Health experts are officially referring to 2011 as the year of crazy diets, and are projecting 2012 to be a year for a return to normalcy. Well, at least somewhat. Diets through the year of 2012 may return to their most natural state – focusing more on “primal” diets of all natural, all fresh products and ingredients and not so much food out of the pantry.
If you’re considering going on a diet at any point this year, or you’re already on one but looking for a change, or just enjoy watching the trends in dieting and food, here are some diets you may want to keep an eye on this year. And while they’re not necessarily “trend” diets that we’re used to seeing, they may prove to become popular and even effective.
The Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension Diet, or DASH, was created this year with a scientific understanding of how food affects blood pressure. Its original goal was to help lower blood pressure in people who needed it most, but it’s proving to be a very effective weight loss tool and overall nutritionally sound diet, as well.
Since it was originally created as a blood pressure lowering diet, its main focus is on consuming products that are low in sodium, but it also focuses in on lowering the total calorie count of a diet by more evenly distributing servings of all of the food groups.
The DASH diet recommends eating more servings of each food group than if you were to follow an average 2,000 calorie diet, but each serving is smaller and therefore lower in calories. As long as the foods you are eating are low in fat and high in blood pressure-lowering nutrients such as potassium, magnesium and calcium, they’re perfectly acceptable on the DASH diet.
This is a life-long plan to change your overall eating and health habits and although it does have proven results in lowering high blood pressure, it has also been proven to aid in weight loss because of its overall nutrition.
The Eat-Clean Diet
Canadian fitness model Tosca Reno created the Eat-Clean diet as a way to eat more nutritionally and gain more energy from your foods. Her philosophy is simple: eat only clean, fresh, natural whole foods that will help keep blood sugar levels stable and give you more energy throughout the day.
You simply prepare all of your meals on this diet without using any processed foods, which does prove to be challenging to some, but has wonderful health benefits if you can succeed with it.
There are no fancy tricks that are necessary to be able to do well on and see results from this diet, and it is now widely accepted as a wonderful diet with no noticeable downfalls. It has a suggestion for everything you should be eating and never leaves you wondering. It’s simple, really – fresh, not man-made, products equals a more healthy diet.
The Paleo Diet
Based on the old days of caveman times, this diet focuses on consuming lots of naturally occurring foods including plants, roots and animals.
It’s high in lean protein and very, very low in carbs, so it’s naturally lower in calories, as well, which helps with the weight loss aspect. It’s also great for anyone with heart disease or Type 2 Diabetes because it completely eliminates most fats and vegetable oils from your diet.
Since the cavemen who came so long before us were simple hunters and gatherers, the general rule of thumb with this diet is that if you can gather it or hunt it in nature, then it is acceptable. If it has been processed at all or is man-made, it is unacceptable.
Many people have taken the Paleo diet to an extreme and have completely converted back to hunters and gatherers, while others find it too difficult to limit their diets to such few food groups. Others still are somewhere in the middle and finding success with the diet.
The Self-Compassion Diet doesn’t necessarily focus on weight loss so much as it focuses on making yourself feel better, happier and more energized.
The creator of this book says that people have it all backwards with the thought process of, “If I lose weight, I’ll feel better about myself.” Instead, she says you should feel good about yourself to help reach your weight loss goals.
While the diet doesn’t place too many restrictions on foods you are or are not allowed to eat, it instead uses methods of psychotherapy, meditation, hypnosis and social support. It claims that when people treat themselves well during a diet, they are more likely to eat only when hungry and then stop, and are more likely to choose more healthful foods to consume in general.
It doesn’t really offer a strict list of do’s and don’t's that most diets offer, but instead it focuses on making you feel better about yourself during your weight loss efforts with the belief that feeling better will help you lose more. So although it was created with the purpose of making people feel better and more energized, it does end up aiding in weight loss attempts.
This post was written by a guest contributor. About the Author:
Amy Richards is a freelance writer who enjoys trying and testing new diets, but has a hard time sticking to them. It wasn’t until she received a gluten free gift basket at work one day that she found a diet she liked, and now her only go-to diet is gluten-free!