How to Choose the Best Diet Plan

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“Can I lose weight fast?” We have been hearing this question from a large number of people every day. Even though there are a large number of best diet plans available, choosing the best one for you is quite difficult. There is no one-size-fits-all kind of diet plan meant for everyone. So you have to choose a plan that suits you best and get maximum results from it.

How to choose the best diet plan

Before starting the process of choosing the best diet plan for you, you must ask yourself some important questions.

Is the plan good for the long term? 

You can find many diet plans available in the market that claim to promote weight loss effectively. The plan best suited for you should not cause you stress and torture. You need to ask yourself this question: ” Does this does diet plan guidelines make me happy? Worried? or Stressed?

Can these guidelines be followed in the long run? Before choosing a diet plan that is suitable for you, consider factors like flexibility, enjoyment, and longevity. Many diet plans promote quick weight loss, but these can be a problem for health in the long term.

Some diet plans that follow extreme diet changes to achieve weight loss are also not sustainable. People following such extreme diet changes often end up overeating or binge eating when hungry. Diet plan should be such that it can be followed for a long time and not just for 30 or 60 days only. 

Diet plan with a focus on overall health

Some diet plans are made with a focus on specific areas of health, like MIND and DASH diets. If you also happen to lose weight with these, it could be a bonus.

Most of the diet plans are created only for weight loss as their focus. While choosing a diet plan, we have to keep in mind to choose a plan that is best for us and not that worked for any friend or family.

Each individual is unique and has different health and lifestyle and so the diet plan should be according to these factors only. Choose a diet plan that includes all kinds of nutrients and does not cut any important nutrients as this could lead to problems.

For example, people with type 1 diabetes should not go for a low-carb diet and feeding mothers should not follow any restrictive diet plan. Choose the diet plan that focuses on the overall health of the individual body.

Safe to Follow Diet Approach

Before choosing a diet plan, ensure that it has been studied widely for safety. Before following a new diet discuss diet changes with your dietitian and make sure it is according to your own choices and values. If you do not like to eat meat, the paleo diet plan is not meant for you.

Following this diet plan will result in only frustration. Choose the diet plan that is made according to your lifestyle and it is safe to give you the best results.

We are discussing here some of the best diet plans available that are proven for the best results. Read about these for all the information so you can choose the best suited for you, without any confusion.

WW Diet (Earlier known as Weight Watchers)

Weight Watchers International announced that they would be changing their name to WW. Many people called it their rebranding strategy. WW wanted to show that their diet plan is not just about eating and lifestyle, it was more towards overall wellness than just losing weight.

The organization was founded in 960s by Jean Nidetch and prominent people like Oprah Winfrey has been their follower. This diet plan has gone many changes and their latest version WW Freestyle was announced in December 2017.

The plan offers Green, Blue and Purple guides with some SmartPoints budget to spend on foods like vegetables, fruits, tofu, beans, and poultry, that are included in their plan. These guides are based on some great research and propose some long-lasting changes.

South Beach Diet

A three-phase low-carb diet was created by Arthur Agatston in 2003, which comprises of 3 phases. Phase 1 is most prohibitive and it limits the intake of carbs like potatoes and rice.

The next phases are a little easier as the diet allows the use of lean protein unsaturated fats and low-glycemic carbohydrates. Mayo Clinic also supports the South beach diet as it promotes permanent lifestyle changes.

Journal of Nutrition and Disease concluded that people who went through the first two phases of this diet saw notable weight loss. They also saw some changes in hunger hormones due to higher hunger times in the diet.

As this is also a low-carb diet, it is not suitable for children, lactating mothers, and pregnant women.

Pescatarian Diet

The vegans or vegetarians who also eat fish are called Pescatarians. For these people, fish is the main source of protein and it provides them with many benefits like lower risk of heart attacks and stroke.

Flexitarian Diet

A more flexible vegetarian diet is the Flexitarian diet which allows the consumption of meat also along with whole grains, nuts, plant foods, etc. This diet is simpler and easy to follow as it does not limit food choices as a vegan or vegetarian diet does.

This diet plan also reduces the risk of deficiency of those nutrients that are available in meat. Though there is not a lot of research available on this diet, being majorly a plant-based diet, it is seen that people following this diet tend to weigh 15% less and have a lower risk of heart disease than those who eat meat.

Mediterranean Diet

Mediterranean diet is based on the eating styles of people living in the Mediterranean region. This diet does not restrict anything and thus is sustainable and shows long term benefits. Mediterranean diet not only includes fruits, vegetables, fish, olive oil, legumes but also a medium amount of dairy and red wine. According to the New England Journal of Medicine, this diet helps in weight loss and reduces the risk of diseases like diabetes, heart problems, and even Alzheimer’s disease.

