It’s a classic when you start dieting and there’s no specialist who doesn’t emphasize it. Nutritionists insist that the key to a good diet is that it be “moderate, varied and balanced”. To lose weight it is enough to follow a series of guidelines, and prioritize some foods over others, but most mortals also need a specific menu: a well-regulated to ensure success.
New diets appear every year, but not all of them are recommended. In general, for a diet to be effective in losing weight, but also safe, it cannot be too strict. But, in addition, something must be adapted to our tastes, otherwise, it will be very simple that we go beyond it and end up eating more than we should.
It is difficult to make a selection of the best but these three have the support of prestigious institutions and scientists and a large group of people who have made them successfully.
1. The diet of the Mayo Clinic
The Mayo Clinic is one of the most prestigious private hospital companies in the world, well known for its powerful research work. The institution’s nutritionists developed a standardized diet that they recommend to patients to lose weight, but also to maintain a healthy diet over time.
This is an excellent diet as a maintenance regimen, because it is very complete and safe, although it does not allow you to lose weight as quickly as other plans. No nutrient is eliminated but, as in most weight loss plans premium the intake of fruits, vegetables and whole grains.
The goal of the Mayo Clinic diet is to help you lose excess weight and find a way to eat that you can maintain for life. It focuses on changing your daily routine by adding or breaking habits that can make a difference in your weight, such as eating more fruits and vegetables, not eating while watching TV, and exercising for 30 minutes a day.
In the initial two-week diet, between 2.7 and 4.5 kilos can be lost. This is a typical daily menu scheme, containing 1,200 calories. At this stage, you focus on lifestyle habits that relate to weight. You learn to adopt five healthy habits, abandon five bad ones, and incorporate five additional ones. This stage can help you see some quick results.
- A skimmed yogurt and a piece of fruit.
- 1/2 cup of cooked oatmeal with one cup of milk and two tablespoons of raisins, 1/4 cup of mango and one non-calorie drink.
- A pasta salad made with a can of tuna, four cups of cooked pasta, two cups of diced carrots and zucchini, and four tablespoons of low-calorie mayonnaise and an orange.
- Quinoa and sweet potato cakes, mixed salad with fat-free dressing and a non-calorie drink.
- One-third of a 12-inch cheese pizza.
- A green salad made with half a cup of sliced tomatoes, red onions and mushrooms. And two tablespoons of dressing.
- 1 pizza of Arabian bread, 3/4 cup of mixed fruits and a calorie-free drink.
- Aperitif between the three meals
2. The Mediterranean diet
The Mediterranean diet is the traditional diet with the greatest scientific backing and we all know what it is: a high consumption of fruits, vegetables, fish, whole grains, legumes and olive oil, and low in red meat, sugars and saturated fats. But exercise is also an important component. Since it is the diet that was used in our country until not long ago, it is very easy to follow. But we must bear in mind that what we can understand today as the “Mediterranean diet” does not always correspond to what scientists understand as such.
The Predimed study carried out in Spain, for example, concluded in a study published in ‘The New England Journal of Medicine’ that a Mediterranean diet enriched with nuts and extra virgin olive oil reduces by 30% the possibility of dying from a cardiovascular accident. New research published today in the ‘International Journal of Epidemiology’, however, nuances the universal goodness of mixing fruits, vegetables, fish, cereals, legumes and olive oil, and adds a forgotten nuance for this diet to be truly effective: having money or belonging to the upper class.
Use olive oil. It is the most used oil in Mediterranean cuisine. It is a food rich in vitamin E, beta-carotene and monounsaturated fatty acids that give it cardioprotective properties. This food represents a treasure within this regime and has endured through centuries among the regional gastronomic customs giving the dishes a unique flavor and aroma.
Low-processed, fresh and seasonal foods are the most suitable. It is important to take advantage of seasonal products because, especially in the case of fruits and vegetables, it allows us to consume them at their best, both at the level of nutrient intake and for its aroma and flavor.
