Last Updated on by Natalia Bickell

Our body is an incredibly well-designed machine. All the parts should work in harmony with each other but sometimes one of the parts goes haywire. Most often than not, this part is your digestive system. And most of the times, it is our fault. In a busy society, most of the time we focus on where to eat instead of what we eat. Sometimes we do want to make a positive change, maybe start a new diet but have no idea where to start. If this is you, then don’t worry we got the right answers for you.

Here, we will talk about the digestive system. We will also tell you some diets that are famous these days as well as help you find the best diet for you.

How to Find the Best Diet

There are so many diets out there because every person is different. Our end goal, basic biology, geographical aspects, traditional diets, preconditi, ns and even metabolic rates vary. So a diet that Megan Fox swears by may not work for you. No diets are perfect on their own, therefore, the dietician i.e. you, have to create a balanced and healthy approach to the food you eat.

You have to find a diet that fits your lifestyle like a glove. Now I know that choosing a perfect diet is a daunting task, it is like finding a tiny needle in a haystack but don’t worry we have got your back.

Lessons from the past

If you are not new to the diet world and have already tried a few or maybe most of the diets out there, but like a yo-yo keep losing weight, gaining it back again and then abandoning the diet plan altogether for another diet, then great. You already have a gist of what to expect and you have solid experience to fall back on.

This can be helpful to you as you already know the limits of your body. You have some idea about what works best for your body and what does not. You know how much hunger you can tolerate and how you respond to elimination or overconsumption of certain food groups. Try to use that knowledge when you plan your next diet. Incorporate all that you learned and come up with something that works for you.

If you are just a toddler in this diet world, then I advise you to always keep track of your body. Maybe start a journal, write down your diet plans, goals and how you felt that day, your water consumption, any physical activity, side effects.

You can be as detailed as you want, in fact we recommend that you try to jot down as many details as you possibly can. Because more details equals more accuracy. All these details are like breadcrumbs that will help you reach your ultimate goal, whatever that may be.

Diet Goals

This is probably one of the most aspect of finding the best diet. What do you expect of a diet? Do you want to lose weight? If so, how much? Or do you want to maintain your weight? Maybe you are looking for a diet due to a medical condition or just as a way to achieve a happy, stress-free life.

Be as clear and as precise with your goal as you possibly can. It is important because your end goal plays a major role in deciding which diet you should experiment with. Even your ideal weight goal can help you choose a diet that is perfect for you. If you only need to lose a small amount of weight then you can always go for something like 21 Day Fix or The South Beach Diet. But if you want to lose a larger weight then choose something like Keto Diet.

Medical condition

Before you choose a diet, you always need to be aware of any medical condition you might be suffering from. If you are allergic to a particular food then you should obviously avoid all the diets having that food play a major role. If you are pregnant or breastfeeding then try to avoid most diets and simply eat healthy foods. If you have some special condition (e.g. alzheimer’s disease) or any questions, we recommend that you always consult a professional and get their advice.

If you are vegetarian or vegan trying to adopt a Keto Diet then always make sure that you are getting enough of nutrients required by your body. You can always switch to a more vegan or vegetarian friendly diet. If you do need to take supplements always take advice from a nutritionist or dietician.

Whenever choosing your diet just keep in my mind about your medical ailments, if there are any. This will help you to choose a healthier option without having a negative impact on your body.

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Personal preference

Like we mentioned that so many diets exist because people have a different preference. Understand what you prefer the most. Can you eat an all protein food for several days? Do you mind giving up cheese and all the other dairy product and adopting a plant-based diet? Your personal preference helps a lot when finding your perfect diet. Some of us still want to enjoy pancakes? Am I right?

Schedule

Additionally, think of your schedule. How long can you spend each day planning your menu? Do you have enough time to cook complicated meals? 30 minutes a day to exercise? If the diet takes more of your time rather than blending into your life, then you need to come up with a way to make it more or choose another diet that works for you. Or, create a better lifestyle that accommodates to your health needs!

Budget

Can you support your diet financially? There are some diets that only allow consumption of certain food groups. These foods may be expensive or require certain special charges. You need to be absolutely sure that you can complete the demands of the diet without blowing a whole in your wallet. If you can, then good for you. If not, then think of an alternative.

Availability

Some diets involve consumption of specific foods. So the question here is, are those foods available near you or do you have to drive two towns over to buy them? Maybe that food is not available in your country and you might place special orders. The availability of the food recommended in the diet also plays an important role in trying to find your best diet.

