Want to lose weight? Millions of people do. Here are the best diets to try for long-term results.
If you’ve ever tried dieting, then you know there are hundreds of diet options available to you.
There are so many that sometimes it can be hard to decide which one is the best fit for you. Here is a list of the 10 best diets and what they’re all about. This way you’ll be armed with what you need to help you decide the one most likely to get you the best results.
1. Mediterranean Diet
The Mediterranean diet is one of the best diets for your all-around health. Luckily, it also features the delicious Mediterranean cuisine. There are lots of health benefits associated with this diet. You can also learn how to get rid of lower belly fat as well. These including helping with weight loss, being heart-healthy, lowering the risk of cancer and helping to prevent or control diabetes.
The Mediterranean diet is olive oil based. This means you do most of your cooking with olive oil instead of something very fatty like butter. There’s less of a focus on red meats and saturated fats and more of a focus on fresh produce. You also eat more chicken and eggs for your protein with only occasional additions of red meat and sugar.
Many of the staples include fruits, veggies, nuts, berries, spices, herbs and some red wine. It’s not really a structured diet because the Mediterranean countries that it is modeled after have different cuisines. Because of that, you’ll have to take the time to design your own diet if you want to stick to a structured schedule. The only guidelines are the types of food you can eat and exercise is also strongly recommended.
2. DASH Diet
The DASH diet is aimed at managing high blood pressure. The biggest rule of the DASH diet is avoiding salt and flavoring food with herbs and spices. Eating more fruits and veggies will help you to avoid salty options and can lower blood pressure and cholesterol, which can prevent heart disease.
This diet can be customized to your specific needs, even if you already have some dietary restrictions. It’s not a diet that targets weight loss, but it can certainly be tailored towards helping you lose weight since it already promotes the eating of healthier foods. The DASH diet works best for those who are willing to give up junk food.
Some may find it difficult to give up salty, fatty, sugary foods, but otherwise this diet isn’t very hard to stick to. All it takes is a bit of a restructuring to your current diet and your current preparation of foods. There are no added costs to this diet. Just follow the guidelines!
3. Weight Watchers Diet
Weight Watchers operates on a unique point system that is based on the nutritional value of food. The amount of daily points you are allowed to consume is determined by your health and weight goals. You’re free to choose whichever foods you like as long as you remain within your daily allotment of points.
It also offers weekly meetings so that you can keep in contact with other members. Of course, you don’t have to attend the meetings. You can just keep track of your progress online. But, people who keep up with the weekly meetings tend to lose more weight. It is best for those who work best with accountability buddies. Why? You will always have a group of people you can turn to that will help you stay on track.
There is also an app that you can use to track your points. As well, they give you ways to you stay connected with trained Weight Watchers coaches 24/7 for any questions you may have. Not only can Weight Watchers help you lose weight, it can also help to strengthen your heart health and lower your risk for other diseases. Plus, it’s easy to follow and convenient, especially in today’s plugged-in world. Keep in mind: It can be a little pricey as there is a monthly fee for the group meetings and the personal coaches.
4. TLC Diet
The Therapeutic Lifestyle Changes (TLC) diet is aimed at lowering cholesterol to keep your heart healthy. It recommends that you cut back on fats, especially saturated fats, to lower your risk of heart disease, heart attack and stroke.
There are less salts and red meats in this diet and it is advised that you stick to skinless chicken or tuna for your proteins. The only guidelines are measurements of your recommended nutrient intake, so you will have to decide how to get those nutrients.
The TLC diet is great for people who are looking to be a little more heart healthy. But, it can be customized to help you lose weight as well by restricting your calorie intake. It may be a little difficult to follow because you will have to keep track of the minute details of what you eat to be sure you get the proper nutrition. But, the TLC diet does allow for diet restrictions and comes with no added costs.
5. Jenny Craig Diet
The Jenny Craig diet is designed strictly for weight loss. But, don’t let that fool you. It does have many other health benefits that often come with eating better. Jenny Craig even has a specialized program for people with type-2 diabetes.
This diet is designed around you, your current health, your specific needs and your goals. They set you up with a personal consultant that you meet with weekly (or chat with on the phone) to ensure that you’re staying on track. It is great for people who need a very structured diet plan and who benefit from staying connected with other members and coaches.
It is easy to follow because the meals and snacks are packaged for you right at the start. Then, you just follow recipes and cook for yourself when you’re about halfway to your goal. The diet can last for as long as you need it to because it’s designed around you. But, this means you will have to stick to Jenny meals – and Jenny meals only – for a while.
