Dietary choices play a very significant role in our health, longevity and quality of life. For a very successful weight loss or weight management plan we have to bear in mind that our body needs sufficient amounts of essential amino acids, minerals and vitamins from protein, fatty acids from fat laden foods and energy food from fat, protein or carbohydrates.
For most of us, the challenge is finding the Best Diet Plan for Weight Loss or the most suitable weight loss and weight management program which is simple, easy and effective and offer lasting results.
Studies have shown that an estimated half of all adult Americans have tried or attempted to lose weight, every year. Speaking on a positive note this should be good news because it shows the massive desire of people to stay fit and healthy. While this is good news, people who are seeking to become fit and healthy or sexy, must understand that a mere intention cannot get you the results you need.
Always remember that the health and body contour your body currently have is but a result of the eating habits, diet and lifestyle of yesterday and many yesterdays past. You need a change, a change in outlook, a change in diet perspective, a change of diet or lifestyle. And in order to help you achieve your weight loss or weight management goals, the diet you chose should be simple and easy. It should be suitable, effective and sustainable.
With all these being said, the question now becomes: What is the best diet plan for Weight Loss or Weight Management?
There are many diet plans that you can choose from. These numerous diet programs have differing techniques targeted to address differing needs of dieters.
Some diets focus on reducing food intake. Others limit calorie counts, and others still limit on the intake of fat or carbohydrates. A healthy diet plan should take careful attention in providing the body with the needed nutrients even when there are restrictions on the intake of certain kinds of food. Avoid “fad” or “crash” diets as clinicians agree that these can pose significant health risk without long term effect.
Study available weight loss and weight management diets carefully to determine what is most suitable for you. Choose one that can be incorporated effectively to your current lifestyle to minimize the adjustments you need to help you achieve your weight loss goals.
Do not forget to incorporate a good exercise regimen to tone your body’s muscle and optimize your metabolism. Most importantly check with your physician on the diet you have chosen. Safety must always come first.
Just remember, that being on a good and healthy diet gives you more life benefits than just weight loss or weight management. When you look and feel fit and sexy it can boost your self esteem. Overall you feel energetic and vibrant.
Check these 8 Best Diet Plan For Weight Loss for you to choose from:
1. Intermittent Fasting
This diet technique is mainly aimed at reducing calorie intake by following a cycle of a period of “Eating” followed by a period of “Fasting”, thus the term “Intermittent Fasting” or broken or irregular fasting.
How it works is simple. The dieter is restricted to eating only during the allotted “Eating” time. Diet should include lots of food from healthy protein and fat sources and less carbohydrates. This technique effectively reduces the calorie intake and therefore causes you to lose weight. Do not overeat during the allotted eating time.
Strictly have no food during fasting, although water and tea is allowed. There are many metabolic adjustments that happen in your body during fasting. Over time this technique can correct your eating habits and you regain better control over your appetite.
Intermittent Fasting have varied forms. The 16/8 method, which gives you 8 hours of eating time for your calorie intake and 16 hours of fasting. So if you start your fast at 8 o’clock in the evening, you end at exactly 12 o’clock noon time the next day. Your eating time will then start from 12:01 o”clock noon to 7:59 o’clock in the evening. Just remember to load up on vegetables, healthy protein and fat during your eating time with the least carbohydrates .
The other method is the 5:2, which means that twice in a week you limit your daily calorie food intake to 500–600 calories only.
Review of Diet Effectivity on Weight Loss: Studies have shown that Intermittent Fasting caused dieters to lose 3-8% of their weight in the 3-24 weeks period. This percentage result is significantly higher than other diet methods. Moreover, other related studies have concluded that this diet method greatly improved the body’s metabolism and increased it’s fat burning capacity while maintaining muscle mass.
Added Benefits: It has been found out that intermittent fasting is linked to improved mental health, increased insulin sensitivity, reduced inflammation, has anti-aging benefits and many more.
