45% of the 7.9 billion people in the world are trying to lose weight and the best way to go about this is to change their diet. However, there is a good number of diet plans out there so it can be confusing and difficult to find the most suitable and effective.
There are diet plans that demand you to reduce food intake while others are more specific, like consuming fewer carbs or fat. Aside from weight loss, you should also consider the health benefits of your chosen diet plans.
To help you shed off weight and improve your health, we have rounded up the 8 best diet plans.
Intermittent fasting is an eating pattern that involves cycling between fasting and eating on a regular schedule. It controls the time you are allowed to eat, which in turn reduces your calorie intake.
Typically, this leads to weight loss. But if you overcompensate by eating too much on your allowed time, you are breaking the purpose of intermittent fasting.
This is a popular diet plan because of its effectiveness. It shows promising results of causing 3-8% weight loss over 3-24 weeks. This is greater than any other method.
This particular diet plan has various forms, including the 16/8 method and the 5:2 method.
The 16/8 requires you to limit your calorie intake to 8 hours a day while the 5:2 method restricts your daily calorie consumption to 500-600 calories twice a week.
|Linked with anti-aging effects, increased insulin sensitivity, improved brain health and reduced inflammation||Generally safe for most adults but consultation with a healthcare provider is required if sensitive blood sugar levels, diabetic, underweight, suffering from an eating disorder, pregnant, or breastfeeding.|
Other popular diet plans are plant-based diets, such as vegetarianism and veganism. These dietary strategies bar the intake of animal products for health, ethical or environmental reasons. However, plant-based diets are not limited to these conditions. There is also the flexitarian diet, a diet rooted in plant-based consumption bit allows the intake of animal products in moderation.
There are many kinds of vegetarianism but generally, it boils down to excluding all meat, poultry, and fish meals. Other kinds also eliminate eggs and dairy in their food, as well as animal-derived products such as gelatin, honey, whey, and albumin.
The flexitarian diet is a popular alternative. This encourages the consumption of mostly fruits, vegetables, legumes, and whole grains but allows protein and animal products to be eaten in moderation.
Many of the restricted food in plant-based diets are high in calories so eliminating or reducing the consumption of them in meals can cause weight loss. Allowed food are rich in fiber which makes the body fuller for a good period of time.
|Linked to reduced risk of chronic conditions like heart diseases, certain cancers, and diabetes. Also more sustainable than meat-based diets. ||Can restrict essential nutrients that can be found in animal-based food or products, such as iron, vitamin B12 and D, calcium, zinc, and omega-3 fatty acids. |
Low Carb Diets
The most popular among the diet plans are the low-carb diets, including Atkins diet, ketogenic diet, and low-carb, high fat (LCHF) diet. Other varieties under low carb diets demand lower carb intakes.
Low carb diets plans restrict carb consumption, in exchange for protein and fat. It recommends that you consume more protein as it can control your appetite, improve your metabolism, and converse muscle mass.
Low carb diets also show promising results in burning harmful belly fat.
|Low carb diets help reduce the risk for heart disease, including high cholesterol and blood pressure levels. It also improves blood sugar and insulin levels in people with type 2 diabetes. ||In some circumstances, a low-carb diet raises bad cholesterol levels. Very low-carb diet plans are also difficult to follow and can cause digestive problems. |
The Mediterranean Diet
The Mediterranean diet is hailed as the best diet plan of all. Its consumption is based on the food and ingredients that Italians, Greeks, and surrounding countries used to eat. This diet plan was designed to lower the risk of heart disease but it also shows positive results in aiding weight loss.
The Mediterranean diet plan strongly recommends that you eat plenty of fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, legumes, tubers, whole grains, fish, and seafood. To be eaten in moderation are poultry, eggs, and dairy products, meanwhile, red meats should be limited.
This diet bars intake of refined grains, trans fat, processed meat, and other highly processed food.
|This diet plan suggests eating food rich in antioxidants. This helps reduce inflammation and oxidative stress by neutralizing free radicals. Mediterranean diet is also linked to reducing risks of heart disease. ||The Mediterranean diet plan was designed to improve overall health and does not strictly promote weight loss. For some, they might not lose weight with this diet plan unless they consume fewer calories. |
WW (Weight Watchers)
Weight Watchers, also known as WW, is an internationally popular weight loss program. It doesn’t have any food restriction but it does require you to only eat within a limited set.
WW is a point-based system. Different food and beverages are assigned points, depending on their calorie, fat, and fiber content. This diet plan works by demanding that you only eat within your daily point allowance.
WW programs show promising results at maintaining weight loss after a few years.
|Since the WW diet plan has no food restrictions, it offers flexibility and is easier to follow than other diet plans. This is ideal for those who have dietary restrictions and food allergies. ||Depending on what subscription you chose, it can be quite costly. Compared to other diet plans where you can avail yourself for free with only discipline and goals in mind, WW can burn through the pocket. |
Its no food restriction feature can also backfire if the dieter decided to eat unhealthy food instead.