It’s hard to lose weight and find the Best diets for weight loss. If it were easy, so many Americans wouldn’t be obese, and the weight loss and diet industry wouldn’t be the multi-billion-dollar behemoth it is today. But it is hard, so people spend loads of every money every year buying every promise in their quest to take off pounds.
We all are looking to lose weight, spend money in all kinds of ways: on gym memberships or personal trainers, on diet pills and drinks, on special low-carb or high-protein or other scientific-sounding food product, on exercise videos, on books, and even on the diets themselves.
People desperate to shed a few pounds also try many fad diets, from the Atkins Diet to the Cabbage Soup Diet to the Master Cleanse and Juice fasts to coconut oil cures to Blood Sugar Diets to eating açai berries like they are going out of style.
Many of these fad diets will result in weight loss, but they don’t necessarily create the behavior changes necessary to keep the weight off and for generally improved health.
Effective and Best diets for weight loss
What constitutes a good diet? Which diets are safe and effective? After reaching the desired weight loss goal (assuming it is reached), how do you maintain that weight?
What is the ideal weight for you? How do you diet and maintain your health simultaneously? These are some of the questions that inevitably arise when contemplating losing unwanted poundage.
Dieting is a very individual activity, approached in many ways by millions of people every year. They are faced with numerous decisions, all of which help determine how well they do.
There are several diets today widely used and accepted, hundreds of “fad diets” that are popular for a very short time, then fade into obscurity and uncountable individual methods that are developed for personal regimens.
Is there one “right” method? One that will work almost every time it is used, and by everyone who uses it? Again, that depends on personal opinion and the teachings of the medical hierarchy and the promotional attitudes of the media. One criterion rarely used is long-term results.
What to seek in a diet
When an overweight person goes on a diet, there are many aspects of the plan that must be addressed. What should you be looking for in any regimen calculated to help you lose weight and either maintain or improve your health? What would be the most desirable features to have? Would the following list be ideal for your plan?
All diets are not created equal; some work better than others. This article will help cut the good from the fat and highlight the most effective popular diet plans out there.
Genuinely successful diets, those in which people lose real weight and keep most of it off for over one year, teach people new eating habits that are a lifelong affair. Many involve some support component. And all require cutting calories.
Studies have shown that people in group counseling have better weight loss success than those who receive no counseling. Low carb diets work, but an extremely low-carb diet may not be sustainable as a lifestyle. Also, low-carb diets make some dieters feel sluggish.
Online and In-Person Best diets for weight loss
Studies have proved that people who get weekly in-person support lose weight more effectively than people who do not receive such support. Whether online or phone support works as well as in-person support is not yet known, but it seems that having support as you undertake something so daunting, hard and important as weight loss can only be a good thing.
Weight Watchers has one of the longest track records of success of any diet program out there. People who have reached their target weight through Weight Watchers cite the support they receive in weekly meetings, or online if they sign on for an online-only program, and also the nutrition lessons they learn through Weight Watchers points system.
No food is off limits with Weight Watchers, but each food has a points value, and a person is allotted only so many points a day, depending on their weight, age, gender, and activity level. This helps people learn to make choices and about portion control. People who follow the Weight Watchers diet to the letter can safely lose up to 2 pounds a week.
Studies suggest that phone support can be as effective as in-person support groups for people trying to lose weight. By that logic, online support such as that provided by eDiets should also give dieters the encouragement, support, information and help they need to safely and effectively drop the pounds. Edieters can lose between 1 and 2 pounds a week.
Nutritionist Manuel Villacorta developed his Eating Free philosophy in which, as with Weight Watchers, no food is off limits. Rather, his program considers portions, food combinations and getting the right assortment of nutrients over a day or week, and understanding why our bodies need certain foods.
His program includes online and phone support, loads of recipes and information and a simple formula to help you understand what you need to eat a healthy diet and achieve your weight loss goals. With Eating Free, you can lose up to 2 pounds a week, depending on your goals and how much weight you have to lose.
South Beach Diet
An oldie but a goodie. People who strictly follow the South Beach Diet can lose over 5 pounds in the first 2 weeks extreme phase of the diet (essentially, no fruits, bread, grains or pastas), and they can continue losing over one pound a week throughout the second weight loss phase which includes some fruit and “good” carbs.
Phase three is about maintenance and a new, low-carb lifestyle. There is an inexpensive online version of the diet that provides menus and shopping lists, but very little in the way of support.
This iPhone and smartphone app is free and is an easy way to stay honest about what you eat in a day and to keep track of calories consumed as well as burned. Study after study has shown that people who keep journals of everything they eat are far more successful at losing weight than people who do not log what they eat.
Having such an app on your phone makes it easy to keep track of what you eat wherever you are, and if you are someone who eats the same lunch every day, there’s a feature to create a quick key for favorite meals.
You enter your current and ideal weights, and how many pounds you want to lose in what period of time. Lose It coughs out a daily calorie count. You can lose over 1 pounds a week.
Meal Delivery Diets
Doubt that you can do it on your own? Too busy to cook? Too apt to add butter to the veggies? In the age of FedEx and the Internet, you can get nutritionist-planned, calorie-controlled meals delivered right to your door.
Meal delivery diet plans generally cost more than the do-it-yourself with some support kinds, but they also take the guesswork and calorie counting out of the equation. (Of course, that means they also teach the dieter less about changing their lifestyle.)
In the Zone
In the Zone is based on the Zone Diet, in which 40 percent of calories come from carbs, 30 percent from protein and 30 percent from fat, which supposedly is the ideal nutrient mix and promotes weight loss, increases energy and stabilizes insulin levels.
This delivery program costs $40 or $50 per day for three frozen meals and two snacks, depending on which plan you choose, plus a $10 delivery charge. You can lose 1 to 1.5 pounds a week.
Jenny Craig’s plan combines prepared meals that take out the guesswork with some in-person support and counseling and a weekly weigh-in. The program costs about $25 a day if you pick up the packaged foods yourself at a Jenny Craig center, and about $65 a day if you have it delivered to your home. The meal delivery includes three meals and a snack, and you add your own fresh fruits, veggies, and dairy. You can lose 1 to 2 pounds a week.
The Nutrisystem diet is based on low glycemic foods, and it costs over $300 for four weeks of non-perishable meals. You can do a cheaper program in which one-third of the meals are frozen. You will lose between 1 and 2 pounds a week.
This delivery program provides portion-controlled frozen meals. The idea here is that the number of calories varies from day to day so that your body doesn’t get used to a set number of calories, so you don’t plateau. It costs around $150 for five days of meals or $180 for seven days, along with a $25 delivery charge. You can lose 1 to 3 pounds a week.
What makes a diet work?
What factors are necessary to create a successful diet? There are several that are essential. First, a diet must reduce the FAT content of the body while leaving good muscle mass untouched.
A diet must not be austere, leaving a dieter hungry. Hunger is the single most important factor in diet failures. Any diet that induces satiety (a feeling of satisfaction after eating) has a far greater chance for success than those that don’t.
Another essential factor in a successful diet is the ease with which a person can maintain his/her weight after loss of the excess. If a dieter is forced to maintain an unyielding regimen, the dieter will soon tire and resume old eating habits thus ensuring a return to overweight.
A successful diet makes the dieter feel good. Rather than sapping energy, it actually will build it. The dieter should not feel irritable, lose concentration, experience depression or show signs of physical problems like constipation, dizziness, water retention or other symptoms. Any diet should promote general health and not stress the loss of weight alone.