Why everything we know about weight gain and dieting is wrong

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Low carb diets 

The Atkins, Paleo and Dukan diets are based on low-carb eating. Once carbohydrate intake is reduced to under 20 grams per day, a process called ketogenesis occurs. There are many celebrity advocates of ketogenic dieting, such as Kim Kardashian. It is an effective way of reducing weight but it has very unpleasant side effects, from a pounding headache to weakness, constipation and flu-like symptoms. The aim of the ketogenic diet is to starve your body of carbohydrates so it has to use up its own stores. By not taking in any food that can be broken down into glucose, you are forcing your body to start using the reserve that is stored in the liver. As with most diets, if you lost a lot of weight dieting this way, and then reverted to eating more normally again, you would regain all of that lost weight . . . and more. 

Fasting diets

Popular examples of intermittent fasting are the 5:2 diet and the 16/8 diet. The 5:2 diet involves eating normally for five days, and limiting calorie intake to 500 or 600kcal for two days. The 16/8 diet advocates eating during an eight-hour window in the day. Both diets advise avoiding processed foods. 

Unlike many other types of diets, intermittent fasting, just like low-carb dieting, remains popular – which means that it probably does work for some people. How does fasting work? By decreasing the opportunities for eating, and at the same time by avoiding processed foods, both the insulin profile and the omega ratio of the dieter will be improved and therefore the weight set-point will be reduced. 

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