The "all meat all the time" low-carb approach or strict veganism can be great options for people who thrive on clear diet rules (and those two are actually the most popular diets out there) but these extremes are not for everyone. If you prefer more of a moderate approach, the Flexitarian diet is the clear winner. The "flexible vegetarian" mindset allows you a healthy balance of plant-based foods, responsibly sourced meats, and quality fats. The best part? It's not super restrictive, so you have plenty of nutritious food options. (Start here: How to Adopt a Flexitarian Diet)
It is time to give your detox drink a twist of tea. The ancient Chinese tea leaves are one of the planets leading sources of antioxidants, so they are sure to flush all poisons from the system right away. The plant also provides decent doses of caffeine, which makes it a great utility before working out. Many dieters consider this to be the best weight loss alternative available, especially when compared to coffee. All it takes to assemble a cup of this decadent hydration is strawberries, lemons, cucumbers, honey and a single bag of green tea. Welcome to detoxification nirvana!
Part of the problem, Katz says, is public confusion. New eating plans and “superfoods” are constantly cast as the keys to health, and consumers can feel overwhelmed by choice and information. The food industry, and its constant stream of new products and nutrition gimmicks, is complicit in this confusion, Katz says. But so are the researchers who set out to find something novel simply to generate publicity, he says, and the news outlets that cover them.
How it works: By eating foods that haven’t been processed, cooked, genetically engineered or exposed to herbicides, your body will be at its healthiest because you’re optimizing your intake of nutrients and natural enzymes. The claim is that cooking kills most nutrients and enzymes in food, although there is scant scientific evidence that backs this up. The raw food diet can also be effective for weight loss since fruits and vegetables are low in calories.
Every time you chug a bottle of soda, you get hundreds of empty calories. Switching to diet soft drinks is an obvious way to cut calories, but the research is mixed on whether this switch leads to weight loss. Some studies show a short-term benefit. Others find diet soda drinkers gain weight. If you eat or drink more calories than you burn, just switching to diet soda may not do the trick.
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Among the salient points of proven health benefits the researchers note, nutritionally-replete plant-based diets are supported by a wide array of favorable health outcomes, including fewer cancers and less heart disease. These diets ideally included not just fruits and vegetables, but whole grains, nuts, and seeds. Katz and Meller found "no decisive evidence" that low-fat diets are better than diets high in healthful fats, like the Mediterranean. Those fats include a lower ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids than the typical American diet.
It’s easy to see the front of a package and get lured in by misleading claims, particularly those that say they’re “free-from” something, says Taub-Dix. She points out that gluten-free foods may also be high in sugar, salt, calories, and fat and contain less fiber—and thus be weight-promoting. Reading the nutrition label will give you the real truth for what you’re buying.
If you’ve been eating fast food for years, get real about your approach: You’re probably not going to stick to an organic, gluten-free, paleo overhaul for very long. “You want to change as little as possible to create calorie deficit,” says Dr. Seltzer, who insists the best way to support sustainable weight loss is to incorporate small changes into existing habits. So instead of giving up your daily BLT bagels in favor of an egg-white wrap, try ordering your sandwich on a lighter English muffin. Or say you eat a snack bar every afternoon: Swap your 300-calorie bar for a 150-calorie alternative. “Your brain will feel the same way about it, so you won’t feel deprived,” he says.
A great pick-me-up for dieters, Bai5 serves up a gentle 35 mg caffeine plus 200 g of antioxidant-rich white tea. A study published in the journal Nutrition and Metabolism showed that white tea may be especially powerful at targeting fat cells, with the ability to simultaneously boost lipolysis (the breakdown of fat) and block adipogenesis (the formation of fat cells) due to high levels of fat-fighting compounds called catechins, belly-fat crusaders that blast adipose tissue by revving the metabolism, increasing the release of fat from fat cells. The folks at Bai tell us their most popular flavors are coconut, blueberry and mango & pomegranate.
The morning java boost is a necessity for many of us, but there’s proof that the jolt may spur a better workout (translation: burn more calories). A 2015 study in the Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness found that participants could do almost 20% more leg presses and 12% more bench presses when they drank 2–3 cups of coffee before their workout. A similar 2011 study found an (albeit small) increase in energy expenditure both before and after exercise in the group that drank coffee before exercise.
For a fast track towards a clean system, nothing can compare with the unrivaled power of apple cider vinegar. This potent ally allows blood sugar levels to reach a balanced state, and it reduces the appearance of acid to promote body alkalinity. Each teaspoon carries a meager 3 calories, so there is no reason to hesitate when mixing it in. Adding sparkling mineral water can transform this drink into a decadent soda substitute. It can be a great way to switch off from unhealthy carbonated beverages. To match the sweetness of todays sodas, simply add stevia to reach a desired balance.