Health and fitness has increasingly come to the forefront in popular media and while different diets have been around for longer than we can keep track, each year ushers in newer trends and reinvents some old ones.
For 2017 one of the classics that have resurfaced is the soup diet or ‘souping.’ This diet, as is apparent from its name ,does much what the juicing trend did some years ago. Souping combines essential plant based and meat nutrients and condenses them to soups which are both nourishing and filling. This diets appeal stems from the ease of meal prep it involves as well as the benefits of soup being filling and causing less cravings, coupled with how contrary to its juice counterpart it avoids sugar content. This cleansing detoxifying approach has been around for a while and souping is part of this trend. However while its general appeal holds an entirely soup based diet is not sustainable over time and has to be balanced with solid food.
Another popular diet is one that harks back to ancient times and is part of several religious traditions based on fasting. This ‘intermittent fasting diet’ sets up windows where you can eat and those when you fast. This is divided along the lines of sixteen fasting and eight non fasting hours or more generally into5 days of normal calorie consumption and 2 days of 500 calories at best, thus colloquially being refereed to as the 5:2 diet . What this diet aims to do is to train the body’s metabolism and serve as a detox simultaneously. What this does entail is that during the non fast periods the meals consumed be nutritionally balanced. The fasting approach is linked to popular lifestyle choices and to practices like yoga and if done properly can be enormously beneficial. However resorting to binging and being overly strict while following this can mean that an unhealthy relationship with food can develop, specially for those who have traditionally struggled with body dysmorphic disorder and the likes.
Yet another diet that still captures the popular imagination, in part because of its ardent follower and celebrity star Kim Kardashian is the Atkins diet. This is based on low carbohydrate consumption and while it surfaced in the early 2000s as a way of weight loss it is still big because of the quick results it offers. While sugars and carbohydrates are completely avoided , proteins and fats offer sustenance. Though nutritionists are heavily skeptical about its healthiness they can’t deny the quick results it delivers.
While several people are choosing to ascribe to lifestyle choices such as becoming vegans some diets exist simply to offer a middle way, such as the popular ‘flexitarian diet.’ This is tailor made for the needs of those who don’t necessarily want to cut meat out of their lives but want a mainly plant based diet, supplemented by protein that gives strength and energy. Such a diet is typical of ourtimes because it allows maximum flexibility and fewer restrictions in terms of foods that are completely eliminated. It strikes a balance between vegetable groups and meat, advocating moderation as all sustainable diets should.