What’s the Best Diet for Weight Loss?
New diets come out all the time. Some of them are fads, many seem to have studies attached to them. If you’re like most people, you might wonder if someone finally actually has unlocked the secret to effective, easy to maintain weight loss. At F.I.T., we don’t believe in fads. We have proven success helping our members get in the best shape of their lives. Part of doing so involves knowing the truth about nutrition. Here’s a breakdown of 20 of the most popular diets.
Some diets are hard to stick to. They make big promises, and while you might lose weight, they aren’t based on healthy eating. Here are a few of the ones to avoid:
The Atkins Diet — Carbs are bad, but you can eat all the protein and fat you want. Many fruits and vegetables are to be avoided.
- Perricone Diet — This diet is supposed to be anti-inflammatory. It cuts out bread, sugar, potatoes and other foods. The ADA says the quantities, portions and nutritional advice of this diet go against what science proves is healthy eating.
- LA Weight Loss — This program offers support groups, which is nice, but the whole diet is based on buying the program’s products. They’re expensive and the success of their supplements isn’t backed by any clinical evidence.
- Raw Food Diet — Like the name implies, most of what you can eat on this diet is raw fruits and vegetables. Those are good for you, but it requires large amounts of food prep and is difficult for people who don’t stay constantly within reach of the refrigerator.
- The Belly Fat Cure — This one says you can eat as many calories as you want, just stay away from carbs.
Short Term Diets
If you’re looking for a quick jump-start, these aren’t a bad way to go.
- Body for Life — This program pushes its own expensive supplements and includes strenuous daily workouts. While we’re all for exercise to get in shape, the food choices are limited, so this plan would be difficult in the long-term.
- Nutri-System — Everyone has seen commercials for this program. Their pre-packaged foods are convenient but expensive.
- Jenny Craig — This one has been around for a long time. They also sell pre-packaged foods. A clinical study does support weight loss from following the program.
- Diet Solution — Diet advocates say everyone has their own metabolic type, so people need a customized plan. That theory hasn’t been proven by science or medicine, but the diet does advocate healthy food choices.
- Skinny Vegan — Eating fresh whole foods typically does lead to weight loss, but this plan is too restrictive for most. Long-term you will need nutritional supplementation to make up for what the plan lacks.
Not Bad Diets
These diets pretty much offer balanced nutrition and are based on healthy eating principles. For some people they’re the answer. For others they aren’t sustainable long term.
- Slim Fast — Replace two meals a day for Slim Fast shakes for simplified portion control. The shakes are affordable for most people, but may get old.
- The Zone — This plan focuses on fruits, vegetables, lean protein and whole grains. We like it.
- Biggest Loser Diet — If you’ve ever watched the show you know this one involves daily exercise, smaller more frequent meals and no refined flour or sugar. Not everyone can commit to working out every day, but the basic plan is sound.
- Volumetrics — If you crave that full feeling, this diet allows you to eat large quantities of food rich in water and fiber. It’s basically healthy eating, but some people have to eat constantly to feel satisfied since the foods are so low in calories.
- New South Beach — The original South Beach Diet was more restrictive when it came to fruit and some vegetables. The revised version advocates protein, leafy greens and whole grains.
If you want to lose weight, you have to burn more calories than you take in. And you have to do that day after day. The best diets focus on balanced nutrition and healthy physical activity.
- Eat Clean Diet — Basically shop on the outside of the supermarket. If it doesn’t go bad, don’t eat it. That means lots of fruits, vegetables, eggs, fish and meat.
- Best Life Diet — Oprah loves this diet because it’s sustainable and based on healthy eating choices. It involves steady weight loss through solid nutritional changes.
- Mayo Clinic Diet — Avoid foods with a high glycemic index and choose lean protein, complex carbs and every color vegetable.
What about you? What diets have you tried? Which ones worked and which ones didn’t? Share in the comments.