Make way for new age diets

Dieters have moved from calorie counting to new and bizarre diets that promise good health.

OddNaari OddNaari Jun 12, 2012

If you are trying to lose weight by cutting down on calories, then you are really not cool. New age dieters who get high experimenting with trendy new diets will tell you this. While most of us know about fad diets such as Beyonce's Master Cleanse and Gwyneth Paltrow's detox missions, stranger ones like the feeding tube diet for wannabe brides are less publicised. While these diets may help you realise your immediate weight loss dreams, long term weight loss is hardly likely and health experts say they are a bad idea. "Most of these diets are a perfect recipe to malnourishment. A good way of losing weight is to limit potion size but have an inclusive healthy diet coupled with exercises," says Rekha Sharma, president, Indian dietetic association and advisor,

Bizarre diets
A decade ago, the all time favourite diet for celebs used to be the high protein Atkins diet. But now this is passe. While Lady Gaga and Reese Witherspoon claim that eating baby food diet keeps them slim, the diet that has become a hit because of it's uniqueness is celeb Martine Mc Cutcheon's blood group diet,which is based on blood groups. And then there is Renee Zellweger's ice cube diet, which involves snacking on ice cubes to keep hunger pangs at bay. Other bizarre diets in vogue include the caffeine diet, the green tea diet, the grapefruit diet, the seven day colour diet and the hypnotherapy diet. Here are some new fad diets:

The feeding tube diet
This new weight loss regimen trumps almost all other extreme diets. Called the K-E diet, it involves the insertion of feeding tubes into young women by doctors before their wedding, to help them lose weight of up to 20 pounds in 10 days. These patients tote around a solution in a bag, which delivers fats, proteins and water and no carbs through a nasal tube into their stomach. You get no medals for guessing that the weight comes right back on once you discontinue the drip.

Starvation vacation
These vacations involve lounging in five star luxury and consuming nothing but a few pints of a drink made from water, lemon juice, natural tree syrup and cayenne pepper.

Diet glasses
Wearing these blue goggles will trick you to believe that the food in front of you appears larger in size than it actually is, satisfying you sooner.

Many Followers
High Protein Dukan Diet:

This is a low carb and high protein diet, similar to Atkins. Since proteins require more energy to digest, you burn more calories. Dieters are made to drink at least 3 litres of water per day.

Pros: A rapid initial weight loss that can motivate you to stick to the plan. It's stress on consuming low fat proteins is healthier than high fat protein. Vegetables have a prominent role and exercising 20 minutes a day is part of the diet plan.

Cons: It can deprive you of heart healthy fibre, fat and some essential vitamins and minerals. Rapid weight loss happens due to fluid and muscle mass loss and can lead to dehydration.

The lack of variety may cause some to discontinue the diet. Fatigue and moodiness are common complaints of this carb-free diet. Nutrient deficiency and constipation are the risks that tag along with this diet. A condition called ketosis may develop in someone who
adheres to this for too long.

All modified Atkins Diet: While Atkins diet is a decade old, its link to heart disease led to a dip in its popularity. The modified version is more popular now, as this includes healthy carbs such as wholegrain bread, brown rice and fruit.Protein choices can mean grilled chicken, lean meats and fish.

Pros: Favourite food items such as meat, cream, cheese stay on the menu. Because a person can eat as much as they like of permitted food types, they won't feel hungry. Not all carbohydrates count in the total allowance and those rich in fibre can be consumed without restrictions. One of the biggest strengths of this diet is that it helps different people zero in on their individual levels of carbohydrate sensitivity.

Cons: Most people aren't able to maintain this. The metabolic processes involved in using fat for energy instead of carbs can lead to increased uric acid, which can cause kidney problems and strong headaches. Low fibre intake can lead to constipation and chronic bowel diseases. There is also a fear of high fat intake with this diet.

