Keto, and Whole30 diets below.
1. Mediterranean Diet
As the name suggests, this diet is based on the eating habits of the people living in the Mediterranean. It promotes the consumption of fresh, non-processed foods like fruits, vegetables, legumes, whole grains, lean protein, and olive oil. The Mediterranean diet also allows people to drink moderate amounts of wine while limiting the consumption of red meat.
This diet is among the healthiest ones right now, since you get most of your proteins from lean sources. The foods allowed in this diet could reduce the risk of heart disease, stroke, obesity, high blood pressure, and diabetes. However, maintaining a Mediterranean diet can be costly, and the meal plans still contain unsaturated fats, such as certain cheeses and oils.
2. Keto Diet
The ketogenic diet, better known as Keto, aims to force your body into a metabolic state called ketosis. This involves suddenly replacing the carbohydrates you usually eat with fat. Under ketosis, your body becomes more efficient in burning fat for energy, rather than carbohydrates.
It’s important to note that the keto diet has multiple types. Some offer variations in the fat-protein-carb breakdown, while others suit those who do high-intensity exercises. The most common types include:
- Standard Keto Diet (SKD)
This is the regular keto diet that’s very low on carbs and high on fat. The meal breakdown is 75% fat, 20% protein, and only 5% carbs.
- High-Protein Keto Diet
This is similar to the standard version but includes more protein, with the breakdown typically going 60% fat, 35% protein, and 5% carbs.
- Cyclical Keto Diet (CKD)
With this type, you rotate between a low-carb high-fat meal plan and a high-calorie one. This plan means that you follow SKD for 5-6 days a week, then follow it up with 1-2 days of high-carb meals, which is commonly referred to as “refeeding days.”
- Targeted Keto Diet (TKD)
Under this keto plan, you still follow the SKD breakdown, only that you’re now allowed to eat carbs when you work out. TKD is often considered as a compromise between SKD and CKD. Similar to CKD, people who regularly do intense workouts follow this keto type.
3. Whole30 Diet
The Whole30 diet is a clean-eating program designed to help reboot your metabolism in 30 days. To do this, you’re not allowed to eat all kinds of processed foods, legumes, grains, dairy, alcohol, and sugars—even natural sweeteners like honey—for 30 days. Unlike the Mediterranean and Keto diets, Whole30 is strictly limited to 30 days. Mainly, this diet program works as a physiological and psychological reset to make it easier for you to stick to healthier eating habits in the future.
The benefits to Whole30 result in clearer skin, better digestive system, more energy, better sleep and all around better eating habits that we are capable of now adapting to.