Whole30 Diet

Another moderately restrictive diet plan is Whole30 in which the users have to limit the consumption of grains, dairy, sugar, and legume for the first 30 days. The main aim of this diet is to make your body ready for the dietary habits are useful for weight loss.

Where, limiting sugar and alcohol may be beneficial, but other food limitations can lead to nutritional deficiencies. The Whole30 diet restricts the use of whole grains and legumes that are rich in fiber and micro nutrients and helpful in reducing the risk of heart diseases. 

Mayo Clinic Diet

The Mayo Clinic diet is a reliable way to lose weight and adopt a healthy lifestyle. This diet plan creates a food pyramid for its users to show them which foods to eat more and which ones to restrict.

The food pyramid advice to eat more fruits and vegetables and lesser carbs and healthy fats.

Anti-Inflammatory Diet

This diet is not developed for weight loss only, but, being rich in whole foods fruits and vegetables and restrictive on packaged and processed foods, it can be helpful to lose some extra body fat.

This diet plan is usually followed to limit or cure chronic diseases like diabetes, arthritis, depression, and cancer, etc. There has been a lot of research on this diet and the benefits that arise from following it.

This diet is fairly simple as it does not focus on calories or any kind of specific rules to follow, but on the quality of food that you eat.

Low-FODMAP Diet

Low-FODMAP diet is suitable for people suffering from irritable bowel syndrome(IBS) as it restricts the use of fermentable oligosaccharides, disaccharides, monosaccharides, and polyols or FODMAPs.

These are certain types of carbs that are difficult to absorb by our gut and so they can stimulate the IBS symptoms.

Eat to Live Diet

The Eat to live diet plan is different from commercial diet plans as it does not advocate any specific brand for food and does not focus on counting calories like some fad diets.

This diet focuses more on the body signals for when to stop eating that what to eat. Thus, eat to live diet is a simple yet sustainable way for a healthy life and achieve weight loss.

Satiating Diet

Like an intuitive diet, this kind of diet is also not strict and it supports eating whole foods like apples, oatmeal, and salads. When you eat food that is rich in fiber, proteins and fat, you feel full faster and so overeating does not happen. It gives more emphasis on eating whole foods over packaged foods.

A study was done on obese people who were given a satiating diet lost more fat and weight than people on a high-carb diet.

Volumetrics Diet

The volumetrics diet is also similar to a satiating diet. This diet gives priority to the whole, energy-dense food like lean meats, fruits, whole grains, beans, and legumes.

According to this diet’s creator Barbara J. Rolls, PhD, and some research to back her finding, the volumetrics diet can very well help in managing weight.

Diet Fads to Think Twice About Before Trying

Military Diet

It is a dangerously fast weight loss plan that claims a 4 to 5 kgs weight loss in just one week. In this diet, the foods are low calorie and oddly paired like bun-less hot dogs with banana and broccoli. It limits the calorie intake at a very low level and also restricts more than one food group.

For this reason, this diet plan can also put you at risk of nutrient deficiency, which could be more harmful than the extra weight.

Though this diet is less harmful than other fad diets, it can still lead to binge eating or other eating pattern disorders.

Apple Cider Vinegar Diet

This diet plan is becoming very popular and its users believe that consuming apple cider vinegar helps to lose weight and also control blood sugar. Some studies have shown the benefit of apple cider vinegar in diet, but these studies do not show relate weight loss and consuming apple cider vinegar daily.

Being highly acidic and it can also cause irritation if consumed without diluting or in a large amount. ACV has many uses and it has some side effects too. It cannot replace the medications for blood pressure and diabetes.

Cabbage Soup Diet

This diet involves eating only cabbage soup thrice daily with some foods on some days of the diet. For example, on one day you can eat fruits except for banana and on other day low-carb vegetables but no fruit. Some users have seen a loss of 4 to 5 kg in just 7 days.

There are no studies to support these claims so possibly you may put up more weight than lost when returning to normal eating habits.

Dukan Diet

Dukan Diet is a high protein diet that was developed by Dr. Pierre Dukan, MD. Its users claim to lose up to 5 kg within the first week. This is a strict diet plan made up of four phases with rigid rules.

The first phase is the “Attack Phase” which allows the consumption of only protein-rich foods like beef, eggs, and chicken. In the last phase, you have to eat 3 tablespoons of oat bran with pure protein one day a week. As this is a high-protein diet, it should be avoided by people with kidney problems and can lead to nutritional deficiencies.

HCG Diet

Human Chorionic Gonadotropin or HCG is a hormone produced in the body during pregnancy by the placenta. It is also prescribed for fertility issues. The hormone has also become popular as a weight-loss supplement.