Downsides: While generally safe for most adults, some groups of people may need the guidance and close monitoring of their health or medical practitioners before starting or during intermittent fasting. Those who may be sensitive to a drop in their blood sugar levels, like people with diabetes, or those with eating disorders, low in weight, pregnant or breastfeeding moms, should take precautionary measures before starting intermittent fasting.
2. Diet: Plant-Based
Diets that restrict the consumption of animal meat and products can actually help you lose weight. Vegetarians and Vegans are amongst the most popular dieters of this sort. While most people do a plant-based diet to lose weight or for health reasons, others do it for ethical or environmental causes.
There are variations of this kind of diet though. There is the Flexitarian Diet which retains a plant-based diet but admits to eating animal products moderately.
How the Diet Works: Vegetarians usually eliminate animal meat, fish and poultry from all their food intakes. Others even go to the extent of even eliminating eggs and dairy from their diet.
Vegans on the other hand go a bit more restrictive. They avoid all animal meats and products and all animal-derived foods such as dairy, gelatin, casein, whey and albumin.
But the most popular alternative is the Flexitarian Diet. It has no clear-cut rules and is more of a lifestyle change than an actual diet. It prefers the consumption of more vegetables, fruits, legumes and whole grains. The diet can include animal products taken in moderation and protein. It’s emphasis is on the restriction of high calorie food intake to help weight loss.
Review of Diet Effectivity on Weight Loss: Various research has shown that plant-based diets are actually effective for weight loss.
A summary of 12 studies consisting of 1,151 participants revealed that those who are on a plant-based diet lost 4.4 pounds or 2 kilos on the average against those whose diet included animal products. Moreover, those following a vegan diet lost 5.5 pounds or 2.5 kilos on the average against those with diets including animal products.
Weight loss is easier when on a plant-based diet because it is low in high-calorie fat and its high fiber content helps the dieter feel full for a longer period of time.
Added Benefits: Plant-based diets have numerous other benefits other than weight loss. It is known to reduce the risk of certain cancers, diabetes and chronic conditions such as heart disease. Also it is more sustainable than diets with animal meat products.
Downsides: While unquestionably healthy a plant-based diet has a minor downside to it. It can limit certain nutrients found in animal products such as iron, vitamin D and B12, calcium, omega-3 fatty acids and zinc. So, if this should cause you to worry, consider taking vitamin and mineral supplements to address this issue. Visit your family doctor for the most suitable supplement you can have to compliment a vegan or vegetarian diet. Always chose a natural and safe vitamin and mineral supplement.
Or better yet, choose a flexitarian diet as an alternative to help you fulfill the nutrient deficiency.
3. Low Carbohydrates Diet
Low-carb diets for weight loss are quite gaining more popularity lately. These include the Atkins diet, Keto (Ketogenic) diet, and LCHF or the Low-Carb, High-Fat diet.
These diets vary in the reduction of carbohydrates intake. Some are more drastic than others. Take for example the extremely low carbohydrates diet of the Keto diet. It restricts this macronutrient to below 10% of total daily calorie intake, in comparison to more or less 30% for other types .
How the Diet Works: A low carbohydrate or Low Carb diet , means intake of foods rich in carbohydrates such as bread, pastries and sugary temptations are restricted in favor of more healthy proteins and fats.
A diet high in protein helps curb appetite, increase metabolism and save muscle mass. It creates the feeling of fullness reducing hunger pangs and the tendency to overeat.
In a very-low-carb diet such as the Ketogenic Diet, the body is directed to use its fat deposits instead of carbohydrates for fuel and energy by converting them into ketones in the process we call as ketosis.
Review of Diet Effectivity on Weight Loss: Various studies have shown that low-carb diets are actually more effective than conventional low-fat diets in helping weight loss.
This was verified by the results of 53 studies that involved 68,128 participants showing a significant weight loss of those on a low-carb diet as against those doing conventional low-fat diet.
In fact, these studies have further shown that low-carb diets appear more effective in burning and reducing belly fat.
