You can’t even go 24 hours without running into someone who is on a diet, talking about going on a diet, or sharing success (or failure) stories about their dieting experience.
If you’re looking to lose weight there must be a path that would work for you, right? But wading through all the information out there can leave you feeling completely overwhelmed.
If you’d like to know some of the latest trends in dieting, as well as some classic staples, without doing the legwork, then this article is for you.
This article won’t necessarily help you decide on the right diet, but it will help you understand what’s out there so you can make an informed choice.
TREND #1: Detox/Cleanse Juice Diets
Juice diets can be controversial, but with the help of your doctor, you can find one that works for you.
Cleanses can help if you feel bloated or sluggish, have trouble with caffeine or junk food dependency, or even if your skin is breaking out. The idea is to eliminate toxins from your body, which will benefit your entire system, inside and out.
Juice cleanse diets are not expected to produce long lasting weight loss results, but they are a good start to shift you away from bad habits and help you begin healthier eating after your cleanse.
TREND #2: Paleo Diet
The Paleo Diet is based on foods that were believed to be available to humans who lived in the Paleolithic Age. It’s a relatively low carb diet and is in many ways similar to the Atkins and South Beach Diets.
There are a few main principles that most people on a Paleo diet can agree on: only eat foods that can be picked or hunted in nature, avoid foods that cannot be eaten raw, and try to choose meat from animals that have been fed their natural food (Ex: grass fed beef).
The Paleo Diet has proven to reduce body fat and increase muscle mass. It also helps to reduce the need for diabetes, cholesterol, and blood pressure medications.
TREND #3: “Clean Eating” Diets
While many diets center around more or less of certain types of food (Ex: less carbs), clean eating is simply about eating whole foods- minimally processed and refined. Foods that are nearest to their natural form.
It’s not a surprise that eating whole foods has been linked to good health. Diets full of veggies and fruits can be linked to everything from disease prevention to shiny hair. The difficulties are obvious- it’s hard to find foods that haven’t been processed in some form. However, with a little planning and creativity, clean eating is a doable path.
TREND #4: Meal Delivery Diets
All can agree that if you are going to diet, you will need to curb the amount of eating outside the home. Taking control of what you eat will involve preparing much of your own food. In this day and age it is harder and harder to find the time to make dinner at home after a long day of work, school, and various activities. Diets that offer meal delivery can help bridge the gap between the inability to prepare all meals at home and the desire to diet.
There are numerous programs that offer different amounts of food for a monthly cost and they are conveniently delivered right to your door.
TREND #5: Dash Diet
DASH stands for Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension. Started as a way to reduce blood pressure, it was soon discovered that DASH was also a great way to lose weight.
It is meant to be a long term approach to eat healthy by emphasizing portion size, getting the right amount of nutrients, and eating a variety of foods. It is laid out in the NY Times best selling book, “The Dash Diet Weight Loss Solution: 2 Weeks to Drop Pounds, Boost Metabolism, and Get Healthy” by Marla Heller.
DASH claims to be “grounded in healthy eating principles that lower blood pressure; reduce the risk of heart disease, stroke, and some types of cancer; and support reaching and maintaining a healthy weight.”
TREND #6: Volumetric Diet
More of a long term plan, Volumetrics is a diet created by Barbara Rolls, PhD. The draw of Volumetrics is that you can eat a lot and still lose weight. The focus is on feeling full. The idea is to fill up on the right kinds of foods that leave you feeling full.
There is an emphasis on foods that have a lot of water in them (ex: fruits and vegetables) because they fill you up, but with less calories. Rolls talks about “energy density” which refers to the calories in a certain portion of food. Low energy density foods have fewer calories, but more volume. Bottom line? Volumetrics allows you to lose weight by helping you to feel full on fewer calories.
