I wanted to share this fascinating with you as some of the biggest names in the world research-wise have got their heads together to create a ‘Position Statement’ a little while back.
Essentially, an analysis comprising all the current research from maaaaaany published papers which have been used to create a ‘This is where we stand on the topic’ statement.
The International Society of Sports Nutrition have released this paper to provide much more clarity on the effects of a variety of different diets on body composition.
Given that there are literally THOUSANDS of different types of diet types and subtypes, they have been grouped together into a handful of umbrella groups to better clarify different approaches.
I’ve taken some serious time out to put together a post-by-post ‘SCEINCE CORNER SERIES’ analysis for you guys, so you can get all the important areas laid out in front of you without all the jargon.
The series will all start displaying the areas covered throughout, with an arrow pointing to the area we will be delving into on that particular day…
A new topic will be released every couple of days to ensure you’re not overloaded!
Here is today’s:
[SCIENCE CORNER: MONUMENTAL FAT LOSS SERIES!] =============================================
>>> INTRODUCTION AND VARIOUS DIET TYPES <<<
MECHANISMS FOR FAT LOSS AND MUSCLE PRESERVATION
DIET COMPOSITION AND INCREASING LEAN MUSCLE TISSUE
RANGE OF EFFECTIVE APPROACHES FOR BODY COMPOSITION
PROTEIN, WEIGHT LOSS AND WEIGHT GAIN
Hope that the introduction section so far has spurred you on with a little excitement, feel free to get your notepad out and a pen, a glass of water and start taking notes from this huge research piece.
In this section I will be going into various diet types, their definition’s and an assessment of their pros and cons.
No time like the present… Let’s get cracking!
DIET TYPE- ‘Very Low Energy Diets, and Low energy Diets’
DEFINITION – Very low energy diet = 400-800 Cals per day. Low energy diet = 800-1200 Cals per day. Generally involve pre-made products eliminating the need for cooking.
PROS – Rapid weight loss can occur (1-2.5kg per week)
LIMITATIONS – Do not necessarily outperform Low energy diets, nor do they generally have long-term benefits.
DIET TYPE- ‘Low Fat Diets’
DEFINITION- Low fat diets generally contain 25-30% fat. Very low fat diets generally contain 10-20% fat.
PROS- These types of diets are well supported by international health bodies due to large areas of research containing health benefits associated with this approach. Macronutrient ranges are pretty flexible. Doesn’t pose carbohydrate-type foods in a negative light.
LIMITATIONS- Suggests that FAT is the cause of weight gain, and therefore limiting fat intake will result in weight loss, when total calories are actually the overriding factor. Very low fat approaches have little evidence to suggest their success, and can easily challenge long term adherence.
DIET TYPE- ‘Low Carbohydrate Diets’
DEFINITION- 50-150g of Carbs per day, OR, up to 40% of intakes formed from Carbs per day.
PROS- This approach generally automatically leads to an increase in protein intakes. There is a large amount of flexibility in other macronutrient proportions, and food choices too. Does not vilify foods based on fat contents.
LIMITATIONS- Again, limiting any macronutrient can falsely convey the message that a single macronutrient is responsible for weight gain, when in fact the total cals is the most important factor.
DIET TYPE- ‘Ketogenic Diets’
DEFINITION- Diets contain a max of 50g of carbs per day, or a maximum of 10% of total calorie intakes from carbs.
PROS- Automatically creates higher protein intakes. Suppresses appetite and controls levels of hunger. Generally involuntarily results in a caloric deficit, even if you aren’t trying to create this environment. Simplifies dietary planning as well as the decision-making process.
LIMITATIONS- Ketogenic diets minimise/eliminate carbohydrates which can have negative effects on various health markers and can even restrict disease prevention. Can compromise energy output during training sessions. Can challenge long-term sustainability.
DIET TYPE- ‘High Protein Diets’
DEFINITION- High protein diets include 25% or more calories sourced from protein, OR, a total of 1.2 to 1.6 g of protein per KG body mass consumed each day or more…
‘Super high protein’ diets contain more than 3g protein per KG of body mass consumed daily.
PROS- High protein diets have a large body of evidence supporting improvements in body composition in comparison to current government minimum recommendations (0.8g Protein per KG body mass per day)
LIMITATIONS- May be tricky to uphold on a day to day basis, sourcing this level of protein on a daily basis can have practical issues and may have limitations financially speaking. Higher intakes of protein, especially very high level intakes can displace calories from other macronutrients (carbs and fat) and omit the benefits that increases in these macronutrients would display, such as compromises to energy levels during performance and training
DIET TYPE- ‘Intermittent Fasting’
DEFINITION- There are many different types of intermittent fasting, but for the purpose of this review they will be split into the following 3 sections:
‘Alternate Day Fasting’ = alternating 24hr Feeds, and 24 hr fast periods.
‘Whole Day Fasting’ = 1-2 complete days of fasting per week
‘Time Restricted Feeding’ = Restricted periods for feeding, such as 16-20hr fast, and 4-8 hr feed daily.
PROS- All intermittent fasting methods show fair evidence for its effectiveness. The first 2x methods don’t involve tracking of macro/micronutrients. Time restricted feeding has a growing body of evidence to suggest fat loss can be achieved whilst still maintaining strength.
LIMITATIONS- It is still unclear if intermittent fasting approaches can outperform standard daily calorie deficit approaches, It’s also likely that although there has been viable evidence to suggest these methods as relatively sustainable weight loss methods, a more evenly distributed approach to macronutrient consumption throughout the day could give even further body composition benefits.
As you can see there is a WHOLE WORLD of diets out there, these are just the major diet types, but the vast majority of popular diets will fall within these categories.
There can also be grey areas and crossovers between the diet types too…
But hopefully this post gives you a much better basic understanding of the variety of diet types out there, what they entail, and their benefits and limitations…
Up next over the next couple of days will be a more in depth look at the biological mechanisms behind weight loss and muscle preservation!
Hope you enjoyed the first instalment of this Science Corner Fat Loss series!!
Some seriously interesting topics to follow!