It’s that time of the year (again!) when people are on the lookout for the next big thing when it comes to their health and wellness goals.
But hold your horses…
Choosing the right diet is like navigating a maze – it’s thrilling, confusing, and sometimes a little bit crazy!
And with all the choices out there, what can be the best for you? It’s like being at a buffet and not knowing which dish to pick. Of course, with any new trend comes pros and cons. While some diets may work wonders for certain individuals, they may not be suitable for everyone.
So before you dive head-first into the first trend that catches your eye, let’s take a closer look at the pros and cons of some of the most popular dietary trends circulating today.
First up, the keto diet – the talk of the town! High-fat, low-carb, and a promise of shedding those extra pounds faster than you can say “butter coffee.”
- Can help you lose weight quickly,
- reduce inflammation, and
- improve your blood sugar levels.
- Lack of variety in the diet (since many foods are off-limits!),
- Potential nutrient deficiencies, and
- the fact that it can be difficult to sustain long-term.
- Higher cortisol levels for some, too, especially women.
Ladies, a friendly warning! Too much keto love can throw your hormonal harmony off balance. Keto has a knack for cranking up cortisol, your stress hormone, IF it’s not cycled properly. Add in excessive weight loss or nutrient shortages, and your body might decide to hit the pause button on baby-making functions, delaying your period.
Will this happen to every woman who follows keto? Not necessarily.
Some women swear by keto cycling where they follow a traditional keto diet pattern most days but choose one or two days to increase carbs. This pattern gives your body a breather, reducing stress, and keeping deprivation feelings at bay.
So if you’re doing Keto, it’s better to prioritize those plant-based fats and fiber-rich veggies to ensure you make food choices that support long-term health.
Next stop, the plant-based veganism, which involves consuming only plant-based foods and cutting out all animal products.
The pros can include:
- Lower risk of high blood pressure
- Reduced chronic disease risks
- Better gut health
- Easier weight management (initially)
- Higher fiber intake
- Reduced body mass index (BMI)
On the other hand, the cons of this diet can include:
- Vitamin K and Vitamin D deficiency
- Difficult long-term gut issues
- Potential nutrient deficiencies
- Low energy
- Loss of skeletal muscle due to low protein
- Less longevity
- Hormonal imbalances
The good news! Adopting a plant-based diet SHORT TERM may contribute to maintaining balanced gut health and reducing inflammation. This is due to the abundance of fiber, nutrient density, and inflammation-fighting phytonutrients present in plant-based foods, all working together to promote optimal digestive function.
Intermittent fasting is another diet trend that’s gained popularity in recent years. This involves cycling between periods of not eating (fasting) and eating normally.
The pros of intermittent fasting can include:
- weight loss
- improved insulin sensitivity, and
- even reduced inflammation
However, the cons of intermittent fasting can include
- difficulty sticking to a strict schedule,
- hunger pains during the fasting periods, and
- the potential for overeating during the non-fasting periods.
I did a cover for this one on my August blog, “Beauty in the Fast Lane”. If you haven’t checked it out, I spilled the beans on optimizing your fasting routine by syncing it with your menstrual cycle.
There are specific times during your menstrual cycle that are fasting sweet spots. By aligning with your body’s hormonal dance, you not only keep your hormones in check but also enjoy benefits like stable insulin levels, reduced inflammation, and kickstarting your body’s natural cell renewal process.
It’s a win-win for nourishment and wellness.
If you’re navigating perimenopause, consider intermittent fasting as a valuable tool. Blend it with quality sleep, stress management, and nutrient-packed meals for a winning combo.
For those in menopause and beyond, intermittent fasting brings flexibility and freedom. Embrace it with minimal constraints and time pressures.
But, and it’s a big but, remember this: diving into extended fasting without proper guidance may lead to nutrient deficiencies. It’s vital, especially for women, to maintain a varied and balanced diet during non-fasting periods.
So, let’s rock the fast lane and nourish wisely!
Let’s talk about the paleo diet – which takes us back to the basics by cutting out processed foods and embracing the goodness of whole, natural foods like meat, fish, fruits, and vegetables.
The pros of the paleo diet include:
- Improved digestion,
- Reduced inflammation,
- Less food sensitivities,
- Less bloating, and
- The potential for weight loss.
If you aim to enhance your digestive, immune and reproductive health along with the fantastic metabolic and hormonal perks, giving Paleo a shot is a wise move.
Just ensure you’re fueling up with sufficient calories, embracing good fats (especially the saturated ones), and getting the right dose of carbs. Don’t forget to include a steady supply of Omega-3s and significantly up your fat intake compared to your current levels. BUT, like any diet, there are some cons to consider too…
- High sugar from all the dates, dried fruits and healthy carbs if not managed,
- Difficulty sticking to strict guidelines, and
- May be expensive to eat a strictly paleo diet to some.
So, if you’re thinking about going paleo, it could be a fantastic step towards optimal overall health. Just keep those nutrient needs in check and enjoy the natural goodness!
Finally, the Mediterranean diet – many have said the crown jewel in the world of healthy eating. Seriously, it’s like the Beyoncé of diets! This diet involves savoring whole grains (preferably gluten free), lots of Omegas, fruits, veggies, healthy plant fats, and lean proteins.
The pros of embracing the Mediterranean way:
- Lower risk of chronic illnesses such as heart disease, cancer, and others
- Improved cognitive function and mood
- Improved sleep quality
- Better hormones
- Better skin
- Weight loss
- Easy to stick to at home.
Now, even royalty has its challenges – the cons to be mindful of are:
- Difficulty sticking to the diet when eating out or at social events,
- Lots of fish, if you’re not a fish lover,
- Potential of overconsumption of certain foods (such as wine!)
- Does include grains so not ideal for highly inflamed digestive systems.
The Mediterranean diet, well-loved for its health perks, serves up a delicious spread of whole foods that contribute to a well-balanced protein intake. Picture this: loads of fresh fruits, veggies, whole grains, lean proteins, and the good stuff – olive oil and AVOCADOS. It’s not just good for your taste buds, it can be good in supporting hormonal health too.
Not every woman is the same, which is why it’s important to personalize your diet around your medical history, food preferences, lifestyle, and health goals.
Ultimately, the key to a healthy and sustainable diet is balance, moderation, and finding what works best for your individual needs and preferences.
Lastly, it’s important to always consult with a healthcare professional before making any significant dietary changes, especially if you have any pre-existing health conditions.
Still not sure which way to go? Let me guide you!
Join my 28-Day Hormones, Fasting & Gut Reset Program and together, we’ll figure out the best way to lose weight naturally & keep your hormones and gut happy as ever.
It’s time you glow from the inside out! ✨