TREND #7: Weight Watchers
Almost in a class by itself, Weight Watchers has no food restrictions. You simply lose weight by creating a calorie deficit. Individuals join a program either in person or online, and members then are encouraged to select a goal weight, one that is within a healthy BMI (body mass index).
Weight Watchers offers information, motivation, and strategies to help members make wise diet and lifestyle choices. While there is no food off limits, there is an emphasis on moderation.
The basis of Weight Watchers is their points plan, a system that gives every food a point value, and members are given a daily allotment of points based on height, weight, age, and gender. Keeping track of daily food intake, coupled with group support and overall inspiration has kept Weight Watchers at the top of the diet game for over 50 years.
TREND #8: Mediterranean Diet
The Mediterranean diet is based on foods that are typical of Mediterranean style cooking. It is an extremely heart-healthy diet that emphasizes plant-based foods (fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, nuts), replaces butter with healthy fats, replaces salt with herbs and spices, limits red meat (encouraging instead fish and poultry), eating with friends and family, exercising, and drinking red wine (in moderation).
Research has shown that people who ate this type of diet in the Mediterranean were extremely healthy and had a low risk of disease. Not only a way to lose weight, the Mediterranean diet also helps prevent type 2 diabetes, strokes, and heart attacks.
TREND #9: Flexitarian Diets
Flexitarian is just as it sounds: a blending of the words “flexible” and “vegetarian”. Studies have shown that vegetarians weigh less than meat eaters.
The Flexitarian diet focuses on foods like tofu, beans, lentils, and nuts instead of meat. This shifts your emphasis from animal proteins to plant proteins. Then you add fruits and vegetables, whole grains, dairy, and the occasional sweet to round things out.
The plan encourages breakfast to be about 300 calories, lunch about 400, and dinner around 500. Adding two 150 calorie snacks gets your daily intake to about 1,500 calories. The term “flexitarian” was created by registered dietitian Dawn Jackson Blatner in her 2009 book, “The Flexitarian Diet: The Mostly Vegetarian Way to Lose Weight, Be Healthier, Prevent Disease and Add Years to Your Life.”
TREND #10: Atkins Diet
The Atkins Diet has been around for decades and was started by Dr. Atkins, a well known cardiologist. Dr. Atkins noticed that when he limited his patients intake of sugar and carbohydrates, they lost weight and kept it off.
If you limit carbohydrates and sugar, your body burns body fat for fuel. The emphasis is not on counting calories, but on limiting these carbs and avoiding sugar highs and lows, which gives a more constant energy level, thus less hunger and cravings. In addition, because of the increase in fruits and vegetables in your diet, your fiber intake is increased and this lowers risk factors associated with the colon, lowers cholesterol, and reduces your risk of heart disease. Atkins has a large resource of their own food brands, as well as suggestions of what kind of foods to try on their website. (Ex: Matcha tea).
If you don’t want to have to count calories or buy special food, and don’t mind cutting back on common carbs (such as white flour and sugar) then Atkins could be for you.
TREND #11: Food Tracking
Not a diet in the traditional sense of the word, Food Tracking is still a trend that has proven time and again to help you lose weight.
Several studies have shown that keeping a food journal increases your chances of losing weight. Keeping a diary of what you eat allows you to raise your awareness of what and how much you are eating. It also helps you identify areas where you can make a change.
Food Diaries can reveal patterns of overeating, show triggers that may cause unhealthy choices, and help you gain general insight on your diet that you may remain unaware of otherwise. In this technological age there are numerous tools for recording what you eat, from websites to apps, to physical food journals.
Sherrie Delinsky, PhD, a psychologist, says that the very fact that her clients have to record every bite deters them from overeating. Her clients “often reconsider eating something because of not wanting to write it down."
All things considered, dieting can seem overwhelming. But hopefully this overview of the latest trends has helped you begin your journey to finding the best path for you to change your lifestyle and begin to make healthy choices. From juices to journals, meal delivery to motivation, with the right choices dieting can be an extremely positive and inspirational experience.
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