5 Best Diets to Lose Weight

best diets for weight loss

One of the most important aspects of losing weight is having the right mindset to initiate lifestyle changes that center on the reduction of calorie consumption. If we can will ourselves to reduce the amount of calories that we consume on a daily basis, there is a very strong chance that you will be losing weight in the long run. But, there has always been an issue as to what constitutes the ideal weight loss diet. Is it the elimination of carbohydrates? Will the total removal of fats from the diet solve it? How about an all-protein diet sans the carbs and fats? Will that work? Unfortunately, no single diet plan works for everyone because there are other individual factors to be considered. That is why it is very important to understand your very own unique characteristics in the determination of which diet program you should take. Nevertheless, here are the 5 best diets to lose weight that you simply need to be aware of. These are listed in no particular order.

Weight Watchers Diet

When the Weight Watchers Diet Program was finally launched towards the later part of 2015, there were a lot of skepticisms on whether the principles of the program will ever work in the real world. You see, the program was based on the premise that you need to lose weight while leading a healthier life. For many, this line of thinking is already passé since all clients of previous weight loss programs were always advised on leading healthier lives in addition to losing weight. However, more than a year since its inception, success stories have begun flooding social media circles and wellness and fitness blogs and circuits exalting the effectiveness of the Weight Watchers Diet in losing weight.

Weight Loss Goal: At least 2 pounds per week

How Does it Work? 

The idea behind Weight Watchers Diet is based on a calorie-controlled diet to encourage long-term behavioral change. Each food and beverage is given a particular SmartPoints value based on its nutritional profile. Foods that are high in saturated fat as well as sugar, are filled with empty calories, have very low protein content, and make you hungry a lot faster have typically higher SmartPoints values. Conversely, foods that make you feel full a lot longer, are rich in proteins, and are considered to be energy-dense typically have lower SmartPoint values.

At the beginning of each day, you are given a certain amount of SmartPoints which you then use to “purchase” your way to the foods that you like. There are no prohibitions on the food and beverage choices. Everything depends on how you use those SmartPoints. Additionally, you are given SmartPoints safety net every week which you can use on those occasions when you feel like treating yourself to some of the good stuff.  Furthermore, you are provided with an individualized exercise plan to help you make the most out of your weight loss program.

One of the highlights of the Weight Watchers Diet is that it gives you access to weekly meetings to provide you with the much-needed social support from individuals who have already found success with the diet program. It’s like having a personal trainer guide you through the process of becoming successful in losing weight. Additionally, there are regular weigh-ins that are conducted in confidence so you’ll get the kind of motivation you require to persevere in your weight loss goals.

Pros

  • Easy-to-follow SmartPoints system
  • You eat what you want; no food restrictions
  • Availability of safety net SmartPoints

Cons

  • Can be quite expensive
  • May need some getting used to

Volumetrics Diet

The Volumetrics Diet is based on the premise that we eat, more or less, the same amount of food in weight every day. In other words, our digestive system is inherently designed to accommodate only up to a certain volume of food. Once the predetermined volume has been reached, it can be said that our body has already reached a certain state of “fullness”. Many experts argue that the Volumetrics Diet is not actually a structured diet program but rather a unique approach to eating wherein the idea is to meet the required volume of food that our body needs but using only foods that have low energy density.

Weight Loss Goal: At least 2 pounds per week. 

How Does it Work? 

The basic premise of the Volumetrics Diet is to focus on food items that have lesser energy density. The key is to consume low calorie but high volume foods. Consuming more of these foods will lead you to consume fewer calories.

 The Volumetrics Diet divides foods into four groups.

  • Category I – These are very low density energy foods that include broth-based soups, non-fat milk, and non-starchy vegetables and fruits.
  • Category II – These are low density energy foods that include starchy vegetables and fruits, breakfast cereals, legumes, grains, low-fat meat, and low-fat dishes.
  • Category III – These are medium-density energy foods that include cheese French fries, meat, ice cream, salad dressing, pizza, bread, cake, and pretzels.
  • Category IV – These are high density energy foods that include nuts, cookies, chocolate candies, crackers, oil, butter, and chips.

There are no strict rules as to what you can eat. You can essentially substitute a Category IV food item with a Category I food. The main thing to remember is that volume counts. So, if you eat a cup of a Category I food, this should not be taken as similar in the amount of calories of a cup of a Category IV food.  For greater success, it is recommended that foods that have high water content such as fruits, yogurt, and soups be made an integral part of your daily diet.

Pros 

  • Makes you feel full faster
  • No restrictions on food intake

Cons 

  • Requires time to prepare meals
  • Not a good idea for individuals who dislike soups, fruits, and vegetables103 

Jenny Craig Diet

If you’re willing to pay for a really customized diet plan that takes into consideration your physical and physiologic attributes include your current weight, health and fitness habits, and your level of motivation to lose weight, then the Jenny Craig Diet may be for you. For the skeptics, recent meta-analyses of existing literature comparing commercially available weight loss program showed that individuals who took a Jenny Craig Diet lost more weight than any other type of commercially available diet plan including Weight Watchers, Medifast, and Nutrisystem. Other studies support the clinical effectiveness of the Jenny Craig Diet in losing weight.

