(Last Updated on November 6, 2022)
If you are looking to put off some weight, you have probably thought about diet plans.
There are multiple diet plans available today, making it difficult to choose the best.
They all share a common goal: healthy eating and weight loss.
However, your goal should be finding a diet plan that works for you, one you can stick to in the long term, and one that will offer long term weight loss goals.
The truth is, every diet is different and works differently in each person.
What works for you might not be the best for your next-door neighbour due to lifestyles, personalities, and food preferences.
Here are some of the best diet plans recommended by experts and those that offer long term weight loss.
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Mediterranean diet has no single definition.
It is founded on traditional cuisine of various countries that border the Mediterranean Sea.
It has always taken the top position as one of the healthiest diet plans that are backed up by science.
It constitutes extra virgin olive oil, vegetables, beans, whole grains, nuts and seeds, and fruits.
It has been comprehensively studied and is specifically good for healthy heart function.
Also, a review of 19 studies 1 has found that it can support weight loss.
It is also associated with a low risk of type 2 diabetes, cancer, high blood pressure, and heart diseases.
- Supports daily intake of fruits, vegetables, healthy fats, and whole grains.
- Advocates for weekly consumption of beans, fish, eggs, and poultry.
- Limits the intake of dairy products and red meat.
- Maintains moderate use of red wine.
- Restricts processed and refined foods.
- Lowers the risk of heart disease.
- Supports weight loss.
- Reduces oxidative stress.
Do you love your steak and can’t imagine giving up meat?
Flexitarian diet advocates limiting how much meat you consume and adding more plant-based foods.
It was created by dietitian Dawn Jackson Blatner, who believes that you do not have to get rid of meat completely to enjoy the benefits of a vegetarian diet.
Flexitarian was deduced from ‘flexible and vegetarian’.
It states that by eating more plants and less meat, you are likely to lose weight, increase quality of life, lower type 2 diabetes and heart diseases and enhance general health.
Studies 2 show that individuals who followed a Flexitarian diet had lower body weight, BMI, and fat percentage.
- Eating plenty of plant-based foods- legumes, fruit, whole grains, and vegetables.
- Occasional intake of meat and other animal products.
- Include more plant-based protein instead of animal protein.
- Limit added sugar and processed foods.
- Promote weight loss.
- Prevent the occurrence of type 2 diabetes, cancer, and heart disease.
- Reduce waistline circumference, BMI and cholesterol.
- Lower mortality rate.
DASH means Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension.
It is a food plan intended to lower blood pressure.
DASH diet stresses on taking a lot of vegetables, fruits, low-fat dairy, lean protein, and whole grains; foods rich in potassium, calcium and magnesium minerals that control blood pressure levels.
Also, it advocates for low salt intake and limiting the consumption of saturated fats, refined sugar, and red meat.
Despite its focus on controlling blood pressure, this diet has been seen to promote weight loss as well.
It has been ranked among the top diets for weight loss and heart health by US News & World Report 3.
- Two types: standard DASH plan-limits sodium intake to 2300mg daily and lower-sodium DASH plan-limits sodium intake to 1500mg daily.
- Focuses on portion sizes: making manageable dietary changes rich in potassium, magnesium, and calcium.
- Outlines daily servings of foods you should eat: 4 to 5 servings of veggies, 2 to 3 servings of low fat/fat free dairy products, 6 or fewer servings of meat, poultry and fish,4 to 5 servings of fruits,6 to 8 servings of whole grains and 2 to 3 servings of healthy fats.
- Cutting back on refined sugar, processed foods, red meat, and sugary drinks.
- Encourages low sodium intake.
- Lowers blood pressure.
- Supports weight loss.
- Reduces cholesterol levels.
- Reduces type 2 diabetes risk by lowering insulin resistance.
WW (Weight Watchers)
The U.S News and World Report 4, ranked WW as the best diet for weight loss in 2019.
This plan does not limit any food intake.
It is based on a point-counting system where you track your daily food consumption and maintain your daily point allowance to attain your targeted weight.
Each food is allocated a point value.
In a review of 45 studies 5, in individuals who followed a WW diet plan had a 2.6 percent reduced weight compared to other individuals who followed standard measures.
