The decision to lose weight is not always easy. There are often many thoughts and emotions that go into the decision making process. Once you find people who are willing to support you, quickly you realize that the suggestions of how to reach your weight loss goal will differ. A friend may suggest one diet while a second friend may suggest another.
You also may draw upon past experiences. Were there diets or programs you tried in the past that worked or didn’t? As you reflect and process your thoughts about what diets to choose here are some things to consider:
Diets are not just about losing weight
The goal of the diet may be to lose weight, but dieting that will last is actually a lifestyle change. This means it’s time to form some new habits so you can re-think and plan to succeed.
It’s equally important to watch what you drink, while of course, paying attention to what you eat. Start by replacing beverages with water. Reduce your caffiene intake by cutting back on coffee and soda. (My weakness is coffee. At one time I would consume as many as 4-6 cups daily without realizing it. Now I’m down to 2 cups a day and feel great). Don’t cut everything out all at once…that’s called torture. Do it slowly and consciously so that it makes a long term difference.
While researching these diets to share with you, there are three common traits these diets that do work have in common:
- They are not temporary
- They do not claim miracle results
- They tell you that diet and exercise work hand in hand
These diets are not temporary foods plans
So many diets are really temporary food plans. You are given a list of what to eat or not to eat and have to follow the diet as planned. Those types of diets are restrictive and really hard. If you are a picky eater or have food allergies, it’s worse.
I’m sure you too have tried these types of diets and you found yourself in a personal battle of what to eat. Once you felt defeated, you went back to your old habits.
Diets that are long term are not overly restrictive in that sense. These diets help you incorporate better choices so you select foods that work for you.
These diets are not magical miracles
Wouldn’t we all love to eat or drink something to melt the pounds away forever. The problem is, you may lose 10 pounds in a weekend, but come Tueday morning the weight is pretty much back. These diets are also not healthy at all and can certainly cause eating disorders.
These diets don’t claim that exercise is not necessary
You’ve heard it before, a balanced diet and exercise are the key to better health. Think of exercise as movement. Exercise helps you to lose weight, lower the risk of some diseases and keeps you from being overly stiff. Ever sit for a long period of time and your body is so stiff that it’s hard to move. Exercise is the key to help keep your body working, blood flowing and a kick in your step.
Even if traditional exercise is not your thing, there are so many other ways you can discover to enjoy moving your body.
These diets are not ranked. They are included here based on my research and findings of diets that work.
The DASH eating plan requires no special foods and instead provides daily and weekly nutritional goals. This is a flexible and balanced eating plan that helps to create a heart healthy eating lifestyle. This plan recommends:
- Eating vegetables, fruits, and whole grains
- Including fat-free or low-fat dairy products, fish, poultry, beans, nuts, and vegetable oils
- Limiting foods that are high in saturated fat, such as fatty meats, full-fat dairy products, and tropical oils such as coconut, palm kernel, and palm oils
- Limiting sugar-sweetened beverages and sweets.
The Dash plan is easy to follow using common foods avaialble at your local grocery store. You’re caloric needs are based on your age and physical activity level. Learn more about The Dash Diet
The Mediterranean diet incorporates the basics of healthy eating plus a splash of flavorful olive oil and perhaps a glass of red wine. Among other components characterizing the traditional cooking style of countries bordering the Mediterranean Sea.
Research has shown that the traditional Mediterranean diet reduces the risk of heart disease. The diet has been associated with a lower level of oxidized low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol — the “bad” cholesterol that’s more likely to build up deposits in your arteries.
The Mediterranean diet emphasizes:
- Eating primarily plant-based foods, such as fruits and vegetables, whole grains, legumes and nuts
- Replacing butter with healthy fats such as olive oil and canola oil
- Using herbs and spices instead of salt to flavor foods
- Limiting red meat to no more than a few times a month
- Eating fish and poultry at least twice a week
- Enjoying meals with family and friends
- Drinking red wine in moderation (optional)
- Getting plenty of exercise
Learn more about the Mediterranean Diet
Weight Watchers members count points, not calories. On this program it the goal is to make better choices and behavioral changes in order to feel better while losing weight. The Weight Watchers program continues to be ranked one of the top weight loss programs because it works.