Weight Loss Goal: At least 2 pounds per week 

How Does it Work? 

The success of the Jenny Craig Diet lies on the restriction of three fundamental elements: calories, fats, and portions. In addition to the restrictions placed on these three aspects, Jenny Craig also emphasizes the need for healthier eating habits, a more active lifestyle, and sensible modification of behavior. All of these are heavily personalized and are greatly dependent on your existing weight issues including personality characteristics especially the strength of your motivation to lose weight. You will receive your very own personalized meals as well as an exercise plan. Every week, you will be meeting with a consultant from Jenny Craig for an individualized counseling session.

This is one of the major appeals of the Jenny Craig Diet. Unlike other diet programs where you will only be given instructions on how to choose the foods that you have to eat and avoid, Jenny Craig goes a step further by creating a meal plan specifically for your needs. Additionally, they are the ones who will be preparing the meal for you and have it delivered right to your home. The diet typically ranges between 1,200 and 2,300 calories per day, depending on existing personal physiologic parameters.

The diet occurs in stages. Halfway through the achievement of your weight loss goal, you will begin preparing and cooking your own meals but only for two days every week. You will be using the recipes and food preparation strategies designed by Jenny Craig. Upon achievement of your weight loss goals, you will be slowly transitioning into making your own meals. Monthly consultations will be marked with continuing education on the prevention of weight regain including stress management and exercise.

Pros

  • It’s one of the easiest diet plans as professionals plan it for you
  • The correct meals are delivered right to your doorstep

Cons

  • Very expensive
  • Dining in restaurants or even cooking your own food are strict no-nos 

Mayo Clinic Diet

One of the more popular weight loss diet programs is the Mayo Clinic Diet. Since it is developed by a renowned health organization, the Mayo Clinic, this diet is largely regarded for its high potential for superb weight maintenance and weight loss. The Mayo Clinic Diet has some semblance to the principles of the Volumetric Diet whereby low density energy foods are an absolute must in losing weight. However, instead of categorizing foods according to their energy density, Mayo Clinic devised its own food pyramid to serve as guide to those who are interested in losing weight.

Weight Loss Goal: 6 to 10 pounds in first 2 weeks; additional 1-2 pounds succeeding weeks 

How Does it Work? 

Mayo Clinic’s food pyramid emphasizes whole grains, vegetables, and fruits that contain fewer calories per unit weight. These food items allow you to eat more of them without necessarily spiking your calorie intake. Because of the increased bulk in the digestive tract, you will feel full a lot faster and longer. The whole program consists of two parts. The first phase of the program lasts 2 weeks and focuses mainly on the development of 15 key habits wherein you will be asked to ditch some while adding others into your lifestyle. After the first 2 weeks, you will begin the second phase which typically focuses on learning how to count calories and determining the correct amounts to either lose weight or to maintain your preferred weight.

Pros

  • Provides a nutritionally sound diet
  • You can shape your own diet

Cons 

  • Involves grunt work; lots of it
  • A bit expensive

Biggest Loser Diet

We are all familiar with the reality TV show “The Biggest Loser”. Well, there’s a diet program that is aptly named as such. The Biggest Loser Diet entails a full 6 weeks of eating nothing less than healthy servings of solid nutrition couples with regular exercise. The program was designed not only as an effective weight loss regimen but also as a potential preventative for a variety of health conditions like diabetes mellitus, Alzheimer’s disease, and dementia. The program is also known to reduce the risk of developing certain cancers while improving the functioning of the immune system. The functioning of the cardiovascular system is also optimized.

Weight Loss Goal: At least 30 percent from starting weight 

How Does it Work? 

The focus of the Biggest Loser Diet is on the satiating effects of vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and lean proteins without necessarily racking up on calories. The diet also calls for a more effective portion control and the necessity of complementing dietary efforts with an increase in physical activity through exercises. It makes perfect sense since the idea is to stimulate satiety or the sensation of fullness without increasing the number of calories consumed. The principles are essentially the same with the Volumetric and Mayo Clinic Diets whereby low density energy foods are preferred over those that provide high density energy for every unit of weight. The Biggest Loser diet calls for 4 servings of vegetables and fruits, 3 servings of proteins, 2 servings of whole grains, and a serving of extras that should never go beyond 200 calories every day. The diet program also calls for learning how to control serving portions as well as the timing of feeding. Calculating one’s calorie allowance is also a must.

Pros 

  • Superb nutritional profile
  • No dietary restrictions involved

Cons 

  • A bit tedious
  • Somewhat expensive

These are just 5 of the best diets to lose weight and there are many more. The whole idea is to reduce the overall consumption of calories while also revving up on one’s physical activities.

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