The pains of starting a new diet can include feeling less energy, battling to concentrate, getting cold all the time, and for some, even sleeplessness and depression. Good food makes us feel jolly and energetic. How can we enjoy the benefits of dieting, like slimming down and building muscle, without compromising on our energy levels?
With so many diets claiming to revolutionize the way we view food, here four famous diets and a breakdown of how they work and what they will do to your energy levels:
1. Keto Diets: High Fat, Low Carb
The keto diet in all its versions hit the world with a fury. It has been promoted as the best eating plan for diabetics, as it drastically reduces the need for insulin. It limits carbohydrates severely, with whole foods such as milk being considered a food that is too high in sugar. People have also experienced a decrease in many other health problems. However, as time goes by and more research goes into the diet, we are seeing that a high-fat diet reduces the body’s insulin sensitivity, meaning the body still requires less insulin, but the risk of diabetes side effects is significantly increased. We also know that the brain needs carbohydrates to create serotonin. Serotonin is a feel-good hormone related to melatonin, the hormone needed for good sleep. In the long run, a low carb diet can lead to tiredness and depression if there are absolutely no carbohydrates included.
2. Plant-Based Diets: Low Fat, High Carb
Relying on fruit as your main source of energy, alongside potatoes, whole grain rice, steel-cut oats, and other unprocessed carbohydrates will give you more energy than any other diet. However, this way of eating requires discipline. It also requires the consumption of far less fat. If you combine these carbohydrates with fat, you may experience energy slumps. Fat prevents the sugar from the carbohydrates from penetrating the cells effectively, leading to high blood sugar levels. This has led to many people believing the carbohydrates are harmful to their health when in actual facts, the fats are the problem when there are more than 30 gram consumed per day.
3. A High Protein Diet
Similar to a keto diet, a high protein diet relies on the slower release of sugars from the food, but, protein still converts into sugar eventually. High protein diets form the basis of most diets and it is especially popular among those who want to build muscle and cut fat. Muscle building relies on amino acids, amino acids are the building blocks of protein. It’s a logical choice. Newer research has suggested that clean-burning carbohydrates, like fruit and unprocessed grains (like wholegrain rice and steel-cut oats), give the body the fuel it needs to work harder and recover from training sessions more effectively.
4. Intermittent Fasting
Intermittent fasting is great for improving your overall health. It requires you to abstain from inducing any calories for around 18 hours per day, different versions have different guidelines. This limits your eating time to only a few hours per day. It gives your body the chance to process some of the difficult foods you have eaten and enables a gentle detox.
At the end of the day, each of these diets is better than a standard diet containing junk food. The overall goal should remain to decrease the consumption of processed foods that contain sugar, fat, oil, and preservatives.