One of the biggest struggles in life is to lose weight. It’s easy to gain an extra pound effortlessly, but moving from an L to an M is definitely a task.
To embrace the beauty of your body the way it is, is one thing; while staying healthy and fit is another. It’s totally absurd to binge on pizzas and burgers all the time, welcome those dangerously unhealthy fats and being confident about your body image.
All of us would have painstakingly indulged in workout plans, become a member of the gym or would have starved to death, but wouldn’t have witnessed any positive transformation. A good, healthy diet and the right amount of physical exercise are cardinal to weight loss.
But what’s the right diet plan? What to eat and not eat? No worries; Here’s a list of ten most popular and effective diet plans that will aid to a healthy transformation.
- The Paleolithic diet
As the name suggests, this is the diet that was followed during the Palaeolithic era. It simply means you can eat what our ancestors ate during the Stone Age, and aren’t allowed to eat what they didn’t.
You can eat all of the foods that can be gathered, fished and hunted like – meat, eggs, milk, nuts, fruits, vegetables and plants. There isn’t any strict format or menu to follow the paleo diet, it’s obvious you bade goodbye to refined sugar, cereals, wheat and all those food products we have been eating recently.
This is an extremely healthy and fuss – free diet which concentrates on high protein and low carbs intake. Another biggest advantage of the diet is that you do not have to keep a track of the portions or quantity you eat, rather focus on eating what is right. But, this diet can be expensive as there are limitations to what you can eat and since you are devoid of the goodness of certain kinds of foods, there are chances you can be low in energy.
- The Keto diet
Also known as ketogenic diet, the keto diet is a low carb, moderate protein and high fat diet, formulated primarily to treat children with epilepsy. The diet follows a strict regimen to force the body to produce ketone bodies.
This diet is based on a natural process called ketosis performed by our body to maintain the metabolism when there is no or low food intake. The intake of carbohydrates is purposely reduced so that the body produces ketones. When our body is deprived of carbohydrates, then we do not get sufficient energy. In order to get sufficient energy the body by burns down fats in the liver to fatty acids and ketone bodies in order to gain energy. This in turn helps you lose weight.
Apart from burning fat, the keto diet also stabilises your blood sugar level, improves the performance of the brain and physical ability. But the biggest drawback of this diet is constantly being vigilant about the quantity of food you take, which can be really stressful.
- The Atkins diet
The Atkins diet is one of the easiest and efficient diet plans that show immediate results. The idea behind this diet is that you can eat as much as proteins and fats you want as long, while completely eliminating carbohydrates from your diet.
While it may appear similar to the keto diet, the Atkins diet focuses only on your carbohydrates intake while you have the liberty to take how much ever proteins or fats you want. It aims at figuring out the quantity of carbohydrates your body can take in without gaining weight.
This diet plan is split into four phases. In the first phase, the intake of fats and proteins are spiked up, while there is a rapid reduction of carbohydrates to 20 grams a day for up to two weeks. This phase shows immediate drop in weight. In phase 2, small quantities of carbohydrates are added back to your diet in the form of low carb fruits and vegetables. When you have lost most of the weight, more carbs are added in the phase 3. The final stage is the maintenance phase where you can take healthy carbs your body can accept without gaining weight.
This diet is very effective as low carbs reduces your appetite, preventing you from eating extra portions. Apart from weight loss, the Atkins diet helps stabilises the insulin levels and is easy to follow. But the downside of this plan is the chances of weight gain in the long term.
- The 5:2 diet plan
This is one of the most popular diet plans and is followed my many celebrities. It adopts the method of intermittent fasting. 5:2 simply means that you can eat as you please during 5 days of a week and fast during the other 2 days.
This one of the most effective diet plans that has other health benefits like anti – ageing, controlling insulin and cholesterol levels, improving the brain function, preventing diabetes and heart diseases; along with aiding in weight loss. Studies have also proved that women who have followed this diet plan were less prone to the risk of several chronic diseases like type 2 diabetes.
The biggest advantage of this diet plan is that you are free to eat whatever you want during the non-fasting days. But you should limit your calorie intake to 500- 600 calories during the fasting days. One thing to keep in mind while following this diet plan is that you shouldn’t fast during consecutive days, as it will suck out your energy; leaving you feeling dizzy and light – headed. This diet isn’t ideal for people with low insulin levels, pregnant women and people with eating disorders.
