I think diets for weight loss is one of the most talked about subjects, and everybody has their own opinion. When I first started to research I realized that actually each one of us has our own special diet, which is basically our own way of eating. We might change it every once in a while, some of us more often. Some people, however, choose to follow very strict diets, maybe for health reasons or maybe for other reasons. Here’s examples of three of these diets.
The first is the one meal a day diet (OMAD). It’s also known as “The Warrior Diet” and was first introduced by Ori Hofmekler. It is an intense way of eating with only one meal each day, ideally consuming that one meal within a one hour eating window. That means that you are fasting for 23 hours each day. During these 23 hours fast your blood sugar will most likely be low which can help promote fat loss, although if you are not careful it can lead to muscle loss as well.
You can imagine, of course, that for many people it would be difficult to eat enough nutrients in just one meal. So many people, however, are gaining back their health by following this strict diet. It creates discipline, but for some it can create malnutrition in the long term, especially if you are not careful what are you eating during the one hour eating time. I personally practice OMAD once or twice each week.
The second example is every other day fasting, or alternate day fasting. It’s also known as the “fast diet” and was first popularized by the British journalist Michael Mosley, who made the BBC documentary “Eat, Fast and Live Longer”. With this approach you eat normally one day, and then the next day you consume a meal of only around 500 to 800 calories, depending on your size. It is a powerful tool for some people for lowering blood sugar, reversing diabetes, and improving body composition, and can help increase life quality. I personally didn’t experience this diet yet, although I do practice regular prolonged fasting which can be anywhere between 48 to 72 hours, because I believe that this can be very beneficial.
The third example is the strict carnivore diet. The may be the craziest one or all for most of us, as it involves eating only animal products. That means no plants, which means no vegetables and no fruits, instead it allows only animal food sources such as organ meats, beef, pork, chicken, fish, eggs, raw dairy, etc. I know it sounds a little crazy, so why do so many people follow this approach? I do actually know many people who have improved their health dramatically and even completely healed themselves with this diet, even from serious health conditions. You can see it really as the ultimate elimination diet. And animal foods do actually have all nutrients that we need. Of course, I understand that some of you do not want to eat animal food at all. It is your body and your life, so I am certainly not suggesting anyone to follow just one way of eating. My goal is to show that we have a lot of options and different ways of eating, and of course you should know best which is the most suitable one for you, your lifestyle and your body type.
I personally didn’t experience the carnivore diet yet, although I am planing to experiment soon for a month. I don’t think that I will stick to it for a longer period because I love fruits, veggies and variety in my diet.
All ways of eating are absolutely fine, if the individual is willing to follow it and sees benefits. However, all of them have some type of calorie restriction. Ultimately we all want to be healthy and fit so if an unusual approach is the correct one for you then why not? Understanding your own body and giving your body what it needs at any given time is more important than following a specific community or dieting approach.
Remember, actually nobody knows which one is the best for you. I know a lot of us want someone to just say eat this and do this and it will work perfectly, but that is not even close to the truth. I personally suggest, based on my own experience and what I have seen with my clients too, that you need to try an approach by yourself for a while. Don’t be too strict about it, and if it works for you then that’s perfect, if not then you can try something else. Living healthy and happy doesn’t have to be complicated, just follow your intuition. Although when I say that many people may reply “oh my intuition tells me to eat popcorn and watch TV”! However, this is not your intuition talking — this is your belief and intention, but deep down you know that that is not what you need to be doing. Start to invest your healthy future now!
Ayda Ersoy, Nutritionist (Dip.C.N., Dip.S.N.), Master Trainer (CPT ACE, NCSF, CanfitPro), Registered Yoga Teacher, Founder, Health Angel Nutrition, Fitness and Wellness, Founder, SMS (Stability, Mobility Strength) Intuitive Training System.