4 Diet Plans That Actually Work

There are a diets everywhere you look, with a new one seemingly popping up from nowhere and taking the country by storm every year, with its promises of quick fixes and revolutionary new approaches.  Wherever you look, from blogs, magazines, websites and social media to celebrity endorsed campaigns and targeted products in the supermarkets, we are bombarded with diets and diet products promising the earth. Some help to shift the pounds in the short term, but finding a diet that works not just for the short term but in the long run too is what matters and this can be tricky.

Getting a personal trainer and nutritionist can be a great idea if you’re really serious about ringing the changes, but if you want a diet plan that actually helps in achieving the desired result, be it health gains, weight loss or overall fitness, you’re definitely reading the right article.

Here are four different diet plans highlighted and explained. This article aims to make choosing a diet plan easier for you. So go ahead and pick a plan based on your preference of food type, health benefit and rankings.

The Mediterranean Diet

The Island of Crete is considered to be the ‘Heart of the Mediterranean Diet’ and most research on this diet is done on this island. Crete is a Greek Island located right in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea. The Mediterranean diet is known to benefit every part of the body and countless studies have shown that people who live on the Island of Crete where this diet is mostly followed have the highest longevity rate in the world and experience rare cases of heart disease.

This diet emphasises;

  • High Fat; with the Mediterranean diet, you don’t need to limit your fat intake, so far as it is extra virgin olive fat.
  • Vegetables and fruits; 9 to 15 servings per day. These vegetables are cooked in a lot of olive oil.
  • Small amounts of animal protein e.g. fish, chicken and meat.
  • Coffee
  • Lots of water
  • Moderate consumption of red wine
  • High consumption of legumes (Lentils and beans)
  • Fresh Herbs
  • A small amount of cheese

The Mediterranean diet can help you manage your weight, fight inflammation, lower the risk of cancer, fights diabetes, helps the heart and increases life span.

In the US News Best Diets Ranking 2019 this diet ranked;

  • 1 in Best diets overall
  • 1 in Best diabetes diets
  • 1 in Best diets for healthy living
  • 1 in Best heart-healthy diets
  • 1 in Best plant-based diets and
  • 1 in Easiest diets to follow.

From the above ranking, you can see why the Mediterranean diet is the top on the list of diets that actually work. This diet is the total package, not only is it all round healthy but it is known to be the most delicious and easy to follow diet plan going too. What’s not to love!

The Flexitarian Diet

This is a plant-based diet that involves meat but in very small ratios. Simply put, it is a semi-vegetarian diet. Just as the name implies, it is a flexible diet that allows you to blend your vegetables and protein, though it leans more towards vegetarianism. But the flexitarian diet gives you the liberty to enjoy animal proteins like meat occasionally.

There are really no hard and fast rules to this diet; the bottom line is to follow your regular vegetarian diet but once in a while, maybe weekly, you can enjoy eating meat.

As a flexitarian, you can have;

  • Vegetables and fruits
  • Eggs
  • Meat, fish, chicken etc.
  • Dairy milk
  • Whole grains etc.

The flexitarian diet helps with weight loss, increases life span, helps to save money, is a realistic food approach, lowers risk of insulin resistance and Type 2 diabetes.

In the US News Best Diets Ranking 2019 this diet ranked;

  • 3 in Best diets overall category
  • 2 in Best diets for diabetes
  • 2 in Easiest diet to follow category.

The DASH Diet

This diet is very similar to the Mediterranean diet and is flexible and balanced. The Dash Diet is often recommended for the control of high blood pressure and is endorsed by the US National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute to stop and minimize hypertension hence, the name Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH).

The diet is focused on;

  • Whole grains
  • Vegetables and fruits
  • Low-fat dairy and lean proteins
  • Limited intake of sugar and sodium

The major benefit of this diet is the control of high blood pressure but it also decreases heart disease risk, may lead to weight loss, lowers diabetes risk and decreases the risk of cancer.

In the US News Best Diets Ranking 2019 this diet ranked;

  • 2 in Best diets overall
  • 2 in Best diets for healthy eating
  • 3 in Best heart-healthy diets and
  • 5 in Easiest diets to follow

The Dash Diet is extremely convenient and safe.

The PALEO DIET

The Paleo diet is also known as the caveman diet. It is generally based on what early man, that is, the hunters and gatherers ate. It is the belief of the evangelists of this type of diet that since early man had lower ill health issues such as heart diseases, obesity, strokes and other health hazards, it must have been because he ate right.  It is therefore wise and important for present-day man to follow the food path of the caveman, or at least something similar.

This diet is focused on;

  • Spices
  • Healthy fats and oils
  • Nuts
  • Seeds
  • Meat, fish
  • Fruits and vegetables
  • Lots of water

The diet kicks against

  • Sugar
  • Legumes
  • Dairy products
  • Grains
  • Processed foods

The diet is known to help with weight loss and overall healthy living.

In the US News Best Diets Ranking 2019 this diet ranked;

  • 33rd (tie) in Best diets overall
  • 31 (tie) in Best weight loss diets
  • 33rd (tie) in Best diabetes diets
  • 37th (tie) in Best heart-healthy diets
  • 30th (tie) in Easiest diets to follow.

Conclusively, the saying “we are what we eat” is a fact. Your wellbeing both physically and mentally is tied to what you eat and drink, it is, therefore, important to eat well and healthily in order to keep fit. Constantly taking in harmful things to your body will inevitably cause damage and most times the repercussions are not evident until it is too late.

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