Keep in mind that it often runs on the more expensive side of the diet spectrum.
6. Mayo Clinic Diet
The Mayo Clinic Diet operates around the Mayo Clinic’s unique food pyramid that helps you to restructure your diet to promote weight loss. It focuses on low-calorie foods that you can eat more of so that you feel full longer.
You start the diet by losing bad eating habits and eating more healthy food. You don’t count calories during this part. You’ll just be testing out what new foods and healthy eating habits will work best for you. Then, you incorporate what you learned about yourself and your eating habits during this phase into the next phase, where you become more conscious about the calories.
There is a specialized diet for people with diabetes and following this diet can help keep your heart healthy. This diet is great for those who are looking to change up their eating habits for the better. The hardest part of the Mayo Clinic Diet is the first phase where you adopt the suggested eating habits and cut out the bad ones.
But, if you can get through this phase, then sticking to the rest of the diet should be a lot easier! There are no extra costs to this diet unless you decide to buy the diet’s official guidebook.
7. Flexitarian Diet
The Flexitarian Diet is a flexible vegetarian diet. That means you don’t have to completely give up meat to follow it. This diet is great for vegetarians because the focus is on plant proteins, so the majority of the diet’s protein will come from tofu, beans, nuts, and eggs with a heavy emphasis on fruits and veggies as side items.
It consists of five-week meal plans with three meals a day and two snacks that all total up to less than 1,500 calories. For people who would like to add a little meat every now and then, there are some recipes that will allow you to swap out some of the plant proteins for lean meat proteins like chicken or fish. The reliance on veggies and fruits helps you to lose weight because they have fewer calories than meat so you can eat more of them.
It’s an easy diet to follow because it’s flexible. You don’t have to stick to the advised recipes every day and you’re welcome to ease your way into the Flexitarian lifestyle. But, the better you stick to the diet, the faster you’ll see results. The Flexitarian Diet is also good for your heart and for preventing and controlling diabetes. There are no extra costs beyond buying the diet guidebook.
The Nutrisystem diet offers weight loss and diabetes control. It emphasizes foods that digest slowly so you feel full longer and are less likely to overeat.
Nutrisystem is great for those that need a structured diet because the meals are prepared for you and delivered right to your door. You’ll have to take some initiative to go grocery shopping for some supplements to the pre-packaged meals, but that just means that you can include foods that you enjoy. If you’re a big fan of eating out, however, it may be hard to stick to this diet, as you would have to cut back on eating out almost entirely.
This diet is super easy to follow because it takes out all the guesswork and keeps food preparation to a minimum. Nutrisystem takes care of that for you. There are also recipes available for when you’re ready to wean yourself off of the pre-packaged meals. Nutrisystem is not the most restriction-friendly diet. With that said, the cost of the meals can add up.
9. Ornish Diet
The Ornish diet is one of the most versatile diets. Why? It can be tailored to your specific need whether it is weight loss, diabetes control or heart health. Changing your diet to eat healthier in any way, big or small, is rewarding.
With the Ornish diet, the lower end of the spectrum of changes is for some weight loss. This only requires you to make a few changes. The other end of the spectrum is a lot more rigorous and is for all-around health. The Ornish diet also has plans for exercise and stress management. In fact, the core of the diet is managing stress through easy practices like meditation and deep breathing.
Unless you choose the rigorous, disease-reversing end of the spectrum, you get a lot of say in how your diet works. There are lot of recipes, it works well with dietary restrictions and there are no added costs outside of the guidebook.
10. Biggest Loser Diet
As you can probably guess, the Biggest Loser Diet has a heavy emphasis on exercise in addition to following the nutritional diet. Exercise, along with portion control, can help prevent, control or reverse serious diseases like heart disease, diabetes and dementia.
This diet is great for those who want to get really hands on with their health or who are looking to step up their exercise routine. With this diet, you learn a lot about nutrition through guidebooks to help you develop the ideal menu for yourself.
There are lots of recipes available online and through cookbooks, as well as plenty of encouraging success stories from people who have tried the diet and those who have been on the Biggest Loser television show. There are no added costs to this diet besides the guidebook(s). But, there are one-on-one coaches available for hire if you feel that you will need one to help you stick to this diet.
All of these diets can work. But, it’s also vital that you don’t starve yourself. As an active person, you need calories, nutrients, healthy fats and protein. The more active you are, the more calories you need. The best you can hope from any diet is that it helps you adopt a healthy way of eating.
In the end, if you eat poorly, you’ll never outwork it in the gym. And, no diet is a quick fix. You need to change your lifestyle and these diets can help.
-By Sara Campanelli