The Ultimate Diet Guide
By Jack Thomas
Understanding nutrition has been made more complicated and confusing than nuclear physics.
Not a day goes by without a new study or article being released that tells us everything we thought we knew about diet and nutrtion is wrong (and probably dangerous).
Well, fear not! BASE is here to help you sort out the Paleo from the Keto with the ultimate guide to understanding the different diets that are often talked about, but rarely fully understood.
What this diet guide is NOT
We’re not here to tell you what is ‘good’ or ‘bad’ for you, just what the diets are, how they work and any relevant FACTS.
Ultimately, finding the right nutritional approach for you requires some patience and experimentation as what works for me, may not work for you.
Our coaches at BASE can help you with this process if needed.
OK, let’s tuck in!
The original diet that was championed by governments for decades before a shift in policy, the low fat diet restricts the intake of dietary fat. The result is often a diet that is higher in carbohydrates and sugar.
This diet started gaining in popularity in the 90s and focuses on limiting your intake of carbohydrates (sugars, starches) which means a higher consumption of fat and protein.
A type of low carb diet, Atkins went viral before social media even existed. The big appeal was that food intake was not measured or restricted, as long as carbohydrates were very carefully controlled and limited. With the Atkins diet there are 4 phases, starting with very low carbohydrate intake that gradually increases and is adjusted over time.
Another low carb approach, a ketogenic (or ‘keto’ diet) involves consuming a very low amount of carbohydrates so that the body is kickstarted into a state called ‘ketosis‘. When in ketosis, fats are broken down in the liver to produce ketones, which become our body’s primary fuel source over glucose.
With carb intake typically kept below 50g per day, a ketogenic diet needs to be very carefully controlled and monitored as the ketogenic state can be lost with the consumption of just a single carby snack.
The Paleolithic (or ‘Paleo’) Diet is, at its essence, quite simple – only consume foods that could have been eaten 10,000 years or more ago.
Paleo-approved: Meat, fish, nuts, fruit, eggs, vegetables.
Paleo-disapproved: Dairy, soy, grains or processed food of any kind.
There is debate about what and how we ate during this period in our history, but it definitely wasn’t Doritos and KFC.
Our partner Paleo Robbie is recommended by BASE and delivers Paleo-approved food in Bangkok.
IIFYM (If It Fits Your Macros)
Macros refers to the macronutrients fat, protein and carbohydrates.
Also known as ‘flexible dieting’ If It Fits Your Macros is system of recording your food intake so that you hit certain protein, fat, carb and calorie amounts each day, tailored personally to you and your goals. This diet aims to promote more freedom with eating foods that you enjoy by allowing you to eat anything you want ‘if it fits your macro’ targets for that day.
For example, if I eat high protein foods in the daytime I would have enough fat and protein grams left in the evening to hit my totals with ice cream.
For more information check out the IIFYM website.
Often abbreviated to ‘IF’, intermittent fasting involves taking extended breaks from consuming calorie-containing food or drink. During this time you can typically consume black coffee, tea or anything that does not contain calories.
There are numerous reported benefits and lots of new and encouraging research on IF but the approach is not for everyone.
A popular method is 16:8 whereby you only consume foods during an 8-hour eating window each day, say, midday t0 8pm. Another is taking a 24-hour break from calorie consumption once a week.
Eat Stop Eat is our favourite resource for all things IF.
Often labelled as fasting but not technically so as calories are still consumed. The 5:2 diet involves eating restricted calories on two days per week – 500 for women, 600 for men – and a less restricted approach on the other five days of the week.
Shot to fame after a BBC documentary on the reported benefits which laid the seeds to many magazine articles and Christmas stocking books.
There are different forms of the vegetarian diet, but essentially it means eating a diet that does not contain animal meat or fish. Typically dairy, eggs and other animal-derived products are allowed.
As much a lifestyle and a philosophy as a ‘diet’, vegans will not consume any products or foods that are derived from animals. This includes, of course, meat and fish and also covers eggs, dairy, leather and even honey. Vegans often follow their diet due to ethical and moral reasons, as well as health.
What is the best diet?
Simple – the one that works best for YOU!
Your body type, your schedule, your personal preferences and your lifestyle will all play a part in determining which way of eating works best.
At BASE we recommend you fully commit to the process of finding out what way of eating you can sustain forever which gives you energy, provides all the nutrients you need and keeps you at a healthy weight.
Have fun with this process and let us know how you’re getting on, or if we can help!
CHECK OUT: 3 BEST WAYS TO LOSE BODY FAT
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