Weight loss is a worthy goal and also a common one. By losing weight, you are not only improving your appearance, but also your health. There are numerous medical problems that are associated with being overweight so the sooner you drop those extra pounds, the better. Of course, many people attempt this but not all of them succeed. Some simply give up too soon due to frustration. Others go in with the wrong information altogether and do not really have a chance of achieving good results. That is why you should do some research before undertaking a weight loss program. You can look for diets or for exercise routines and, for optimum results, you should look to combine the two. Even so, there are so many diets out there and they different wildly one from another. It can prove to be difficult to find the one that is best suited for you so here is a rundown of the most popular, most common and most efficient diets available today. By knowing about them beforehand you are able to make an informed decision regarding which one suits your needs and your lifestyle the best.
Let’s start off with one of the most popular diets today, the Atkins Diet, also known as the Atkins Nutritional Approach, named after the man that invented it, Dr. Robert Atkins. In simple terms, this is a low-carb diet. Dr. Atkins felt that a diet which is low in carbohydrates is more efficient for weight loss than one which is low in calories. Studies have been performed in order to see what potential effects following this diet could have on the human body. Some research was positive, suggesting that it can help reduce cholesterol and reduce the chance of heart disease. On the other hand, some studies revealed that it can increase the chances of developing kidney stones. This approach to weight loss has increased in popularity due to the publication of several books, as well as endorsements from celebrities.
if you do decide on following the Atkins diet, you should know that there are four phases. The first one is called induction. This involves limiting the calories you get from carbohydrates to 20 grams per day. For carbs, you are advised to use as sources salads and veggies since they are low in starch. The second phase is known as OWL (ongoing weight loss). Additional carb sources are added to the diet in the form of food rich in fiber and nutrients. Carb consumption is increased to 25 grams for the first week of this phase, then 30 grams for the second. This keeps going until you stop losing weight, at which point you start taking 5 grams off each day until you resume dropping pounds. The third phase is known as pre-maintenance and it simply involves increasing your carb consumption by 10 grams per week until your weight loss becomes gradual. The last phase is called lifetime maintenance and it involves introducing new sources of carbohydrates. This must be done gradually and carefully so that your weight does not start to climb again. If this does happen then you should cut back on the amount of new carbs you consume daily.
Another popular diet at the moment is called the Zone Diet, created by Dr. Barry Spears. This diet proposes a balanced ratio between carbohydrates, proteins and fat. A 40:30:30 ratio to be more exact. According to Dr. Spears, as long as you maintain this ratio your weight, as well as your health will improve. This diet is hard to classify as some might argue that it is low-carb and some might say that it is not. What is certain about it is that it does not focus on how much you eat, but rather what you eat. Unlike most diets, it does not advocate for lower calorie intakes. What you need to do is to keep the amounts of various food groups in proportion to each other. The standard eating schedule in a day should contain three meals and two snacks. Each one of them should include a good source of protein, favorable carbohydrates such as the ones found in beans, whole grains, fruits and vegetables and some good fat such as in fish oils, nuts and avocado. One small portion of the total carbs can be what is considered unfavorable carbs, as in the ones found in cereal, bread, brown rice, pasta, fruit juices and certain fruits.
The Zone Diet is preferred by many because it is not very strict and it is not hard to follow. Even so, there are a few basic rules that must be followed in order to achieve optimum results. For starters, you should have a meal and a snack within an hour after you wake up. After that, you should wait 4 to 6 hours between meals. After you had a snack, you must wait 2 to 2.5 hours before eating a meal. You should look to drink a lot of water: around eight glasses a day. Each meal should be started with a good protein source then followed with carbs and fat. If you keep to this schedule, you should not feel hungry at any point throughout the day. This is called being in The Zone and it can have a big positive effect on your mental attitude.
Weight Watchers is a popular diet that has managed to maintain its popularity even though it was created five decades ago. Since then, it has become one of the most common approaches to weight loss and has turned into an international company that has operations in over 30 countries. What’s even more impressive is that this diet was not created by a doctor or a dietician or fitness expert. Instead it was created by a homemaker from Brooklyn, Jean Nidetch.
The diet works on a point system. It is meant to be the easiest way to keep track of everything you eat as well as develop personal accountability. Each food portion is assigned a number of points. These points have been specifically developed by Weight Watchers. In this diet, fiber is the most important component while fat needs to be avoided as much as possible. Therefore foods with high fiber content and low fat content will be worth fewer points so you can eat more of them. Once you sign up, you are given a point limit which you must not exceed on a daily basis based on your body weight. An average 200 pound man can use between 24 and 29 points per day, for example.
Community support is an important part of the diet’s success. Weight Watchers has established itself as an international company that holds regular meetings where member are encouraged to meet one another, socialize and rely on others for help achieving their weight loss goals. Members must also weigh themselves in order to show that they are progressing. Of course, now there are numerous online support groups available that make it even easier for members to stay in touch with each other.
This diet was conceived in the 1980s by cardiologist Arthur Agatston and dietician Marie Almon. Initially, it was not meant to be a diet for weight loss, but rather to prevent heart disease. Even so, patients of the doctor also reported losing weight while following this diet so it grew in popularity and began being used primarily as a diet for weight loss. Different studies have been conducted on the efficiency of this diet and it has showed to have multiple beneficial effects apart from losing weight. Among them are reduced cholesterol and blood fat levels, reduced hunger and a decrease in the likelihood of developing hypertension and diabetes.
The principle behind the South Beach diet is simple: replace bad carbs and bad fats with good carbs and good fats. Bad carbs are the ones we get from refined grains and sugar that should be replaced with carbohydrates obtained from fruits, vegetables and whole grain products. Bad fats are comprised out of saturated and trans-fats and should be replaced with healthy fats such as omega-3 fatty acids and unsaturated fats.
There are three phases to this diet. The first one lasts two weeks and it involves having an eating schedule containing three meals and snacks each day. Allowed food includes poultry, fish, shellfish, eggs, beans, vegetables, nuts and low-fat cheese. Forbidden foods include candy, cakes, cookies, ice cream, fruits, baked goods, bread, pasta, rice, potatoes and alcoholic drinks. In the second phase good carbs and fats start to get reintroduced into the regular eating schedule. This includes whole grain products and fruits. This phase can last until you reach your weight goal. The third phase is regarded as maintenance and simply involves looking back at the diet and adopting it, more or less, as a permanent lifestyle choice. It is ok to add new treats and foods to your diet, but follow the diet, for the most part, and you will maintain a healthy weight.