Every year, about 45% of American adults try to reduce their weight, thanks to specific diet programs. Some diets aim to curb appetite to reduce food intake, others suggest limiting the intake of calories contained in certain foods such as carbohydrates or fats. We have selected 8 of the best diets in the world to help you lose weight and improve your physical condition.
Plant-based diets can be of great help in losing weight.Not only do vegetarianism and veganism exist, the most popular versions, but also the flexible diet, which allows you to eat animal products in moderation. Vegetarians follow a diet without meat, poultry and fish, and in some cases also with eggs and dairy products. Vegans limit all products of animal origin, as well as products of animal origin (dairy products, jelly, honey, whey, casein and albumin). In the flexible diet, there are no precise rules: mainly the consumption of fruit, vegetables, legumes and whole grains is encouraged, but it allows a limited alternative of proteins and animal products.
According to a review of 12 studies (involving 1,151 people), vegetarians lost an average of 4.4 pounds more than those who included animal products; Likewise, vegans would have lost 5.5 pounds more on average than people with “omnivores”.
Benefits: being rich in fiber, plant-based diets help significantly to lose weight; they have been linked to many other benefits, such as a reduced risk of chronic conditions such as heart disease, some cancers and diabetes; they are generally more environmentally sustainable.
Downsides: if not effectively balanced, they can limit the amount of important nutrients that are generally found in animal products, such as iron, vitamin B12, vitamin D, calcium, zinc and omega-3 fatty acids.
Popular for several decades, the low-fat diet provides for a maximum of 30% daily fat intake (some of these can even reduce the amount of calories from fat to 10%), drawing mainly from plant sources. Low-fat diets limit fat intake as they provide about twice the number of calories per gram compared to proteins and carbohydrates. For this reason, about 80% of carbohydrates and 10% of proteins are added to a diet with only 10% fat.
Although low fat diets prove effective for weight loss in controlled situations, low carbohydrate diets seem to be preferable today. Their success, especially among obese people, is however proven.
Benefits: they have a positive effect on the risk of heart disease and stroke, they help reduce inflammation and improve diabetic markers.
Downsides: fat still plays an important role in hormone production, nutrient absorption and cell health. In addition, low-fat diets have been linked to a higher risk of metabolic syndrome.
Low carbohydrate diets are among the most popular diets for weight loss. The best known examples include the Atkins diet, the ketogenic (keto) diet and the low-carbohydrate and high-fat diet (LCHF). In some of these, like the chet diet, the carbohydrate content is limited to less than 10% of total calories, compared to 30% or less for other types, all in favor of proteins and fats, which represent the greatest part of the nourishment. The principle is to stimulate the body to use fatty acids, instead of carbohydrates, to obtain energy (a process called ketosis).
Benefits: Many studies claim that low carbohydrate diets can also be more effective than low fat diets. They appear to be quite effective in burning harmful abdominal fat and can reduce risk factors for heart disease. They can also improve blood sugar and insulin levels in people with type 2 diabetes.
Downsides: Often, a low carbohydrate diet can increase LDL (bad) cholesterol levels. In some individuals, they can also be difficult to adopt, creating digestive disorders. In more rare cases, a condition known as ketoacidosis, a dangerous metabolic condition that can be fatal if left untreated, can occur.
The paleo diet recommends eating the same foods that our hunter-gatherer ancestors supposedly ate: whole foods, fruits, vegetables, lean meats, nuts and seeds. Instead, limit the consumption of foods such as cereals, sugar and processed dairy products.
Benefits: numerous studies have shown that the paleo diet can help you lose weight and reduce harmful abdominal fat: due to its high protein content, the paleo diet may be richer than other popular diets, such as the Mediterranean diet and low-fat diets. In addition, many heart disease risk factors (hypertension and cholesterol) can be reduced with the paleo diet.
Downsides: although healthy, this diet is limited, effectively excluding many nutritious foods such as legumes, whole grains and dairy products.
Intermittent fasting is a diet that strategically alternates fasting periods with feeding periods; in essence, this diet limits the time you are allowed to eat, thus reducing your calorie intake. Weight loss can also be sensitive, just avoid compensating by eating too much food during the periods of consumption allowed.
Benefits: intermittent fasting can increase fat burning, preserving muscle mass; it can also be linked to anti-aging effects, improved brain health, reduced inflammation and many other benefits.
Downsides: in general, intermittent fasting is safe for most healthy adults, but for those who are sensitive to sharp drops in blood sugar (diabetics; people with low weight or with eating disorders; pregnant or lactating women), it would be better to talk to a nutritionist first.
Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension, or DASH diet, it is a food plan born with the intent to cure hypertension, through the consumption of a lot of fruit, vegetables, whole grains and lean meats; it is a diet low in salt, red meat, added sugars and fats.
Like the Mediterranean diet, the DASH diet is not slimming, although many manage to lose weight.
The DASH diet recommends specific portions of different food groups; depending on the daily calorie plan, there will be a different number of servings.
Benefits: The DASH diet reduces blood pressure levels and other heart disease risk factors. Helps fight recurrent depressions, reduces the risk of breast and colorectal cancer.
Downsides: While the DASH diet can help you lose weight, there are doubts about salt intake and blood pressure. Eating too little salt has been linked to increased insulin resistance and an increased risk of death in people with heart failure.
The Mediterranean diet is based on foods traditionally consumed in countries like Italy and Greece. The Mediterranean diet recommends a lot of fruit, vegetables, nuts, seeds, legumes, tubers, whole grains, fish, seafood and extra virgin olive oil; in more moderation, poultry, eggs and dairy products can be consumed. Rather limited the quantities of red and / or processed meats, cereals and refined oils, trans fats and sugar combined with highly processed foods.
Benefits: Although it was born with the aim of reducing the risk of heart disease, it is effective for losing weight. By encouraging you to eat many antioxidant-rich foods, it helps fight inflammation and oxidative stress by neutralizing free radicals, reducing heart disease and premature death.
Downsides: as already said, the Mediterranean diet is not strictly a weight loss diet, so some individuals may not see significant weight loss if the calories consumed are substantial.
Weight Watchers is one of the most popular weight loss programs in the world. Not limiting any food group, the WW plan requires eating within established daily points to achieve ideal weight. How does it work? WW attributes points to different foods and drinks, depending on the calorie, fat and fiber content; to achieve the desired weight, the daily allowance in points must be respected.
Benefits: those who follow WW programs seem to be more successful in maintaining this decline after several years. Being more flexible, it allows people with special dietary restrictions (e.g. allergies) to join the plan.
Downsides: WW can be expensive, and this depends on the type of plan (by subscription). The flexibility of foods is certainly optimal, but if you choose the less healthy ones …