Hey Angels and Alphas,
When you’re on a weight loss journey, and you’re doing your best to lose weight for good, it’s essential to choose an eating plan that you can see yourself sticking with for the rest of your life.
To help you explore all the most popular options and choose the right nutrition plan for yourself, we’re here to break down the 4 most popular eating plans and explore them in a little bit of detail so you can make an educated choice on which one you should research on your own.
Here is your brief introduction to the top four diets, ranked from the most to the least sustainable.
#1 THE MOST SUSTAINABLE: MEDITERRANEAN DIET
The Mediterranean diet continues to take the top spots in weight loss plan lists because it’s filled with natural foods all of which are rich in micronutrients and fiber, all of which contributes to achieving weight loss results.
This diet is low in sugars and unhealthy saturated fats, reducing your overall caloric intake all while protecting heart health. Numerous studies have shown the Mediterranean diet to be an effective weight-loss strategy, especially when paired with a slight caloric deficit and an exercise program.
When you eat like someone living in the Mediterranean, your diet will likely consist of plenty of whole grains, leafy greens, beans and olive oil, poultry and fatty fish, and the occasional glass of red wine. Cheese is great in moderation, but red meat is limited to once or twice a week, while processed foods are largely removed from the pantry.
#2 INTERMITTENT FASTING
You might find that intermittent fasting is easier to maintain than some of the other diets on this list because it adds a lot of structure to your diet without forbidding any foods or requiring you to completely overhaul your fridge.
There are numerous ways to go about intermittent fasting, but the most common one includes shrinking your eating window and, in turn, consuming fewer calories. One of the most approachable editions of IF is the 16:8 method in which you consume all your meals for the day in an 8-hour period and fast for 16 hours after it.
#3 THE PLANT-BASED DIET
Rich in veggies and fruits that are abundant in natural fibers, a plant-based diet is low in calories and fat but will help you feel fuller for longer due to its high fiber content. Research actually shows that vegan diets have accounted for the most weight loss results out of any diet, followed by vegetarian diets and meat-friendly diets. While vegan and vegetarian diets can be difficult to stick with since you’ll need to eat a minimal amount of animal products, you can approach it with the flexitarian mindset in which you eat only a small amount of meat in a more flexible dietary regime.
#4 THE LEAST SUSTAINABLE: THE KETO DIET
In many ways, keto is actually the opposite of all the above eating plans. It’s high in fat, moderate in protein, and very low in carbs. The goal of this weight loss plan is to launch your body into a state of ketosis in which fat is burned for fuel instead of carbs.
Rapid weight loss will often follow, and some studies have even called keto a highly effective strategy for weight loss. But you will likely struggle to stick with it in the long term. Barriers include the limited options when you eat out and the side effects that come with it, including headaches and constipation. You might be very tempted to load up on a lot of unhealthy fat sources, and for those reasons, it’s best to check up with a healthcare professional before you attempt to jump on keto (let alone stick with it.)
THE BOTTOM LINE IS…
That the best diet you can find is one that you’re going to be able to stick with in the long term. One that doesn’t rely on restrictions and keeps the rules simple. If a diet is calling for too much restriction or calorie cutting, it’s not going to be an effective way to lose weight and keep the weight you lose off after you lose it. Instead, you should always look for green flags such as an emphasis on whole foods, simple guidelines, and sustainable lifestyle changes if you want to achieve the weight-loss results you’re looking for.