What are the diets of 2020?

What they are, who’s doing them, and should we too

Diets hold many promises — of weight loss, more energy, and longevity. But most (including the ones here) “are all from the West, and we have no research in them yet,” says Priyanka Rohatgi, Chief Clinical Dietician and HOD, Department of Nutrition and Dietetics, Apollo Hospitals, Bengaluru. So before you take to blueberry grazing or white tea chugging, check with your dietician.

The sirtfood diet

Adele lost a lot of weight on this diet based on a book called The Sirtfood Diet by Aidan Goggins and Glen Matten. Another follower: Pippa Middleton. The diet involves the consumption of sirtfoods that help to activate certain proteins called sirtuins which help improve metabolism. Some sirtfoods are red wine, olive oil, walnuts, blueberry, strawberry, coffee, parsley, soy, kale, and turmeric. The diet claims to help in “sustained weight loss, incredible energy and glowing skin”. There are two phases. The first lasts for a week, allowing for upto 1,000kcal for the first three days with three sirtfood green juices and a meal of sirtfood. From day four to seven, the calorie intake can be increased to 1,500 with two sirt juices and two meals. The next phase for 14 days includes three balanced sirtfood-rich meals and a green juice every day. “I am not sure if it is feasible in India as many of the sirtfoods are either not available in our country or are very expensive. The limited food options offered by it can be boring after a point,” explains Priyanka.

The flexitarian diet

This diet, though over a decade old, has been in the news because it came in third in the US News and World Report’s diet rankings. It encourages plant foods with animal products in moderation. Created by dietician Dawn Jackson Blatner, the diet involves the consumption of fruits, veggies, legumes and whole grains. “The calorie target varies from person to person and it is determined according to the body surface area,” says Priyanka. It asks to limit sugar intake and focus on plant-based proteins. A person can start this diet with seven meatless meals in a week and slowly progress to 14 meatless meals. “It is a practical diet as it has many food options to choose from. The veggies and meat make sure that the person gets enough nutrition,” she says.

The Fast 800

Based on a book of the same name written by Dr Michael Mosley, The Fast 800 claims to help people lose weight, control blood sugar and reduce the risk of chronic diseases. It is done in several stages and can result in rapid weight loss. The initial stage of the diet involves consuming just 800 calories in a day for two to 12 weeks, depending on the amount of weight one needs to shed. One can achieve it either with food or with shakes low in sugar, high in fibre, proteins, fats, vitamins and minerals. The food recommended is a Mediterranean-style diet. “It is a low-calorie diet with olive oil, fish, fruit, vegetables, yogurt and eggs,” says Priyanka. It recommends staying away from sugary and starchy carbohydrates to control the blood sugar level.

In the next stage, one can switch from having an 800-calorie meal every day to eating it two days a week, with intermittent fasting on those days. On other days, it is a regular Mediterranean diet. The last stage is about maintaining the results, where, if you find you are gaining the weight back, you can go back to the 5:2 (eat regular meals on five days and do two days of intermittent fasting). “Muscle loss is a concern here. The low-calorie intake can also affect metabolism, and after a point, weight loss can become difficult,” she says.

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Printable version | Feb 26, 2020 9:38:53 AM |

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