We'll compare three of the more popular diets today - the Atkins diet, the South Beach diet, and the Zone diet - and see how they stack up against each other.
Which one will fit your lifestyle best? Let's take a look!
Diet Recipe Showdown #1 - Food
Let's start with the popular Atkins diet. The Atkins diet calls for severe limitation of carbohydrate intake, while upping your intake of protein and other nutrients. That means you can still eat steaks, lobster, and burgers (without the buns though), but no breads, beans, pastas, rice, fruits, and starchy vegetables.
The South Beach diet, on the other hand, gets rid of most fruits, dairy, and simple carbohydrates during its first phase, but gradually re-allows them into the diet in the second and third phases. It's somewhat more flexible than the Atkins diet in that sense. The South Beach focuses on allowing the right kinds of carbohydrates instead of limiting the intake.
And finally, the Zone diet will let you eat small portions of lean meat, tofu, vegetables, seafood, and fruit. The idea is to get into the “zone” diet of 40% protein, 30% carbohydrates, and 30% fat, which helps the body perform at its peak.
Diet Recipe Showdown #2 - Ideal Candidates
Since the Atkins diet removes most of the carbohydrates from the diet, it's the best diet for meat lovers who have no problem giving up bread, rice, most fruits, and pasta. It's also a good diet for people who need to lose weight, but aren't really interested in eating salads to do so.
What about the South Beach Diet? It's also for people who'd like to try a low-carb diet, but aren't really willing to give up bread, rice, fruits, and pasta. Again, it's not as fixed and inflexible as the Atkins diet, so South Beach dieters will enjoy a bit more freedom.
And finally, the Zone diet is best for dieters who like to crunch numbers and watch what they eat very, very closely. Knowledge is the best antidote to fear, after all, and when you know exactly what's going into your body, you can rest easy.
Diet Recipe Showdown #3 - Disadvantages
When it comes to the Atkins diet, the biggest disadvantage is the toll it may take on your heart and kidneys. Eating lots of meat means taking in a rather large amount of fat and cholesterol, and the ketosis fat-burning stage can hurt the kidneys in the long-term. And finally, you'll be taking in less fiber, which can lead to constipation.
The South Beach diet also has its disadvantages -- the first phase, for instance, can be a real chore to work through. But once the second phase sets in and you're allowed to eat a wider variety of food, things aren't so bad anymore.
The Zone diet, aside from running the same protein-related risks that the Atkins diet does, is also not suitable for people who don't have the ability (or patience) to measure their servings!
Now that you're in the know, it's time to decide what kind of diet is best for your goals, your lifestyle, and your abilities.
In the meantime, enjoy this mouth-watering grilled chicken thigh recipe below. :)