You might be looking for a quick and easy method for weight loss, and the words diet and exercise must sound scary. It depends on where and how you hear it. Eating healthy is essential and easier than going through the painful process of hardcore exercise, especially if you are recovering from surgery, suffer from chronic illness, or have mobility issues. If you are into fitness, that’s a different case. You also have to be kind to yourself and remember that crash diets or un-monitored diets will never help you achieve your goals. You’ll have to be patient and listen to your body and consult your doctor before starting the diet that suits you the best.
These diet plans are followed worldwide with proven results. Eating healthy also requires an active lifestyle and having your meals at the right time. You can prepare your favorite meals in advance and store them in casseroles to eat in given time and portions. Here are five major diet plans to choose from.
1. DASH Diet
DASH is an abbreviation for Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) Diet, where you cut maximum sodium for controlling blood pressure without using medicines. Apart from reducing salt, you take more fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and low-fat or nonfat dairy. You also pay attention to saturated fat and cholesterol-based food and reduced or avoid them altogether. DASH diet helps in reducing your weight, lower your blood pressure or hypertension while providing many health benefits. To follow this diet, you have to take a specific amount of servings depending on your body’s requirements. You don’t have to avoid any specific food in this diet and also enjoy having nuts and dry fruits a couple of times a week. The not-so-good side of this DASH diet is that you might become insulin resistant which could lead to other health complications. Hence, as recommended at the start, talk to your doctor and nutritionist.
2. The Mediterranean diet
The Mediterranean diet is one of the most favorite diets for fitness freaks everywhere. The diet, as mentioned, comes from Mediterranean regions like Spain, Portugal, Italy, and Greece. There’s nothing special about the diet except following their local eating habits. In this diet, you can a lot of fruits, fresh seasonal vegetables, even nuts, and dry fruits/seeds, whole grains, legumes, seafood like fish, crabs, and prawns, and the best part add extra virgin oil to everything. You do have to limit eating eggs, chicken, red meats, and dairy products. You can completely avoid or limit refined grains and flour, food with trans fats, refined oils, processed meats, sugar, and processed foods. It can help you lose weight, maintain weight and also fight radicals and inflammation in your body, as it reduces the risk of major diseases and keeps your heart healthy. Mediterranean diet doesn’t actually aid in weight loss unless you consume fewer calories which could leave you unsatisfied and hungry.
3. Vegan Diet
A vegan diet can also be called a plant-based diet. Most celebrities and the western world have welcomed this dietary lifestyle to show kindness to the animals while enjoying the benefits of eating food that is harvested or grown in the soil for ethical and moral choices. This diet requires you to avoid poultry, meat, including seafood, dairy-based food entirely. You’ll also have to say goodbye to honey and essential proteins like whey, casein, and albumin. You are, however, encouraged to eat a lot of fruits, legumes, leafy vegetables, and whole grains along with seasonal vegetables. As the food you avoid contains high calories, it does aid in maintaining your weight and gut health. Plant diets are rich in fiber that makes feel full for a longer time after a snack or a meal. In short, the vegan diet is pretty easy to follow, but there are some downsides to it as well. Avoiding meat or dairy entirely can reduce important minerals and vitamins your body needs, especially iron, vitamin B12, vitamin D, calcium, zinc, and omega-3 fatty acids, which are mostly found in meat and eggs.
4. Low-carb Diets
This is again one of the most popular diets with a few different names attached to it like Atkins, Keto, low-carb or high-fat diets. All these diets work differently. Especially for Keto, which is most followed, your diet needs to be restricted where your macronutrients must be under 10% calories, which is 30% lesser than other diets. To follow this diet, you eat more protein and healthy fat-based food and reduce or completely avoid carbohydrates. Low-card diets are high in protein and don’t make you feel hungry, thus curbing your appetite. This diet is also designed to conserve your muscle mass and increase your metabolism. So, your body goes through a process called ketosis, which uses fatty acids instead of carbohydrates for energy. In this diet, many people have sworn to experience dramatic weight loss in a short amount of time. The benefits include reduced risk of heart diseases, high blood pressure, etc., while improving your sugar and insulin levels. This diet is wonderful for people with diabetes or pre-diabetes. Like other diets, this one has a bad side too. Eating low-carb food could increase LDL, that’s, bad cholesterol, and even reduce tolerance to food, causing indigestion (gastrointestinal) issues. As a warning, if the diet doesn’t suit you, you may also suffer a fatal metabolic condition called ketoacidosis. That’s why it is always important to consult your doctor before choosing your diet.
5. The Paleo Diet
This is a new famous diet that takes you back to the BC era, at least thousands of years. If you remember the time where people hunted and gathered their food from nature and did not have a food industry or a supermarket! In short, the paleo diet recommends you to eat the food your ancestors used to eat. It is again a well-known fact that most diseases, including heart diseases and cancers, are caused to due to the adulterated food you eat. Early people didn’t have the diseases you see now. So, based on this diet, you must eat whole food, fresh fruits, lean meat, vegetables, nuts, seeds, grains, and yes, you can include dairy too! You will have to stop or avoid taking sugar, processed dairy food like cheese. This diet has shown some excellent results. Since you avoid cheese and other fatty food, your belly remains in top shape, too, and so does your weight. The paleo diet is a perfect competition to the Mediterranean diet as it has the right amount of protein your body needs to stay healthy. It can maintain your heart’s health by controlling LDL and blood pressure too. As you won’t be eating food that includes beans, lentils, it will be challenging for you to have enough nutrition provided by such food groups.
These diet plans are designed to meet individual requirements. So you can keep shifting it as you listen to your body. A little exercise and a good diet go a long way to keep you happy and healthy. Eating healthy is also known to help in maintaining a healthy and sharp mind. On the contrary, a little weight on your body is not bad unless it is leading to obesity. So, don’t aim to reduce weight; instead, aim to be fit and active by eating healthy.