Fad or Fiction?*

Monday, 26 November 2018, By Sebastian Avellanal

What makes a diet so appealing in the first place? It's the first thing we think of when we want to make improvements to our health and fitness. But there is no diet that is one size fits all as we all have very different body compositions. Everybody has a different amount of energy expenditure. Before even attempting research on what kind of diet works for you, why not instead research what makes a diet work. The answer is simple: caloric deficit. Burning more energy than you take in. What these different diets are doing is restricting calories by one way or another.

Let's look at an example for a popular style of dieting, Intermittent fasting or the 16/8 diet. The idea is simple: fasting for 16 hours of the day and only eating in the 8-hour feeding window. The reduction in the amount of time you can eat in the day and use of the 8-hour feeding window is supposed to be the way this method reduces the input of calories being taking in and the diet succeeding in reaching a caloric deficit. However, this diet can be rendered ineffective as when the 8-hour window comes, and you have been fasting for 16 hours, you can overeat in this window and still be in a caloric surplus.

Another diet that's popular and perhaps more controversial these days is the Keto diet. Ketogenics is a diet that has a stricter protocol than the already mentioned intermittent fasting. The protocol for Keto is eating low amounts carbohydrate, high fats and adequate proteins. The goal of this diet is to have the body enter a state of ketosis which is when the body is forced to produce ketones from breaking down fatty acids to use as energy in the bloodstream. But this diet is considered dangerous by some. A team of scientists and researchers at the University of California, San Diego found that in mice that followed this diet a well-known phenomenon associated with obesity, called leptin resistance occurs. An enzyme is produced called MMP-2 is produced and essentially blocks the leptins from binding to its receptors. This diet can also be very easy to be completely useless as it can take anywhere from 2 to 7 days to enter a state of ketosis and it only takes one moderate serving of carbohydrates to completely stop and or leaves the state of ketosis. But at least you can just eat heaps of protein and fats and not have to track those calories, right? Wrong. Fat is the single most calorie dense macronutrient there is. It's still possible to eat too much fat, and thus you will still be in a surplus and not be losing weight.

So, what can we do? We can only do our best.

Everyone has a food diary that you can choose to keep track of how much food you are eating. Because even if you are eating the cleanest foods there are, if you are eating too much to exceed being in a caloric deficit you will be stuck on the scales or even putting on weight from being in a surplus. Using your food dairy and tracking your macros is the sure-fire way to get the results you are looking for. We have all heard the phrase "You can't out train a bad diet" before, and when 70% of our results are made in the kitchen it's no wonder why that is.

To conclude, perhaps what we don't need is a diet but in fact, a change in mindset.


*Disclaimer: Individual results vary based on agreed goals. Click here for details.

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