Despite the popularity of drastic weight-loss plans such as fasting or zero-carb diets, you may find it most convenient to use a diet plan that allows you to consume a more balanced array of nutrients. One such option is the Isometric Diet, which suggests that equal amounts of protein, carbohydrates and fat can help you find weight loss success. Consult a doctor prior to starting any weight-loss plan.
Isometric Diet History
The Isometric Diet was introduced by Dan Duchaine, a former bodybuilder, in the mid-1990s. Unlike the low-fat and low-carbohydrate diets becoming popular at the time, the Isometric Diet recommended a more balanced approach to weight loss and didn't attempt to dramatically reduce intake of one or two macronutrients.
Isometric Diet Principles
The Isometric Diet is based on five distinct principles, each intended to promote improved weight-loss success. The principles are balance, protein diversity, unsaturated fats and MCTs, low-glycemic carbs, and awareness of food priority.
Carbohydrates on the Isometric Diet
Although many diet plans suggest radically reducing carbohydrate intake, the Isometric Diet recommends consuming one-third of your calories from this nutrient. However, the type of carbohydrate matters; the Isometric Diet prioritizes low-glycemic carbohydrates. Such carbohydrates are also known as complex carbohydrates and are digested more slowly than simple carbohydrates, so they keep you feeling fuller longer. Additionally, low-glycemic carbohydrates do not cause dramatic swings in your blood sugar levels but do provide vitamins, minerals and fiber. Research from the April 2007 edition of "The Open Nutrition Journal" found that diets prioritizing low-glycemic carbohydrates produced more fat loss than those with higher glycemic carbohydrates.
Protein on the Isometric Diet
High-protein diets are popular for weight loss -- especially among bodybuilders -- but the Isometric Diet puts protein on par with carbohydrates and fat, so it isn't an extremely high-protein diet. The Isometric Diet recommends getting protein from a variety of sources, as each protein source provides different types of amino acids -- molecules your body uses to build and repair tissues. Keeping protein on par with other nutrients is important. March 2011 research from the journal "Nutrition & Metabolism" indicates that increasing the ratio of carbohydrates to protein in your diet encourages fat storage and reduces muscle gain.
Fat on the Isometric Diet
Fat provides more calories than other nutrients, so a low-fat diet may seem logical. However, fat is essential for life and promotes satiety, so it can be helpful for losing weight. The Isometric Diet limits saturated fats, which can increase your risk of high cholesterol. Additionally, the diet suggests consuming medium-chain triglycerides, or MCTs, which can be found in coconut products. MCTs are known as fat-burning fats because they can increase your body's rate of fat oxidation, or the burning of fat for energy. Research from the November 2010 edition of "International Journal of Food Sciences and Nutrition" found that MCT consumption may also increase energy expenditure and reduce appetite.
Food Versus Supplements
Supplements such as protein shakes and meal replacement bars are components of many diets, but the Isometric Diet suggests limiting supplements. These products may not provide as many nutrients as whole foods, so a diet based on supplements can promote nutrient deficiencies, which is detrimental for overall health.
- 3F Bike Club: The Isometric Diet and Balanced Health
- Protica.com: The Isometric Diet and Balanced Health
- MedlinePlus: Carbohydrates
- The Open Nutrition Journal; Long Term Effects of Energy-Restricted Diets Differing in Glycemic Load on Metabolic Adaptation and Body Composition; S.K. Das, et al.
- Nutrition & Metabolism; Increased Ratio of Dietary Carbohydrate to Protein Shifts the Focus of Metabolic Signaling from Skeletal Muscle to Adipose; S. Devkota and D.K. Layman
- International Journal of Food Sciences and Nutrition; Medium-Chain Triglycerides Are Advantageous in Promoting Weight Loss Although Not Beneficial to Exercise Performance; M.E. Clegg