Spring has finally sprung, and so has the urge to “spring clean’’ your diet. To help you choose among the over 80,000 diet books and plans available in bookstores and online, our Nutrition & You blogger, Joan Salge Blake, has compiled the top five diet strategies for your choosing. No matter what your culinary and nutrition preference is, these are all healthy winners.
No. 5: The Flexitarian Diet
What does Paul McCartney, Oprah, and Robin Roberts all have in common? All of these celebrities have made the “Meatless Monday Pledge’’ to go meatless or vegetarian once a week. If you want to also take the meatless plunge, The Flexitarian Diet by Dawn Jackson Blatner, RD, can help you lose weight, be healthy, and prevent certain diseases by minimizing meat without excluding it altogether.
The Flexitarian Diet gives you “flexibility’’ by providing meal plans, meat-substitute recipes, and realistic weight loss tips. You can also follow #MeatLessMondays on Twitter for tons of meal ideas.
No. 4: MyPlate for Weight Loss
If you want to have a personalized Daily Food Weight Loss Plan created for you for FREE, visit MyPlate.gov. The site enables you to track what you eat and drink along with your physical activity daily. There are also tons of advice, tips, and strategies on how to make better choices when dining out as well as recipes and tips for when you dine in. You can’t beat the price.
No. 3: Volumetrics
Barbara Rolls, PhD, the author of “The Ultimate Volumetrics Diet’’, reminds us that calorie density, or the amount of calories per bite of food that we eat, can make all the difference in helping us painlessly shed some extra weight. According to research, most of which was conducted by Rolls, it is the volume of food rather than the calories that is the key to helping you feel satisfied or satiated when you eat.
Translation: When it comes to weight loss, you need to outsmart your stomach by filling it up with a large volume of low calorie-dense foods such as veggies to satisfy your hunger, which will enable you to simultaneously cut back on your daily calories without feeling hungry or deprived. Basically, you will eat more but weigh less.
What a dream come true.
No. 2: The Mediterranean Diet
It started circa 1960, when researchers were drawn to several areas of the Mediterranean region, specifically the Greek island of Crete, other areas of Greece and southern Italy. Why? The adults living there had very low rates of chronic diseases, such as heart disease and cancer, as well as very long life expectancy. Their secret: lifestyle and diet.
In addition to a physically active lifestyle, these Mediterranean natives consumed a diet that was rich in grains, fruits, vegetables, legumes, and nuts. In fact, more than 60 percent of the calories in their diets were supplied by these high-fiber, nutritionally-rich plant foods. The majority of the fat in the diet was provided by olives and olive oil, and fish and seafood was enjoyed at least twice a week. Click to learn how to eat and live Mediterranean.
No. 1: The DASH Diet
The highly researched and rated, Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) Diet, can do more for you than just lower your blood pressure. Because the DASH Diet is rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, low-fat dairy, nuts, and beans and is lower in lean protein foods, sodium, and added sugars, the diet can also be beneficial for those who are trying to better manage their weight, blood glucose, and cholesterol levels, and lower their risk for heart disease.
For more on the DASH Diet, click here.