Those are just some of the things that you need to keep in mind when finding your perfect diet. It might be a trial and error method but trust me you will get there. A perfect diet is supposed to help you get to your ideal goal without harming your body in any way.

Best Diets from Around the World

There might be several reasons a person adopts for a diet and therefore there are several types of diets. You have diets that encourage high fats and low carb diets while you also have diets that are based on high-protein, low-fat intake.

Now we’ve all heard of Jenny Craig, Slimfast, Weight Watchers and Nutrisystem, these popular diets have been around for some time. But how do you know which diet is best for you?

In this next section , we will discuss some of these diets that have been become quite popular in the health and fitness industry.

Ketogenic Diet

 

This diet has been around a long time. It was initially created not with the goal of long-term weight loss in mind but to control epilepsy. Lots of researchers found that symptoms of epilepsy can be controlled and even reduced when the patients underwent a fasting condition. But since it is not possible to fast every day, the physicians in 1920 came up with a diet that mimicked the intermittent fasting condition in the body.

This diet few years later was ditched for the medications but it was picked back up in the late 1990s again for epilepsy treatment. Soon it received the attention of all the dieticians and nutritionist for its weight losing and managing capabilities. The diet was revamped a little and introduced as an efficient weight loss method.

Ketogenic diet or keto diet is a high fat and low carb diet. In this diet you form the majority of your caloric quota with good fats, some proteins and lesser amounts of carbs. The good fat is the keyword here.

The caloric breakdown of Ketogenic diet is 75% healthy fats with about 20% of your calorie intake from proteins, nuts and seeds while the remaining 5% comprises of low carb- rich foods like green leafy vegetables and non-starchy vegetables.

This high-protein diet reduces the supply of carbohydrates to your body. Normally, carbohydrates are broken down into sugars in the form of glucose which is used as energy in the body. But this diet, by limiting the supply of carbs, reduces the glucose production and thereby the energy production.

This prompts the body to find alternate energy sources and this causes the body to go into a state called ‘ketosis’. Fats work as emergency energy packets in your system. Due to the high energy demand, this fat gets broken down into tiny bodies called ketones which are used as energy currency now. The ketosis state is the stage where the body goes into a beast mode and starts rapidly breaking down fats. You can even track your progress using Keto tracking apps.

This diet involves consumption of lean meats, grass-fed butter, milk and other dairy products, green veggies and high-fat fish. You generally need to avoid eating sugary fruits, grains or pulses, tubers, and low-fat foods.

To learn more about the Keto diet compared to other alternatives check out:

Further Reading:

Keto Diet Reviews

Keto Delivery Meal Services:

The Blood Type Diet

Okay, this is a slightly weird diet. In this diet the important factor is the compatibility between the foods you eat and your blood type. So the emphasis placed here is on the blood type.

If you are a person with blood group A then it is highly recommended that you lean more towards a vegetarian diet. According to this diet you should take copious amounts of beans, fruits, grains, veggies, and tofu while avoid meats, wheat, dairy, kidney beans and lima beans. If you want to lose weight then you should have foods like pineapples, soy, veggies and vegetables oils in your meals.

For people with blood type B, a balance diet is found to be more beneficial. Indulge in foods like beans, dairy, fruits, grains, meat and veggies but stay far away from buckwheat, corn, lentil, chicken, peanuts, seeds and wheat. For weight loss have eggs, greens, tea, licorice and venison.

People with blood type AB should have a mixed diet with lots of bans, dairy, fruits, grains, legumes, meats, seafood and tofu but avoid having corn, kidney beans, red meat, lima beans and buckwheat. If your goal is to lose weight then have plenty of dairy products, greens, kelp, pineapple, tofu and seafood.

A high protein diet is perfect for people with Type O group. Include plenty of fish, fruit, meat and veggies in your diet but try to reduce the amount of foods like Brussels, cabbage, cauliflower, corn, kidney beans, lettuce, mustard, greens, sprouts and wheat. Foods like Broccoli, kelp, kale, liver, red meat, salt, seafood, spinach and sprouts should be on your list if you are looking to lose some weight.

The South Beach Diet

This diet came into being in 2003 and is more focused about finding a balanced way of eating all the nutrients. What this diet does is it teaches the dieters of the importance of eating certain type of food while eliminating other unhealthy options. This is a type of low carb diet.

The South Beach Diet involves elimination of carbohydrates that are proven to be harmful to your system. It makes use of Glycemic index which is a list containing the relative amount of carbohydrates present in a food and its impact on the blood glucose level. Using this index, The South Beach Diet gives you which carb-rich foods you should avoid.

