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Ever feel like you’re the only one not apart of a ‘Food Tribe’?  Yeah, me too!

It turns out that a recent study by the International Food Information Council discovered that 36% of Americans are following a specific diet…. aka, they’re part a food tribe.  BTW, this is twice the amount of people (14%) from the previous year.

I can’t help but notice all the different posts and articles I come across about people counting Macros, sharing Whole 30 approved meals, or talking about Keto-something-or-other. (I really pay good attention, don’t I?)

So what gives?

I needed to finally figure out what all the hype was about.  See what all these people have been up to.  And de-code all of this special food tribe language.

But before we get started with this breakdown –in case it’s not obvious– I just want to state that I am not a doctor or dietician.  I’m just merely a girl who’s eternally curious to find the best mind & body wellness out there; and these tribes are providing some people (probably 36%) with just that.

Because that’s truly what this is all about, discovering eating habits and routines that would work best with your lifestyle and health needs to ultimately make you feel your best!

Now, I think it’s safe to get started…. shall we?

Read below for a rundown of the most popular diets on the streets today!

 

1. INTERMITTENT FASTING

MANTRA- People have been fasting throughout evolution, so why did we stop doing that?

BREAKDOWN– 

  • Consider it an “eating pattern” that cycles between fasting and eating
  • It’s not so much about which foods you eat, but when you eat them
  • Most common types of fasting cycles= daily 16 hour fast OR 24 hour fasts twice a week

EXAMPLES

  • 16 Hour Fast– skip breakfast and eat your meals between 1pm-9pm (8 hour window).  This leaves 16 hours in between for “fasting”
  • 24 Hour Fast– Involves fasting for 24 hours, once or twice a week.  Or if math isn’t your strong suit (same!) it’d be like not eating from dinner one day until dinner the next day

WHY PEOPLE SAY IT WORKS- 

  • Fasting causes your body to change hormone levels which makes stored body fat more accessible 
  • Increase in growth hormone (HGH) which has benefits for fat loss and muscle gain
  • As a result, insulin sensitivity improves (insulin levels go down)
  • Also, cells initiate cellular repair processes when fasted
  • In addition, it Increases the release of norepinephrine (that hormone that burns fat)

Want more? https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/what-is-intermittent-fasting#section1

 

2.  PALEO (OR, ‘THE CAVEMAN DIET’) 

MANTRA- We sit at desks all day and eat processed foods, and it’s not a sexy combo

BREAKDOWN- 

  • Cuts out modern foods from our diet and returns to the way early hunter-gatherers ate millions of years ago
  • Combines regular exercise while following a strict diet made up of only of foods that can be hunted and gathered
  • Emphasizes loading up on fruits and vegetables that are filled with healthy vitamins, minerals, and fiber

EXAMPLES-

EAT THIS: 

  • Lean cuts of beef, pork, and poultry (preferably grass-fed, organic, or free-range- quality matters here)
  • Fish (Including Shellfish)
  • Fruit
  • Non-Starchy Vegetables (I didn’t even know this was a thing)- like asparagus, onions, peppers, pumpkin
  • Nuts and Seeds

NOT THIS: 

  • Processed foods
  • Foods with added butter, margarine and sugar
  • All dairy products (milk, cheese, yogurt, butter)
  • Cereal grains
  • Legumes (peanuts, beans, peas)

WHY PEOPLE SAY IT WORKS- 

  • Basically, nutrient rich food fills you up faster so you eat less, which helps you loose weight
  • And burning calories with exercise, in addition to eating higher quality of food, is a win/win

Want more? https://www.everydayhealth.com/diet-nutrition/paleo-diet/detailed-paleo-diet-food-list-what-eat-avoid/

 

3. GLUTEN FREE

MANTRA- Gluten is the root of all evil (lol JK, I don’t know) 

BREAKDOWN- 

  • Excludes the protein gluten from the diet
  • Gluten is commonly found in grains such as wheat, barley and rye
  • Necessary for people with celiac disease

EXAMPLES

Naturally Gluten Free Foods- 

  • Fruits and veggies
  • Beans, seeds and nuts (in natural form)
  • Eggs, non-processed meat/fish/poultry
  • Corn/cornmeal
  • Gluten free flours- rice/soy/corn/potato/beans
  • Quinoa

WHY PEOPLE SAY IT WORKS- 

  • For those with a gluten sensitivity, removing gluten from your diet can cause weight loss, overall improved health, improved gastrointestinal health, and even improved athletic performance!

Want more? https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/nutrition-and-healthy-eating/in-depth/gluten-free-diet/art-20048530

 

4. MEDITERRANEAN DIET 

MANTRA- Mediterranean style food that’s already good for you, and then we tailored it some more for heart health… oh ya, and you get to drink WINE! 

BREAKDOWN- 

  • Includes traditional diet food (fruits, veggies, fish) but with a Mediterranean twist
  • Research shows Mediterranean foods reduce the risk of heart disease
  • Subtle variations in proportions of certain foods could make a difference in your risk for heart disease

EXAMPLES

  • Primarily plant based foods- legumes, nuts, fruits, veggies, whole grains
  • Replace butter with healthy fats- olive oil or canola oil
  • Use herbs and spices in lieu of salt to flavor your food
  • Limited red meat (only once or twice per month)
  • Eat fish or poultry twice a week
  • Drink red wine (in moderation…)

WHY PEOPLE SAY IT WORKS- 

  • The Mediterranean diet has been associated with a lower level of LDL cholesterol in the body…. In layman’s terms?  That’s the “bad” cholesterol that’s more likely to build up deposits in your arteries.
  • Furthermore, research also suggests that this diet is associated with a reduced rate of cancer, Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s diseases.
  • Women who eat a Mediterranean diet reinforced with extra-virgin olive oil and mixed nuts may have a reduced risk of breast cancer.

