When it comes to dieting, choosing one that actually works may seem overwhelming due to all of the different information available on what diets are trending today or the latest quick fix you see on social media. You have most likely heard of a few of the most common fad diets, which are usually highly restrictive and not sustainable long-term.

If you’ve ever dieted before, chances are you’ve tried out the low-carb diet, where you restrict the amount of carbohydrates you consume and eat mainly protein and fats. This is popular because when you reduce the amount of carbs you consume, you drop weight pretty quickly, though most of it is water weight. The reason behind dropping weight so quickly in the first few weeks of dieting is due to the lack of water being retained with the low consumption of carbs. Approximately 3 grams of water is stored in your body for every gram of carbohydrates, so the excess water stored in your body drops quickly when you aren’t ingesting carbs. However, when you begin to increase your carbs again, you will gain back the water weight that you initially lost.

Another popular diet is a low-calorie diet, where you restrict your daily intake drastically to drop weight fast or some use carb cycling where you vary the amount of carbs and your caloric intake depending on your training days, having low/no, moderate and high days. A few other common diets are intermittent fasting, where you restrict your eating period to a certain window and you fast before/after; flexible dieting/IIFYM (if it fits your macros), where you have set macronutrient goals to fill with whichever foods you choose to fit in; and detox/juice diets, which are usually liquid only.

All of these diets have their advantages and disadvantages, but what works for one may not work for another person. Dieting is relative to the individual and their lifestyle. A diet that actually works is one that is healthy and sustainable long-term, not just a quick fix leading to more yo-yo dieting back and forth between restrictive eating and binging. Starting out by making healthier choices or swapping out a few unhealthy food choices in your day with a healthier option is a great start and much less intimidating than jumping headfirst into a quick-fix diet. Before you jump onto the latest diet trend, try to remember to choose a diet you can maintain and will fit into your lifestyle without negatively affecting your health, both physically and mentally, and you will be more successful in reaching your goals.

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