This diet aims to teach the value of eating healthy carbs, a well-balanced meal along with enough of exercise. This diet tries to encourage the dieters to adopt an overall good eating practices and a good exercise regime as a habit.

Further Research on South Beach

The Vegan Diet

Another popular way of eating that is quickly spreading to all corners of the world. This diet only allows consumption of plant-based food products and eliminates animal-based foods from the diet.

So a vegan eats a lot of vegetables, grains, pulses, seeds, nuts, fruits and plant-sourced milk. A vegan avoids meats, fish and even dairy products. It is pretty simple, if the food is acquired from animals then it is not part of a vegan diet. This diet reduces the amount of cholesterol as well as saturated fats i.e. ‘bad fats’.

While a lot of people may think that a vegan diet is not well proportioned and cannot meet all of the body’s requirement. This is a wrong conception. A vegan diet does require some planning but it can meet all of the body’s nutritional demands and can also prove to be good for the system in the long run.

The Paleo Diet

Another good example of a high fat low carb diet is a paleo diet. But paleo diet has a very different principle than the Keto Diet. The Paleo Diet revolves around the core belief that we should revert back to our roots and eat the same diets that our Paleolithic ancestors ate about 10,000 years ago. Paleo diet believes that the modern processed foods that we eat is not compatible with our genetic makeup.

The Paleo Diet cuts all ties from processed foods. It even disallows all the foods that was a result of farming practices. Foods like grains such as wheat, oats, barley, legumes like peas, peanuts and lentils as well as dairy foods, processed and refined sugar, salt, potatoes and any other processed foods is strictly prohibited in this diet.

The Paleo Diet encourages intake of foods like vegetables, fruits, seeds and nuts, lean meats that comes from grass-fed animals, fish and simple oils from fruits and nuts like olive oil. This diet is an effort to give our body all the nutrients but in a simple form that it already recognizes and is genetically familiar with.

While all the principles of Paleo Diet may not be accurate but it still gives good results. The Paleo Diet helps you lose weight more efficiently, it also improves your glucose tolerance while also preventing fluctuations in blood pressure. Paleo Diet is also very helpful for management and control of appetite.

The Dukan Diet

This diet is an example of a high protein low carb diet. The Dukan Diet works by dividing itself into 4 phases. There are 2 weight loss phases and the other 2 maintenance phases. Your goal decides the duration of these phases. If your goal is to lose weight then you should stay in the 2 beginning stages for a longer time. Even the amount of weight you want to lose determines how long you should stay in each phase.

The weight loss phase is regulated by eating a diet composed entirely of high proteins or protein-rich foods. There is no limit as to how much you should eat so you can eat as much as you want as long as what you are eating is rich in proteins. Oat bran is a mandatory part of this phase.

The last two phases involves eating vegetables that are low in starch content followed by minimal amount of fats and carbs. As you proceed through these phases, your protein intake keeps getting reduced and this can help you reach and maintain your ideal weight.

These diets have become really popular in the last few decades but they are not the only ones. The health industry keeps churning out new diets almost every year. You also have diets like Atkins Diet, Bulletproof Diet, The Watercress Diet, Fruitarian diet and many more.

Further Research on the Dukan Diet

Mayo Clinic Diet

The Mayo Clinic diet originated  – like the name suggests – at the Mayo Clinic (one of the top US hospitals). 

The Mayo Clinic Diet is unique in that it focuses on portion control while basically following the traditional food pyramid (e.g. it’s NOT an elimination diet). 

Further Research on the Mayo Clinic Diet

Medifast Diet

The Medifast diet has also been around for decades. It was started by Dr. William Vitale back in 1980 and is now recommended by over 20,000 Doctors and Nutritionists. Similar to Nutrisystem, they have diet plans available for different lifestyles. Medifast has been doing “meal delivery” before it was cool. 

Further Research on the Medifast Diet

21 day Fix (BeachBody) Diet

BeachBody is well know for their Shakeology supplements and P90x training courses, but their diets also have a strong following.

The 21 Day Fix fits into the “reset diet” category. Rather than completely eliminating certain food groups, the 21 Day Fix is essentially boot camp for your diet. There are detailed 21 Day fix meal plans that cover each meal and break down the entire eating schedule. There’s a LOT to cover so be sure to read our guides below for more details.

