In the old days, if someone said they were on a weight-loss diet, everyone knew where they stood. It meant cutting out treats, sugar or fat-laden things and eating more fruit and vegetables.
Now, if you want to drop a few pounds, there’s a whole world of options out there. And that’s what seems so complicated! Which diet is the one that lets you eat unlimited protein again? And isn’t there a diet where you only eat at a certain time of day?
We’ve cut through the excess to give you a speed-dating style low-down on diet plans and trends to help get you back to your fabulous best!
Low Carb Diet – An established means of dropping the pounds, low-carbing means cutting out carbs (including some fruit and vegetables) and loading up on protein-rich foods and fats. Different types of low carb diets exist, so there’ll be one to suit most people.
Vegan Diet – Doing what it says on the can, a vegan diet means not eating meat, fish, or poultry; and avoiding animal by-products including dairy, eggs and honey.
HCG Diet – The controversial HCG diet is all about extreme calorie restriction and taking human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG) supplements. The FDA has issued warnings of caution about the HCG diet, but it still has its fans.
Keto Diet – A low-carb variant, the Keto Diet encourages a high-fat intake and dramatic carb reduction to induce ketosis – a fat-busting metabolic state.
Paleo Diet – A real blast from the past, this. If you follow the Paleo Diet, you need to be eating like a hunter/gatherer from 10,000 years ago. That means fresh foods, nuts and seeds; lean meat and fish. No grains though – so bread and pasta are off the menu.
Low-Fat Diet – More familiar territory here: low fat is easy to achieve with the plethora of fat-free and reduced-fat products and foods out there. And no need to ditch eggs on this diet – they’re fine as part of a controlled eating plan.
Traditional Diet (cutting calories and exercising) – The one that our mothers did if they wanted to lose a few pounds. They cut out the candy and cake and walked to the store and back. Depending on your mother’s era, maybe they also did an aerobic class in Day-Glo Lycra with a nifty little matching headband.
Atkins Diet – Big news when it first burst onto the health scene, most of us know the Atkins Diet and have an idea what it’s about. It’s evolved over the years, and has different phases and variations, but it’s still broadly about achieving weight loss by keeping your diet low in carbohydrates and high in protein and fats.
Juicing Diet – Very popular, this nutritionally-focused way to lose weight is all about eating a ton of healthy stuff – lots of fruit and vegetables – all whizzed into an easily-absorbed smoothie. You can get juices delivered to the door, pore over zingy and delicious-sounding recipes in one of the many juicing books available; or just start throwing whatever’s in the fruit bowl into your juicer and start experimenting.
Dukan Diet – A celebrity following gives the Dukan Diet a bit of gloss, and even the four phases of the eating plan – Attack, Cruise, Consolidation and Stabilization – have a whiff of the Hollywood blockbuster about them. In a nutshell, it’s pretty strict, protein-heavy and following the rules about food combining and ratios feels a bit like going back to school.
South Beach Diet – With the benefit of a sunny-sounding name, the South Beach diet is based around the glycemic index. Although foods (mainly carbs) are restricted for an initial two-week period, most food groups can be enjoyed. Compared to other weight loss plans, the South Beach Diet is moderate and wholesome.
The Zone Diet – More protein and carb balancing here, although The Zone Diet also seeks to optimize hormonal activity through careful eating to trigger weight loss.
Intermittent Fasting and Keto Combination – Does a fusion approach to dieting pay dividends? Followers of this plan think so. Devotees and some nutritionists believe that an intermittent fasting plan can work with a keto diet to burn fat faster than either standalone plan.
Alkaline Diet – The Alkaline Diet has definitely gained traction in recent years. Eschewing meat, eggs, dairy and processed foods, this pH-linked eating regime is relatively moderate and essentially pretty healthy.
Lose Weight Wisely
If you want to lose weight, do so sensibly and talk to your doctor about any specific concerns.
Whichever plan you decide to follow – or even if you go off-piste and do it your own way – always drink plenty of water to stay hydrated.
Stay Tuned For A Closer Look!
Over the coming weeks, we’re going to be looking at each of these diet plans in detail, so keep watching!