You know that your food choices inherently affect how you feel, but with influencers from famous doctors and celebrities to your favorite yoga teacher touting healthy-eating fads, it can be difficult to separate the sound advice from the sensationalized.
Meanwhile, researchers are constantly pumping out contradictory food-health studies, because nutrition science is complicated. And each time you overhaul your diet, it can be a shock to your system—whether good or bad. While no one starts a new diet expecting to feel worse, the truth is that without proper education, customized meal planning, and advice from a qualified dietitian, nutritionist, or healthcare provider, restricting or drastically altering what you eat can put your body at risk for weakness, fatigue, anemia, impaired neurological function, and a whole host of other ailments.
The bottom line? It’s crucial to know and avoid the common pitfalls of popular diets to ensure you’re fueling your body with everything it needs—which will better serve you in the long term. You’ll also want to be mindful about how well your diet fits into your overall lifestyle. “The primary reason most diets don’t stick is because they simply aren’t sustainable,” says Seattle-based nutritionist Carole Freeman, who specializes in low-carb diets and helps her clients implement long-term dietary change. “With any diet, ask yourself: Are you eating nutrient-dense, whole foods that you find delicious? Do you look forward to your meals? And does the diet provide you with hours of sustained energy and feelings of well being?” If you don’t answer yes to all questions, something needs to shift.
Here, we look at four diets that are trending among yogis right now—paleo, vegan, macrobiotic, and ketogenic—and provide expert advice for how to approach meals and supplements in order to feel your best.
About Our Pro
Lindsay Tucker is a writer and YJ editor in Denver, Colorado, covering all things wellness and lifestyle. Read more at lindsaytucker.com.