This Is the 1 Diet Plan You Have to Try in the New Year (and the 1 You Need to Ditch)
Welcoming a new year often means making resolutions and setting some pretty impressive goals. And since the most popular New Year’s resolutions tend to have something to do with getting healthy, it makes sense that this is the time of year that people are evaluating their diet plans.
From fermented foods to the Dukan diet plan, 2017 was a good year for health trends. And while there’s no such thing as a one-size-fits all meal plan, there is one that we recommend for getting back on track … and the one health experts are saying to ditch might surprise you.
The top diet trends of 2017
2017 was a big year for the diet industry. The more we learn about nutrition and wellness, the more experts are realizing that different bodies have different needs. The Mediterranean Diet, the Ketogenic Diet, and the Flexitarian Diet were some of the most popular plans being followed, with the understanding that people will choose the diet that makes them feel (and look) the best, as well as one they can realistically stick to.
It looks like the new year will bring us more nutritional advancements as health experts weigh in on what works and what doesn’t. Veganism is expected to go fully mainstream in 2018, with more and more people choosing to eliminate animal products from their diets for a variety of reasons.
Of course, a vegan diet isn’t for everyone. And if you’re looking for a healthy “reset” button that will, in theory, lead to a lifetime of making healthier choices, there’s one program that’s recommended to help kick things off.
Why the Whole30 is worth trying
If you’ve dabbled in dieting recently, you’ve probably heard of the Whole30 plan. Whole30 is designed to be a “nutritional reset” that was created to help people identify the food groups that aren’t right for their bodies. The diet is strict — you’re not allowed any sugar, grains, dairy, legumes or alcohol — but because it only lasts for one month, it’s not impossible to stick to it.
How it works
The concept of the Whole30 Diet is fairly simple: You identify the foods you should avoid by eliminating anything remotely “controversial” from your diet for a month, then adding them back slowly after the initial 30 days have passed. The creators of the diet, Dallas and Melissa Hartwig, even claim it will improve immune function, mental clarity, and chronic health conditions such as diabetes or high cholesterol. Of course, most people who attempt the plan want to lose some weight, and with so many foods being eliminated, this is almost a given.
A perfect New Year’s diet plan?
Here’s the reason that Whole30 works, if it’s done correctly: It’s not meant to be forever. 30 days without dairy, sugar, and alcohol might seem like a lifetime when you’ve just spent months indulging during the holiday season, but in reality, it’s a very temporary, albeit restrictive, modification. When done properly, the Whole30 is a great “reset” button and can lead to making healthier choices in general long-term, no matter what type of diet you choose to follow. If you feel that a detox or a cleanse is in order to kick off the new year, this is a way to do that without starving yourself or depriving yourself of nutrition.
Kick keto to the curb
Here’s a piece of advice many might disagree with: If you’re looking for a long-term change, choosing the Whole30 diet over a ketogenic diet might be your best bet. Ketosis is a natural process the body initiates to help us survive when food intake is low. During this state, we produce ketones, which are produced from the breakdown of fats in the liver. So clearly the diet will help you lose weight, and it definitely has some great health benefits.
Here’s the only problem: It doesn’t always set you up for long-term success. Ketosis is considered a survival mechanism of the body when glucose levels are low, which is not a great state to be in full-time … especially if you’re susceptible to the “keto flu,” which has symptoms like headaches and fatigue.
Be in it for the long haul
To be clear, neither the Whole30 diet or the ketogenic diet are “bad.” And if you attempt either, you can have great success. But if you want to set yourself up for long-term wellness, and you value health over fast weight loss, the Whole30 might be the perfect way to start your year. Since it’s meant to simply be a 30 day plan followed by small shifts in eating habits, it’s more sustainable in the long run … and that means you won’t be making the exact same resolutions for 2019.
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