Diets are not really a one-size-fits-all kind of thing. Our habits, our metabolisms, and our health concerns are all different, and it’s really impossible to say that there is one kind of diet that trumps all others. To pick the right kind of meal plan, you first need to figure out what exactly your goal is, do some research, and pick something that’s going to suit your lifestyle and that you won’t be tempted to quit after two days. Feeling a little puzzled and not sure where to begin? We’re here to provide you with some info that should help you decide what kind of a meal regimen is right for you.
For those suffering from hypertension and looking for a way to not just shed pounds, but to live healthier as well, the Dash diet is all about breaking bad habits and establishing healthy eating patterns. Certain nutrients that help regulate blood pressure such as calcium, protein, potassium, and fiber are encouraged, so you’d be upping your whole-grain, lean meat, and veggie intake significantly. Foods that are high in saturated fats and anything with too much sugar or too much salt is out. While not initially aimed to be a weight loss diet, it can definitely help you shed pounds if you stick to the rules and create a daily caloric deficit. It’s a very heart-healthy lifestyle, but it requires a lot of meal prep and cooking, so be prepared to make your own meals. It also works the best when paired with cardio exercise, and if you want to know more about it, you can read here.
This is another heart-healthy diet, but this one is aimed more at lowering your cholesterol, particularly if it’s something that runs in your family and you’re genetically predisposed to have problems with it. It’s very strict about fatty foods, and you’ll be cutting down on anything deep fried, and a lot of dairy. Only lean meats such as chicken, turkey, and fish are allowed, and you should avoid butter, and increase your fiber intake. If you want to shed pounds in addition to lowering your LDL cholesterol, you’ll need to keep your target calorie level low (about 1600 for men, and about 1200 for women). Meat should be kept to a minimum and you’ll need to significantly up your veggie intake, and reading nutritional labels at the back of the box and keeping track of what you’re eating will have to become the norm. Stick to high-fiber foods to avoid hunger pangs and your cholesterol levels should plummet soon enough.
One of the most popular ones around, the keto diet is currently all the rage in the fitness world. Unlike the previous ones, this diet is mostly about sharply cutting down on carbohydrates and relying on healthy fats to sustain you. If weight loss is your goal, this is a good option, but it does require you to give up a lot of high-carb foods and find healthier replacements. If you want the ketogenic diet explained, you must understand that the gist of it revolves around making you feel fuller and helping you experience less hunger pangs and cravings. It’s also not actually a new diet – it’s been around since the 1920s, and it’s something that can be done both indefinitely and cycled with other meal plans. You’ll want to start reading labels and picking low-carb and low-sugar products, and relying on grass-fed beef, salmon, and poultry. Avocado, olive, and flaxseed are common in the keto diet because they are high in healthy fats, but bacon is also allowed and encouraged occasionally. Like we said, it’s all about low-carb and high-fat meals.
The Mayo Clinic Diet
A good choice for anyone, the Mayo Clinic Diet is something that revolves around changing your entire lifestyle and learning how to stick with a diet pretty much forever. It’s not something that should be done just for a few months, but if you end up sticking to it, it can lead to sustainable weight loss and an overall increase in health. It consists of two parts, where the first part tells you that you don’t count any calories for two weeks, and that you should replace your sugary sweets with fruits and veggies, but that you can eat as much of those as you want. After two weeks, you begin learning more about how many calories are in what foods and creating your own meal plan – you set your own goal and decide how fast you want your progress to be. All food groups are allowed in this diet because the aim of it is to create a sustainable meal plan that you will want to stick to, but it does place emphasis on changing your habits and teaching your body to start enjoying healthy things instead of constantly craving sugar, carbs, and junk food.
Remember that all diets work the best if they’re coupled with physical activity. A sedentary lifestyle will slow down your metabolism and make it harder to shed pounds, so pick a workout that you enjoy, create a meal plan that you can stick to, and enjoy getting healthy and slim.
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