Summer is coming to an end and it’s time to put down the glass of rosé and pick up the coconut water, swap that croissant for porridge and say goodbye to those barbecues. Here at Hip & Healthy we are not huge fans of the ‘D’ word… In our view many diets are often unsustainable, can be unhealthy and actually do more harm then good in the end. That said, we have recently seen a resurgence of healthy eating programmes flood the market that we do approve of. Full of fresh, raw food and good easy-to-implement eating habits, we have outlined a few of the diets that are causing a storm in the UK and beyond.
The Whole30 Diet
Best For: Those looking to press the reset button
Devised by Dallas and Melissa Hartwig, The Whole30 Diet is designed to cut unhealthy cravings and bad habits, get your metabolism firing and balance your immune system by getting you back to food basics. What you can eat… Meat, seafood, eggs, tons of veggies, some fruit, lots of healthy fats (from oils, nuts etc.) And what you can’t… No sugar at all (not even agave… and no not even coconut sugar), no alcohol, no grains (that means all that lovely quinoa has to go), no legumes (all beans of all kinds including soy), no dairy, nothing processed. You are also told not to weigh or measure yourself for the duration of the 30 days, plus you can’t even be clever and make things like beetroot brownies (so no looking up Deliciously Ella’s insanely yummy but apparently Whole30 friendly recipes – as Hartwig just sees this as distracting your mind from the task at hand. The idea is that this diet should press the reset button on your whole digestive system, and it also endeavors to re-program the way you think about food. Sounds hard? It is. But it could also be the answer to changing the way you eat forever.
The Okinawa Diet
Best For: Anti-aging
It’s not a secret that the Japanese people have one of the highest life-expectancy rates, particularly in the south Okinawa island where there are the most people over the age of one-hundred in the world. Is their secret to living long down to their diets? Quite possibly. The Okinawa diet is anti-oxidant rich consisting of mainly green, yellow and orange vegetables and fruits. It is also incredibly low in both fat and sugar and although it contains almost no meat (although they did eat some pork) or dairy it does consist of a good amount of omega-3 rich fish. If you plan on trying this then we suggest a spot of Tai Chi would be a great complement to the diet.
The Three-Hour Diet
Best For: Increasing the Metabolism
We all know that skipping meals is bad for us, which is why best-selling author Jorge Cruise created his Three-hour diet plan that encourages us to eat six meals a day! The theory behind it is that whenever your body doesn’t get its fuel for over three hours it goes into a state of starvation and starts hanging on to fat. This eating program aims to keep the metabolism’s fire stoked at all times so that it continues to burn food efficiently and effectively keeping you lean and toned! You’ll also keep blood sugar levels stabled, which will keep hunger pangs at bay. The only downside is preparing or buying lots of healthy snacks can be time consuming or expensive if you don’t give it enough forethought as on an average day you’ll be eating breakfast, having a mid-morning snack, then lunch, then another snack, followed by supper and then another snack or healthy dessert. Make sure you keep things healthy or it kinda defeats the object. This program works brilliantly with those that have an active lifestyle which will only further increase the metabolism’s energy.
The FODMAP Diet
Best For: Discovering Food Intolerances
Perhaps one of the hardest diets out there because it is so restrictive, the FODMAP diet is one of the best ways to find out what and if you are intolerant to any particular foods. This diet really isn’t necessary if you think your digestive system is working just fine but for those with regular IBS – it may just hold the key to making you better. FODMAP is an acronym for the names of some complicated sounding-carbohydrates that are commonly found in the western diet and is all about how these foods are digested in the gut. What is believed is that many of the foods that are not to be eaten create a lot of gas in the intestines which can be painful (and trust us – gas can be REALLY painful). What will surprise you is the amount of veggies, fruit and other healthy foods that are not to be eaten when on the diet. But the diet really is to be followed to the letter if you are hoping to see any improvement to your tummy pains. It is really important though with this diet that you see a dietician first to make sure that you are cutting out the right foods at the right time so have a chat with your doctor or a registered nutritionist if you think that this could help you.
Best For: Getting your glow on
Taking Meat-Free Mondays a few steps further, part-time veganism could be a fantastic way to reduce your carbon footprint and get a glowy, gorgeous you all in one fell swoop! We love this way of eating as it allows you to live a truly balanced life. The best approach is perhaps to cut out all dairy and meat at home but allow yourself a bit of what you fancy when you are out for dinner, on holiday or eating at a friend’s. We like to apply the 80/20 rule to this one. There are so many positives to this diet – not only will you be increasing your intake of delicious veggies, you’ll also be giving your immune system a boost, your digestive system a break and you’ll probably shed a few pounds along the way too. Some of our fave vegan foodies are Deliciously Ella, Naturally Sassy and Raw Vegan Blonde… google them and get ready to feel hungry!
The Information Diet
Best For: The Techno Junkie
Ok – so this one is not food related, but we couldn’t help ourselves. One of the biggest diets we all need to go on is an information diet! We are constantly bombarded with emails, texts, tweets, images and news. Technology has taken over our lives. Do you check your phone the moment you wake up? Update your instagram feed on the loo? Read the newspaper on your way to work? Chances are you just answered yes to at least 2 out of 3 of those and you are in need of switching off. The latest craze is to go one day completely technology free per week… no phone, laptop, TV, iPad or even radio. Studies have shown that going technology-free for one whole day increases both productivity and creativity for the rest of the week ahead. Sound good? Give it a try. Arguably the weekend is the best time to give this a go as not many of us could do a day’s work without the internet or being able to contact people.
words by Sadie Macleod
image: Raw Vegan Blonde