Added Benefits: Research has shown that low-carb diets are helpful against high cholesterol and blood pressure levels and reduce the risk factors of heart disease. It is also found to have improved the blood sugar and insulin levels of persons suffering from type 2 diabetes.
Downsides: Before embarking on a low-carb diet see your physician and check your health viability to engage in the diet because in some cases it has shown to raise bad cholesterol levels (LDL). This diet appears difficult to follow and sometimes can cause stomach upset in some people.
In the worst cases, a low-carb diet can cause ketoacidosis. It is a dangerous metabolic reaction that can be fatal if left unchecked.
4. Paleo Diet
The paleo diet is a diet program that includes foods akin to what was presumably eaten at the Paleolithic era by our hunter-gatherer ancestors dating approximately 2.5 million – 10,000 years ago.
Also known as the Stone Age diet, hunter-gatherer or caveman diet, a paleo diet would normally include fish, fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds and lean meat. These foods are often believed to be obtained by hunting and gathering in the prehistoric times.
The goal of the Paleo diet to go back to the eating patterns of early humans. Proponents of this diet reason out that the human body is not quite genetically matched to our modern diets that came together with the development of farming.
Known as the “discordance hypothesis” it is believed that the development of farming around 10,000 years back changed the people’s diet to include farm produce such as legumes, grains and other staples. The theory suggests that the rapid shift of this diet in humans has caused the body to have difficulty in adapting. And this discrepancy is believed to be the root cause in human ailments such as obesity, heart problems and diabetes.
Proponents of this diet believed that diseases of the modern age are mostly connected to western diets on the theory that our body has not yet fully evolved to eating legumes, grains and dairy.
How the Diet Works: The paleo diet promotes the eating of whole foods, lean meats, vegetables, fruits, nuts, and seeds. It prohibits the eating of processed foods, sugar, grains, and dairy. But a less limiting version of the diet allows the consumption of a few dairy products such as cheese.
Review of Diet Effectivity on Weight Loss: There are studies that show that this diet can actually cause weight loss and melt belly fat.
In a research conducted on 14 healthy young adults it was found out that those who did the paleo diet lost weight in an average of 5.1 pounds or 2.3 kilos in a span of 3 weeks. Their waist circumference likewise reduced an average of .6 inches or 1.5 centimeters.
Also the research suggested that the paleo diet is actually more filling than other more popular low-fat diets such as the Mediterranian diet primarily because of its high protein composition.
Added Benefits: The paleo diet actually carries with it added life benefits other than weight loss. It has shown to reduce high blood pressure, triglyceride and cholesterol levels and the risk of heart diseases.
Downsides: Because the diet imposes restrictions on certain foods, its downside is the risk of dieters to lack on certain important nutrients. This could be remedied of course by taking vitamin and mineral supplements. Nevertheless, the rule of keeping yourself safe first must always be kept in mind. Check with your health physician before starting any diet for that matter.
5. Diet Low in Fat
Low-fat Diets have been widely known for a long period of time. Like low-carb diets, most people are easily attracted to these kinds of diets hoping for good and lasting results.
Low-fat diets generally consist of having a fat intake of at least 30% in the daily caloric requirement. But a more restrictive and ultra low-fat diet would limit the daily fat consumption to only 10%.
How the Diet Works: In a low-fat diet, the fat intake is restricted up to 30% of the calorie requirement per day on the idea that it gives twice the amount of calories per gram as compared to protein and carbohydrates.
Ultra-low-fat diets on the other hand are largely plant-based with restrictions on animal meat and products derived from animals. This diet allows only up to 10% of calories sourced from fat, so that approximately 80% of the calories are taken from carbohydrates and and 10% is taken from protein.
Reviews on Diet Effectivity on Weight Loss: Any diet that can restrict calorie intake will always result in weight loss. A low-fat diet being designed to lower calories in the daily food intake can cause you to lose weight.
