If you are human, then you must have been on a diet or seen someone on one in your lifetime. We people are obsessed with weight loss for a reason. Apart from the health benefits some of its other advantages are: it makes us look good, gives us greater confidence, decreases stress, improves energy and sex life, etc. However, with the plethora of different workable diets floating around, it sometimes gets difficult to pick the one that suits your body type the best.
So, instead of suggesting a particular diet to you, we would like to tell you the benefits of different popular diets and let you decide the one that best suits you.
1. Mediterranean diet
U.S. News & World Report, the global authority in rankings and consumer advice in its annual assessment of the year’s Best Diets ranked Mediterranean Diet as a Best Diet Overall, along with the DASH Diet.
Curious to know more. Read on.
The Mediterranean Diet is named after the eating habits of the people living in Mediterranean countries. However, it is not restricted to these nations but applicable to anyone, anywhere. More than a way to lose weight, this diet is considered as a lifestyle and referred to as the heart-healthy eating plan.
What is a Mediterranean diet?
Also known as the heart-healthy plan, this diet is a combination of foods that incorporates the basics of healthy eating. Hence, it is high in fruits and vegetables, nuts, whole grains, olive oil and lean sources of animal protein. If the other diets take you off oil and alcohol from the meal plan, the Mediterranean diet allows a splatter of olive oil and a glass of red wine per day to dieters. But, to eat all this, you need to cut down on red meat and other saturated fats, lower the intake of processed foods and refined sugars. So, keep away from packaged food and desserts, unless made of natural sugar.
By including the healthy essentials, this diet opts to give good fat that helps reduces LDL cholesterol as against bad fat. In nuts, it offers Omega-3 fatty acids, therefore, for between snack meals you can keep a mix of almonds, pistachios and walnuts. Being from the Mediterranean, nutritious dips like Tahini and Hummus are included in this diet too. Another, positive of this diet is that carbs, a source of energy to the body too is a part of it but in the form of whole grains. So, consume a decent portion of whole-wheat bread, quinoa pasta, or sprouted or fermented grains when following the Mediterranean diet.
As per research, this type of diet assists in better health and longevity. It helps in-
- Healthy weight loss
- Reduces the risk of stroke and heart disease
- Decreases the chances of type-2 diabetes, obesity, dementia,
- Lessens the possibility of depression, Alzheimer and Parkinson
- Low intake of calcium
- Does not mention food quantity so be careful of food intake
- Be mindful of the Wine and Fats
2. Military Diet
A Military diet is also known as a 3-day diet plan is a fast way of losing up to 10 pounds in a week. So, if you have a special occasion or a big day coming up, following this diet will help you lose quick pounds. The military diet is popular amongst models, stage performers and is also followed by some celebrities. Though not proven, it is believed that this diet was started by the U.S. Army for people to lose weight fast and also, for those who wished to join the services but weren’t in good shape.
What is a Military Diet?
Military diet is a food restriction diet that reduces the calorie intake of the body for three days. This diet has a strict meal plan that needs to be followed for the prescribed days and is suitable for vegans, vegetarians and non-vegetarians. The good thing about this meal plan is it offers food substitutes as long as have the same amount of calories and proteins as the eliminated food. Though known as a three-day cash diet plan, it goes on for a week. However, the next four days or the ‘off’ days are less strict with only restrained of 1,500 calories a day. Though, eating healthy is recommended on those days as well.
It also encourages to drink a lot of water for two reasons, it keeps you full and supports in fat loss and flushes out toxins. Similar to other popular diets, colas-diet or otherwise and even artificial sweeteners used in beverages are a big no in this diet.
- Offers result fast
- Easy to follow and make
- Inexpensive diet to follow
- Exercise not necessary
- Unhealthy weight loss regime-Restricts calorie intake to 800–1,100 calories per day
- Nutritionally unbalanced
- Only reduces water weight so easy to get back to the weight lost
- No sustenance
- Very strict diet
- No drinks except water black coffee, and unsweetened tea
3. Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) Diet
Along with the Mediterranean Diet, DASH Diet was rated as the Best Diet Overall in the recent annual report of U.S. News & World Report. The DASH diet recommends healthy dietary changes to treat and prevent high blood pressure (hypertension). This diet is designed to stay fit and have a nutritious life, unlike some other diets that concentrate on weight loss.