Want More? https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/nutrition-and-healthy-eating/in-depth/mediterranean-diet/art-20047801

 

5. WHOLE 30 

 

MANTRA- Our diets have gotten so messed up, we don’t even know what’s going on anymore- We’ve gotta start from scratch and do some detective work. 

BREAKDOWN

  • Foods we eat every day could be having a negative impact on our overall health and fitness without us even realizing it
  • Common conditions like allergies, digestive issues, common pains, lack of energy can be directly related to the food we eat
  • The only way to figure out the culprit is to strip your diet of the most common food groups we crave and start from scratch for 30 days

EXAMPLES- 

  • For 30 days eat moderate portions of meat, seafood, and eggs.  Eat lots of veggies and fruits, and foods with natural fat (flavor with herbs and seasonings)
  • No added sugar- real sugar or artificial sugar (Splenda)
  • Say goodbye to Alcohol
  • Cut out grains or legumes (beans/peas/lentils/soy)
  • No more dairy
  • Basically, don’t eat foods with a bunch ingredients you can’t pronounce– “whole”, fresh (non-processed) foods only
  • There are a couple of exceptions to these rules (which you can read on the link below if you’re curious)

WHY PEOPLE SAY IT WORKS- 

  • After 30 days, slowly introducing foods back into your diet creates a controlled experiment
  • You’re able to isolate and pinpoint foods that can cause a number of issues, and now you know for sure what your triggers are

Want more? https://whole30.com/whole30-program-rules/

 

6. KETO / HIGH FAT

MANTRACarbs produce glucose, and glucose is the sexiest energy source for your body to use… so that leaves your fat to hang out all alone, in and around your bod

BREAKDOWN-

  • It’s low carb, high fat
  • Because lowering your carb intake causes your body to go into a state of “Ketosis”
  • Ketosis is the body’s natural process of survival when food is low– producing “ketones” which your body will use as it’s primary source of energy
  • “Starvation of carbohydrates”

EXAMPLES- 

WHAT YOU CAN EAT

  • Meat, poultry, fish and eggs
  • Leafy greens- spinach, kale
  • Above ground vegetables
  • High Fat Dairy (hard cheeses, cream, butter…)
  • Nuts and Seeds
  • Avocados
  • Low carb sweeteners (stevia, erythritol, monk fruit)

WHAT YOU CAN’T EAT

  • Grains (wheat, corn, rice, cereal..)
  • Sugar – honey, agave, maple syrup, etc.
  • Fruit
  • Patatos, yams

WHY PEOPLE SAY IT WORKS- 

  • It’s all about how your body burns energy and stores fat.  Burning Ketones instead of glucose should give you weight loss results

Want More? https://www.ruled.me/guide-keto-diet/

 

7. VEGAN

MANTRAAnimal cruelty is no joke 

BREAKDOWN- 

  • Plant Based
  • No animal products or byproducts are consumed

EXAMPLES-

  • You can eat any fruit, vegetable, grain or legume imaginable
  • If you can grow it, you can eat it
  • No meat or dairy is allowed
  • Usually wouldn’t wear any real leather or fur (to further back your stance against animal cruelty)

WHY PEOPLE SAY IT WORKS-

Veganism can be an ethical and/or health choice for many people… here’s why they say it matters

  • Animals: Prevents the exploitation and cruelty of animals
  • Your Health: Increased energy and younger looking skin (well-based plant diets are high in nutritional value which can also reduce the risk of heart disease)
  • The Environment: Feeding, transporting and maintaining herds of cattle causes major deforestation and CO2 emissions.

Want More? https://www.vegansociety.com/go-vegan/how-go-vegan

 

8. CLEANSE

MANTRA- Toxins are literally everywhere and they need to be flushed out! 

BREAKDOWN-

  • You can ‘cleanse’ your body of a variety of things that you may be eating too much of (sugar, processed foods, or just toxins in general)
  • Toxins are in the pesticides on produce, pollutants in the air, or mercury and arsenic that comes from the soil
  • A cleanse eliminates junk food from your diet and replaces it with nutrient rich food to help your body in its natural detoxification process (not as restrictive as a “detox” diet)
  • All sorts of cleanses out there based on what you’re trying to flush out or what your weight and health goals are

EXAMPLES- 

  • Food should be certified organic or locally grown
  • Raw, organic fruits and vegetables
  • Balanced meals (make sure you’re getting nutrition from all of your foods)
  • No caffeine, soda or alcohol
  • Some cleanses allow fish, but no red meat or poultry

WHY PEOPLE SAY IT WORKS-

  • They say it’s like hitting the refresh button on your body to increase energy levels, balance your hormones and improve digestions
  • Also helpful to kick those cravings

Want More? https://www.cleanprogram.com/the-program/what-to-eat

These are some of the most popular Food Tribes America is giving a whirl today!

I love that there are so many options out there for people to pick and choose what diet they think would work best for their health needs!

But really, these shouldn’t be considered “diets”, so much as lifestyle changes.  To me, a diet sounds like a fad– something that starts hot and then burns out quickly.

I think people are wising up to the fact that traditional “diets” don’t work.  Maybe for some short-term goals, but not for the long haul.

Plus, being a part of a food tribe is like joining a little community with support groups to hold you accountable! (love that)

A lot of these food tribes looked pretty reasonable to me, and I think I have a couple I want to try out!  But like always, if you have pre existing conditions or any further questions, do some more research!  Talk to your doctor and figure out which plan might be right for you!

PS- a link is provided a the bottom of each category for you to jump start your health journey research.

That’s all for now, I’d love to hear if you’ve had any success, or any feedback from these food tribes above! xoxo