Weight Watchers is designed to help people eat better, move more and shift thier mindset.
You won’t go hungry – daily points are always high enough to allow for three meals a day, plus at least two snacks. Members are also allotted a number of weekly SmartPoints that can be used any way you want giving you flexiblity to induldge in a smart way.
Weight Watchers is convenient. You can check points from any mobile device, use the barcode scanner or enter the nutrition information listed on the lable of the food you eat. Weight Watcher has convenient restaurant and dining out guides to help you make better choices.
Learn more about Weight Watchers.
The Volumetrics Diet
The Volumetrics Diet emphasies on broth-based soups, large salads, and other “high-volume, low-calorie” foods to help you lose weight without starving.
Pioneered by Penn State University nutrition professor Barbara Rolls, Volumetrics is more of an approach to eating than it is a structured diet. With “The Ultimate Volumetrics Diet” as your guide, you’ll learn to decipher a food’s energy density, cut the energy density of your meals and make choices that fight hunger. (source: health.usnews.com)
You won’t go hungry on this diet. Daily menus are designed to be filling, and include snacks and dessert. The focus of Volumetrics is on making smart, sustainable tweaks to your eating habits that lower the overall caloric density of your diet. The program doesn’t ban or severely limit entire food groups, your chances of sticking with it are higher.
Learn more about The Volumetrics Diet
The Mind Diet
The MInd Diet emphasises on eating from 10 brain healthy food groups:
- green leafy vegetable
- other (traditional) vegetables
- whole grains
- olive oil
The Mind Diet takes two proven diets, DASH and Mediterranean, combines them and focus on the foods that affect brain health. This diet recommends that you avoid the following foods:
- butter and margerine
- red meat
- fried food
- pastries and sweets
A typical day of eating may include:
- Breakfast: Steel-cut oatmeal with strawberries, hard-boiled eggs.
- Lunch: Mexican-style salad with mixed greens, black beans, red onion, corn, grilled chicken and olive-oil-based dressing.
- Dinner: Chicken and vegetable stir-fry, brown rice.
Learn more about the Mind Diet
The Mayo Clinic Diet
The Mayo Clinic Diet is not a one-size-fits-all approach to weight loss. It is not a fad. This program helps people from all walks of life make simple, healthy, pleasurable changes that can help them achieve a weight they can maintain for the rest of their lives.
For more than 100 years, Mayo Clinic has helped millions of people improve their health and well-being. The diet is based on clinically tested techniques that put you in charge of reshaping your lifestyle. The experts who created the Mayo Clinic Diet include specialists in preventive health, nutrition, weight management, health psychology and more.
The Mayo Clinic Diet starts you off with Phase 1- Lose it! so you can jump start your weight loss and start good eating habits. Next you go to Phase 2- Live it! you will learn lifestyle changes to help you lose up to 2 lbs per week.
With weight loss tools and and app, the Mayo Clinic Diet will help you move towards your weight goal.
Learn more about The Mayo Clinic Diet
South Beach Diet
The South Beach Diet incorporates good carbs, healthy fats and plenty of lean protein. Nutrient-dense foods that can turn off the switch for sugar and refined carb cravings.The South Beach Diet is an easy to follow approach to weight loss.
It’s based on a proven phase approach. Phase #1 Your 7-Day Body Reboot – with proven results the first week. Phase #2 – Steady Weight Loss to help you keep losing weight and working towards your goal. Phase #3 – You’ve Got This! the perfect way to maintain your weight once you’ve succeeded.
Your meal plan includes a wide variety of meals, high in lean protein with heart-healthy fats and good carbs from fruit, vegetables and whole grains.
Learn more about The South Beach Diet
Now you can achieve your weight loss goals
Start by taking a look at the diets in order to determine the one best for you. Set a plan to get started and begin on working on lifestyle changes you know will help you succeed. Get yourself motivated by starting an inspiration board and buying yourself a new pair of sneakers, workout gear or water bottle. (I did this and it really did help).
Congrats as you work towards being your best you.
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Also read: Salsa – a cardio fit workout to improve your health