The skinny on nutrition trends

The skinny on nutrition trends

By Aaron Zamzow

Do a Google search about weight loss program plans and also you’ll discover greater than 100 totally different choices: the TLC weight loss program, volumizing, flexitarian, Mayo clinic, Nordic, Jenny Craig – the listing goes on and on. But as I journey and converse with public security suppliers everywhere in the nation, the widespread weight loss program tendencies I hear talked about are keto, paleo, vegetarian, gluten-free and intermittent fasting.

I’ve researched every of those diets and have even tried all of them. Following is an summary with some professionals and cons that may make it easier to perceive what every weight loss program is all about and whether or not any of them is an efficient match (no pun meant) for you.

The Keto Diet

The Keto weight loss program is among the extra widespread search subjects at present. The keto diet focuses calorie consumption totally on fats and protein whereas limiting carbohydrates to below 50 grams per day (for context, a medium banana has 27 grams). The purpose of keto is to pressure your physique to make use of fats for gas by depriving it of its standard supply, glucose. Without glucose obtainable, your physique enters a state often called ketosis. The ketogenic weight loss program was initially used as a medical remedy for childhood epilepsy, however it’s grow to be widespread for weight reduction in recent times.

The ketogenic weight loss program is an especially low-carbohydrate, high-fat weight loss program. The purpose of the weight loss program is to take care of a state of ketosis, which implies that by consuming fewer carbs, the physique’s fat-burning system depends primarily on fats as an alternative of sugar for power. In phrases of what you possibly can eat, assume high-fat: crimson meat, bacon, salmon, eggs, butter, cream, cheese, nuts, and wholesome fat like extra-virgin olive oil and avocados. You may have low-carbohydrate greens like broccoli, celery, cucumber and tomatoes. Since the plan restricts you to decrease carbohydrate ranges, you’ll have to surrender consuming many grains, starchy greens and fruits excessive in sugar, any form of added sugar, chips, and just about all baked items.

Lots of people expertise fast weight reduction when following a keto weight loss program. Some articles enhance that it will possibly assist with weight problems and Type 2 diabetes. More analysis must be carried out to substantiate these claims. And whereas some analysis suggests it will possibly assist management blood strain and ldl cholesterol within the brief time period, these advantages don’t seem to last after 12 months.

If you’re extraordinarily obese or having hassle sustaining wholesome blood sugar ranges, a keto weight loss program can assist kick-start modifications. But the weight loss program is stringent and exhausting to stick to. And for first responders, the low carbohydrate ranges can probably result in excessive fatigue throughout difficult calls. Before selecting to observe a ketogenic weight loss program, it’s best to seek the advice of along with your doctor and do your analysis.


  •  You can eat bacon, meat and fatty meals.
  • If adopted appropriately, can result in fast weight reduction.


  • The weight loss program may be very restrictive and tough to observe in the long run.
  • The decrease stage of carbohydrates can result in excessive fatigue in emergency conditions.
  • Eating loads of animal fat can elevate levels of cholesterol and improve the chance for some ailments.

The Paleo Diet

One of the most important points plaguing our trendy weight loss program is the presence of loads of processed meals. Cereals, sausage rolls, pies, pastries, bacon and microwave or “prepared” meals are handy, however they lack vitamins and include excessive quantities of fats and sugars. The paleo diet, nonetheless, focuses on consuming extra primitive meals sources, much like what our paleolithic ancestors ate. The thought behind this weight loss program is that our physique has not advanced sufficient to digest extremely processed meals; thus, a weight loss program excessive in processed meals can result in weight problems and illness.

The paleo mantra is, “Eat what our ancestors ate.” That means a lot of lean meat and seafood, contemporary fruits, berries and non-starchy greens, however no dairy, cereal grains, legumes, processed meals, or refined sugar. Basically, in case you can hunt or collect it in nature, you possibly can eat it. The weight loss program prioritizes protein and reduces sugar. Since it restricts grain consumption, additionally it is a naturally gluten-free choice.

Eating paleo can assist dieters prohibit energy, which might result in weight reduction. Studies show the weight loss program might decrease blood strain and levels of cholesterol, however there hasn’t been sufficient analysis to point out its results on coronary heart well being total. If you’re seeking to drop a few pounds and don’t thoughts cooking loads of your meals and prepping meals, it might be a superb choice.


