With the COVID-19 situation and many countries under lockdown or partial ban on mobility, gyms have closed and being at home may have discouraged some to be fit and healthy. While that is true to some extent, there are others would have taken up more active lifestyle and began a slow walk or jog. As outdoors are not restricted, it's the only chance for people to take off their mask and go outside for some semblance of freedom.
You might find it surprising that the LCHF low carbs high fats diet have become even more popular nowadays. Probably because there are celebrities and influencers touting it as a fast weight-loss program, many have tried this diet to slim down.
There are many different types of LCHF diet and these are the top 3:
1) Ketogenic diet
The most popular LCHF, focusing on very low carbs, amounting to less than 50g a day. This is perfect for your body to go into ketosis, so that your body uses the ketone or fats for energy instead of from carbs.
The pro is that you lose weight fast from the burning of fats, but the con is that it may not be sustainable because of the high fats you have to take, in place of carbs. Fun fact: This keto diet was introduced as a treatment for people with epilepsy.
2) LCHF / Paleo diet
This is a standard low carb diet but with greater emphases on unprocessed food. It is similar to the paleo diet as the diet mimics those from the Paleolithic era, back to the good old days before the agricultural era. As your ancestors took these foods way before all the junk food came about, it is claimed to be healthier to do so. Whereas in keto diet, you can take sausages, bacons, sardines and tuna, this diet focuses mainly on meat, fish, healthy fats and vegetables. The carb intake is lower than 100g a day so it is not as stringent.
The pro is that this is more practical and sustainable in the long run as it is not strictly on counting carbs, but the con is it takes longer to see the weight-loss results.
- Phase 1: Attack. Eat unlimited low fat from 68 options only and include oats every day with 20 minutes exercise.
- Phase 2: Cruise. Slowly add more vegetables.
- Phase 3: Consolidation. When you get close to your weight goal, add more fruits, carbs and cheese with 2 cheat meals a week.
- Phase 4: Stabilisation. Eat anything you want but continue with
- Three tablespoons of oat bran each day
- Eat protein purely for one day a week
- Continue exercise so as to maintain weight
The pro is that the foods and amount are very specific, and is ideal for people who likes to follow instructions exactly. The con is that this is only for people who likes oats and can maintain their weight in phase 3 and 4.
Besides your diet, you can also take a look at your lifestyle, and specifically your eating patterns to lose or maintain weight. Intermittent fasting is one of the top weight loss trends to follow today. Intermittent means to avoid food for a period of time and to only eat within a certain period.
There are a few types of intermittent fasting:
- 16/8: Fast for 16 hours throughout the night and eat within eight hours which is usually lunch and dinner
- 20/4: Warrior: Fast for 20 hours, eat within four hours which is 1 meal only
- 1:1: Eat-stop-eat, eat one day, fast the next day
- 5: 2: Eat for five days, and cut down to 500 calories for two days in a week.
In the long run, all these eating trends' aim is to lower the amount of food intake and calories in the long run. The most popular one is undoubtedly 16-8 because for busy individuals, skipping breakfast is easy and sustainable in the long run. The main benefit is usually weight loss, and there are studies showing improvements to the body and brain.
Which one should I go for?
Ultimately, these diets and eating habits will change your lifestyle so you should choose one that you can adopt on a long term basis. Try out to see which is more comfortable for you and also weigh yourself to see which gives the best results.