Our Pick: Sonoma diet

This popular Mediterranean diet claims to promote weight loss and improve your health simultaneously. You eliminate sugar and fat and eat power foods like fish, almonds, bell peppers, broccoli and olive oil instead. The positive emphasis on health and eating well stands in its favour. You eat slowly and savour each bite. It is nutritionally sound, as one gets a variety of phytonutrients and antioxidants. The emphasis is more on whole foods and less on processed foods. The only problem that sometimes arises is that after phase one, vegetable servings are limited and you can fall short of essential fibre.

She decided to go Vegan
Veganism is different from vegetarianism as it excludes all animal products like milk too.

Ever contemplated life without coldcoffee, blueberry cheesecake, or icecream? Probably not! Neither did 20 year old Gayatri Singh, until she sat next to a vegan on a plane to Chicago. She started questioning the passenger when he ordered special vegan meal and after she heard his argument on veganism, she was converted.

Put simply, veganism is a way of eating that excludes animal products or derivatives as a dietary rule. People turn vegan for different reasons and in Gayatri's case, it was her undying love for animals that made her refrain from consuming any meat, poultry or animal derivatives like honey and dairy. Turning vegan has been a blessing for her. " My taste buds have adapted and I have never felt healthier. It's a high carb diet but I have figured out how to manage my calorie intake by swapping most of my simplerefined carbs for complex carbs," she says. Plant based diets have some health benefits. They keep your cholesterol in check and eating the right carbs and limiting consumption of processed food helps to keep the weight low. It's a high fibre diet, good for the bowels, that also helps lower blood pressure.

But a poorly planned vegan diet may result in deficiencies of calcium, vitamin B12 and vitamin D, leading to indigestion, fatigue and loss of appetite. That being said, fortified milk (particularly soy) and nutritional yeast are known to contain this vitamin.

"Routine blood check up every few months is recommended for vegans to ascertain whether they have any mineral deficiencies. If a deficiency exists, vitamin supplementation is usually safe, provided it is done after guidance from a physician," says Nilanjana Singh, consultant nutritionist at PSRI, New Delhi.

By Jia Singh

On becoming a 'paleo-lithe'
The caveman diet is a high protein diet that excludes grains, dairy foods and soy products.

People laugh at me when they watch me eat at a dinner function, because I'm notorious for wolfing down large quantities of meat, cheese and nuts without gaining an ounce. My secret is the Paleolithic diet I follow, also known as the 'caveman diet' or 'hunter-gatherer diet'. As the name suggests, this lifestyle plan is based on the assumed diet of our Neanderthal ancestors 2.5 million years ago, namely fruit, nuts, seeds, meat and vegetables.

Today, Paleolithic eating has been adapted to suit modern times and the contemporary palate; meat is eaten after cooking till its tender, fruits are eaten ripe and vegetables are cooked.

My journey into Paleo eating began when I read Mark Sisson's book entitled 'The primal blueprint'. Sisson is the brainchild behind This fellow 'paleolithe' describes his contemporary eating plan in detail, illustrated with several examples and backed with scientific research. On the plus side, the Paleolithic diet is ideal because you eat as much unprocessed, unrefined, seasonal food as possible. Lean meat, seeds, fruits, nuts, seafood, healthy fats like coconut oil are staples in this diet. The high protein content of this plan keeps you satiated for longer. Since you aren't really counting calories, you are ingesting more nutritious food. Grains and processed foods are on the paleo blacklist, so you can actually lose weight being on a moderate or restricted carbohydrate diet as your body goes into your existing fat stores for energy, according to nutrition experts.

On the downside, you can suffer from nutritional deficiencies including calcium because you don't consume any dairy or soy. You can prevent this by supplementing your diet with calcium, as advised by your physician. Also, eating organic, grass fed meat and vegetables can be very expensive. Some of the foods may be inaccessible too, making this diet an inconvenient one. Anyone keen on trying this diet out should consult a physician and nutritionist to keep a track of their nutritional status. That being said, you need to find what works for you, and no one plan is going to fit everybody.

By Jia Singh

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