5 Diet Plans That You Can Actually Stick To!
There are so many diets around with specific rules and instructions; it can be difficult to decide which one is best for you, and which will actually make any difference. Some extreme diets are very hard to maintain, and most users give up on them quite quickly, putting back on any weight that was lost initially.
When embarking on a weight loss journey, it’s important to set yourself a diet that is achievable and can fit into your lifestyle. Choosing an extreme diet may seem like it will offer fast results, but it is very hard to keep these up, and they can affect your mental and physical health.
Here 5 of the most popular diets which are said to be maintainable and give results in a healthy and sustainable way.
Zoe Harcombe developed the Harcombe Diet as an alternative to all the calorie counting diets which were being advertised. She states that these diets are the cause of obesity problems and that we should work with our bodies rather than fighting against them. She researched and developed her ideas for 20 years, after struggling with her weight during her studies at Cambridge University. After wanting to lose weight, but being unable to stop binge-eating on unhealthy foods, she decided that something else must be going on. The diet was developed to focus on what types of food you are eating, rather than amounts. Meaning you aren’t starving your body, but simply giving it what it needs.
There are three phases to this diet, but all seem reasonably achievable.
Phase One – This phase lasts for five days, during which you are able to eat as much fish, eggs, meats, vegetables (no potatoes or mushrooms though), live natural yogurt, herbs and spices as you like. You are also allowed one portion of ‘safe’ grains; which are brown rice, quinoa or oats.
Phase Two – This part is followed until you achieve your goal weight. Fruit, dairy products, baked potatoes and whole grains are allowed again in moderation.
Phase Three – Is a lifelong healthy eating plan. It is a slightly relaxed version of phase two, aiming to keep at a stable weight.
This diet has good reviews, with users claiming amazing results and the ability to keep going with it. As it encourages healthy eating rather than restrict calories, it seems like a good alternative to other more extreme diets.
The fasting diet, or 5:2 diet has a very simple concept, based on intermittent fasting (IF). For the five days of the week, you eat a healthy and balanced diet. For the remaining two, you fast. On these days calorie intakes are reduced to 500 calories for women and 600 calories for men. While there is not a lot of research available on this diet, many users claim they do lose a considerable amount of weight and feel much healthier during this diet. A study in 2012 however, did show that testers did experience reductions in some biomarkers, this suggests a decline in the risk of developing chronic diseases such as type 2 diabetes. A further study in 2012 also suggested that this diet may help lower the risk of certain obesity-related cancers, such as breast cancer.
If you choose to try this diet, you should be aware of what your plans are on the fasting days. Plan them on days when you will be less active, and less likely to be tempted to go over your calorie intake. On the normal days, a healthy diet is advised, but treats and snacks are allowed in moderation.
The Paleo diet, also known as the caveman diet is mainly based on foods presumed to be available to paleolithic humans. Supporters of this diet claim that our digestive systems have not changed since the Paleolithic times and that the foods we eat now are damaging our bodies.
This diet advises you only to eat foods that are presumed to have been available during the time when cavemen were around. There is some speculation as to what this allows, as there is not a lot of genuine research available. But, the diet plan advises 55% of daily calories from seafood and lean meat, and 15% of daily calories from each of fruits, vegetables, and nuts and seeds. Dairy food, grains, added salt or added sugar are not allowed.
This diet has increased in popularity recently, due to the social awareness of the benefits of clean eating and organic foods. There are plenty of recipes and meal ideas online, with many websites offering on tips on how to learn about PaleoHacks.While some experts claim that our digestive systems have changed since Paleolithic times, they agree that cutting out junk food and added sugars and salts, is a great way to live a healthier lifestyle. Not only encouraging weight loss, it also adds to your general mental and physical health.
The Mediterranean diet was developed after research was explored in the food patterns and general diet in Greece and Southern Italy in the early 1960′. It was first publicized in 1975 but didn’t become popular until the 1990’s. The Mediterranean diet is based on the fact that the people living in countries like the United States and Great Britain have far higher rates of cardiovascular disease than in Mediterranean countries, despite similar levels of fat are consumed. The population in Mediterranean countries are seen as living much healthier lives, with obesity, heart disease and early death levels being much lower than other countries. It is claimed that their diet and less stressful lifestyle is the main reason for this.
There is no single diet plan for this, as it is based on the countries culture and way of life. But, the main food types include high amounts of olive oil, legumes, unrefined cereals, fruits, and vegetables. Large amounts of fish, moderate consumption of dairy products (mostly as cheese and yogurt) and wine are also allowed, with non-fish meat and non-fish meat products only allowed in small amounts.
This diet is more or a way of life, rather than a set diet plan. But, research continues to show that with a mixture of these healthy foods and regular exercise, is a great way of living a long and healthy life. While you may not be able to enjoy the beautiful Greek countryside and lay out on the sandy beaches, following this diet can greatly improve your health, life span, and medical conditions.
Burn Fat and Feed Muscles
The ‘starve fat and feed muscles’ diet is one taken up by many health gurus and fitness experts. It focuses on reducing your fat levels, but building up muscles. ‘Skinny fat’ is a well-known term nowadays, when people lose weight, but don’t tone up. While they may have lost a significant amount of weight, they still don’t feel happy with their body as fitness levels are still low. This diet aims to build up muscles, giving you a leaner and stronger body.
The importance of regular exercise is obvious in leading a healthy lifestyle. But exercise is as important as healthy eating in this diet. Regular strength training and HIIT cardio are expected and planned into the diets routine, with the focus on strength and power rather than leisurely exercise. Exercise plans are available online, and most encourage high intensity interval training rather than longer workouts. These exercise are built up of short bursts of energy, followed by rest breaks. These encourage muscle growth, rather than fat loss like some other workouts. The diet itself recommends eating smaller meals, more time a day, to speed up metabolism. Protein, fresh vegetables and pre planning meals are advised. And drinking plenty of water and avoiding fats and sugars are strict rules.
This diet can achieve great results, with many body builders and athletes using it. The change in users bodies and health can be dramatic, and experts agree that these regular exercises and clean eating plans are the best way to create a healthy body and life. It is a big change of lifestyle if you are not used to regular exercise though. It may be best to introduce yourself into it slowly, to avoid becoming overwhelmed and disheartened.
It’s important to remember to speak to your doctor or family physician before starting any new diet. Do plenty of research and make sure you have checked all of the rules and side-effects before embarking. While some fad diets claim to make huge changes, they can be difficult to stick to and can do more damage to your health in the long run. See your diet as a way of life, rather than a temporary change. Exercise and healthy eating are always going to be the best way to lose weight and be healthy but try not to get too fixated and set rules and controls. While having a strong and healthy body is very important, you also need to take care of your own mental health.