This article focuses on the various diet programs and the benefits they have to offer. The most widely practiced weight loss programs have been talked about and then the guide has been provided to go through that could be of great help to you in choosing a certain diet plan for you that best suits your body type and lifestyle. At the end of the article, some help in the form of some steps is provided to keep you going through the plan.
Difference Between a Diet and Weight Loss Program
There is an utmost need to differentiate between the normal diet we have and the weight loss programs that are widely available. The work program itself is quite depict-able about the process and steps it has to offer. It is quite vast in its meaning providing you with the most comprehensive process rather than just a guideline or a diet plan like the low-carb diet, low-fat diet, and others. The programs helping in weight loss are owned by some companies and require some sort of membership or subscription to become a part of that program. Most of the programs not only provide you with the diet plan or packaged meals but also the recipes for you to treat as weight loss diet yourself with your twist along with the recommendations for suitable exercises.
In other words, a weight loss program is much more than that of a diet plan in its offering. The weight loss program is the best if it motivates you to move towards a healthy lifestyle and incorporates some physical activity in your daily routine. These programs have experts who are registered dietitians or nutritionists who can monitor your whole health and weight loss and are also available to clear out your ambiguities.
Most Effective Weight Loss Programs
Some of the most widely practiced weight-loss diets with their benefits and further information are discussed as below:
- Diet Plan: This allows you to eat for a certain time if you consume only healthy food choices and the rest of the time is taken by the body to burn the fat. This helps in reducing 3-8% of your weight in 3-24 weeks. There are two ways to define the eating limit:
- 16/8 Method: This method allows for the intake of calories just for 8 hours of the day.
- 5:2 Method: This method makes you have two days of low-calorie intake of approximately 500 to 600 calories out of the whole week.
- Additional Info: Perseverance of muscle mass is a plus in this diet which can enhance your metabolic rate besides increasing fat-burning properties.
- Diet Plan: Plant-based diets are not done to lose weight but followed for some ethical reasons which can also aid in weight loss.
- Vegetarian Diet: There are many types of vegetarian diets but almost all of them involve restricting fish, poultry, and meat from their diets, but some vegetarians also eradicate dairy and eggs from their diets too.
- Vegan Diet: Vegan diet is way stricter than that of the vegetarian diet as it completely restricts animal-derived products like honey, albumin, casein, dairy, eggs, whey and gelatin.
- Flexitarian Diet: Flexitarian diet is rather a lifestyle change than a diet itself. It encourages more intake of vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and legumes. It also allows incorporating animal-based products for moderation making it a good alternative to diets that are quite difficult to adhere to.
- Additional Info: Plant-based diets keep you fuller because of the high fiber content aiding weight loss and restriction of the high-calorie contributing fats makes them suitable for weight loss too.
- Diet Plan: Low-carb diets fall among the most hyped diets for weight loss across the world. It has many varieties differing in restriction of carbohydrates like Ketogenic or Keto diet, Atkins diet and low-carb high-fat diet (LCHF). Carbohydrates can be restricted at drastic level in some diets like Ketogenic diet which reduces carbs to below 10% out of the total calories consumed but this percentage falls around 30% for other diets.
- Additional Info: Low-carb diets increase the consumption of fats and proteins by restricting carbohydrates. The diets that quite low in carbohydrate content make the body dependent on the fats or fatty acids and burn them for fulfilling everyday body energy requirements. The liver, in low carbohydrate levels, produces ketone bodies which are the energy packets for getting through the day and this process which makes you produce ketone bodies is known as ketosis. Low-carb diets are also helpful in getting rid of stubborn belly fat that is just sitting there for quite long and yet remains unaffected upon changing dietary habits.
- Diet Plan: Low-fat diets, similar to low-carb or keto diets, are under the spotlight from decades considering their miraculous results. Low-fat diets decrease the fat consumption to around 30% of the total allowed calorie intake but some diets like very- or ultra-low-fat diets make this fat intake to fall to 10% of the calories allowed. Low-fat diets get the energy boost from the carbohydrates and proteins and in ultra-low-fat diets, 80% of the energy is replenished by carbohydrates and 10% from proteins.