- No foods are limited.
- Involves constant calorie tracking through a SmartPoints-allocation system.
- High-calorie foods have more points thus enables individuals to avoid them, cutting their calorie intake.
- It is flexible and balanced: it allocates zero points to fruits, vegetables, and lean proteins thus encourage taking more healthy foods.
- Supports weight loss.
- Lowers diabetes risk.
- Promotes healthy eating habits such as cooking at home, and measuring food portions.
- Freedom to eat any foods but you need to count SmartPoints and get FitPoints.
Jenny Craig Diet
Jenny Craig diet plan involves taking prepackaged foods and getting support from a personal Jenny Craig consultant to support weight loss.
This plan offers a personalized weight loss plan that contains controlled meal and snack portions; each includes 1200 to 2300 calories, depending on age, activity level, weight loss goals, and gender.
A 2016 study 6 showed individuals who followed Jenny Craig lost about 5 percent more weight than those who followed SlimFast, WW and Nutrisystem diets.
- Prepackaged meals in three plans: classic program, Jenny Craig for type 2, and rapid results.
- Encourages a personal consultant to formulate weight loss goals.
- Allows an individual to add vegetables and fruits to the diet.
- Involves three entrees and two snacks daily, either shipped to your home or picked from Jenny Craig local center.
- It is a subscription plan which can be done on the Jenny Craig website or at local Jenny Craig centers.
- Involves initial sign up fee plus a monthly membership fee and foods costs every week.
- Advocates for exercises.
- Supports weight loss.
- Provides social support.
- Enhances blood sugar control.
- Lowers heart disease risk.
A Volumetric diet has ranked as one of the best long term weight loss plans.
It puts more stress on eating more rather than deprivation.
It emphasises taking foods that increase fullness and satiety, which have a low number of calories – foods that contain more water such as vegetables and fruits.
Volumetrics Diet plan was created by Dr. Barbara Rolls, a nutrition researcher, who emphasises the understanding of energy density of food.
This is the number of calories in each meal. Low -energy density foods have the lowest calories.
This is a well-researched weight loss plan; A review 7 of 13 studies showed that focusing on energy density of foods helps overweight individuals to lose weight steadily.
- It is based on more eating healthy foods; low calorie foods to feel full.
- It comprises of high water content and low-energy-density foods such as vegetables, beans, fruits, whole grains, lean meat, and low-fat diary.
- It focuses on decreasing caloric intake while eating more healthy foods to maintain steady weight loss.
- Encourages eating satisfying foods to keep you feeling fuller for longer.
- Promotes home-cooked foods and a regular exercise plan.
- Supports long term weight loss.
- Encourages healthy foods.
- Provides a well-balanced eating guide.
A vegan diet eliminates animal products completely.
This includes meat, eggs,dairy, animal-derived products such as casein,gelatin,some forms of Vitamin D3, albumin, honey and whey.
It is purely a plant-based diet plan.
It includes whole grains, vegetables, fruits, soya drinks, yoghurt, unsaturated oils, beans, pulses, and plenty of water.
A vegan diet has always had a positive impact on weight loss.
Various studies have associated a vegan diet to low body mass index and lower body weight.
For instance, a 2013 study 8 shows that individuals who followed a vegan diet lost 4.2kg (9.3 pounds) more than individuals who followed a controlled diet (calorie-restricted).
- Fully plant-based diet.
- An individual can shape their daily intake while putting these recommendations into place:
- 2 servings of fruits.
- 5 servings of nuts, legumes, tofu peanut butter ,potatoes, chickpeas and plant-based milk.
- 6 servings of grains.
- 4 daily servings of vegetables.
- 2 servings of healthy fat –avocado, coconut, sesame oil.
- Dessert can include vegan ice cream, baked goods without eggs such as cobbler or cupcakes.
- Weight loss is based on reduced calorie intake.
- Supports weight loss.
- Controls blood sugar levels.
- Reduces the risk of heart disease and early death.
If you are trying to lose weight, then a diet plan that offers long term weight loss goals is the way to go.
The above 7 diet plans have been scientifically proven to offer steady weight loss plans.
However, only choose a diet that fits your lifestyle and preferences, one that you can stick to for a long time.