Most Effective Weight Loss Diet – There are hundreds, if not thousands, of different types of diets. With all of these diets flying around, it could be confusing to decide which one to follow. Luckily there are select diets that have been tried, tested, and proven to work that are highly effective at helping you lose weight, keep it off, and learn to live a healthy lifestyle.
1. The Atkins Diet
This diet is also sometimes referred to as the Atkins Nutritional Approach and was created by Dr. Robert Atkins who was a cardiologist. The main goal to the Atkins Diet is to control the levels of insulin in the body.
The Atkins Diet tells you that when we eat a lot of refined carbs, it makes our insulin levels spike quickly. When this happens, it makes our bodies want to store as much of that energy as possible and can then prevent our bodies from using stored fat as energy since we are using the carbs.
The Atkins Diet is composed of four phases. Since the Atkins Diet does limit certain food groups and types of foods, it is important to take vitamins to make up for the deficit.
Dr. Atkins based his diet upon the fact that he believed eating too many carbohydrates was making people fat and slowing down metabolism. When you are on the Atkins Diet your metabolism will start to burn its own stored body fat instead of glucose from insulin. When this change occurs, it is called ketosis. Ketosis is when insulin/glucose levels are low and your body starts to fuel itself through body fat stores.
If you stay with the diet it has been proven to be highly effective. The most difficult part of the diet is sticking to it as most people have a hard time limiting certain food groups, such as carbs, especially if they have cravings for those types of foods.
2. The Zone Diet
This diet was invented by Dr. Barry Spears. His theory is that as a whole we are eating foods that our bodies were not intended to eat.
The Zone Diet states that our diets should be similar to those of our hunter-gatherer days since our genes are programmed to handle that type of diet best. Since we are not intended to eat a diet full of highly processed foods our bodies have negative reactions to these foods that can cause diseases such as cancer, weight gain, heart disease, and diabetes.
On the Zone Diet you will have a healthy balance of 40% carbs, 30% fat, and 30% protein. Each meal you eat should be within those guidelines in order for you to lose weight and improve your overall health.
The Zone Diet does not require you to limit calories or eat a low-calorie diet. You do not have to change the amount of calories you are eating or even count your calories. You simply need to have the required balance and change your eating habits.
On the Zone Diet you should:
- Have three meals a day and two snacks a day.
- Have protein with each meal.
- Have protein with each snack.
- Within a meal, the carbohydrate food should be twice the size of the protein food.
- Carbohydrates you eat should be ‘good’ carbs, such as those you get from fruit, whole grains, and vegetables.
- Limit ‘bad’ carbs such as those from white bread, fruit juices, and pasta.
- Each meal should include small amounts of ‘good’ fats such as fish oils, nuts, and olive oil.
There are only a few rules to the Zone Diet:
- Eat meals every 4-6 hours.
- Eat meals between 2-2.5 hours after a snack, even if you are not hungry.
- Have a meal or snack no later than an hour after you wake in the morning.
- Drink at least 64 ounces of water each day.
- Your meal protein should only be 3 ounces for women and 4 ounces for men.
- Before you eat a meal or snack you should take stock of your hunger level. If you are not feeling hungry, then you are in The Zone.
3. Weight Watchers Diet
Weight Watchers started back in 1963 and has been long-running and highly successful at helping millions of people lose weight and get healthy. Weight Watchers is an all-encompassing program that gives you all of the tools you need in order to lose weight for good. In the program you have access to group support, the Points system, learning sessions, and regular meetings.
The program is believed to be so highly successful because of the support groups, meetings, and no-nonsense dieting plan. Studies have shown that people who participate in groups or have a support group will be more likely to succeed and meet their weight loss goals.
During the meetings you will be able to speak to others that are going through the same things as you or have already been through weight loss. You will learn all about nutrition, how to feed your body, and you will have your weight loss progress monitored at the meetings.
The Weight Watchers Points system is an easy way to follow and keep track of what you have eaten and to know how much more you can eat for the day. You will be allotted a certain amount of ‘points’ that you can use each day, with each food you eat having a certain points value.
How many points you will be given depends on your current weight. Points are assigned to foods based on their content. Foods that have a high fiber and low fat content are worth less points, while foods with high fat and lower fiber are worth more points.
The fewer points each food you eat is worth, the more you can eat throughout the day. There are no special exercise or dieting requirements except staying within your point range. You can increase the speed at which you lose weight by incorporating exercise as well as a balanced diet.
4. South Beach Diet
The South Beach Diet was first created to help people to lower their risk of getting heart disease. It was developed by cardiologist Arthur Agaston as well as dietician Marie Almon. The South Beach Diet is a low-carb diet that focuses on eating the right types of carbohydrates that are low on the glycemic index. These include carbs you get from foods such as whole grains and vegetables. On the diet you should also only eat certain types of healthy fats and only lean meat.
There are three phases of the South Beach Diet.
- Phase 1: Kickstarting the Weight Loss Process. Here you learn what to eat and how much to eat. You learn about portion control and proper sizes. It lasts two weeks.
- Phase 2: Aiming for reaching your goal weight and learning the right carbs.
- Phase 3: After you reach your goal weight, you adopt a new lifestyle by using the eating habits you have learned.
The South Beach Diet focuses mostly on eating habits and says nothing of exercise. You should follow an exercise program or increase your level of physical activity in order to get the best results from the diet.
Benefits of the diet include:
- Lower cholesterol levels
- Reduce risk for hypertension
- Overall better health
- Less hunger
- Lower risk of developing diabetes
- Long-term results for those that stay with it
There are various diets available, with each having its own advantages and disadvantages. Each diet has its own reasons for why it works for certain people. You may have to try different diets until you find your perfect fit and which diet works best for you and your life.