This popular diet program is fairly restrictive — and for the first 30 days, dieters must cut out dairy, grains, legumes, most dairy, added sugar, and alcohol without any slip-ups, according to the Whole30 website. (29) The aim is to “reset” your body and to adopt dietary habits resulting in weight loss. Cutting out added sugar and alcohol has merit, but all the restrictions prove challenging and could lead to nutrient deficiencies and disordered eating.
Juice can have as many calories as soda, but it has more nutrients. This presents a dilemma: You want the vitamins and antioxidants without all the extra sugar. Look for 100% fruit juice. Steer clear of juice drinks that have added sweeteners. Check the nutrition label for the percentage of real juice. You can also slash calories by drinking water with a tiny bit of juice added.
You hear the term glycemic index thrown around, but what does it really mean? Whether a food ranks high or low on the scale depends on how it affects your blood sugar. High GI foods (muffins, crackers, cookies) spike your blood sugar and can bring on cravings and hunger. Low GI foods (non-starchy veggies, meats) keep blood sugar stable. In a new study, scientists discovered that eating higher GI foods was associated with weight gain over a 16-year span. That doesn't mean carbs are out, though—just choose lower-GI ones like beans, lentils, and brown rice more often than not.
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How it works: The IIFYM diet lets you eat anything you want and you’ll lose weight as long as you meet your prescribed daily set of macronutrients (carbs, proteins and fats). Calculate your personal macros by figuring out your total daily expenditure, then how many calories you should eat per day to lose weight. From there, you’ll divide the calories into the percentage of calories that should come from fat (20 percent), protein (40 percent) and carbohydrates (40 percent).
Americans are snacking more than ever, so making smart snacking choices are key to achieving your weight loss goals. Aim for snacks that satisfy by choosing foods that provide a mix of protein and fiber, stabilizing blood sugar levels and keeping hunger at bay. An apple and almond butter, a plain yogurt with berries, or high-fiber crispbread crackers and hummus can all be smart snacking options. For example, two Wasa Flax Seed crispbread crackers combined with two tablespoons of hummus provide 4 grams of protein and 4 grams of fiber for staying power. For an added boost, add a few teaspoons of hot sauce. Research shows spicy foods may help speed up metabolism and curb appetite.
It’s no secret that chugging plain H2O can be less than stimulating, but there are fun ways to make this healthy habit less of a chore. Certain fruits have detoxifying properties in their flesh and peels; slice them whole into your water to reap the benefits and hit your water intake quota with an infusion of flavor. For the definitive ways to drink up and de-puff, check out our list of 50 Best Detox Waters for Fat-Burning and Weight Loss!
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The best low-cal diet plan isn't a diet so much as it is a method. CICO stands for "calories in, calories out" and is based on the mathematically sensible principle that as long as you're burning more calories than you're eating, you'll lose weight. All you need to get started is a way to track your calories—there are plenty of apps on the market although a pen and paper works great too—and a food scale to keep you honest about your portion sizes. (Also read this guide on how to safely cut calories to lose weight.) People love the simplicity and straightforwardness of the plan. And while it may not be the fastest way to lose weight, you're guaranteed to have success long term. (Just know that some weight-loss experts actually don't recommend calorie counting.)