Recent data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey revealed that almost half of U.S. adults are trying to lose weight. But losing weight has become a tough challenge as the COVID-19 pandemic force people to stay at home. Without the gyms and recreational facilities, people have to limit their activities at home and resist the powerful temptation of our kitchens.
Shedding pounds remains high as many people want to lose weight and improve their health. Some are using the pandemic as an opportunity to exercise and eat healthily. They read health-related articles in online food blogs to get inspiration about losing pounds quicker and easier. But when searching for ways to lose weight, it is easy to get confused and overwhelmed with all the miracle diets posted online.
Besides regular exercise, choosing the best weight-loss diet is the best part of the weight loss management plan. After all, a good diet is the key to good health and a sickness-free lifestyle. With that in mind, this article will discuss the top three best diet plans that will help you shed weight and improve your overall health.
The Mediterranean diet
The Mediterranean diet started in Southern Europe based on the nutritional habits of those who live in Greece, Spain, Italy, and Portugal. Although the diet focuses on lowering risks for heart disease, studies show that it helps in losing weight.
Mediterranean-style diets involve plenty of vegetables, fruits, seeds, whole grains, legumes, and healthy fats such as nuts, olive oil, fish, and seafood. You can eat dairy products (e.g., eggs, cheese, yogurt, and poultry) in moderation but limit red meats to once or twice a week. Meanwhile, the diet restricts processed meats, refined oils, trans fats, added sugar, refined grains, and highly processed foods.
Although this diet is not specifically designed for weight loss, following the diet plan leads to eventual weight loss if you reduce calorie intake to at least 1,500 per day. Studies also found that both versions of the diet (traditional and low-carb) result in five to 10% weight loss within 12 months. Its primary appeal is it’s easy to follow and maintain without eliminating all the delicious foods.
Aside from weight loss, the Mediterranean diet comes with several health benefits by lowering the risks of cognitive decline, chronic disease, and premature death. Since the diet includes antioxidant-rich foods, it neutralizes free radicals in your body, helping combat oxidative stress and inflammation.
The DASH Diet
The DASH Diet, which means dietary approaches to stop hypertension, is a low-sodium eating plan. It is designed to help people control and treat their high blood pressure or hypertension without medications. Like the Mediterranean diet, it was initially used to lower the risk of heart disease and high blood pressure until experts discovered its amazing ability in shedding weight.
The DASH diet consistently ranks high as the best diet plan in America and the leading diet recommended by most doctors. A study by the American Heart Association also reveals that the DASH diet helps in reducing weight when combined with exercise.
The DASH diet includes a variety of delicious and nutritious antioxidant-rich foods that will reduce hypertension and decrease triglyceride levels and enhance insulin sensitivity. The diet emphasizes whole grains, fruits, vegetables, low-fat or non-fat dairy, lean meats, and healthy fats (e.g., avocado, nuts, extra-virgin olive oil). Sweets are also included but are only limited to sugar-free candies and artificial sweeteners.
The diet works for weight loss by observing its heart-healthy rules and restricting calorie intake. If you apply a calorie-limited plan that involves a high-fiber diet, you will certainly notice its amazing results.
WW (Weight Watchers)
Formerly called Weight Watchers, the WW diet is one of the most popular weight loss plans globally. Although it doesn’t entirely restrict all food groups, advocates of the WW program follow a diet plan according to a certain number of points to attain their ideal weight.
WW involves a point-based system based on protein, calories, sugar, and saturated fat. You can try whatever food you want as long as you eat within a specific range. Foods with unlimited 0-point include lean fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and chicken breasts.
The diet is easy to follow since it allows flexibility on your diet plan. This is very helpful for those with dietary restrictions and food allergies.
When choosing a diet plan, it’s important to choose the well-researched ones instead of what your favorite celebrity is eating. While all diets we suggested are effective, choose the one that’s appropriate for your lifestyle, health, and food preferences. You can also consult a dietitian to know the perfect diet plan for your situation.