- Additional Info: Low-fat diets allow you to lose weight with many restrictions and controlled environment as compared to the low-carb diets which make you lose weight quite fast from day to day basis.
The Paleo Diet
- Diet Plan: The Paleo diet supports the diet our ancestors consumed after hunting and gathering as they have linked the modern illnesses with the Western diet ingestion. They strictly oppose the grains, legumes and dairy products as according to a theory, the human body has still not evolved to the point of digesting these food items thus causing health-related problems.
- Foods to Eat: Fruits, whole food, vegetables, red meats, nuts, seeds
- Foods to Avoid: Dairy products, legumes, grains, processed food, sugar but some diets with comparatively fewer restrictions allow for the consumption of cheese and few other dairy products
- Additional Info: The Paleo diet has proven its efficacy in weight loss and reduction of belly fat as proven by a study conducted for 3 weeks. It is maybe because this diet gives you a feeling of being full and decreasing hunger pangs as compared to the other diets like the Mediterranean diet and a low-fat diet. This fact resides solely on the highly proteinaceous nature of the Paleo diet.
The Mediterranean Diets
- Diet Plan: The diets of people of Greece and Italy or the food items they used to consume are what the Mediterranean diet revolves around.
- Food to have strictly: fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts, whole grains, seed, fish, seafood, extra virgin olive oil, and tubers
- Food to have moderately: dairy products, eggs, poultry
- Food to have rarely: red meats
- Food to avoid strictly: refined oils and grains, trans fats, processed meat, sugar, and highly processed food items
- Additional Info: Mediterranean diet being rich in antioxidants is very effective in relieving inflammation and this also facilitates weight loss by the neutralization of free radicals. This diet not only helps in reducing the risks linked to various heart illnesses but also reduces the chances of premature death.
The DASH Diet
- Diet Plan: DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) diet is basically an approach to opt for such diets that would be good in controlling the high blood pressure (hypertension).
- Foods to Eat: Vegetables, fruits, lean meat, whole grains
- Foods to Avoid: low in red meat, salt, fats, and sugar
- Additional Info: DASH diet has set portions or servings of a particular food group for each person depending upon calories as each person has a different calorie intake requirement for every single day. An average person’s daily calorie requirement is satisfied by approximately 5 servings of fruits and vegetables each, around 7 servings of good carbohydrates (whole grains), 2 servings can be of any low-fat food (mainly dairy products) and lastly 2 or fewer servings of lean meat. Along with these servings, nuts and seeds can be consumed 2 to 3 times a week.
WW (Weight Watchers)
- Diet Plan: This diet accounts for the consumption of food from every category but within the point limit set per person for every day. Depending upon the calorie, fats and fiber content, each food category is assigned some value or point, and this point-based system helps in calculating your daily intake requirement. Points allow you to resonate within the set limit to get the best results for weight loss.
- Additional Info: Flexibility in the options for food items available to choose from is one reason than makes WW favorable among many diets as it makes it easy to adhere to the diet.
How to opt For One Weight Loss Program That Will Work for You
The desire to lose weight often remains unfulfilled due to keeping on track with it and is a common issue faced by most of the people. To get the best out of any diet, it is advisable to go for a program that provides you a structured approach helping with the appropriate portions of the meal, physical activity for every single day and other lifestyle modifications. These weight loss programs have membership options which in some programs is free but is often charged in most.
Many programs are available on various websites and social media sites showing before and after pictures of numerous people as proof of their effective program. But these photos must not fascinate you to the point of getting started without collecting enough information. How can you be sure that whether those pictures are the results of that respective diet? To know which program to opt for and which things are to be loosed for while making anyone program part of your everyday life. Here are some of the steps that can help you in selecting one program that could be beneficial for you in losing weight effectively.
Choose A Program That Puts Health Above Weight Loss
Getting a program for losing some weight is the most looked after thing in the entire world but feeling excited for shedding some pounds should not overlook the health priorities it has to offer. Health should be the number one priority while going for any weight loss program. The weight loss program is effective when it provides you with other important benefits like reducing stress and getting adequate sleep which further stimulates your body to lose weight. Reduction of stress by going through stress-management programs helps you in opting healthy diet and making wise decisions in this aspect according to a study conducted on some individuals which were then published in the Journal of Molecular Biochemistry in 2018.
