Finding The Right Eating Plan For You

There are tonnes of diets, healthy lifestyles and clean eating plans on offer, so many in fact that sometimes when you want to lose weight it’s hard to know where to start or what plan is right for your journey.

Fad diets dont work

Whilst the below doesn’t list the pros and cons of all the major diets, lifestyles and plans on the market, it does go into detail on some of the most popular ones – Slimming World, The Cambridge Diet, Atkins and Paleo… all are very different diets that require varying levels of commitment, research and knowledge (especially around what you can and can’t eat). Here’s an overview on each for you;

Slimming World

Founded in 1969, Slimming World is a plan based around the concept of never going hungry, eating as much as you want when you want, and not banning any foods. Many foods are classed as ‘free’ on the plan, allowing users to eat as much as they want of these items as often as they want. Users can sign up online or on their mobile phone for a small monthly fee, or choose to go to meetings on a weekly basis.

Pros…

  • You can still eat most foods, in moderation, so it’s ideal for the whole family
  • Weekly group meetings and body image classes for users to track their weight loss and keep motivated

Cons…

  • You have to calculate ‘syns’ for everything that’s not classed as ‘free’
  • Doesn’t educate users on calories and portion sizes, so it’s easy to fall off plan and gain all of the weight back

The Cambridge Diet

Developed in the 80s, the Cambridge Diet has been around for many years, and is primarily a liquid diet that requires users to drink three Cambridge diet formula drinks per day. Over the years food has been introduced into the diet, with soups, bars and oats having been developed. Those using meal replacement shakes will only consume 420 calories per day, and those using meal replacement shakes and foods are advised not to consume more than 800 calories per day.

Pros…

  • Contains all the necessary and essential nutrients
  • Safe for users with diabetes or high blood pressure

Cons…

  • Long-term weight loss isn’t likely to be sustainable
  • It doesn’t teach you a healthy lifestyle
  • Exercise should be limited, with users being advised to steer clear of strenuous exercise plans

5 a day

Atkins

A high fat, high protein diet, the Atkins is great for those who like a structured eating plan and comes in four phases; phase 1 you’ll eat protein, fat and just 20g of carbs in veg form, phase 2 you’ll begin to add foods back into your diet, phase 3 you’ll (when you’re about 10lbs off your goal weight) will teach you how to maintain your weight loss for the last push, and phase 4 is maintaining the plan and maintaining your goal weight.

Pros…

  • Despite the high fat content, Atkins has been known to improve cholesterol levels
  • You’ll learn the difference between good carbs and bad carbs

Cons…

  • Users will feel a lack of energy, and may also experience constipation, halitosis and dehydration
  • It is a strict plan that requires users to make big changes from the get go

Paleo

Encouraging you to eat as your ancestors did, the “caveman” diet allows you to eat anything that would’ve been around at the start of time; animals (meat, fish, reptiles etc.), animal products (eggs, honey etc.), fruits, vegetables and nuts & seeds. Adaptations over the years also allow for grass-fed dairy and small amounts of legumes.

Pros…

  • Encourages a healthy lifestyle
  • Has been extremely effective for improving a number of chronic diseases and illnesses

Cons…

  • The “one diet fits all” approach doesn’t always work
  • There’s not enough research/evidence, yet, to show that cutting out dairy, grains and legumes is beneficial

Eat a balanced diet

 

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