Further Research on the 21 Day Fix

Nutrisystem Diet

Nutrisystem has been around for what feels like a long time! In many ways, they pioneered the idea of “portion control” dieting. Understanding that sometimes the hardest part of dieting is planning and cooking, Nutrisystem takes the “work” out of it with pre-planned meals and “system” for everything.

Further Research on Nutrisystem

Dash Diet

The Dash Diet stands for “Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension”. As the title suggests, DASH is specifically aimed at those who have high blood pressure and chronic hypertension. The advantage is that the DASH diet is particularly effective and treating a specific ailment. Clearly, it’s not for everyone.

Further Research on the Dash Diet

Bistro MD Diet

Bistro MD was founded in 2005 and combines the best practices of modern meal subscription boxes with weight loss strategies. 

The best part is the “customization” allowed. Think of it like Blue Apron, but with a weight loss goal.

Further Research on Bistro MD

Weight Watchers Diet

Weight Watchers is another dieting system that has been around for a while. The core premise is around portion control and “eating what you want in moderation”. 

The simple concept of tracking what you eat is the main success driver here. The plain truth – and maybe key reasons why WW works – is that most people have no idea how many calories they consume. 

Further Research on Weight Watchers

Optifast Diet

The Optifast Diet was pioneered in 1974, primarily as a calorie restriction diet. The main method of calorie control is via shakes and smoothies, with proprietary blends and ingredients. 

The target demographic is adults and teenagers with a BMI over 30. 

Further Research on Optifast

Juicing and Liquid Diets

While many diets incorporate “liquid” elements, there are some diets that almost entirely rely on juicing. We’ve covered many of them, so check these out:

Juicers (Appliances)

“Other” Diets and Diet Aids Worth Mentioning

There are a variety of new diets and “less popular” diets that nonetheless deserve some discussion. Here at AltProtein, we try to cover everything – even the less established dieting ideas.

Meal Replacements and Supplementation

Meal replacement shakes are popular options because they are portable and convenient (Learn more: Difference Between Protein Shakes vs Meal Replacement Shakes). 

Herbalife and Shakelogy are two well-known supplement programs but there are also alternatives you could consider:

Soylent is another popular meal replacement that has taken off recently, but there are many similar offerings:

Just like the saying, good things come to those who wait, you will get your results in due time. Have patience, do what you are supposed to do and let your body work its magic. The wait will be worth it.

So How Do Diets Work Exactly?

There are a lot of different reasons people choose to go on a diet. It can be because of some health related issues or maybe they are trying to shed those extra pounds. Diets can also be effective for detoxifying the entire body system and enhancing all around health. So diets can be sought out for many reasons.

In its most basic definition a diet is the sum of all the foods eaten by an organism. Diet can be referred to as your everyday meals, as well the types of food you generally eat.

Most often though, diet is used in relation to weight loss or management. The word diet in this conjunction refers to the specific group of foods or a type of nutrition that a person consumes for weight management. For example, eating only protein rich foods while reducing the fat intake.

Food is perhaps the most important aspect of well-being. If your diet is right for you, then you have a lesser chance of being diagnosed with any diseases or disorders. The right food directly impacts your life and improves your overall long-term health, allowing you to live a long and disease-free life.

Our digestive system is one of the most efficient system in our body. Our digestive system consists of the mouth, food pipe or esophagus, the stomach, liver, pancreas, small intestine, large intestine and then the anus. The harmonious functioning of all these organs and enzymes secreted by them results in a successful digestive event.

When you eat food, the teeth break it down and the saliva secreted from the salivary gland – which is located below your tongue – mixes with the broken down food. Saliva also contains an enzyme called salivary amylase which starts to break down carbohydrates. This broken down food is now called bolus.

Bolus then moves down the food pipe or what we call the esophagus. The only role of the esophagus is to move the bolus down from the mouth to the stomach. It is like a connecting bridge between the two organs and does not help in breakdown of any food itself.

The bolus now reaches the stomach where further digestion takes place. The best way to understand your stomach is imagining it as a swimming pool filled with acids. Your stomach is highly acidic due to the presence of Hydrochloric acid. In fact, if this same acid was to be extracted out and were to touch your hand, your hand will get burnt. The only reason our stomach has not burnt to crisp is because of the thick mucus lining the inner walls of the stomach and protecting the stomach from this acid.

Your food mixes with the acid present in your stomach and also other enzymes. An enzyme called pepsin which is responsible for the breakdown of proteins is synthesized in the stomach. Digestion happens in the stomach for several hour. The highly broken down food mixed with all the acids and the enzymes is now called chyme. This chyme now moves down to the small intestine.