Opt for A Plan Which Covers All Food Groups and Provides A Balanced Diet
The plan which you are interested in must cover all the food groups like carbohydrates, proteins, fats, and other nutrients. Exclusion of one or more of these food groups can end up in causing severe nutritional deficiencies like compromised heart health which occurs upon the restriction of carbohydrates thereby causing fiber deficiency. This deteriorating heart health pertaining to a carbohydrate-restricted diet has been proved by a study by Harvard Health Publishing.
Slow-And-Steady Approach Is the Best to Go For
As per Mayo Clinic, it is considered quite healthy to lose approximately 1-2 pounds in one week for an average healthy individual, but this is not the case with overweight or obese people. Losing this percentage of weight ensures that the lost weight is that of getting rid of fat instead of reduction in muscle mass or loss of water and this approach helps in maintaining this lost weight for longer periods according to science. Beware of the weight loss programs or diets that promise to make you lose weight faster and more pounds in a short period as this could produce damaging results with time.
Look for Programs That Include Physical Activity
It is quite easy to lose weight fast just following some moderation in your dietary habits without any exercise, but the lost weight won’t accompany you for long. To maintain stability in weight loss for a longer time frame, it is necessary to incorporate some sort of physical activity in your diet plan to get the best results.
Must Be Backed by Registered Dietitians
Experts having expertise in nutrition and its effects on health are actually the dietitians which are registered with the clinical councils. These dietitians take into account the entire health situation of the person for whom they are designing a weight loss program. Go for the program that provides you with the services of registered dietitians (RDs) as their experts on board. But if their expert panel consists of paid celebrities then it is advisable to clear your mind off that program.
Plato Stick to The Program
Most of the plans that provide weight loss portion your food out in some containers and make sure that you record all the meals of your day or even the snacks on the app they have provided to you for the very purpose. But if this plan or portioning freaks you out then there is no need to put yourself at stake. Look for a plan that best suits your lifestyle and is in accordance with your body type so that you can remain stick to it for a longer time. The best program for losing weight, according to the National Institutes of Health, won’t provide you with only time-limited weight loss but also with a weight that is sustainable and easily maintained.
Chosen Program Must Not Help You in Losing Weight but Also in Maintaining It
According to a study that got published in 2017 in the Journal of Obesity and Metabolic Syndrome, weight cycling (increasing and decreasing of weight) puts you at increased jeopardy for the development of diseases like type-2 diabetes, hypertension (increased blood pressure), depression and eating disorders. Therefore, such a program must be opted for that not only helps in reducing weight but also in maintaining it for a longer time frame as many programs have failed to do so.
Ways to Get Started with the Opted Program
After reading all the steps and available weight-loss diets and programs, you came to a solution that suits your lifestyle and body type, and you need to get started by Monday (supposing). Most of the people in this situation would look for binge eating over the whole of the weekend, but this is not right as entering a diet plan unprepared and coldly can risk the chances of failure to get through. Some of the steps that can be taken before getting into the plan to avoid the failure are listed as:
- Get to know the entire program by reading stuff and surfing the internet. Know-how the food items belonging to the diet program and food items to be avoided can help in the selection of the right food items making it a second-nature.
- If you have opted for a program that makes you cook food for yourself on your own rather than providing with the packaged meals, it is advisable to stock your grocery up with the healthy options.
- It is quite easy to get tempted to any unhealthy food option at the start of your journey, so it is beneficial to get rid of all those available unhealthy options from your pantry.
- Planning and scheduling are two things that can be of great output if done appropriately and at the right time. Using time management to allocate time for any activity in the diet program like preparation of meals or any physical activity can increase the likelihood of getting that done at the specified time.
- The process of weight loss is at increased stake when the house you live in is shared by many people who are not on the same path of weight loss. It is necessary to put each one of them on the same path to help you in modifying lifestyle and provide you with support when the plan may get tough to follow.