  • Promotes consuming clear, unprocessed meals, which might result in quick weight reduction and improved well being.
  • Promotes consuming all kinds of vegatables and fruits and limiting sugars.


  • Can be restrictive and requires meal prep and planning.
  • Restricting grain consumption could make it tougher to get fiber and a few nutritional vitamins and minerals.

The Vegetarian/Vegan Diet

A vegetarian weight loss program excludes meat, poultry, fish and seafood. Vegan diets go additional, excluding all animal merchandise, together with dairy and eggs.

While many individuals select a vegetarian diet for moral or environmental causes, some individuals are motivated by weight reduction. But simply reducing out animal merchandise doesn’t imply your weight loss program can be wholesome or low in energy; sweet, pasta and potato chips are all vegetarian. Weight loss on a vegetarian weight loss program comes from shifting to high-quality, unprocessed vegatables and fruits, legumes and entire grains. With the rise of plant-based meats, going vegetarian or vegan is less complicated than ever. But use warning when consuming meat alternate options. They are sometimes extremely processed, with excessive ranges of saturated fats, sodium and energy.

Research confirms those on a plant-based diet have a lower average BMI than those that eat animal merchandise, and vegan diets may be more effective in weight loss than extra conventional diets. A recent study additionally confirmed vegans and vegetarians usually tend to follow the weight loss program over the long term than these on plans equivalent to paleo as a result of they had been motivated by moral and ethical beliefs somewhat than simply weight reduction. However, a vegan weight loss program can result in nutrient and/or protein deficiencies in case you’re not cautious. Changing to a vegan life-style can be tough to observe if you’re surrounded by these not accepting or supporting your choice.


  • Eating vegatables and fruits and limiting fatty animal protein can result in higher well being and weight administration.
  • Can eat any plant-based meals.
  • Has a optimistic moral and environmental impression.


  • Cutting out all meat and/or meat merchandise is for some folks a radical weight loss program change.
  • May end in some nutrient deficiencies like protein.

The Gluten-Free Diet

If you could have learn meals labels over the previous few years, you’ve in all probability seen the phrase “gluten-free.” This development has been gaining in reputation as extra folks uncover they’ve gluten sensitivity and have tried to restrict inflammatory meals. 

Gluten is a protein naturally occurring in sure meals, however it can be added to meals throughout processing for texture. It is often present in wheat and a number of other different grains and may generally be present in meals you wouldn’t count on, equivalent to soy sauce, ice cream and dietary dietary supplements. Eating gluten-free means consuming solely entire meals that don’t include gluten, equivalent to fruits, greens, meat and eggs, in addition to processed meals like gluten-free bread or pasta. Some folks assume going gluten-free means not consuming any carbohydrates, however this isn’t the case. Lots of meals that include carbs, equivalent to rice, potatoes and beans, don’t include gluten.

gluten-free diet is critical for folks with celiac illness, an autoimmune response to gluten that causes the physique to assault the small gut, inflicting stomach ache, nausea, bloating and diarrhea. People with celiac illness can not tolerate gluten in any kind. Another situation that will immediate somebody to chop gluten from their diets is a non-celiac gluten sensitivity, generally known as gluten intolerance. In this case, consuming gluten doesn’t end in a definitive detrimental response, it might simply make the person really feel drained or torpid.

People who undertake a gluten-free weight loss program typically drop a few pounds, however it’s often as a result of in addition they reduce out loads of processed meals and refined carbohydrates that include gluten. If you resolve to go gluten-free there’s a likelihood you can lack substantial fiber and sure micronutrients. Make certain you monitor your portion sizes, eat all kinds of vegatables and fruits, and deal with consuming lean proteins and wholesome fat to get your day by day required fiber and vitamins.


  • Requires members to learn meals labels and perceive ingredient lists.
  • Encourages consuming extra vegatables and fruits and eradicating processed meals.
  • Reduces meals excessive in ldl cholesterol and may result in a decreased danger of coronary heart illness and higher digestive well being.


  • Can be restrictive and guidelines out widespread meals equivalent to biscuits, bread and pasta.
  • It’s straightforward to by chance eat gluten.
  • Potential nutritional deficiencies – some gluten-containing meals are sources of essential nutritional vitamins and minerals, equivalent to B nutritional vitamins, iron, magnesium and fiber.

