2020 Dieting Guide At Any Age

| March 19, 2020 | 0 Comments | Email This Post Email This Post
Dieting Guide

Pam Riggs 2020 Dieting Guide

2020 Dieting Guide 

By Pamela Riggs, MS, RDN, CSOWM, MarinHealth.

Sticking to losing weight after making it a New Year’s resolution is no easy feat. According to U.S. News, 80 percent of New Year’s resolutions fail by March. For those looking to hit the reset button and get on track to a healthy lifestyle, it’s important to first acknowledge why you want to lose weight. Ask yourself, “What you value most in life and how does losing weight connect with that value?” If you can make that connection clear and remind yourself of your “why” daily, you’re more likely to do what it takes to make hard behavior changes that lead to successful weight loss.

After understanding the true value and meaning of why you want to lose weight, take time to think about a healthy eating plan that’s realistic and sustainable. Here’s a brief overview of some of the most common dieting trends  for 2020  and a few  important aspects to keep in mind before deciding if it’s the right eating plan for you:  

 1. “Keto” or Ketogenic

Distinctive for its exceptionally low carbohydrate and high-fat content (typically 70% to 80% of calories), the premise of the ketogenic diet is to deprive your body of glucose—the main energy source for all cells in the body and obtained from eating carbohydrates—and then eventually produces an alternative form of energy stored in our fat called “ketones”. This ultimately decreases body fat and leads to weight loss. The diet can also result in decreased appetite and hunger control.

Keep in mind:

  • This is a difficult diet to maintain
  • Extremely low carbohydrate intake can lead to fatigue, irritability, headaches and constipation
  • There have been some long-term effect concerns including increased risk of kidney stones, osteoporosis and heart disease
  • Studies have not proven this type of diet for weight loss is ultimately more effective than other restriction-focused diets

2. Intermittent Fasting:

This diet is based on the premise of a time restricted eating pattern. Two of the most common patterns include the 5:2 and 16:8 methods. The 5:2 method involves eating a normal diet 5 days per week and then fast (severely limit calories) two days per week. The 16:8 method involves consuming normal food intake within an 8-hour window (i.e. 10 am to 6 pm) and then fast (eat nothing) for the other 16 hours. These fasting methods may be a beneficial way to lose weight because it allows insulin levels to go down for long periods of time, making our body burn fat.

Keep in mind:

  • Studies of intermittent fasting for weight loss have only been conducted on a small number of subjects and short in duration
  • This type of eating pattern may not be appropriate for pregnant women or those with a history of eating disorders
  • Those with diabetes should be cautious and consult a physician when trying intermittent fasting

3. Paleo/Primal

The basic definition of a paleo diet is the premise of eating like our ancestors did. Essentially you can eat all foods that can be hunted and gathered, including meat, fish, poultry eggs, vegetables, fruits and berries. But certain foods should be avoided, such as grains, dairy, legumes, sugar and salt. Weight loss can result when individuals reduce their calorie intake from refined grains, sweets and whole milk dairy and the high protein intake can also help control hunger.

Keep in mind:

  • Restricting an intake of dairy and beans can lead to a deficiency of important nutrients like fiber, calcium and vitamin D
  • The elimination of entire food groups means this diet can be unsustainable for long-term dieting
  • There have been concerns that this diet could be harmful for those with underlying kidney disease due to its high protein content

4. Plant Based/Vegetarian/Vegan

There are many types of plant-based diets, but they all emphasize certain foods such as whole grains, fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts, and healthy fats from avocado and olive oil.  With the mainstream introduction of the Impossible Burger at Burger King and Beyond Meat in our grocery stores, consumers are more aware of the benefits of eating a plant-based diet. When it comes to weight loss, a plant-based diet may help. Cutting out high fat meats, butter and sugar laden sweet treats can help cut calories. The emphasis on high fiber plant foods can also help us feel full, controlling hunger.

Keep in mind:

  • If not done thoughtfully, a plant-based diet can still include refined and processed grains, added sugars, unhealthy fats, and exceed our calorie daily calorie needs leading to obesity
  • Vegan diets can fall short of providing important nutrients like vitamin D, B12, iron, omega 3 fats and calcium
  • The jury is still out whether eating foods like an Impossible Burger is a healthier choice. When compared to a 4 ounce beef patty, an Impossible Burger has more calories and sodium with similar amounts of total and saturated fat.
  • Finally, expect challenges and obstacles along the way. Behavior changes that last take time. Think about what is most challenging about this journey, and brainstorm solutions as to how you might move through them.

We all know successfully losing weight takes time and a lot of work, so it is important to take time to focus on what this achievement will bring. It is not too late to press the reset button on your 2020 weight loss resolution. Are you ready?

About Pamela Riggs

Pamela Riggs headshot

Pamela Riggs is a Registered Dietitian for MarinHealth. She brings over 25 years of professional experience in the field of nutrition, fitness and health promotion and her areas of expertise include: cancer prevention and treatment, healthy weight management, heart disease and diabetes prevention, management of women’s health issues, integrative nutrition practices including wise supplementation, and nutrition for optimizing sports performance.

After receiving her undergraduate degree in nutrition from California State University at Chico, she completed a dietetic internship at Beth Israel Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts. She also holds a Master’s Degree in Human Nutrition in Health and Disease from the University of New Haven and has received a Certificate of Training in Adult Weight Management from the American Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.



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