In the search for the most effective diet, people have tried just about every combination of different foods to see whether eating a lot or a little of anything will aid them in weight loss. Fad diets have focused on eating single foods such as nothing but grapefruit, or strange combinations of cayenne pepper and lemon juice. The no carb diet is considered by some to be a fad diet, but it has in fact been being discussed for over a century, when researchers first started studying native Inuit tribes who relied completely on wild animals, seafood and fat for their diet –
large amount of weight can be lost when the diet is restricted to nothing but meat, seafood, cheese and natural (non-
Most no carb diets get the majority of their calories from eating meats, fishes,
cheeses, and fats such as butter and cream. Although the list of foods that can be eaten include such high fat items as bacon, which make one think that the dieter would gain rather than lose weight from eating them, the evidence is conclusive that weight loss does actually occur. No carb diets put the body into what is known as a ketonic state. This means that because the body is getting nothing but protein and fat for fuel, it turns to existing fat in the body for fuel. The absence of available glucose from carbohydrates forces the body to use the fuel that it is getting more efficiently, and the fuel that is stored completely because it has been fooled into thinking that it is starving.
Most of the popular diets that are following the ketonic diet theory are either no carb, or low carb. The original diet that prescribed a no carb regimen was the Atkins Diet, which first became popular in the early 1970s. Though many have criticized the Atkins approach, it continues to be both popular and effective, and most of the low or no carb diets that have followed have been compared to it, or even called Atkins copies. Though Atkins originally was based upon the theory that burning the high levels of fat that the diet contained actually burned more calories, that theory has been amended to state that the high levels of fat actually stave off hunger longer, thus keeping Atkins dieters from cheating on their diet and turning to carbs and sugars. The biggest complaint about the Atkins diet by reviewers is that it can get boring eating the same foods all the time without the interest of carbs.
The South Beach Diet borrows from the Atkins Diet, but differs in several ways. It was originated by a cardiologist as a solution to the problems of high cholesterol. Dr. Agatston was seeking a diet that was low in fat, but determined that the low fat diet often left people hungry, and they turned to foods that were still low fat but high in sugar and calories. The South Beach Diet allows carbs, but only those that are considered “good carbs” –
The paleo diet, or paleolithic diet, is based upon the notion that adhering to the
diet that our primitive ancestors ate would return us to a more natural state of
health, eliminating all of the modern diseases that the diet’s author assumes are caused by the way that modern man is eating. Comparing his diet to the wild animals and grasses and leaves that were eating by humans in the paleolithic era, the paleolithic diet author has prescribed a combination of meats, fish, roots and vegetables and nuts. It specifically excludes all grains, dairy products, sugars and salts and processed oils. The diet is restricted to approximately 25% carbohydrates. Scientists have ranked it extremely low in terms of its nutritional value.
The ketogenic diet is actually offered as a resource for those who are trying to
overcome the problem of seizures, particularly in children who suffer from epilepsy. The diet offers very few carbs along with high contents of fat and a moderate amount of protein specifically because it was proven in some studies that this combination would bring a cessation of epileptic seizures. It has been adopted as a means to weight loss, but its original intent was therapeutic.
The Zone Diet offers a 40:30:30 balance of carbohydrates to protein and fat. The diet’s author claims that putting the body into proper balance allows the body to utilize the calories that it takes in properly and prevents it from storing fat. It is not considered a low carbohydrate diet, although its prescribed ratios are lower than the average modern diet.