People pursuing a weight loss journey have learned to steer clear of fad diets due to extreme dietary measures and the difficulty to maintain the habits for long-term success. Why go through such a stringent program if you’re almost guaranteed to gain the weight back? A diet should never be a quick fix if a new, healthy lifestyle is the goal.

These three easy diets have been lauded for the year 2015 for their health benefits, ease of incorporation into your everyday life, and the rate of continuing success. As always, not every diet is right for every person, but give these a try until you find what works for you. Looking and feeling great should not just be a flash in the pan, so embrace the new lifestyle you’re about to create!

 

The DASH Diet

The DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) Diet was initially created to help lower and prevent high blood pressure. By focusing on and tracking crucial nutrients like potassium, protein, fiber, and calcium (known fighters of this problem) you can have greater control over your blood pressure and monitor the foods that trigger an increase. Just amp up your intake of the foods you’ve always been told to eat, like fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, whole grains, and low-fat dairy products, while giving those high-calorie “naughty foods,” like sweets and red meat, the backseat. Keep an eye on your salt intake in the meantime, and the inherent health benefits will do the rest.

To make the DASH Diet work for a typical 2,000-calorie diet, each day you should aim for 4-5 servings each of fruit and veggies; 6 or fewer one-ounce servings of lean meat, fish and poultry; 4-5 (a week) of seeds, nuts and legumes; 6-8 servings of grains; 2-3 of fat-free or low-fat dairy; 5 or fewer (a week) of sweets; and 2-3 servings of fats and oils. The diet suggests limiting sodium at 2,300 mg a day and working to stay under 1,500 mg over time.

For greater staying power and less of an initial dietary shock, it’s best to ease into DASH. Add a serving of fruits to breakfast and a vegetable serving to your lunch or dinner. Start participating in Meatless Mondays each week by preparing all vegetarian meals. Reach for herbs and spices instead of salt to flavor your foods, and experiment with new recipes and new workouts to keep everything interesting and exciting. “Healthy” is not synonymous with “boring,” so see what you can come up with!

While the DASH Diet was not meant to strictly be a weight loss diet, as a heart-healthy plan filled with all things good, it will help you to shed a few pounds in addition to preventing heart disease, heart failure and stroke. If that’s not a win-win, we don’t know what is!

 

The Mediterranean Diet

Those fabulous Europeans have effortless style, prime vacation locales, and, apparently, a naturally healthy diet filled with a bounty of benefits. The Mediterranean Diet was developed on the theory that their meals centered around lean meats (primarily fish), vegetables, fruits, and nuts, and were low in red meat, saturated fat and sugar may aid in heart health, weight loss and control, diabetes prevention and control, cancer prevention, and brain health. People living in the countries that border the Mediterranean Sea statistically suffer less from cancer and cardiovascular diseases than many Americans, and live longer as a result.

This method is more of an “eating pattern” as opposed to a structured diet, so you’ll need to make certain judgement calls in terms of portion sizes and the ingredients used in your daily meals in order to see weight loss results. It emphasizes eating fish and seafood at least a couple of times a week; enjoying plenty of fruits and veggies, whole grains, beans, nuts and legumes, and olive oil, and flavoring meals with ample herbs and spices. It is suggested that people consume eggs, yogurt, cheese, and poultry in moderation, and save sweets and red meat only for special occasions. Of course, it would be decidedly un-Mediterranean to deprive oneself of an indulgent glass of red wine, but remember to enjoy alcohol as sparingly as possible and participate in regular physical activity to reap the greatest rewards.

In a study that assigned 101 overweight men and women to follow either a low-fat diet or a Mediterranean-style diet, the Mediterranean group had lost an average of 5½ pounds, while the low-fat group had gained about 2½ pounds over the course of 18 months. It is reasoned that because the Mediterranean Diet doesn’t ban entire food groups, making the initial adjustment and complying long-term is much easier.

 

The Biggest Loser Diet

The popular TV show presented severely overweight contestants vying for the title of “Biggest Loser” by losing the most weight while preventing, treating and even reversing a host of health issues. Throughout the course of several seasons, the common themes found among all of the contestants on the show have been that boredom eating, consuming the wrong foods, and being sedentary for most of the day have severe effects on our weight and overall well-being. The solution to this issue, off of which the Biggest Loser Diet is based, isn’t exactly ground-breaking, but can be difficult to implement into a busy schedule or set habit. Eating portion-appropriate, regular meals that prominently showcase fruits, vegetables, lean protein sources, and whole grains is key, and can be monitored for healthy-eating newbies with the use of a food journal or food logging smartphone app. Introducing exercise to an inactive lifestyle is also crucial, and can jumpstart an array of health benefits.

The show has spurred several exercise videos and healthy living guidebooks. In 6 Weeks to a Healthier You, you basically get nutrition training, learning about foods with “quality calories” and familiarizing yourself with the Biggest Loser diet pyramid. It suggests four servings a day of fruits and vegetables, three of proteins, two of whole grains, and limiting yourself to 200 calories of “extras” like sweets. Following these guidelines, your daily calorie intake breaks down to be 45 percent carbs, 30 percent protein and 25 percent fats. It also helps you to calculate your personal calorie allowance, determine what time of day is best for you to eat, learn about portion control, and see the benefits of keeping a food journal.

There are also several Biggest Loser cookbooks to provide ideas for healthy meals. For those who don’t think nutritious foods can be flavorful, Biggest Loser dietitian Cheryl Forberg’s Flavor First cookbook teaches you how to pack in a ton of zesty tastes while avoiding packing on the pounds. The guidebooks all offer a smattering of recipes, too, and you’ll find several free recipes online.

In one 2011 study, researchers reported that 14 Biggest Loser contestants lost an average of 133 pounds (39 percent of their starting weight) after seven months of consistent, vigorous exercise and moderate calorie restriction following the plan outlined above. While these results are outstanding, it should be noted that this diet is to be interpreted carefully: Many of the contestants on the show had 100 pounds or more to lose, and had many years of unhealthy practices behind them. While it provides strategies for reversing your bad habits and learning how to make better choices, it is not realistic for everyone to lose 10 pounds or more a week, so be sure to tailor your effort and progress to your personal goals.

 

When pursuing a new diet for either health reasons or to achieve a weight loss goal, remember to look for plans that offer realistic expectations. We’d all like a two-week transformation, but such drastic results rarely last, and you want to find a diet that you can see yourself sticking to for a significant period time, if not making a permanent change entirely. The above diets provide guidelines that may be different from your current lifestyle, but they deliver on their promises and can be maintained. Get excited about the healthy new journey you’re about to begin, and start today!

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Yuve is a New York City based brand of premium natural health products. Its goal is to provide a natural solution for busy people to maintain a complete diet without compromising on time. Made from non-GMO plant-based ingredients, Yuve’s wholesome products help improving overall health and natural beauty. Yuve has a complete nutritional profile. It contains high amount of plant-based protein, fiber, digestive enzymes, low sugar, very low fat, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and anti-aging agents.

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