Looking for a healthy eating plan to suit you? Here is an A-Z of everything you need to know about dieting, healthy eating and fitness!
The Atkins diet has been made popular by the likes of Kim Kardashian and Jennifer Aniston. It essentially involves a low carbohydrate, high protein and high fat food plan.
B- Body fat calculator
Before dieting, many people use a body fat calculator to work out their weight loss goals. It works by taking your height and measuring the inches of fat on your neck, waist and hips (usually recorded and worked out by a health or fitness professional).
The recommended body fat amount is 20-25% for women and 8-14% for men (according to the American Council on Exercise).
Do you follow a 'clean eating' regime?
C- Clean eating
Clean eating has become a MASSIVE trend on Instagram, making stars out of those leading the way with healthy lifestyles.
It’s built on the principle that it’s NOT a diet. Weight loss is a welcome side effect of simply eating healthily and leading an active lifestyle. Those trying to eat ‘clean’ try and abstain from smoking and booze as well as processed meals and food that contains high levels of salt, saturated fats and sugars.
Detox is usually what we ALL aspire to do after the festive season or a heavy weekend. There are many different types of detoxes, varying from the basic to the most extreme.
Juice detoxes have become hugely popular in recent years, and detox items such as green tea have also garnered a considerable following due to healthy, anti-oxidising properties.
E- Empty calories
If you love booze or fizzy drinks, then you’re guilty of indulging in empty calories.
These calories offer no nutritional value and give you minor energy peaks followed by steep crashes. NOT GOOD.
F- Five:Two diet
The 5:2 diet has become phenomenally popular over the past few years, with celebrities such as Philip Schoefield swearing by its effectiveness.
Stars such as Gwyneth Paltrow try and follow a gluten-free diet and wax lyrical about the benefits of the diet.
Going gluten-free involves giving up food such as wheat, barley and rye. These are mostly found in cereal, bread, cakes, pasta and certain sauces.
Those following a gluten-free eating plan often have to prepare meals in advance or search for gluten-free substitutes.
It is not considered a diet for weight loss, but rather for general well-being, energy and in particular for bowel health.
H- High fat diet
Too good to be true? Well, perhaps. This diet does’t exactly involve gorging on McDonalds and still losing weight. A high fat diet involves consuming low amounts of carbohydrates (bread, pasta etc) and plenty of good fats, such as avocado, salmon and nuts. Bridesmaids star Melissa McCarthy lost several stone on the diet, proving that it does indeed work.
Avocados are packed with good fats
I- Interval training
High intensity interval training is a great way to get fit FAST, plus it burns loads of calories. HIIT involves raising your heart rate with sharp bursts before bringing it back down again, then repeating the process several times.
The differentiating periods of fast/slow heart rate help strengthen your heart rate and boost your stamina in super quick time. Fabulous!
J- Juice diet
Juice diets are a great way to lose weight or get healthy quickly. Though it’s hard to sustain your weightless through juicing, it’s a great way to kick start shedding those pounds.
K- Ketogenic diet
Ketogenic diet is a high fat diet, with some proteins and low carbs. Scientists claim that it is a good diet for those suffering from epilepsy and diabetes.
It works by forcing the body to burn fats instead of carbohydrates, and with the high (good) fat content your brain is less likely to get cravings.
L- Low carb diet
Low carb is similar to atkins and high fat, but with more emphasis on cutting out carbohydrates. Carbohydrates are needed to give your body energy, so this diet is not great for new mums or those who have a busy, active lifestyle.
Nutritionists recommend swapping unhealthy carbohydrates (white bread, white pasta, white rice) for more complex, wholegrain carbohydrates that keep you fuller and satisfied for longer.
M- Meal planning
The best way to succeed with your diet is by planning your meals in advance. You’re less likely to make bad food choices if you have plenty of options at your disposal.
Bring a healthy lunch with your to work, batch cook yourself satisfying and delicious dinners and keep healthy snacks at your desk/ in your handbag for emergencies. This saves you loads of money in the long term as well.
There’s a reason why NutriBullets are so popular; they’re SO easy to use! They also come with recipe books and special, transportable cups enabling you to take away your delicious smoothies and juices. Ideal for detoxes and getting your five-a-day. It also keeps all the fibre in your juices making them even MORE healthy for you (and filling you up).
O - Oestrogen
If you’re going through ‘the change’ then your diet can actually help your symptoms. Foods that help produce oestrogen can help keep you feeling healthier and, more importantly, keep your heart healthy (according to Cheryl Forberg R.D at EatingWell.com).
These include chickpeas, black-eyed beans, black beans, flax and soy.
The Paleo, our the ‘caveman’ diet involves sticking to unprocessed foods, high in protein, low in carbohydrates and with plenty of fruit and vegetables. It also requires very little, if no, dairy products.
The basis of the diet is to get ‘back to basics’ and live and eat like how our ancestors lived and ate. This means no preservatives, all fresh food. Great for those who live an active, high-energy lifestyle.
The ultimate superfood! Quinoa is low in fat and super high in complete proteins, so great for those who don’t eat meat. You can use it in salad, burgers, brownies, anything! It takes just 10 minutes to cook as well. FABULOUS.
Quinoa is a great source of protein
R- Raw food diet
The raw food movement is based on the idea that cooking our food means that we are introducing more toxins into our body. The science behind this is that it has been claimed that cooked food ‘denatures’ enzymes that help with digestion.
S- Super foods
Nowadays it’s all about ‘super foods’. Super foods are ingredients high in nutrition and in particular anti-oxidants. Berries, quinoa, cacao are all fabulous super foods that you can add into your recipes.
You can spend hours on the treadmill and find your fitness/weight loss going nowhere, but why? It’s because you’re not pushing your body to the limits and you’ve reached a stagnate level of fitness. Mix up your workouts with weights. Muscles weigh more than fat, but your body burns more calories the more muscle you have.
Remember, it’s REALLY hard for women to bulk. Don’t worry about turning into a body builder. You’ll have the lean, strong body you’ve been striving for by adding in some toning exercises.
U- Unsaturated fat
This is the good type of fat! Excluding ALL fats is not healthy, but adding good fats such as nuts, avocado and helps your body absorb all the nutrients you need to feel great and maintain a healthy weight.
After Beyonce famously credited her dramatic weight loss to a plant-based, Vegan diet, there was suddenly a massive interested in ‘going Vegan’.
W- Warrior diet
The warrior diet involves fasting or underrating during the day before ‘feeding’ at night time. It is based on the same idea as the caveman diet, in that it returns to our ‘ancestral’ habits.
Our ancestors would often go all day without eating as they hunted for their food and moved from place to place during the day. Then in the evening, when they were safe from predators, they would feed.
This diet is not for everyone and not recommended for pregnant women.
X- eXtreme dieting
Extreme diets rarely work. They make you feel withdrawn, unhealthy and lacking of energy. Worst of all, you will almost certainly gain back all the weight you lost rapidly once you start eating normally. Never a good idea- stick to healthy, sensible eating and listen to your body!
If you’re not a fan of the gym, yoga is a great way to stay fit, healthy and supple. You can do yoga at any age and if you’re expecting then you can practice all the way through your pregnancy. Check out your local yoga classes or even try a YouTube tutorial.
Z- Zero pressure!
There is no pressure to look a certain way, so don’t opt for a diet in order to fit an unattainable stereotype. Pick a plan that makes you feel AMAZING and helps boost your health. If you lose weight and find yourself a healthy size (that suits YOU) than that’s an added bonus!