Some Diet Plans Prepare You for Healthy Weight Loss: Others Can Be Out-n-Out Dangerous!
With so many different diets on the marker, it’s hard to know what the safest, healthiest and smartest choice.
Atkins Diet: The low-carbohydrate Atkins Diet focuses on eliminating refined carbs such as white bread, flour and sugar. Benefits include an emphasis on healthier, Whole, unprocessed foods. While people experience a fair amount of weight loss in the first week or two, it does have downsides, the first two weeks allow for only 20 grams of carbs a day, which can be dangerously low. Plus the Atkins Diet stresses high-fat foods and high protein consumption, which may increase bone loss.
Cabbage Soup Diet: High in fiber and low in fat, it is a seven-day program with different rules to follow each day-one day you eat only fruit and cabbage soup (really a mixture of cabbage and a variety of vegetables), the next day only vegetables and cabbage soup and so on. It is not suitable for long-term weight loss, puts you in a state of starvation, will likely have you rebound and regain the weight you lost (which is mostly water anyway) and does not teach any principles of healthy eating.
DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension): This plan advocates diet low in sodium and high in potassium, calcium, magnesium, fiber and lean proteins. It encourages nuts, seeds, legumes, fish, lean meats, lean poultry, fruits, vegetables and low-fat dairy products in its aim to help control hypertension and promote overall good health. Positive aspects include its emphasis on a low-salt, low-fat diet and the promotion of healthy foods. The trick is getting people to stay with it, as they may not be used to the taste of food without as much salt.
Five Factor Diet: Based on eating five meals a day to maintain one’s metabolism, the 5 Factor Diet plan calls for carbs, protein, fat, fiber, and a beverage at every meal along with five 25-minute workouts each week. It even allows a one-day-a-week cheat to eat a favorite food. Positive aspects of the program include its use of well-balanced meals, smaller portions, exercise and the idea of thinking about what one is eating for weight loss. Some people may struggle with the meals, which are really more like snacks and it does not address overeating.
Flat Belly Diet: The 1,600-calorie-per-day, Mediterranean-style Flat Belly Diet features four meals a day with a mono-unsaturated fatty acid as part of each. Positives are its inclusion of healthy fats and fiber-rich foods, like fruits and vegetables. It also provides a menu and recipes, so dieters don’t have to figure out calories of portion sizes, though this can also be a negative when people have to eat in the real world and don’t know enough about calorie counting. Negatives include its limited calories, which might not be enough for some people to keep their metabolism going and its claim of a flat belly and weight loss of 15 punds in 32 day. This is a lot of weight and will likely not be sustainable.
Geno Type Diet: Based on blood type, fingerprint patterns, physical measurements and family history, the Geno Type Diet advocates eating based on one’s genes. A benefit of this weight-loss program is its encouragement of different types of exercise regardless of one’s genetic group, but it does have its negatives as well. A genotype may not be totally evident for an individual. Also, some of the Geno Types limit foods, which may be difficult over the long term and the program lacks a psychological component.
Life Diet: This is a diet based on stages that a person moves through while losing weight and understanding healthier eating. Developed by Joy Bauer, Life Diet includes three meals a day plus a snack, involves drinking plenty of water suggests starting dinner with a large salad to prevent overeating during the meal. Both exercise and information about the psychological aspects of overeating are emphasized. However, some people may have problems with some of the stages, with exercise being challenging, or struggles over its structure.
Master Your Metabolism Diet: Jillian Michaels’ Master Your Metabolism diet focuses on the idea of remove, restore and rebalance. Foods that have additives are removed from one’s diet, restoring is done by teaching about foods and nutrients that feed one’s fat-burning hormones and rebalancing is accomplished by offering a plan showing how often, how much and what kinds of food to eat. It allows three meals and one snack per day, at four-hour intervals. Positives include emphasis on eating whole foods while getting rid of anything with additives, teaching healthy lifestyle approaches such as exercise and providing information about portion control. Some people may find the emphasis on organic food difficult, as organic foods may not be easy to find or fit into their budget.
Raw Foods Diet: It recommends eating only uncooked and non-processed foods for weight loss and not surprisingly, emphasizes fruits and vegetables. Pros include it being high in fiber and nutrients and low in calories and fat. However, it has little protein, dairy, or fats which can cause deficiencies of vitamins A, D, E and k. Plus, not all foods are healthier uncooked for example, spinach tomatoes.
Scarsdale Diet: It is another very low-calorie weight-loss program. It’s based on a very structured eating plan for 14 days, followed by another 14 days that are a little bit less restrictive, but still have specific meal plans. Artificial sweeteners are used instead of sugar and a grapefruit for breakfast is supposed to provide enzymes for burning calories, Except for fast weight loss, this diet has no benefits. It doesn’t teach healthy eating, it slows down one’s metabolism and any water weight lost will be regained.
Sonoma Diet Plan: It focuses on watching portion size and eating 10 power foods-whole grains, almonds, bell peppers, tomatoes, broccoli, grapes, spinach, blueberries, strawberries and olive oil. Healthy aspects include its emphasis on foods high in nutrition and antioxidants and skipping white flour, saturated fats and sugar. Being aware of portion sizes- the diet’s recommendations even include using a smaller plate- is also important in weight loss. However, some people might not like the limited number of foods allowed.
South Beach Diet: It restricts carbs while emphasizing protein and fat as the sources for most of your calories, It has several phase: nearly total carbohydrate restriction, reintroduction of carbohydrates and a long-term eating plan. Carbs allowed are based on the glycemic index, which is a measure or how blood sugar responds to the carbohydrate intake. This focused on healthy fats, proteins and carbs and encourages exercise. However, it excludes many carbs and some people may find it hard to sustain over time.
Volumetrics Diet: It is to emphasize weight loss by choosing foods that are low-density and have high water content-they fill the stomach, but don’t contain as many calories as other foods. Examples include salads, non-starchy vegetables like broccoli/zucchini and fruits such as water-melon/peaches. It encourages healthy eating and the idea that people should think about whether they’re hungry (and if so, how hungry) rather than munching out of boredom or other emotional needs. The downside of the diet includes a lack of measuring portion sizes, so overeaters may just keep eating, plus the fact people may get used to eating a larger amount and carry this idea over when eating more calorie dense foods.
Weight Watchers program assigns points to all foods, which you then use to figure out what and how much you can eat. Pros for the program include weight-loss support groups, both online and in person, and education about portion sizes. The program also awards extra points for exercise. However, there is a fee to join, and some people may find the points system too complicated or unstructured. Other dangers include becoming overly focused on food or using points on less healthy food choices.
Zone Diet: It recommends that people eat 30 percent of their calories from protein, 30 percent from fat and 40 percent from carbs. The variety of foods is supposed to promote weight loss, increase energy and lead to a healthy immune system. Lean protein and whole grain are emphasized, both of which can help a person feel full longer. However, there are no scientific studies showing weight-loss results from following this diet.
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