While liver and pancreas do not actively participate in the digestion process, they secrete several enzymes that are important for the breakdown of several macromolecules. Once the chyme reaches the small intestines, liver starts producing bile juices. Bile juices help in the breakdown of fats. Pancreas also releases its own enzymes which mixes with the chyme and the final part of the digestion begins.

Small intestine is the coiled structure where most of the absorption of major nutrient occurs. At the end, when the chyme leaves the small intestine for the large intestine, most of the nutrients are absorbed and sent to the other parts of the body through the walls of the small intestine. This is now used as energy by your body. What remains now is only water and other indigestible materials.

In the large intestines, the water is removed and sent to the kidney for further filtration. There are several probiotic bacteria present in the large intestines. These bacteria are good for our body and help us further process some indigestible materials for example Vitamin K.

Now all the other indigestible material travels through the large intestine and is sent to the anus for excretion. These waste material is the solid, dehydrated fecal waste. An average digestive time lasts for about 3 to 6 hours but is variable across different people and different foods.

To digest nuts and seeds, it takes only 60 minutes while processed meats take about 4 hours to digest. Foods rich in fats take the longest to digest. It takes average of 40 hours for fats to digest completely in the body. This is why some fats should be taken in limited amount in your diet.

As you noticed, our digestive system is an elegant and sequential process. Not only that, but it is a very time-dependent process. Your body has a schedule to keep. It knows exactly around what time it should start secreting enzymes, when to signal the brain to release hunger signals and most of all how to personalize itself according to your requirement.

A healthy digestive system is so important for the proper functioning of the entire body that if this system goes down and does not get necessary foods then all your other system also stops working smoothly. That is why the food that we eat has such a great influence and this is the reason why you should be very conscious of what you put in your body.

It is highly recommended that for good health, you should have a balanced diet. Many people believe that fats are the root of evil and should be avoided like the plague (and low-fat diets maybe aren’t that great).

But this is a gross misconception. Fats are very useful for the body too it gives mechanical support to the body, acts as an energy reservoir, forms the outer coating of the brain and other such essential roles.

A balanced diet means that you give your body all the nutrients it needs but in a balanced proportion. On average our total caloric content in a day should have around 45% to 65% of carbohydrate, 10% to 30% of proteins and 25% to 35% of fats. In addition to these ratios, you should also eat lots of veggies and fruits, fish, nuts and seeds. The majority or the bulk of your calorie content can be composed of carbohydrates. Also there should be enough of water taken in.

When we said fats are good for you, we meant the good type of fats. Yes, there is good fats and bad fats. Unsaturated fats are considered good for the body while saturated fats are harmful. You can get unsaturated fats like omega 3 can be acquired from fish. Although, saturated fats like processed meats are bad for you in large quantities.

Tips for the best diet

If you do adopt a diet and your body does not react well to it even after a few days then stop the diet. If the effect is severe, then consult a physician. Maybe your body is not responding well to the elimination of certain food or overconsumption of a food group.

Before you choose a diet, always get as much information about it as possible. Do thorough and in-depth research. Read articles about the diet and join a diet forum. Usually, the opinions and testimony of the people in the forum are real and they can help you choose the right diet. Or at least give you a basic workings of the diet.

Always try to find if there are any side effects of the diet. If yes, then what? No matter what diet you adopt, there is always a certain minimum period required by your body to get adjusted to that diet, adjust to the new changes. So if you have diarrhea, gouts, cold or something like that then that could just be the temporary side effect. It should go away once your body adjusts to the changes.

No matter how hard you diet and which diet you choose, if you do not accompany it with some form of exercise the effect may not be nearly as good. Diets can also cause loss of some muscle mass along with the fats, so remember to always do some resistance training. Accompanying your dieting with physical regime will make you get to your goal faster.

The last thing we would like to encourage is discipline and patience. Two most important things when dieting. It can be tempting to break your diet for that yummy chocolate cupcake. This will happen a lot. You will get tempted to eat things you generally do not even like. But don’t get tempted, remember your goal and be disciplined about it.

Patience is another virtue that you should practice, especially when adopting a diet. You may be a week in your new diet but still cannot see a change. Do not get demotivated and completely abandon your diet completely.

Final Bite On Diets

With that, it is time to wind up this article. We hope that we have been able to help you find the best diet for you. Stick to what we said and you should be fine. If you have any other tips or any experience that you would like to share, then go for it. We love to hear from you. Have a healthy day!