The finest and worst diets of 2017



Think again to 11.59pm final December 31. You hadn’t even heard the time period flexitarian and would not have a clue what CICO stood for.

There’s additionally no method you’d predict the recognition of veganism or low FODMAP diets. But right here we’re, on the finish of 2017, the yr that solidified our peanut butter obsession and taught us you possibly can eat something from a bowl – smoothies included.

But like all developments, some are good (white trainers) and a few a nasty (bejewelled Crocs), which is why as a dietitian I’ve analysed the well being execs and cons of this yr’s hottest diets.


As a dietitian, that is 1 weight-reduction plan development I’d love extra folks to attempt. Just just like the identify suggests, it’s all about flexibility and doesn’t entail restriction. Flexitarianism promotes consuming extra greens, which is vital contemplating that solely 7 per cent of Australians meet their really helpful day by day consumption. It entails decreasing your consumption of meat (learn: not eliminating it), and aside from consuming extra veg (together with legumes like chickpeas and lentils), additionally upping your consumption of wholegrains, fruit and nuts.

PROS: More veggies, versatile.

CONS: Limits some wholesome proteins (like fish!)


We’re certain you’ve seen the #plantbased development (thanks, Instagram). Vegan diets promote extra veggies and naturally, many individuals comply with this motion for moral and non secular causes. A vegan weight-reduction plan will be fairly restrictive (we’re speaking no meat, poultry, seafood, dairy merchandise or eggs). Following a strict vegan weight-reduction plan can improve your danger of a variety of dietary deficiencies, together with Vitamin B12, iron and calcium. If you select to comply with a vegan weight-reduction plan, it is very important seek the advice of an Accredited Practising Dietitian (and never an unqualified wellness guru) who may also help to optimise your weight-reduction plan and supply sensible methods that will help you attain your dietary necessities.

PROS: More veggies.

CONS: Restrictive, excessive probability of nutrient deficiencies.

101 Wellbeing Program

This ‘detox’ program is damaged into phases, the primary of which lasts 5-21 days and known as ‘Cleanse and Release’. FYI – wholesome our bodies are completely capable of ‘cleanse’ themselves! During the ‘Cleanse and Repair’ section, you possibly can solely drink water, black tea and liquid herbs, that are offered. The program’s web site claims weight lack of 5-8kg in simply 2 weeks – no marvel when you possibly can’t eat something! Such speedy weight reduction is probably going muscle shops, somewhat than true fats loss. After the primary stage comes ‘Repair and Recover’ and at last ‘Whole Body Recalibration’. The program’s web site states therapies equivalent to Chinese natural drugs, therapeutic massage and acupuncture are additionally included and claims this system results in a “better quality of life”, amongst different issues. Our verdict? Buyer beware.

PROS: Hmm…

CONS: Severe restriction, hunger, not balanced


Do you understand what FODMAP truly stands for? Not to fret, we’ve received your again: fermentable oligosaccharides, disaccharides, monosaccharides and polyols (what a mouthful!). A low FODMAP weight-reduction plan turns out to be useful for these with IBS to assist determine meals that trigger signs, however in case you’re not having tummy troubles, there’s most likely no want for it. Again, low FODMAP diets will be fairly restrictive and remove a number of vegetables and fruit in addition to bread, legumes, cereals, noodles, pasta and milk. For that cause, it’s vital to see an Accredited Practising Dietitian who can guarantee your low FODMAP weight-reduction plan is as satisfactory and balanced as doable, and assist you when re-introducing FODMAPs and liberalising your weight-reduction plan.

PROS: Helps to determine triggers for IBS

CONS: Can be restrictive, difficult for social life

The 16:8 Diet

The 16:8 weight-reduction plan needs you to eat over eight hours a day to assist weight management. Breakfast at 9am, lunch at 1pm, dinner at 5pm. Capiche? Any type of intermittent fasting weight-reduction plan normally advertises weight reduction as a key consequence, however the proof isn’t superior in comparison with a standard reduced-energy weight-reduction plan. These sorts of diets are usually laborious to maintain long run.

PROS: May assist with weight reduction

CONS: Hard for social life, laborious to maintain


Ketogenic diets are low in carbohydrate, reasonable in protein and excessive in fats (farewell bread and pasta). This promotes ‘ketosis’, the place the physique burns fats as an alternative of its most well-liked vitality supply, glycogen. Ketogenic diets might assist with brief time period weight reduction and managing epilepsy in youngsters, however its restrictive nature means you forego wholesome wholegrains, fruit and dairy, limiting vitamins like fibre, b-group nutritional vitamins and calcium. The high-fat facet of the weight-reduction plan can also be detrimental to your coronary heart well being in case you eat quite a lot of saturated fats. For these causes, it’s vital to seek the advice of your Accredited Practising Dietitian or physician earlier than commencing a ketogenic weight-reduction plan – usually, it’s unsustainable and never really helpful.

PROS: May assist with short-term weight reduction, might assist to handle epilepsy

CONS: If excessive in saturated fats is poor for coronary heart well being, no wholegrains, no fruit, no dairy, low in fibre, elevated chance of nutrient deficiencies


Calories in = Calories Out, proper? That’s what CICO stands for, and sadly it is fallacious. Like we’ve mentioned earlier than, weight reduction isn’t a 1 dimension matches all strategy and individualised methods are sometimes required. Sure, the thought which you can eat a number of quick meals (or cake or chocolate or scorching chips…) and nonetheless drop some weight might sound tempting, however do not forget that not all energy are equal. One hundred energy of chocolate doesn’t present anyplace close to the fibre, vitamin, mineral or antioxidant content material of 100 energy of greens.


CONS: Promotes the concept that all energy are equal

As you possibly can see, most of those diets include precautionary purple tape. The backside line is that weight-reduction plan developments come and go – and few stick round for the lengthy haul. The healthiest weight-reduction plan for most individuals is 1 that’s balanced, with all the things consumed carefully. That is the premise of Australian Dietary Guidelines, that are based mostly on the most recent scientific proof.

Melissa Meier is a Sydney-based dietitian. You can comply with her @honest_nutrition.

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