This could be a daily menu:
- A latte.
- A slice of bread with olive oil.
- A glass of natural orange juice.
- A piece of fruit.
- Stewed lentils.
- Meatballs with peas and carrots.
- Strawberries with cream.
- Fresh cheese with honey.
- Mixed salad.
- Baked fish with baked potato.
- A yogurt.
3. The DASH diet
The DASH diet stands for ‘Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension‘ and, as its name suggests, was developed by the U.S. National Institutes of Health as a specific diet to treat patients with high blood pressure. Although it was not born as a slimming diet, it does serve that purpose.
It is a very varied diet in which the intake of fruits, vegetables and low-fat dairy products is premium. Whole grains, meat, fish and legumes are also consumed, but in a more restricted way. Saturated fats, refined sugars and carbohydrates are virtually banned. The DASH diet is accompanied by a plan of physical exercise activities and reduces alcohol consumption to a minimum. Since it is a diet especially recommended to treat hypertension, salt is limited to the point at which our stews begin to taste something.
This could be a daily menu:
- Whole turkey and tomato sandwich.
- An orange.
- A green tea.
- Grilled pork loin with brown rice and beans.
- A lettuce salad.
- Pasta with natural tomato and mussels.
- Sugar-free gelatin.
4. Flexitarian Diet
The term of this diet refers to those people who base their diet on a vegetarian diet but occasionally, and for whatever reason, consume some products of animal origin such as seafood, fish or poultry. Some may think that everyone then comes under this concept, but that is not the case. Their diet is based on a green diet and the consumption of animal origin is occasional or exceptional. what defines it is the frequency in this type of food intake.
It emphasizes the consumption of fruits, vegetables, whole grains and vegetable proteins, which replace those provided by meat, although the diet also allows the consumption of eggs and dairy products. Meat as such is only added in very small amounts as an ingredient in pasta dishes or salads.
This diet is a favorite of those who follow the famous Nutrisystem diet plan.
The University of Newcastle, Australia, has presented a weight loss program just for men and has named it Workplace POWER, an acronym for Preventing Obesity Whitout Eating Like a Rabbit. “Many men don’t recognize that they are overweight,” one of the creators of the diet, Professor Philip Morgan, explains in The Sidney Morning Herald. “Having a belly doesn’t seem to be a problem when all your classmates have one. Being fat has normalized among men because 70% are obese or overweight.
These are his main tips:
- Breakfast. Be generous with it and never skip it. Avoid high glycemic index foods and eat proteins, which will keep you satiated longer. Eggs are always a good choice.
- Food. Salads and leftovers from what you do for dinner are always a good choice. If for any reason you are forced to eat out, try to make healthy choices, such as veggie sandwiches. Try to always eat fruit and avoid sugary drinks.
- Dinner. Think about the proportions of your food: half should be vegetables, a fourth meat and another carbohydrate.
- Always take food from home to avoid eating foods that are too high in calories from fast food establishments and vending machines. Always read the labels of what you are going to eat and take into account their calories to avoid exceeding your daily requirements. It’s the best way to be sure you’re not gaining weight.
Think before you eat. You don’t have to give up on the drinks and foods you like – you just have to reduce your intake of the most calories a little and introduce healthier choices. Get moving. Stand up and walk as much as you can. Every step counts if you’re trying to lose weight. Climb the stairs instead of the elevator, park farther away, and walk. Moving is the best way to meet your goals as soon as possible.
It was designed by the U.S. National Institute of Health, although this time as a diet to treat cholesterol. Again, experts have found that it is an ideal diet for all types of profiles, as it is “very healthy, complete and safe.
It’s a “do-it-yourself” approach: it’s very flexible but requires a lot of commitment, since it’s not as targeted as other diets. The key to the plan lies in reducing to a minimum the consumption of fats, in particular, saturated fats (whole milk, fried foods, fatty meats…). In addition, the consumption of whole grains, fruit, vegetables, fish and chicken (without the skin) is rewarded.