- The Dukan diet
This is diet follows high-protein and low carbohydrates intake, which is proven combination for weight loss. This diet plan is divided into four phases, where two phases consist of weight loss and the other two are maintenance phases. The span of the phase depends on how much weight that needs to be reduced. There is no restriction to the quantity or portions as long as you stick to the rules of this diet plan.
During the weight loss phase, you are required to consume low – fat, protein rich foods like turkey, chicken, fish and eggs; and a limited amount of oat bran is mandatory. Carbs are to be totally avoided. In the upcoming phases, small amounts of non – starchy vegetables fruits are introduced, followed by gradually adding small quantities of carbs and fats. During the maintenance phase you are allowed to take fats and carbs to maintain your weight.
This diet is highly motivating as you can see visible results in the initial phase itself. It also eliminates processed food, sugar and alcohol which is good for your health. But this diet can be very tiring and can be hazardous in the long run leading to a number of diseases as intake of excessive protein isn’t good for the health.
- The Volumetrics diet
This diet plan by Barbara Polls promises weight loss without reducing the consumption of food.
The idea behind this diet plan is to have large volumes of low – calorie healthy diet, with fruits and vegetables. This is a boon for salad lovers, where you can consume unlimited number of fruits, vegetables and low calorie foods. This idea simply promotes healthy eating, while ditching disastrous eating habits. This is by far one of the healthiest diet plans but as it involves a lot of home cooking, it might get a tad-bit hectic for busy bees.
- The vegan diet
While other forms of diet involve the intake of meat for its protein and fat supplements, vegan diet eliminates any kind of animal products. Veganism isn’t just about being a vegetarian, but avoiding all sorts of animal exploitation. Therefore, not even products like honey, dietary products and gelatine are consumed. The diet entirely depends on plant based food.
It’s an eco – friendly diet helps in maintaining a small waist – line without keeping a track of your calorie intake. Although vegan diet is great for you, it can be really expensive and stressful as you are in a constant look out for alternatives. You have to make wise choices as the complete elimination of animal based products like diary; can deprive you of nutrition.
- The Alkaline diet
The main idea behind is to maintain the PH balance in the body. The alkaline diet ensures ample consumption of fruits and vegetables and cutting down acid – inducing foods like alcohol, caffeine, meat, dairy products and refined sure. An increase in the intake of alkaline foods eliminates acid and helps in maintaining the pH levels of the body.
There isn’t any strict restriction on the food you eat, making it easy to follow. May people do not find this diet an ideal one since the body balances its own pH level and essential acids like amino acids and fatty acids are necessary for maintaining good health.
- The DASH diet
The DASH diet is an extremely healthy, low – fat, high –fibre diet plan that largely depends on the intake of fruits and vegetables. This is one of the most effective diet plan aimed to reduce blood pressure and hypertension without any medication.
The intake of fruits, vegetables and addition of good fats like, nuts, lean meat and poultry makes it a healthy and easy diet plan to follow.
The DASH diet has proven to aid in weight loss and preventing the risk of diseases like cholesterol, strokes and cancer. But unlike other diet plan this is quite slow and takes a lot of effort and energy to lose weight and sometimes people stop adhering to this plan.
- The Weight Watchers diet
The weight – watchers isn’t a very strict diet programme in its sense, but promotes right eating and healthy habits to lead a healthy lifestyle. There is no restriction in the amount of fruits or vegetables you take.
The plan is based on smart point system, making it easy to keep a track of your calorie intake. Smart points are assigned to foods and drinks based on fat, protein, carbs and fibre content. Dieters also get personalised exercise plan and smart-points safety net which they can use to treat themselves on special occasions.
This is great for people who cannot follow a strict diet by eliminating certain kinds of food as long as you keep track of them; but, being constantly watchful about what and how much you eat can drive you crazy.
Although maintaining a good diet is great for your health, apart from weight loss; it’s necessary you flex your body a little and do some exercise. You can’t follow one diet plan for the rest of your life. You have to be under constant supervision to ensure you’re giving your body its essential nutrients and is always better to consult your physician before sticking to a diet plan.