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.
First things first: there's no reason to go on this diet unless you suffer from symptoms of acid reflux (heartburn, upper abdominal pain). If you do, experts say that what you eat can make a huge difference in finding relief, especially if you don't want to rely on meds. So you'll eat fewer fatty, greasy foods—goodbye fast food—and avoid alcohol. Both changes can lead to one nice (but unintentional) side effect: weight loss.
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Not so sure about becoming a vegetarian or vegan? That's where the flexitarian diet comes in. You're basically adding new foods into your diet, focusing on plant-based proteins like tofu, beans, nut or soy milk, and eating less meat — but not cutting it out completely. Since vegetarian and vegan diets typically lead to weight loss, you'll see results from being a flexitarian, too: Studies show those who are mostly vegetarian or vegan have a lower BMI than full-on meat-eaters.
How-life writer and unrepentant alcoholic Henry Chinaski was born to survive. After decades of slacking off at low-paying dead-end jobs, blowing his cash on booze and women, and scrimping by in flea-bitten apartments, Chinaski sees his poetic star rising at last. Now, at fifty, he is reveling in his sudden rock-star life, running three hundred hangovers a year, and maintaining a sex life that would cripple Casanova.
Sweetened with a touch of stevia, this is a new breed of protein shake, made primarily of hydrating coconut water. Grass-fed milk protein supplies more protein than three eggs–for a fraction of the morning prep time. If you need your fuel with caffeine-derived focus, they offer a coffee flavor that uses plenty of joe–in fact, it’s the second ingredient.
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“The alkaline diet often has a focus on eating lots of fresh produce and unprocessed foods, which could be a good thing,” says Hultin. “However, keep in mind that this is not an evidence-based therapeutic diet. When people take it too far — for instance, drinking baking soda — or become too restrictive or obsessive over food choices, it can definitely turn negative.”
Even if you manage to meet your goal, it probably won’t be sustainable: “The amount of restriction required will make you so hungry that you’ll eat everything in sight—it’s survival instinct,” Dr. Seltzer says. What’s more, your body will be less prepared to burn the foods you binge on, since calorie restriction gradually slows your metabolism, he adds.
It's like Michael Pollan famously said: Eat food, not too much, mostly plants. A plant-based diet encourages produce, nuts, seeds, healthy oils, and whole soy like tofu, while still allowing a bit of high-quality meat, fish, and dairy. In a new study titled "Can We Say What Diet is Best for Health?" researchers set out to do just that. The winner? "A diet of minimally processed foods close to nature, predominantly plants" they wrote. Not bad for the best diet ever.
Be choosy about carbs. You can decide which ones you eat, and how much. Look for those that are low on the glycemic index (for instance, asparagus is lower on the glycemic index than a potato) or lower in carbs per serving than others. Whole grains are better choices than processed items, because processing removes key nutrients such as fiber, iron, and B vitamins. They may be added back, such as in “enriched” bread.
U.S. News enlisted the help of a panel of food and health experts to rank 40 diets on a variety of measures, like how easy it is to follow, the diet’s ability to help a person lose weight in the short and long term, safety and more. The company then converted the expert’s rankings into scores that allowed them to determine the top diets. Beyond best overall diet, the experts also ranked the best diets for weight loss, healthy eating and more.
Unlike many bottled drinks that are heated during pasteurization and sometimes hide both synthetic and genetically modified ingredients (as well as a ton of added sugar!), fresh juices are totally raw and you control what goes in them. It’s believed that consuming raw produce boosts digestion by preserving vital enzymes, which means you can beat the bloat and sip your way to more regular bowel movements for a flat, happy tummy!
There are many ways you can build a gut-busting salad, including loading on a ton of calorie-heavy toppings. A smart lunchtime salad includes a heaping pile of vegetables (lettuce, cucumbers, tomatoes, peppers), a four- to five-ounce portion of lean protein, and a vinaigrette for some healthy fat. “One of the reasons I love lunch salads is that you can have a large amount of food, which will keep you full until dinner,” says Cederquist.
Build muscle. Muscle burns more calories than fat. So adding strength training to your exercise routine can help you reach your weight loss goals as well as give you a toned bod. And weights are not the only way to go: Try resistance bands, pilates, or push-ups to get strong. A good, well-balanced fitness routine includes aerobic workouts, strength training, and flexibility exercises.
While juice is definitely a better choice than a soda, since 100 percent juice should only contain naturally-occurring sugars and a little fiber, you still have to limit yourself to a one-cup serving per day, she says. To limit the blood sugar spike, chase it with a handful of protein-rich nuts. Also worth noting: You need to avoid any kind of juice cocktail that contains added sugar (or sweeteners) in the ingredients, she says.
Seriously, most things that taste remotely good are riddled with hundreds or thousands of calories. This may be disturbing for those who don’t know about the joy of water detoxifying, but the health-conscious ladies are keeping up with the times. They are wise to avoid the lure of most snacks and meals. By sticking with scientifically proven methods of bodily purification, these girls are likely to be more beautiful than the general population. Each one of their delicious servings contains less than 10 calories. Many times, the tasty brew showcases a complete lack of calories. In previous generations, this kind of health feat would have probably seemed inconceivable. While it may have been formerly unimaginable, these water treatments are the wave of the future and certainly here to stay.
Food for thought: Though it’s not designed for weight loss, many DASHers shed pounds on the diet because it emphasizes eating foods that are naturally low in fats and sugars. Plus, it teaches proper portion control. It won’t be quick or extreme though, but the best weight loss programs generally aren’t. The smartest way to ease into the DASH diet is by experimenting with spices and herbs to help you forget that salt’s not on the table. Check out the NHLBI’s DASH Diet Guide, which will help you outline your eating plan with recommended daily servings and meal examples.
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.
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