Experts reveal the truth behind those New Year diets

Thursday 5 January 11:31am

As we head into January, many of us will be beginning new diets. But which ones actually work, and which ones are just food for thought? From the 5:2 and Keto, to juicing – Gut health expert Dr Megan Rossi joins us with everything you need to know.

The 5:2 diet:

The 5:2 diet is an ‘alternate day’ fasting diet, where you fast for two days of the week. For women this means eating only 500 calories (men are allowed 600 calories) on two days and eating normally for the other five days of the week.

Pros: The diet is very flexible and you choose which days are fasting days and how you want to split up your calorie allowance. You won’t feel deprived of anything because you can eat your favourite foods on five of the seven days of the week. Cons: Sticking to such a low calorie limit doesn’t allow for much food throughout the day and you will likely be eliminating food groups to fit in with the strict calories. On fasting days you may feel tired, have a lower attention span and energy levels.

The keto diet/ Atkins diet:

The keto diet and the Atkins diet are both ketogenic diets and are quite similar. The aim of ketogenic diets is to send the body into a state of ‘ketosis’ by using a very strict low-carb diet. It typically comprises 70-75% fat, 20% protein and 5-10% carbs.

Pros: Many people do lose weight, and some studies find that people feel less hungry while in ketosis. The diet cuts out nearly all processed foods, which is always a good thing. Cons: Giving up whole grains, beans, fruits and many veggies can cause nutrient deficiencies and constipation. Common short-term side effects include fatigue, headache, brain fog and upset stomach, aka “Keto flu.” Long-term health risks include kidney stones, osteoporosis and liver disease.

Juicing diets:

A juice diet involves abstaining from eating other foods and only drinking juice, while some involve eating particular solid foods as well. The calorie intake is usually very restricted on juice diets.

Pros: While juice diets may help you lose weight in the short term, such a severe calorie restriction can slow your metabolism in the long term. Cons: Juice diets are also likely to lead to nutrient…

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