Every year at the beginning of the year, millions of adults attempt to lose weight. However with a plethora of weight loss regimens available, people are wondering which one is best to follow and meet their needs. This article presents five recommended weight loss regimens that have been rated by the US News and World Report on a scale of 1-5 with 1 the highest ranking. These regimens may be followed at home or via the internet. There is no cost to these plans. These weight loss regimes are evidence based shown to be safe providing positive results.
Mediterranean Diet. This diet is not a single diet but rather an eating pattern that takes inspiration from the diet of the Southern European Countries. This diet has been ranked #1 healthiest diet by the US News and World Report.There is an on emphasis vegetables and fruits (plant foods), olive oil, fish, poultry, beans and grains. Studies suggest that people who live in the Southern European areas following the Mediterranean diet have lower risk of various diseases, including obesity, diabetes, cancer, and cardiovascular disease. This population is more likely to enjoy life that people living in other regions. The diet is not specifically designed for weight loss. However many studies demonstrate that following the Mediterranean regimen leads to weight loss when paired with physical activity and calorie restriction.
The Dash Diet. The DASH diet is an acronym for Dietary Approaches to stop Hypertension. The diet is ranked the one of the healthiest diet by the expert panel of physicians assembled by US News and World Report. This diet has been ranked #2 by US News and World Report. The DASH Diet along with the Mediterranean diet are proven to improve health, have balance of healthy food groups, and actually produces positive results. The DASH diet is proven to lower blood pressure and cholesterol. It is also associated with lower risk of several types of cancer, heart disease, stroke and heart failure. This diet also slows the progression of kidney disease. Studies released in 2018 show that the diet is associated with reduced depression risk in addition to lowering blood pressure. A book that combines the 2 healthiest diets called The DASH Mediterranean Solution. There are several books published on the DASH however this is the newest and an updated version of the dietary regimens. Both the Mediterranean and DASH diet are plant focused diets rich in vegetables and fruits, nuts, low fat and non-fat dairy, lean meats, fish, and poultry and mostly whole grain and heart healthy foods. The participant of this combination diet fills up in delicious vegetables and fruits paired with protein – rich foods to quench hunger.
The Flexitarian Diet. A Registered and Licensed Dietitian created the Flexitarian diet. The majority of the meals are plant based but meat, dairy and eggs may be incorporated from time to time. The focus of this diet is on what to “include” rather than “exclude” with the overall goal of eating more plant based food and less meat. This way of eating prioritizes consuming whole foods, with meats and other animal products added in moderation. The protein food is not the focal point of a meal. Following a Flexitarian diet is less of a “diet” and more of a “lifestyle”. The underlying goal of a flexitarian diet is simple: eat more natural and minimally processed foods. The health benefits gained with a flexitarian diet helps lower blood pressure and reduce the risk of Type 2 diabetes. The diet works by filling the plate with more vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and plant proteins and sticking with a low cal plan, you can lose weight and improve health.
The Mayo Clinic Diet. Weight loss and a healthier lifestyle go hand in hand with the Mayo Clinic Diet. The diet recalibrates eating habits , breaking bad ones and replacing them with goods ones with the help of the Mayo Clinic food pyramid. The pyramid emphasizes fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. These good have a low energy density meaning you can more taking in fewer calories. There are two phases to the Mayo Clinic Diet. The “Lose It” phase is a 2 week phase designed to jump start weight loss so that a weight loss of 6-10# is achieved in a safe and healthy way. In this phase participants focus on lifestyle habits associated with wight. Participants need to add five healthy habits while at the same time breaking five unhealthy habits. This phase produces quick results, a psychological boast, and starts practicing important habits carried into the next phase of the diet. The “Live It” phase is lifelong approach to diet and healthy. In this phase the participant learns more about food choices, portion sizes, menu planning, exercising and sticking to healthy habits. A 1-2#/week weight loss occurs until the weight goal is achieved. This phase helps to maintain goal weight permanently. The Mayo Clinic diet is nutritionally sound and shapes the diet. However the diet involves lots grunt work.
Volumetric Diet. What if you could eat a lot and still lose weight? The Volumetric diet created by a Penn state Professor(PhD) allows participants to do jut that eat a lot. Unlike diets that are based on deprivation, the volumetric diet helps people find healthy food that they can eat lots of while still losing weight. The hook of the volumetric diet is feeling full. The creator of the diet says that people feel full because of the type and amount food they eat, not because of the number of calories or grams of fat, protein, or carbs. The trick of this diet is to fill up on the right food that give a feeling of fullness for fewer calories. The meal pattern is 3 meals, 2 snacks, and 1 dessert each day. The foods are divided into 4 categories. The top category is the fruits and vegetables chosen to provide satiety. This encourages participants to eat foods with a lot of volume such as leafy vegetables, foods like cucumbers that are mostly water or clear soups with vegetables. This meal plan requires the participant to be willing to cook food and eat at home. The fast food places and restaurants are not able to accommodate the food required on this meal plan.
Participants looking for a weight loss regimen need to be realistic. Also other healthy habits such as regular physical activity, portion control, and mindful eating must be incorporated to maximize weight loss and improve overall health. If there are other underlying health conditions or medications, a trusted health provider needs to be consulted.
Mary Anne Chadbourne