It is now the middle of January and your New Year resolutions are well underway, but how are they going?
By now many people have already forgotten about their resolutions and all of their good habits have gone by the way-side.
If this scenario sounds familiar then you should read on. The following diets have been shown to be effective, with most of them voted highly in the US News & World Report, so if you value your health then consider trying one of them.
#1: Weight Watchers
Weight Watchers is a favourite, which shouldn’t really be a surprise as it does work with plenty of people losing weight successfully with its various programs.
Its latest program is called Beyond the Scale, which doesn’t involve calorie counting, but instead works by assigning SmartPoints to the foods you eat.
These SmartPoints are decided based on the nutritional value of foods, with the higher the points allocated the more unhealthy the food.
Using this particular system, people tend to choose foods that are lower in calories and saturated fat.
The positives of this diet is that no food is off-limit, while the cost of this diet could be off-putting to others.
#2: Jenny Craig
This diet works by restricting both fat and calories. You are also asked to eat smaller portions, which is achieved by using specific meal plans and a counsellor.
These meals plans are made using Jenny Craig’s pre-packaged foods and recipes, as well as fresh fruit, vegetables and dairy produce.
The benefits of this diet is that the meals are delivered directly to you, but again this diet can be quite expensive.
#3: Volumetrics Diet
This diet works by ensuring you do not eat less food, but just fewer calories.
Essentially this means eating more foods that are lower in calories, at a high volume, such as fruit and vegetables.
The reasoning behind this is that these foods are more filling, so will help cut snacking between meals.
Foods on the Volumetric Diet are split into 4 categories:
- Category 1: Very low-density foods (non starchy fruits and vegetables, non fat milk)
- Category 2: Low-density (grains, breakfast cereal, low fat meat)
- Category 3: Medium-density (pizza and ice cream)
- Category 4: High-density (crisps, chocolates, biscuits)
To be successful on this diet you should opt for foods in categories 1 and 2.
#4: HMR Program
The Health Management Resource program or HMR for short, is a diet that involves cutting calories by using meal replacements alongside plenty of fruits and vegetables.
Those who undertake this diet replace their regular meals with shakes, nutrition bars and multigrain cereals. They also eat plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables, which are designed to keep you full and less likely to reach for those high-calorie foods.
This particular diet also recommends plenty of exercise, with the recommended workout time being between 10 and 20 minutes daily.
With this type of diet you will likely see fast weight loss when you first start, but in my opinion this type of diet is not suitable for the long term.
Shakes can be boring after a while and ‘real’ food is best in my opinion.
#5: Biggest Loser Diet
No doubt you have heard about the TV show, and perhaps would like to try the diet too.
If you do then this diet involves 6 weeks of healthy eating with plenty of exercise, just like the contestants on the show.
There are various plans to choose from, but they are all based around a few core principles:
- 4 servings of fruit and vegetables daily
- 3 servings of proteins
- 2 whole grains
- No more than 200 calories of anything extra
#6: The Flexitarian Diet
This particular diet involves eating a primarily vegetarian diet. You are allowed the occasional meaty indulgence, however.
Instead of meat, you will be consuming plant proteins, the reason for this is that they weigh less than traditional meats.
You will also be allowed “new food groups”, such as tofu, beans, and lentils; fruits and veggies, whole grains, dairy, and sugar and spices.
The 5 week plan involves the following restrictions:
- 300 calories for breakfast
- 400 calories for lunch
- 500 calories for dinner
- You are allowed two 150 calorie snacks daily too
#7: Raw Food Diet
This diet is ideal for those who can’t or don’t want to cook.
Basically, you are eating raw foods such as fruits, vegetables, berries and nuts. Pretty much everything else is off-limits.
Unsurprisingly, those on this diet are consuming much less calories, but this diet is not for everyone.
#8: Slim Fast Diet
This diet is not as popular as it once was but is still a good choice for some.
The Slim Fast Diet works by replacing food with shakes, with three snacks allowed daily, two replacement shakes and one 500 calorie meal to add a little excitement into the diet.
#9: Vegan Diet
By cutting out all animal products (including cheese, eggs and yoghurt), you will naturally consume fewer calories.
Those on a vegan diet will eat more grain, fruit and vegetables that are lower in calories.
#10: Not dieting at all
When you think about dieting, you are often thinking in the short term. But if you are really serious about your long-term health then perhaps a diet like one of those suggested is not the best option.
Think about it, are you going to be able to stick with any of the above diets for the long-term?
If not then a better solution would be not to diet, but to make a lifestyle change.
- Cut back on junk food and high calorie drinks
- Eat more fresh fruit and vegetables
- Eat lean protein and plenty of fibre
- Include good fats like Omega-3s
- Get regular exercise
- Get plenty of sleep
- Reduce stress
If you can do all of these things then you will be able to lose weight and keep it off. You most certainly do not need a specific diet to achieve your goals.
Good luck for the future, whatever you choose.