Dieters in the United States numbered 108 million as of April 2013, reports Marketdata Enterprises. While there is no shortage of those trying to lose weight, others are following various nutrition plans for better health because the prevention and treatment of many health conditions often require making dietary improvements. Whatever the reason, a diet should be safe, healthy and something you can live with in the long run.
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Count Your Way to Weight Loss
Weight Watchers is considered among the most effective commercial diet plans because it is straightforward and effective when followed. Foods are assigned point values depending on their carbohydrate, fat and protein content as well as total calories, and you'll get a daily point budget based on how much weight you want to lose. A potential downside of this and other commercial weight-loss plans is that may not teach proper eating for long-term weight maintenance.
Diet in a Bottle
The Slimfast diet is a convenient, grab-and-go type of eating plan and will help you lose weight by keeping calories low enough to result in a 1- to 2-pound drop per week. Proprietary ready-made shakes, shake mixes and meal bars are part of the eating plan, along with one 500-calorie meal per day that you prepare. Snacks include Slimfast bars and other snacks like pretzels, carrot sticks, pistachio nuts and fruit.
The Paleo Diet is based on the premise that if your ancestors from over 10,000 years ago didn't eat it, neither should you. That means no grains, legumes or dairy since these were part of the agricultural revolution and, it is claimed, these relatively modern foods are responsible for present-day diseases like diabetes, heart disease and cancer. Avoiding entire food groups, however, runs the risk of nutrient deficiency, not to mention diet boredom.
Heart Disease Prevention and Reversal
A healthy heart enjoys low blood pressure as well as low cholesterol and triglycerides, the waxy and fatty deposits found in blood, respectively. A heart-healthy diet promotes these strategies and can help prevent or reverse heart disease. Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension, or DASH, is a diet approach proved to reduce blood pressure and cholesterol and is often prescribed after a heart attack. This eating strategy is well-balanced and includes a wide variety of foods.
DIY Vs. Do It for Me
Diets that aim to achieve the same healthy weight loss can be enormously different. For example, the Volumetrics approach will have you eating the same volume as usual, the difference being in your total calories consumed. This requires much thought and preparation. If you don't want to bother with food preparation or thinking, the Jenny Craig Diet may be for you. Prepackaged, home-delivered meals remove all the guesswork, and Jenny Craig does the calorie counting for you.
Dealing With Diabetes
Type-2 diabetes occurs when the body’s ability to stabilize its blood sugar fails. The American Diabetes Association's diet guidelines aim to prevent and manage diabetes by promoting foods low in saturated fat and cholesterol while increasing the intake of fresh fruits, vegetables, whole grains and beans. The Biggest Loser Diet makes the grade with an easy-to-follow eating plan that focuses on these foods while also promoting moderate amounts of exercise.
Carnivores and Vegetarians Unite
Whether you eat meat or not, you can still follow a healthy diet. The TLC Diet is an all-around healthy eating plan that promotes eating plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, fish and lean meats. Vegetarians can follow a similar approach known as the Flexitarian Diet, which replaces meat with foods such as tofu, beans, lentils, peas, nuts and eggs. Both of these diets are effective in controlling cholesterol, making them good choices for heart disease prevention.
A Whole, Natural Approach
The Mediterranean Diet is another approach that may prevent heart disease by reducing triglycerides and cholesterol. Rich in fresh vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, beans, lean meats, poultry and fish, the Mediterranean Diet also allows for generous use of olive oil and even provides for optional but moderate amounts of red wine. This diet pattern emphasizes a wide variety of whole foods and healthy fats while limiting unhealthy saturated and trans fats, refined foods and sweets.