This specific diet plan was developed post a research sponsored by the US National Institutes of Health, Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension. The results of the study were astonishing as it showed that even with a higher intake of sodium, 3300 mg/day, it could lower blood pressure. As recommended by the American Heart Association, the intake for most adults should not be over 2,300 milligrams (mg) per day, with an ideal limit not exceeding 1,500 mg/day.
What is a DASH Diet?
The DASH diet recommended for healthy weight loss with a moderate lifestyle change that is convenient to adopt. To follow this diet, dieters need to include more of fruits, vegetables, and low-fat dairy foods, beans, seeds and nuts. It also suggests the reduction of foods that are high in fat-saturated, trans, total and cholesterol. This diet is moderately high in protein and recommends two or fewer servings per day of lean meats like fish and poultry. It also reduces the intake of red meat and processed meats like hot dogs, sausages, and cold-cuts and limited consumption of sodium, sweets and sugary drinks.
The DASH diet follows a simple rule of having foods with more of dietary fibre, potassium, calcium, and magnesium. The biggest advantage of this food plan is that it can be followed when eating out or while travelling. All you need to do is chose grilled or baked over roasted or fried food, opt for salad bars, burrito bowl, sandwiches.
- Lowers blood pressure
- Reduces the risk of cancer
- Decreases the chances of a stroke, osteoporosis, heart disease, heart failure, kidney stones, and diabetes
- Offers good nutrition
- Is endorsed by the American Heart Association, the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, and the Mayo Clinic
- Not entirely for weight loss
- Time consuming as it needs planning and preparing for a meal
- Keeping a track of servings from each food group
4. Ketogenic (Keto) Diet
A Ketogenic Diet is one of the very popular diets followed across the globe. People who have followed it swear by it because it helps them feel great. You will be surprised to know that this diet was designed for people suffering from a seizure disorder and not as a weight-loss diet. As it supports the production of ketones and another chemical, it thereby helps minimize seizures. But its added advantage of weight loss made it widely popular
This diet also commonly known as the keto diet is high in fat and low in carbohydrates. This puts the body into a state of ketosis, a metabolic state that allows the body to use fats as its primary source of energy rather than glucose from carbohydrates and thus, resulting in weight loss.
What is a Keto Diet?
Keto diet is a well-known low-carb diet with moderate protein and high-fat diet that takes the body into the state of ketosis. This diet has its food restrictions that allow proteins like fish, chicken, eggs and meats that are preferably organic, pasture-raised and grass-fed. When on this diet, you need to eat full-fat dairy items, harder cheeses with fewer carbs, leafy and green vegetables, fat from natural sources like meat and nuts. It also includes oils like coconut oil, butter, and olive oil and moderation intake of fattier nuts like macadamias and almonds and seeds and in beverages, mainly plain water that can be flavored with lemon or lime juice. Keto diet, however, bans almost all carbs like pasta, rice and other grains, potatoes, and fruits. It also allows, occasional intake of specific alcohols like dry wine, champagne, whisky, vodka and cocktails without sugar and a square of dark chocolate with cocoa above 70%.
- Weight loss
- Reduces insulin levels, risk for heart disease
- Lowers blood pressure
- Suppresses appetite
- Enhances mood, mental focus, and sleep
- Increases energy
- Helps treat difficult-to-control epilepsy in children
- Difficult to follow
- Can result in intake of unhealthy fats
- Restriction on certain food groups
- Eating in social gatherings difficult
To conclude, before following any of the above 4 diets, it is important to know your body type, food restrictions and any allergies and if necessary, even checking with the doctor. All have their positives and negatives and it is important to pick the one that suits your goal. Needless to say, a healthy diet is the one that has all kinds of nutrition in it and for your overall well-being more effective. So, read careful and make your pick. And if you are a couple then trying any of them together is a great idea after all marriages are bound by activities done together as believed by Couples Therapy and Counselling.