Best Diets 2017: 10 Weight Loss Programs That Work

Challenging, tough, hard, impossible — these are words that can be used to describe dieting. While some diet plans are very simple, others have complex rules regarding what you can and can’t eat. When going on a diet, it’s important to follow the rules as best you can for the most promising results. From fasting to vegan diets, here are 10 options you can choose to conquer the challenge of healthy eating.

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APPLE CIDER VINEGAR DIET

Adding apple cider vinegar (ACV) to a glass of water can help suppress your hunger during a diet. Research has shown that drinking ACV is related to a lower body weight and body mass index (BMI) and obese adults consuming two tablespoons of vinegar per day via a drink lost two to four pounds over the course of 12 weeks.

Rebecca Lee, a registered nurse in New York and founder of the natural health resource, RemediesForMe.com, recommends starting with 1 teaspoon of ACV in 8 to 10 ounces of water and slowly working your way up to 2 teaspoons. Lee warns those who are considering the ACV diet to not drink more than 2 to 4 tablespoons of ACV per day.

VEGETARIAN DIET

No, you won’t be dealing with protein deficiency if you suddenly switch to a vegetarian diet. There are plenty of alternatives such as tofu, beans, lentils and nuts. “Tofu can be substituted for the same amount of meat, poultry or fish in almost any recipe,” Cynthia Sass. RD, a vegan and spokesperson for the American Dietetic Association, told Vegetarian Times.

Sticking to a vegetarian diet can improve the health of your heart, help you lose weight and helps support animal rights. Individuals who choose plant-based diets often experience a decrease in blood cholesterol levels, which, according to studies, could drop by up to 35 percent.

DASH DIET

Standing for dietary approaches to stop hypertension, the DASH diet was originally created to help people lower their blood pressure by the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI). Rather than following any specific rules or restrictions, the DASH diet recommends eating plenty of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, including some low-fat dairy products, animal proteins, legumes, beans, and vegetable oil. Dieters are recommended they limit foods high in saturated fat, as well as sugar-sweetened drinks and candies — all standard rules for healthy eating.

In 2016, the DASH Diet was declared the best overall diet for the 6th straight year by the U.S. News & World Report. Additionally, this diet was recognized in the categories for “Easiest Diets to Follow;” “Best Diet for Healthy Eating;” and “Best Heart-Healthy Diets.”

MEDITERRANEAN DIET

Consisting of mainly fish, fruits and vegetables, portions of whole grains and small amounts of meat, the Mediterranean diet is healthy for your heart, and scientists believe it may protect against mental aging. A recent study consisting of 15,000 people diagnosed with heart disease showed those who maintained a Mediterranean diet had a decreased risk for heart attack and stroke.

The researchers gave the participants, who lived in 39 different countries, questionnaires about their diet and gave them points based on their answers in either the Mediterranean diet or Western Diet category. Over nearly four years, 1,588 (about 10 percent) of the study participants suffered either a heart attack or stroke, or died. Those who ate more foods in the Mediterranean diet category were 3.5 times less likely to experience one of these three events than people whose diets more closely resembled the Western standard.

JAPANESE DIET

One of the top countries for the longest life expectancy is Japan, but why? It may relate to how much they adhere to the Japanese food guide. The guide recommends that every day people should consume 5 to 7 servings of grain dishes, 5 to 6 servings of vegetable dishes, 3 to 5 servings of fish and meat dishes, 2 servings of fruits and 2 servings of milk as well as some form of physical activity and water and tea.

A recent study seeking to discover how the Japanese diet relates to longevity has found that balanced meals consisting of grains, vegetables, fruits, fish and meat contributed to a decrease in the risk of death and cardiovascular disease, Medical Daily previously reported. The study consisted of 36,624 men and 42,920 women between the ages of 45 and 75 over the course of 15 years. Participants who followed the Japanese food guide more closely had a 15 percent lower mortality rate over the 15 year period. The researchers determined the reduction in cardiovascular disease helped reduce the mortality risk.

saladA recent study showed adhering to the Japanese diet can help you live a healthy, longer life.Pixabay.com

VEGAN DIET

A vegan diet consists of cutting all animal products out of your diet. It should be noted that vegan diets are not right for everyone; cutting meat out of your life can brings several health risks such as not getting enough protein, B12, calcium, vitamin D, iron and zinc among others. Researching alternative sources of nutrients and taking multivitamins are a good way of counteracting these deficiencies. Similar to the vegetarian diet, a vegan diet can also help you improve your hearth health and lose weight.

Kendrick Farris, a competitor at the 2016 Rio Olympics in men’s weightlifting, switched to a vegan diet in 2014. He consumes a combination of black beans, avocado and vanilla, chocolate flavored plant-based protein shakes, soy foods, seeds, tofu, lentils, quinoa and nuts.

GLUTEN-FREE DIET

Normally, those who suffer from celiac disease are the only ones who go on a gluten-free diet because they have to. However there are some benefits for those who are not sensitive to gluten or have celiac disease.  “Yes, it’s a popular diet of the moment, but it really does seem to provide some improvement in gastrointestinal problems for a segment of the population,” celiac disease expert Dr. Daniel Leffler, an assistant professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School, told Harvard Health Publications. “It takes a long time to learn how to live gluten-free. You’ll have to become a gluten detective, scouring food labels and looking for hidden gluten.”

This diet has been debated about whether going gluten-free is healthy or can cause unintentional health problems for those who aren’t required to go on a gluten-free diet. Because of this, you should consult a medical professional before starting.

FASTING DIET

In a recent study, 220 men and women were divided into two groups. One group was told to cut 25 percent of their daily calories over the course of two years, while the second group could cut as many calories as they desired each day. The results showed the group who cut 25 percent of their daily calories lost an average of nearly 17 pounds and the other group lost less than a pound. Participants were a normal, healthy weight at the conclusion of the study.

“Calorie restriction among primarily overweight and obese persons has been found to improve quality of life, sleep, and sexual function,” the researchers wrote. “The results of the present study indicate that two years of calorie restriction is unlikely to negatively affect healthy adults. Rather, calorie restriction is likely to provide some improvement.”

‘VIRGIN DIET’

Celebrity and nutrition expert JJ Virgin has created a diet claiming users will lose weight in as quickly as a week by cutting our seven foods. She formulated the plan after seeing her own patients losing weight by dropping certain foods from their diets. The key of this diet is the avoidance of food intolerances known to stress people’s bodies. Every day, you cut out a new food until you reach day seven via three cycles: elimination, reintroduction and sustaining.

Day by day you cut out gluten, soy, dairy, eggs, corns, peanuts, and sugar and artificial sweeteners. Following this, dieters are told to gradually add them back into their diet with the end goal to be finding a long-term balance to keep your body healthy and energized. Taking away each of these one at a time helps people lose weight.

ATKINS DIET

Similar to the “Virgin Diet,” the Atkins Induction Diet consists of several phases, gradually increasing the amount of carbohydrates the dieter can consume during the four phases. During the first phase (induction) people must eat less than 20 grams of carbohydrates a day for two weeks and are encouraged to eat high-protein, high-fat foods that are also low on carbohydrates. Ideally stay in this phase until you are 15 pounds from your weight goal because the longer you are in this stage, the more fat you burn.

In phase two (balancing) increase your carbohydrates to 25 grams per day and reintroduce nuts and seeds to your diet. Gradually increase this to 30 grams per day while reintroducing dairy products. Phase three (fine-tuning) occurs when you are close to your weight goal. Simply add more carbohydrates to your diet until the weight loss slows down. Finally, in phase four (maintenance) you are allows to eat as much carbohydrates as you want while keeping your weight goal.