However, results from 33 studies involving over 73,500 participants showed that with a low-fat diet there were little to almost irrelevant effect on weight loss or reduction of waist circumference.
With the results above stated, it can be said that a low-carb diet can even be more effective than a low fat diet on a day to day basis. However, an ultra-low-fat diet is found to be more effective specially with people suffering from obesity. Results from 56 participants in an 8 week long study revealed that a diet of 7-14% fat resulted in 14.8 pounds or 6.7 kilos of lost weight.
Added Benefits: A low-fat diet has been linked to significant reduction of the risks associated with heart problems and stroke. It can also help diminish inflammation and augment the markers in diabetes cases.
Downsides: As with any other restrictive diet, careful attention should always be had on the nutrients the body is able to get specially when the diet is limited to certain foods. When fat is limited in greater amounts, it can lead to long term health problems as fat is significant in hormone production, nutrient absorption and health of the cells. Ultra-low-fat diets can also lead to increased risks of developing metabolic syndrome.
For personal safety and as in any other diet, a stop and talk with your health physician is always advised first hand before starting or continuing the diet. Our goal is not only to get a fit and sexy body but to become healthy as well in the process.
6. The Mediterranean Diet
The diet is characterized by a generally high intake of plant-based foods such as fresh vegetables and fruits, nuts, cereals and extra virgin olive oil.
Inspired by the traditional eating habits of countries around the Meditterranean area like Spain, Italy and Greece, the Mediterranean diet encourages the eating of fresh seasonal and local foods.
The diet also allows a modest intake of poultry and fish and very limited serving of dairy products preferably yogurt and cheese and sparingly with red or processed meats and some sugary foods. Wine can be consumed in moderation with meals.
What makes this diet popular with celebrities and the upper social class is the emphasis it gives on the social and cultural facet of the diet such as inculcating communal meals, rest after meals and a regular exercise regimen or physical activity.
Though it was formulated initially as a remedy to lower the risk of heart problems, studies have shown that it has also caused weight loss.
How the Diet Works: With a Mediterranean diet food intake is generally plant based. The diet should have plenty of fresh vegetables and fruits, whole grains, nuts, seeds, tubers, legumes, seafood, fish, and extra virgin olive oil.
Dairy products, poultry and eggs, may be eaten in moderation while only a limited amount of red meat can be included. But the Mediterranean diet is restrictive on processed meat and highly processed foods, refined grains and oils, trans fat, and sugars.
Reviews on Diet Effectivity for Weight Loss: Although it was not initially designed for weight loss, studies have shown that having a Mediterranean diet can actually aid in losing weight.
For instance, a review of 19 related studies on the matter showed that those who integrated a Mediterranean diet with reduced calorie intake and proper exercise actually recorded to have lost an average of 8.8 pounds or 4 kilos of weight.
Added Benefits: Because it is mainly plant-based, a Mediterranean diet incorporates a lot of foods rich in antioxidants which aids against inflammations and neutralizes free radicals to reduce oxidative stress to prevent premature ageing. It has likewise been reported to reduce the risk of contracting heart disease and suffer premature death.
Downsides: Obviously, considering that the Mediterranean diet is not essentially a weight loss program, those who want to lose weight using this diet should also limit their calorie intake and engage in proper and regular exercise for weight loss results.
7. Weight Watchers (WW) Diet
A diet plan with no food limits? Yes it’s the WW Diet or more popularly known before as the Weight Watchers diet. Awarded by the U.S. News and World’s Report as the best weight loss diet.
While the diet does not limit food intake to any of the food groups, the dieter is required to eat only within his or her daily set points until the ideal weight is reached.
How the Diet Work: WW diet is a points-based system diet. While it allows you to stick to your favorite and loved foods it also slowly gears you towards more healthier foods by using a color-coded technique that labels foods as ZeroPoints. Your food intake is scored based on SmartPoints. Your progress in the programs is designed wherein you are directed to lessen your choice of ZeroPoint foods to increase your SmartPoint budget and vise versa.
