If you're thinking of going on a diet, you've got a ton of choices; there's the General Motors diet, which has been around for ages, the celebrity-favourite Atkins diet, the Paleo one that takes you back to basics, and a host of others in-between. But do they really live up to their claims? And if they do, are they healthy?
We got our in-house fitness expert on The Transformation, Rohan Mathew, to tell us.
“Frankly, I don’t recommend going on specific diets because they often fail," he says. "A diet should be sustainable for life - it can't just be for the short term." Take the GM diet, for instance. "It lasts a few weeks and you lose weight, sure, but it's mainly muscle mass and maybe a bit of fat. But once you stop, you put all that weight back on. The only way to be healthy about a diet is if you choose one that gives you the right amounts of protein, fat and micro nutrients."
Sure, but what about Paleo or vegetarian diets, which are more like a way of life - is there a distinction? Not necessarily, as it turns out. "Some people are on low carb or Atkins diets their whole lives; it's still a conscious eating choice," he says. So how can you tell if a diet's worth sticking through? Look out for red flags, says Rohan. "If you see that you're losing a lot of weight at once, have really low energy, or see sudden changes in your mood, that's never a good sign." This applies just as much to short term eating plans like with the GM diet as it does to changing your way of life, like going vegetarian.
Moral of the story? Listen to your body. It knows what's best for you!