Intermittent Fasting

One of the most recent and extra widespread weight loss program tendencies is intermittent fasting. Research suggests it may be an efficient weight-loss methodology for some folks as a result of it naturally results in calorie discount. And it’s a simple weight loss program to observe.

Intermittent fasting takes varied types. Three of the most well-liked:

  • Alternate-day fasting
  • 5:2 fasting, which is incorporating two fasting days per week
  • Time-restricted consuming, equivalent to solely consuming throughout an 8-hour window each day.

On fasting days, dieters might go completely with out consuming (simply water and non-caloric drinks like black espresso or tea) or restrict themselves to round 500 energy. When consuming, intermittent fasters can have any meals they need, however nutrient-dense meals produce the perfect outcomes and assist preserve power ranges.

If you battle with weight loss program plans that spell out precisely what it’s best to eat, intermittent fasting could be a good selection for you. All you actually need to deal with is timing. However, fasting can result in a scarcity of power, low blood sugar and complications, which implies it may be tough to do on-shift. If you could have low blood strain or diabetes, intend to get pregnant or at present are, have a historical past of consuming issues, or are doing intense health coaching, it’s best to seek the advice of your physician earlier than selecting this sort of weight loss program.

There shouldn’t be loads of long-term analysis pertaining to intermittent fasting as a result of it’s nonetheless a comparatively new weight loss program development. In addition to weight reduction, some short-term research counsel it will possibly reduce diabetes and heart disease risk. Before deciding if intermittent fasting is for you, do your analysis to see what timing and kind would suit your life-style and schedule.


  • Easy to observe.
  • No calorie counting.
  • No macronutrient limitations.
  • Unrestricted consuming allowed.
  • Might boost longevity.


  • Lack of power, complications and issue concentrating can happen throughout fasting intervals.
  • May trigger extreme starvation and result in overeating.
  • Does not encourage nutritious consuming.
  • Not suggested for folks with sure well being points.
  • More analysis wanted.

Evaluating Diet Trends

When it involves beginning a weight loss program plan or altering your consuming, it’s exhausting to know the place to start out. Sometimes all of the choices can really hold you from getting began! The excellent news: You are on the right path. Just by studying this transient article, you could have some extra data and training. And that’s step one in making optimistic wholesome modifications in your weight loss program. Regardless of what program you observe, all of them require you to do a little analysis, learn labels and take a second to know what you’re consuming. The subsequent step is to execute and consider if it really works for you.


Anderson J. (2022) An Overview of the Gluten-Free Diet. Verywell Health.

Cohen M. (2021) 11 Best Diets for Weight Loss in 2022, According to Experts. Prevention. 

Haupt A. (2021) Keto Diet Downsides May Outweigh Benefits, Review Suggests. Everyday Health.

Healthline. The Paleo Diet — A Beginner’s Guide Plus Meal Plan.

Koenig D. (2022) Understanding America’s Most Popular Diets. Yummly. 

Kosinski C, Jornayvaz FR. (2017). Effects of Ketogenic Diets on Cardiovascular Risk Factors: Evidence from Animal and Human Studies. Nutrients. 9(5):517. 

Landsverk G. (2022) Vegan diets may boost weight loss and help manage blood sugar after 12 weeks, research suggests. Insider. 

Malinowski B, Zalewska Ok, Węsierska A et al. (2019) Intermittent Fasting in Cardiovascular Disorders: An Overview. Nutrients. 11(3): 673.

Mattson MP, Longo VD, Harvie M. (2017). Impact of intermittent fasting on health and disease processes. Aging Research Reviews. 39:46–58.

Migala J. (2022) U.S. News & World Report Reveals Best and Worst Diets of 2022. Everyday Health.

White DA. (2022) These Are the Best Diets of 2022. Food Network. 

About the creator

Aaron Zamzow is a firefighter/coaching officer for Madison (Wisconsin) Fire Department with 20 years of expertise as a health coach. He holds a bachelor’s diploma in well being and wellness in addition to a Precision Nutrition Level 1 certification. He is an NSCA-certified power and conditioning specialist, an NASM-certified private coach and an ACE-certified peer health coach. Zamzow is the founder and proprietor of and develops applications aimed toward getting fireplace rescue athletes match for responsibility. He authored the guide “Ladder 2 Workout: A Comprehensive Firefighter Workout Program that will get you ‘Fit for Duty’ in 28 days.” Connect with Zamzow on Twitter or Facebook or by way of email

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