The points value of each food and beverage depends on each calorie content, fat and fiber component. To reach the targeted weight goal, the dieter must stay within his or her daily point budget.
Reviews on Diet Effectivity on Weight Loss: Research and numerous studies show that the WW diet can aid in weight loss and weight management.
A summary of 45 related research showed that those who are on the WW diet lost approximately 2.6% of weight more than those who are in the control group. What is significant is that these studies have shown that those who are on the WW diet have better sustainability in maintaining their weight loss than others on a different diet.
Added Benefits: WW diet is easy and simple. It allows more choices and flexibility to stick to the diet program especially those who have dietary specifications such as those with food allergies.
Downsides: While flexibility is a welcome benefit, the WW diet can be costly depending on the kind of subscription program one choses. If the dieter is not too keen on consciously choosing healthy foods, they could end up choosing unhealthy foods because of the wide latitude of choice the diet offers.
8. The DASH Diet
Short for “Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension” (DASH) is a diet program originally recommended for persons who want to prevent or treat hypertension or otherwise known as high blood pressure, purposely in order to reduce the risk of contracting heart problems.
Although not initially designed for weight loss, many reported to have lost weight while on this diet. The DASH diet recommends food intakes rich in vegetables, fruits, whole grains, lean meats. It should be low in salt, added sugar, red meat and unhealthy fats.
How the Diet Work: DASH diets suggest an intake of recommended servings from the different food groups. The specific food serving is dependent on the daily calorie allowance and intake of each dieter.
For instance, an average person taking the DASH diet can eat a daily portion of 7 servings of whole grains or any healthy carbohydrates, 5 servings of vegetables, cooked or fresh, 2 servings of dairy products, low-fat, 5 servings of fruit, and 2 servings or lesser of lean meat. Nuts and seeds may be added 2-3 times every week.
Review on Diet Effectivity on Weight Loss: The DASH diet can indeed help lose weight, studies have shown.
Take for instance, the analysis of 13 related studies on this matter revealed that those who are on the DASH diet lost more weight in 8-24 weeks than those who are in a different diet.
Added Benefits A DASH diet is known to lower blood pressure levels and reduce risk factors for heart disease. It is also known to address symptoms of depression and reduce risks against colorectal and breast cancers.
Downsides: Although this diet is known to help in weight loss, additional evidence is needed to determine the health implications of its recommended low salt intake. Eating less salt can cause the body to be more resistant to insulin which could increase the risk of death or heart failure in people.
Knowing this risk of the DASH diet, and as in any other diet, first consult your doctor before starting one.
In summary, these diets that are significantly discussed here can help you lose weight. All of them have been proven to tip the scale if done according to its program. But again, safety advice is always for you to check with your doctor for advice before starting any diet plan especially if it is restrictive or involves fasting. More so if you are suffering from any form of physical ailment, or immediately after noticing one when you are already doing the program.
Nutritionists and health care professionals have always been quick to remind dieters that any diet should always be healthy and safe. Choose one that is simple for you to follow and you have greater confidence to sustain it until you see your desired results. If you feel that the current diet you have is not working for you, then by all means shift to another one that you feel best suits your lifestyle, food preferences, or methods or one which you think can best help achieve your weight goals.
Always supplement your diet with regular exercise or any form of physical activity to help boost your immune system and strengthen the body. And when the diet you have chosen is a bit restrictive and you feel the possibility of a nutrient deficiency, then go ahead ask your family physician for a vitamin and mineral supplement. Choose one that is natural and effective.
On a final note, remember that attaining a healthy, active and fit body should be a lifestyle and not a momentary project or activity. Diet, exercise and a wholesome deposition makes your life full and less likely to suffer from physical ailments as you age. Cultivate happy countenance that finds contentment in big and small things you already have. Have faith in a being higher than yourself and take that confidence that someone up there looks after you and loves you unconditionally.
Have the most wonderful day today.
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