Trending Diets 2014
Author: Shannon Miller Lifestyle
If there is one thing Americans are frequently looking forward to, it is the next big dieting trend.
Yet, roughly 70% of American adults are overweight or obese, according to the Center for Disease Control, a shocking statistic, when on the other end of the spectrum that means that only 30% of Americans fall into the healthy weight and underweight categories.
While the rates of overweight and obese Americans on the rise, the number of Americans dieting is also on the rise. Over 100 million Americans were on at least one diet last year, many of those dieters make four or five attempts at dieting per year. The weight-loss industry, including diet books, diet drugs, and weight-loss surgeries, brought in over $20 billion last year alone.
With all that being said, dieting is very important, but it is all about finding what is right for you. Team SML looked into some of the top trending diets for 2014 and here is what we found, along with benefits and downfalls.
While gluten-free diets have been around for quite some time, they are not going anywhere anytime soon. For individuals who have celiac disease or an allergy to gluten, eating gluten free is necessary, but it has also shown to have other health benefits as well. Gluten is most commonly found in wheat and products that contain wheat.
Benefits: Cutting out gluten can help decrease your calorie intake, as you will most likely be consuming fewer simple carbohydrates, resulting in shedding of some pounds.
Downfalls: Grains and Fiber are important parts of a healthy balanced diet, so cutting these out can cause you to lose nutrients that your body needs. It is important to substitute these foods with other foods that contain these nutrients. Also, if you cut out gluten for long periods of time and you are not sensitive to it, your body could develop a sensitivity and you may not be able to ever process it properly if you decide to re-introduce it to your diet. Products labeled gluten-free can frequently be highly processed and full of unnecessary sugars, which could be a pitfall to your diet.
The Paleo diet takes it a step further than the gluten-free diet, cutting out all grains and refined or processed foods. With a focus on eating as our hunter-gatherer ancestors once did. This diet is primarily meat, fish, fruits, vegetables, eggs, and nuts, while excluding dairy, grains, starchy vegetables like potatoes and corn, legumes, excess sugars, juices, and vegetable oils.
Benefits: If you have a sweet tooth and satisfy it frequently, this diet will clearly cut calories. Similar to gluten-free, it can also help cleanse your system of gluten, potentially improving any GI issues you may have.
Downfalls: While cutting calories, you are also cutting out major sources of nutrients that your body needs by completely cutting out categories of foods.
According to its avid fans, Juicing is a great way to detox the body, prevent disease and lose weight. Juicing can be appealing if you have a hard time eating vegetables since you can mask the taste of vegetables with fruit. When looking at juicing, it is important to know that juicing vegetables is much more beneficial than juicing fruits. If you or your child(ren) don’t eat enough vegetables, juicing them is a good way to get those nutrients, in addition to a well-rounded diet. It can also be beneficial to jump starting a weight loss diet, but should not be a long-term diet solution. Juicing can also be beneficial to the appearance of you skin, hair, and nails.
Benefits: The main benefit is that you can consume more fruits and vegetables if you have a hard time eating whole fruits and vegetables in your daily diet. It can also be a helpful way to jumpstart a diet. You can also lose weight by juicing, if you are juicing wisely, focusing on vegetables primarily.
Downfalls: Juicing takes out all of the fiber that is in the fruits and vegetables, so you are missing some major nutrients that you would be getting if you were to just eat the whole fruit or vegetable. It also has a very concentrated calorie content, particularly with juicing fruit. Meaning, that if you are primarily juicing fruit, you will be consuming more calories and more sugar than if you were to eat the whole fruit. While juicing for short periods of time (3-7 days) can be beneficial and help you shed a few pounds, consuming a juice diet for longer periods of time can turn into starving yourself and can develop into an eating disorder.
The Mediterranean diet is a fantastic, heart-healthy diet. It focuses on eating primarily plant-based foods, such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, and nuts, using olive oil instead of butter, using herbs and spices instead of salt to flavor foods, eating fish and poultry at least twice a week, limiting red meat to a few times a month, and optionally drinking red wine in moderation.
The diet also emphasizes the importance of physical activity, and enjoying meals with friends and family.
Benefits: Research has shown that the Mediterranean diet reduces the risk of heart disease. It can also have a positive impact for those who suffer from diabetes. The Mediterranean diet also does not ban any food groups, so as long as it is in moderation, you won’t be limited from enjoying any food you wish.
Downfalls: There isn’t “a” Mediterranean diet per se, as the countries that border the Mediterranean Sea (Greeks, Italians, French, Spanish) all have different eating habits, but they do share the common guidelines for this diet.
Overall, It is clear that eating plenty of vegetables and fruits should be the basis of any healthy diet and the amount of grains, fats, and meat is where most diets will differ. There is no “one size fits all” approach to dieting and not everything is going to work for every person. Dieting is all about finding what works for you!
Do you have a successful diet story? Share it with us in a comment below or leave us a comment on Facebook!