In a world where there is a new, latest, greatest diet plan around every corner it is hard to decipher what really works and what is just a scam.
I have put together my opinion of a few ‘diets’ for you all.
The whole 30 is designed to be a 30 day nutrition reset for your body. By stripping out hormone imbalancing, inflammation causing, digestion disrupting foods. This program is meant to give your digestive tract and body a break to ‘reset’ and then at the end you can see if these foods are really making a difference in your quality of life.
Restrictions: NO sugar of any type. (This includes honey, maple syrup, artificial sweeteners, etc.) NO dairy of any type. NO Legumes (most beans, peas, peanuts and peanut butter, chicpeas and anything soy). NO Grains of any type. (Literally, none of them). NO Whole 30 approved baked goods (pancakes, cookies, pizza crust, etc.)
My Opinion: I think the whole 30 is great in theory. If you are able to do it, it can teach you good eating habits, crush your junky food cravings, and set you up for a good functioning digestive system. However, going cold turkey on all those food groups would be very hard! Most people will be plagued by headaches, strong cravings, moodiness, and an ill feeling the first week or more. This is due to your bodies addiction to sugar and simple carbs (and yes, it would be great to escape that addiction. I highly recommend it) but all at once may be a bit much!
Instead of going all out whole 30, I recommend beginning with a focus on REAL food. Swap out your white bread for a sprouted grain bread, do not buy sugar (if you need to bake use honey or real maple syrup), use coconut oil, butter, or olive oil instead of vegetable oil or crisco, eliminate simple carbs from your home (any kind of packaged snack, white bread, tortillas, sweets, etc.) Make those things homemade with high quality ingredients. You are still going to see a big improvement in your health and you can always improve upon your food choices as you go along! If you think a type of food is bothering you, take out one food group at a time and see how it effects you. This way you will know what/which type of food is bothersome to your body.
KETOGENIC: Low carb, High fat diet. The goal here is to push the body in a metabolic state know as Ketosis. This is when the body is functioning off of ketones produced by the breakdown of fats in the liver rather than glucose produced from eating carbs. The theory is: When we eat carbs our body turns them into glucose and insulin and that is how we get our energy. Therefore fats that we eat are stored for later use. If we do not eat any carbs, our body has to find a new way of making energy: FATS! So instead of being stored, they get used.
RESTRICTIONS: Carbohydrate intake should be below 35g/day (140 calories worth). This will eliminate any and all grains from your diet, most fruits, and pretty much all packaged snack foods.
MY OPINION: I believe in a good balance of protein, fat, and carbs in a diet. I do not think that taking out one entire macro-nutrient is healthy. While our bodies can function very well in a state of ketosis, they are not meant to function in that state for long periods of time. That being said, I do think that your carbs should come from complex and high quality sources. Sprouted grains, brown foods (not white or dyed brown), whole grains (actually whole, like you can see them and crunch them whole, not Sara Lee bread ‘whole’), veggies, oats, etc. Just eat real food. WHOLE FOOD, FOOD THAT WAS ALIVE, FOOD THAT CAME FROM THE DIRT OR FIELD.
SHAKEOLOGY: Superfood meal replacement shake. Improves health, curbs cravings, and is ethically sourced. Said to help with weight loss.
MY OPINION: This one is a bit tricky. Shakeology has some really great ingredients, it does help curb cravings, and (with exercise and REAL eating) it has been shown to help with weight loss goals. However, I am not a fan and here is why.
- Whey protein is the first ingredient. I am a big fan of whey protein and it can be super healthy but they type beach body uses is not a high quality protein (yes they claim it is the ‘highest commercial grade available’ but there is not such scale in existence so they made that up). Also, this protein is denatured in processing. This alters the pH and can reduce the biological activity of the protein and all of its micronutrients.
- Folic Acid. This is the synthetic form of folate (a natural B vitamin). However, folic acid is unable to be processed or utilized by the body. Folate is essential to the body, folic acid is just a additive that has been linked to cancers several times.
- And lastly, the unique mix of phytic acids in the shakes (especially the vegan ones) can lead to some big digestive upset. Shakeology even recommends eating a little of the shake to begin with and then gradually adding more each day to curb these gut disruptions. Gut health is very important to overall health. This is a big reason of no for me.
THRIVE: Pills, Shakes, and patches that will help you feel you best, look your best, lose weight, gain mental clarity, and get you rich!
MY OPINION: I can’t even be on the fence here or close to it, Thrive is a big marketing campaign with no real health benefits. This company was made to make them money. To be a big name. This company was not made to make you healthier. The ‘supplements’ are chocked full of stimulants that will have you on a high and crashing all day.
The ingredients are poor at best. Lets look at the patch for example:
Green coffee bean extract: Said to aid in weight loss. ‘said’ being the key word here. Actually almost every study ever done on this has been retracted or shown very little evidence that is works and with side effects like nausea, increased heart rate, and anxiety I wouldn’t try it.
Garginia Cambogia: A supplement said to block fat from the body using it’s high levels of hydroxycitric acid (although this was also ‘said’ in an incomplete trial). This HCA supplement has been pulled from most weight loss pills due to it being very hard on the liver.
And the rest of the ingredients fall under these same lines.
I do highly suggest taking vitamins but always stick to a reputable company (standard process or nordic naturals are great brands).
If you are going to try a supplement, try one from a company that is actually a ‘health’ company. Thrives mission statement is literally, ‘to build a global brand’. Ummm…
So like I have said before, you best bet is always to stick to REAL, WHOLE, ALIVE, FOODS!! There is no secret pill or shake that I have for you that will make you instantly healthy. While Whole 30 and other diets have good outlines and ideas, it is best to eat what works with your body. Each body is different and each body reacts to food differently. Eat what you know makes you feel great!
I am strong. I am capable. I am powerful. I am beautiful.