Dieting is, quite possible, one of the most difficult endeavors for any human being to pull off. We’re pretty sure you know what we’re talking about. After all, who wants to be restricting themselves from eating all of the delicious food that the world has to offer? From sweets to savory dishes or Asian cuisine and European delights, there’s a ton of food out there that just begs to be eaten. So, why on God’s green earth would we ever think of restricting ourselves from that? The short answer is this: our health.
We all want to lead long and healthy lives and though it’s great to indulge every now and then, the fact remains that we need to be mindful about the things that we put into our body. If you’re already over weight or morbidly obese, it’s necessary to get yourself to a state where you can enjoy occasional indulges before you can even think of said indulgences. At this point, we circle back to the need to diet and control our eating. It’s not easy. In fact, it’s often impossible. However, if you’re committed to reaching your health goals, there are great eating plans out there that can really help you lose the weight and keep the weight off.
The Mediterranean Diet
Doctors and health experts alike have been raving about the effectivity of the Mediterranean Diet for years. This well studied diet has also been shown to be incredibly effective for patients who are in desperate need of preventing heart disease or controlling it. In this diet, you can expect to be consuming mainly foods that were easily accessible and regularly eat in the Mediterranean Sea during the 20th century (particularly in the 1960s). This means that your meals will revolve largely around fish, poultry, vegetables, certain fruits, legumes, berries, whole grain, dairy and good old extra virgin olive oil.
Studies on this diet show that the foods included are miles healthier than the American diet. People in the Mediterranean region during this period of time were also known to have a much lower risk of diseases. Their health can be attributed directly to their diet. With that being said, there is no one certain way to really do this diet, but the basic gist of it is that you should be making most of your diet revolve around vegetables, fruits, nuts and seeds, potatoes, whole grains, seafood, spices and legumes. Dairy products like yogurt, eggs and cheese, as well as poultry, can be consumed in moderation while red meat is allowable once in a while. You should absolutely stay away from sugars, refined grains, other kinds of refined oil, processed produce and meat as well as sweet beverages.
The Low Carbohydrate Diet
If you need to lose weight as quickly as possible, the low carbohydrate diet is the perfect choice for you. Just as its name suggest, the low carbohydrate diet restricts the amount of carbohydrates that you consume in a day. Instead, you’ll be filling up on foods that are high in protein, good fats and vegetable products. Some people think that that ditching rice, pasta and bread is enough for a low carbohydrate diet, but that simply isn’t the case. Carbohydrates are also found in sugary foods and can even be found in large amounts in some fruit, so it’s important to be discerning and to eat mindfully when on this diet. With that being said, there are many kinds of low carbohydrate diets making the rounds in the fitness industry. Some of the most popular ones to date include the Ketogenic Diet and the Atkins Diet.
In general, however, foods to avoid while on a low carbohydrate include sugar in any form (such as soft drinks, juice, candy, ice cream, etc.), artificial sweeteners (Stevia is permitted!), and gluten grains like rye, spelt and barley. Obvious carbohydrates like breads and rice definitely have no place in a low carbohydrate diet. Here are some surprising ones though. You shouldn’t eat any oils that are high in Omega-6 and well as seed and vegetable oils. Fat sources that are hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated should also be avoided. The best rule of thumb is to stick to olive oils and coconut oil while on a low carbohydrate diet. Low-fat and diet products should also be avoided in addition to highly processed foods. Remember that even so-called “healthy” food ingredients can pack a ton of junk, so be smart about what you put in your body and read the ingredients lists of items you intend to buy at the grocery. At the end of the day though, whole and unprocessed produce is best.
The Paleo Diet
Arguably the most popular diet in the whole world at this point in time, the paleo diet is extremely effective for overall health improvement and weight loss as a whole. The diet focuses on eating unprocessed food that most closely resembles the kind of food that was available to our ancestors from the Paleolithic period. But why should we be trying to emulate the diet of our hunter-gatherer predecessors? Well, our ancestors during this time were, genetically, nearly identical to us modern humans and they thrived eating the way they did. They were, as far as science can tell, free from disease like diabetes, obesity and heart disease. Studies have also shown positive results in proponents that needed to lose a significant amount of weight. The best part is that they lost the weight without needed to count calories and were able to enjoy incredible health benefits and improvements.
The odd thing about the paleo diet is that there’s really no one “right” way to do it. As a diet, it’s quite versatile, which is what makes it so popular. Some people on paleo diets eat very low carbohydrate meals while others eat tons of carbs but stay away from meat products. It depends on what you prefer. However, the one thing that remains constant is the weight loss success. If you’re planning on trying this diet out, stay away from processed foods, sugar, dairy products, legumes and fats and go for meat, fish, vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds and the like.