Best Diet Plans
Here are the 10 best diet plans to help you shed weight and improve your health.
1. Vegetarian diets: Vegetarian diets are some of the best for weight loss and sustainability. Not only do they have less calories, but it's easier to maintain a healthy diet when you're limiting animal products. Moreover, these diets typically have less risk of heart disease, cancer, and diabetes. "The best vegetarian diets are those that emphasize eating beans, whole grains, fruits, and vegetables," says Dr. Donald Hensrud, of the Mayo Clinic.
2. Mediterranean diets: The Mediterranean diet includes meals with a high ratio of monounsaturated fats and fish, as well as olive oil — compared to saturated fat from animal products, which is linked to heart disease. "It also emphasizes more plant-based sources of protein," says Marilyn Gentry, PhD and nutrition researcher at Oregon State University in Corvallis. The Mediterranean diet is high in fiber while low in calories -- it can help you feel full faster.
3. Vegan diets: Vegan diets eliminate meat, fish, poultry and all animal by-products — including eggs, butter and even honey. "Vegan diets have become trendy over the last few years," says Gary Fraser, MD, president of the non-profit Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM). "But if you want to lose weight, you want to be sure that your body is getting enough protein." Losing weight is difficult when your body isn't getting the nutrients it needs.
4. Weight Watchers: Weight Watchers has an online community where you can join weigh-ins, weekly chats and other interactive tools with others who are working toward weight loss. You can also follow a program focused on helping you create a personalized at-home lifestyle plan.
5. Low-carbohydrate diets: A low-carbohydrate diet limits carbohydrates to no more than 20 to 50 grams per day, depending on the type of diet, as opposed to the typical 5,000 calories of carbs that are allowed in traditional low-fat or high-carb diets.
6. High protein/high fiber diets: These diets are based on eating at least 80 percent of your calories from protein and fiber, according to PCRM's Gary Fraser. "This helps keep blood sugar and insulin levels under control," he says.
7. High protein/low fat diets: This diet is based on a high intake of protein and moderate to low consumption of fat. It includes milk, yogurt, eggs and dairy products, as well as dairy and soy substitutes.
8. High carbohydrate/high fiber diets: These diets are based on a moderate amount of carbohydrate and high amounts of fiber — typically at least 35 to 60 grams per day in a registered dietitian's recommended amounts. "These diets help stabilize blood sugar levels," Dr. Fraser says.
9. Omega-3 diets: Omega-3 fatty acid supplements have been shown to reduce inflammation, a factor that worsens chronic conditions such as heart disease, diabetes and arthritis.
10. Blood type diets: Blood type diets focus on eating the right foods and avoiding the wrong ones based upon your blood type — whether you are Type A, B or O. While there's little research to back this diet, it might help you feel full longer — and with reduced calories, who doesn't want that?
The real key to weight loss is finding a diet that fits your lifestyle — in fact, 74 percent of dieters who lose weight gain it all back, according to the Centers for Disease Control. So, what diet do you follow? ...