Types of Weight Loss Diets
In nutrition, the diet is usually the sum total of all food ingested by an organism or individual during a particular time. In a very general sense, the term diet applies to all of the food an organism ingests during its lifetime. Although most people use the term diet in a somewhat broader sense, it typically refers to the eating of food. It can also be used to describe a regime in which an individual’s consumption of food is reduced in some significant way.
In common use, the word diet generally refers to a reduction in caloric intake. However, the term is much more complex than that. For example, a diet could be described as a change in eating habits, in which the consumption of a certain number of calories is less than the calories consumed at other times. Alternatively, the diet could be defined as a change in eating routines, which requires a reduction in caloric intake. In either case, the definition of the diet has implications for the research, management and treatment of people with overweight problems.
The etymology of the word diet has roots in medieval Latin, when it referred to the prescribed meal. In modern times, the eating of a meal in moderate quantities is called diet. The synonym for diet in this sense is the glycemic index, which indicates the rate at which carbohydrates are digested. The degree of carbohydrate intake is determined by the glycemic index, together with other factors such as the percentage of protein in the diet and the percentage of fat in the diet. This article briefly covers the definition of diet in relation to dietary guidelines and examples of a few words used commonly in the context of dietary management.
A diet formulated to reduce weight can be classified as one of many different types of diets. These include the low glycemic index diet, the Glycemic Index Diet Plan, the Australian Healthy Eating Registry, the USDA Food Guide Pyramid and the glycemic load questionnaire, which are a tool for assessing how well carbohydrates are absorbed by the body. Generally speaking, a low glycemic index diet consists of foods that have a low GI and high soluble fiber content. Foods that are rich in both of these components tend to be very low in both carbohydrates and sugar.
Low glycemic index diets are based on the glycemic response that foods provide to the bloodstream, which then slows down the rate at which glucose is released from food. Foods that respond most strongly to this type of processing include vegetables and fruits. Some examples of low carb foods include fresh avocado, low-fat dairy products, rice, potatoes and whole grain breads. On the Atkins Diet, a list of allowed carbs per day includes potatoes and white rice.
The second category is the ultra-low-fat diet, or “load” as it is sometimes called. This type of diet involves severely limiting the amount of calories taken in and replacing those calories with high-fiber or protein-rich foods. The advantage of this type of diet is that weight loss is seen fairly quickly – in some people in as little as 7 days. The downside is that many people report feeling hungry for the next several weeks as they become accustomed to less food. Also, it is important to be careful not to turn this type of diet into a long-term lifestyle change, as the reduction in caloric intake can be dangerous if the body doesn’t adapt.