The U.S FDA states that the purchase of this supplement is illegal and its consumption as such is dangerous. Researchers have widely criticized this diet which involves hCG in the form of injections, sprays or pills with an in-take of 500 calories only.

This diet can be problematic due to many reasons like lack of research to back it and low-calorie intake, it can also lead to many nutrient deficiencies, hormonal imbalance, fatigue, and blood clots. Experts from Mayo Clinic strongly agree that this diet is unsafe for everyone.

Body Detoxes and Cleansing

Detoxes and Cleansing can be or various types like just-tea or just juice diet. These are short term plans and can be quite dangerous as these are low-calorie and nutrient deficient.

Our body does not get the required nutrients and can feel hungry. This diet can also cause binge eating and weight gain once detox is stopped. Researchers say that a healthy body can easily detox itself and so are not in favor of such short term detox and cleansing plans.

Alkaline Diet

The concept behind this diet is to control the pH of the body with the food we eat. The users are asked to limit acid-forming foods like red meat and wheat products. Our body can regulate its pH on its own with whole foods, fruits, and vegetables and keeps healthy, so eating alkaline foods cannot change that.

There is no study based evidence about this diet, so when people are too limiting or obsessive about food choices like drinking baking soda, it can be quite dangerous. This diet is low on calcium and potassium and is not suitable for people with kidney or heart problems.

Blood Type Diet

Also known as the “Eat Right 4 Your Type” diet, this focuses on eating style based on your blood group. For an “O” blood group this diet advice to eat more fish, lean meat, and poultry. for better digestion. Blood type “B” people should cut down wheat, lentils, tomatoes, and peanuts, etc.

This diet claims that users will have better digestion and absorption of foods, but there are no studies behind these claims.

Being restrictive in nature, this diet can also lead to nutritional deficiencies.

CICO Diet

CICO stands for calories in, calories out diet is getting popular on social media as a simple and straight forward method. It simply asks to burn more calories and consume fewer calories to lose weight.

There is no research for this specific diet and it does not specify which foods to eat and which ones to avoid. Experts advise consulting the doctor before trying this diet.

The Body Reset Diet

Just like the CICO diet, the Body Reset is also popular on social media but lacks any research to show its benefits and effectiveness. This plan is a three-phase liquid diet consisting of smoothies with light exercise.

Experts claim that it can help in weight loss, but it is difficult to stick to this diet. Also, this diet may not be suitable for people with heart problems and diabetes.

The Carnivore Diet

This is an extreme diet fad that is made for people who like to eat meat and want to lose weight. Its proponents have also made large claims that you may be tempted to try this diet.

Its users claim that eating only meat can cure you of autoimmune diseases, but there is no research or study to support this or other claims.

As this diet restricts to only eating meat and omitting fruits and vegetables, it can lead to many side effects like constipation and nutrient deficiencies. Without any possibly known benefits, it is not advisable to try this diet with the consultation of a doctor.

Boiled Egg Diet

If you like eating eggs, you can try a diet that is based on eating eggs every day. This diet has many versions from being restrictive to being flexible with eating eggs and grapefruit. The popular version suggests eating 2 to 3 boiled eggs per day.

A famous magazine Vogue Italia reported that actress Nicole Kidman followed this diet during one of her films. Its diet is not suitable for long-term health and weight loss goals as it allows eating foods along with boiled eggs.

Optavia Diet

Earlier known as MediFast, this is a popular eating plan that comes with prepackaged meals. As per the Optavia website, they offer 3 meal plans to lose and maintain weight. Proposers of Optimal 5&1 plan claim that it can help to lose about 6 kg weight in 12 weeks.

Dietitians dispute this diet as there is no precise research regarding this and also this diet does not train people for long term change of food habits and lifestyle.

Lectin-Free Diet

This diet plan was popularized by Dr. Steven Gundry who is the author of The Plant Paradox: The Hidden Dangers in “Healthy” Foods That Cause Disease and Weight Gain. Lectins are found in legumes, beans, nightshades, and nuts. Followers of this diet are of the view that lectins can cause inflammation, gastric issues, and weight gain.

Experts are of the view that due to less research on its benefits, and eliminating lectins may not be good for health.

Candida Diet

The advocates of this diet claim that it can “balance” the gut by eliminating extra yeast. There is less research available about the Candida diet to support its claim to treat yeast infections or thrush which are caused by the overgrowth of the fungus Candida. Experts attribute the symptoms to control this overgrowth may be the effect of your eating habits.

Body Type Diet

This diet as the name says, your body type determines the diet and exercise plan for optimum health and weight. It classifies the body types into 3 categories called ectomorphs, mesomorphs, and endomorphs. Each body type is then suggested specific eating and fitness routine to follow.

The major limitation of this diet is that there is no research to back this diet and so a doctor consultation is necessary before trying this diet.