THE DASH DIET
Just recently, the DASH diet (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) was crowned as the Best Diet Overall, as well as the Best Diabetes Diet by the U.S News and World report. The diet originally was designed to lower blood pressure, it’s shown to support healthy weight loss in individuals.
What it consist of: The eating plan incorporates a good amount of fruits, vegetables, low-fat and non-fat dairy, with an emphasis on low sodium intake. There’s also very little room for junk food, including sweets.
- Gradually start adding more fruit and vegetables to our meals, making sure they are fresh, frozen or have low-sodium.
- Reduce the amount of sodas and other sugary drinks we drink. Instead, reach for fat-free and low fat milk, and of course, water.
- Slowly cut down on how much meat we eat–reducing it by a half. Vegetarian options are also a great option for us.
- Overall, lowering how much sodium, saturated fat and trans fat we eat.
A Good Read: The DASH Diet Action Plan: Proven to Boost Weight Loss and Improve Health by Marla Heller
THE MEDITERRANEAN DIET
The Mediterranean diet continues to be one of the healthiest lifestyles out there. Research has shown that a diet rich in plant food and healthy fats is good for us, especially to protect again heart disease, cancer, and other illnesses.
What it consist of: There’s no one single Mediterranean diet out there, since it differs between the various countries bordering the Mediterranean sea. However, there are similarities. The diet heavily consists of vegetables, fruits, nuts, and whole grains along with some olive oil, fish, cheese, yogurt and wine. Sodium, sweets, saturated fats and meat are also reduced. Physical activity plays a key in keeping with this healthy lifestyle.
- We need to eat more fruits and vegetables with our meals and snacks.
- Avoid fried food as much as possible. Instead we should use olive oil and grill our foods.
- Drinking in moderation is key. Wines are ideal.
- In order to keep up with the healthy lifestyle, we need to take at least 30 minutes each day to exercise.
A Good Read: The Mediterranean Prescription: Meal Plans and Recipes to Help You Stay Slim and Healthy for the Rest of Your Life by Angelo Acquista.
WEIGHT WATCHERS DIET
The Weight Watcher’s famous PointPlus system and numerous TV commercials are hard to miss. And with spokesperson Jennifer Hudson’s successful weight loss on the program, this lifestyle diet is definitely popular.
What it consists of: The philosophy behind the program is to encourage healthy choices that will stop us from overeating, but keep us satisfied. So strict restrictions aren’t necessarily a component in this program, but rather portion control and healthy alternatives. The way the program works is that we are given a daily PointsPlus number, based on our gender, height, weight and age. We then eat according to the points (and within our PointPlus target) associated with a particular food, drink or snack.
- You can choose to go to Weight Watchers meetings, where you get guidance from someone who has lost weight with the program or decide to do the customized online plan.
- Familiarize yourself with the ‘Getting Started’ booklet which teaches you how to follow the food guide to make meal choices, whether it’s eating at home or eating out.
- Use the food list with the associated points as a reference for picking each meal. This will help get you more use to categorizing food based on its low or high point value, so you can stay within your daily target number.
- An exercise plan is key to getting the optimum results we want from the program. A minimum of 20 minutes is recommended, whether it’s walking, jogging or some form of cardio.
A Good Read: Weight Watchers New Complete Cookbook by Weight Watchers.