What is the Best Diet to Lose Weight?
January 22, 2020 17 Comments
What is the best diet to lose weight? After 10 years of writing, thinking, and attempting diets I wish I could give a definitive answer.
This is such a complicated question because each of us has a long relationship with eating that starts at birth. For example, I am 50 years old so my affair with eating is now 50 years old!
We all know that long relationships are complex. For example, how I feel about yet another salad :)
It is easier to discuss the diets that are not going to help you lose weight in the long term. I have read and reviewed quite a few - check out these examples: Is the Keto Diet bad for you? and Whole 30 Review.
Many of the buzzword diets (South Beach, Zone, Paleo, Atkins…) are all based around changing your entire diet to get your metabolism to alter. The problem is because you are eating a “special” diet - your lifestyle gets interrupted and it becomes hard to stay on the diet when you ultimately want to stop eating only on the plan.
Will you lose some weight? Sure! But will you keep it off? I think these are really hard diets to sustain.
Every year, US News & World Reports puts out a list of Best Diets Overall.
I have been reading this list for years now - hoping to find the silver bullet that will help everyone drop the weight. What is so interesting to me is that two diets are always on top of the list and these aren’t fad diets.
The two at the top of the list are the Mediterranean Diet and the DASH diet. The DASH diet is an eating plan created by the US governments National Institute of Health and it is free for anyone who wants to follow it. It recommends:
- Eating vegetables, fruits, and whole grains
- Including fat-free or low-fat dairy products, fish, poultry, beans, nuts, and vegetable oils
- Limiting foods that are high in saturated fat, such as fatty meats, full-fat dairy products, and tropical oils such as coconut, palm kernel, and palm oils
- Limiting sugar-sweetened beverages and sweets.
Does any of this sound familiar?
The Mediterranean diet is also a free diet that you can read about anywhere. There is a daily emphasis on fresh vegetables and fruits, beans and lentils, whole grains, seafood more than meat and poultry, and olive oil.
DASH and the Mediterranean diet are evidence based approaches to losing weight. People who eat this way not only lose pounds but they get healthier.
Both WW and Ludwig use solid scientific research to support that their approaches can help people lose weight. Will these plans help you? I don’t know.
Unfortunately, you have to figure out for yourself where your diet is going wrong and do something about it. Following a plan can be a great way to test for the issues in your food intake but, ultimately, you have to decide how you are going to eat and where to make changes.
I’m not going to advocate for any one diet because it seems to me that what works for an individual is so very personal.
I CAN tell you what has worked for me. Cutting out added sugar, drinking less alcohol, eating out less, including more beans in my diet, eating mostly whole grains, having servings of fresh fruit and vegetables every day.
Rocket science? No. Obvious? Yes. Easy? No, it took me a long time to change my habits.
What have you found to be the best diet to lose weight? Please share it with us!!
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