Comparing Popular Diets That Can Reduce Body Fat Percentage
Four Popular Diets That Can Reduce Body Fat Percentage
With so many diet options to choose from, how do you decide which one is right for you? In this article, we lay out four different diets that are proven to reduce body fat percentage, along with some general dieting advice at the end.
Comparing Popular Diets Reduce Body Fat Percentage Diet #1 Intermittent Fasting
Intermittent fasting is more focused on when you eat than what you eat. There are a variety of eating schedules that fit underneath the umbrella of intermittent fasting. One of the most popular eating patterns is the ‘16:8,’ where you fast for 16 hours and then eat all your meals in an 8 hour window.
Within this approach, some people choose to eat 1 large meal a day and nothing else. Others will eat 2- 3 meals or even a large number of snacks in the 8 hour period. The important principle with intermittent fasting is that you fast for a period of time and then you eat all your meals in a defined window right after.
This eating style can also be convenient as many people would prefer to not have to worry about eating breakfast. One tip that helps people avoid eating is to drink coffee in the morning which acts as an appetite suppressant. Intermittent fasting is something that is easy to implement as part of your eating routine and I would certainly recommend giving it a try.
Diet #2 Ketogenic Diet
Ketogenic diets vary in how extreme they are, but the premise is that you will eat a lot of fat and very low net carbs. You can figure out the net carbs in a food by subtracting the fiber from the total number of carbs on the nutrition information label. When you eat this way, your body will start to produce ketones from your fatty acids as your insulin levels drop.
Essentially, your body will start using fat as fuel! While this idea sounds great in theory, there are mixed studies from nutritionists on the safety of consuming excess levels of saturated fat. If a ketogenic diet is done the right way with healthy fats coming from foods such as avocado, nuts, and olive oil, then it may be a sustainable long-term option.
However, if you eat all highly-processed bacon, you won’t get the same metabolic benefits. Another major downside with the ketogenic diet that prevents many people from giving it a shot is that you cannot drink alcohol. Alcohol and any other sugar will take your body out of keto.
Keto should also not be confused with a high protein diet. Too much protein will take your body out of ketosis and will stop the production of ketones.There is some evidence that ketogenic diets can lead to increased muscle retention with weight loss and that is a good reason to test it out.
Diet #3 Bulletproof Diet
The bulletproof diet can be thought of as a less extreme ketogenic diet. Instead of consuming 80% or more of your calories from fat, you will consume 50-70% from good oils and fats with the rest coming from veggies, non-inflammatory protein, and fruit/starch. Within each category of food (nuts, legumes, starches, dairy, fruit, oil & fats, proteins, veggies and even spices & flavor), there are recommendations and rankings for the best options. For example, on this diet you will eat sweet potato and carrots as starches instead of white rice to reduce inflammation. There are also bulletproof products you can buy, such as the famous bulletproof coffee. Bulletproof diets strongly discourage foods such as corn, soy, and trans fats. I liked doing the bulletproof diet a lot because I knew I was eating the right foods to keep myself healthy while also lowering my body fat percentage in the process.
Diet #4 The Always Hungry Diet
Dr. David Ludwig is a Harvard Medical School expert that bases his ‘Always Hungry’ diet on a simple philosophy: if you aren’t hungry, you won’t eat as much.
While this concept is simple, putting it into practice requires a strict regimen that focuses on low GI carbs, fats and moderate protein. Low GI refers to the glycemic index that is often used by diabetics to eat foods that don’t spike blood pressure too much. This diet is my personal favorite diet because it gives three different phases to help your body get adjusted to it. The first phase is to eat 50% fat, 25% carbs and 25% protein. The second phase is 40% fat, 35% carbs and 25% protein. Lastly, the third and final phase is 40% fat, 40% carbs and 20% protein. Phase 1 is more restrictive than phases 2 and 3 because the goal is to control the insulin spikes that can make you hungry very quickly.
As you get adjusted to the lifestyle of eating low-GI foods, the requirements are more relaxed, allowing you to eat 40% carbs, 40% fat and 20% protein. Many people trying to start a new diet quit before finishing 2 full weeks, but the ‘Always Hungry’ method makes it easy to turn the diet into a lifestyle. If you read Ludwig’s ‘Always Hungry,’ he includes a full plan for the diet along with lots of healthy recipes.
To make any one of these diets succeed in reducing body fat percentage, it is critical to turn it into a lifestyle. That means not being too strict with yourself and picking a plan that you can stick to. Keep in mind that by eating too strict a calorie deficit, you will lose less body fat and more muscle.
Beyond that, when new dieters lose weight too quickly, it is far more likely that they will gain that weight back (and more) in the future. Another big aspect with any diet is meal preparation. Instead of succumbing to ordering delivery, you should keep healthy snacks and prepared food ready to go. It is good to dedicate a day of the week to meal prepping.
You also want to switch up your meals frequently, since boredom is a huge factor behind why many diets don’t workout. There are a lot of great meal kit services that ship food for specific diets/meal plans right to your door to help with variety. Overall, there are lots of different options, and it is important to pick the approach that will leave you satisfied, and not craving a fried chicken sandwich.