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.
Drinking a combination of carbohydrates and protein after a hard workout can help restore your energy and aid in building lean, metabolism-boosting muscle, but it turns out that you don’t need a fancy recovery beverage to reap these benefits. After participating in a vigorous cycling session, cyclists who drank chocolate milk were able to ride 51 percent longer in a subsequent workout than those who drank a standard recovery beverage, a 2009 article in Applied Physiology, Nutrition, and Metabolism found. Plus, chocolate milk is cheaper (and tastier) than anything you’ll find in a sports nutrition store.
Soy milk is both the source of protein in this fruity shake and the first ingredient, followed closely by banana puree. The complex carbs from the fruit give you sustained energy, plenty of potassium and a deliciously creamy bottled shake. The dessert-like flavor gets high praises from fans of this brand, but it’s in a dead heat with other drool-worthy flavors like Spiced Chai and Cappuccino.
For the relatively new keto diet, the experts were especially concerned about extremely high fat content -- about 70% of daily calorie intake -- as well as unusually low carbohydrate levels: only 15 to 20 net carbs a day. The 2015-20 dietary guidelines for Americans suggest that 45% to 65% of daily calories come from carbs but less than 10% from saturated fat.
If you've been noticing excess facial hair, period irregularities, acne, and you're obese, your doc may consider Polycystic Ovary Syndrome. PCOS is a hormonal disorder that's associated with insulin resistance and can make it incredibly hard to lose weight. The recommendation combines standard diet advice—eat less, move more—plus a low carb diet (ditch the refined carbs, eat high-fiber complex ones) to help control insulin. It's not a specialized, revolutionary diet by any means, but sticking to it can pay off. Research shows losing 5 percent of your body weight can make a huge difference in regaining fertility, clearing your skin, getting rid of unwanted hair, and balancing hormones.
Harvard researchers examined the eating habits of 120,000 people for 20 years and found that yogurt was the single best food for shedding pounds: Over time, people who downed more of the protein-packed stuff lost pounds without trying. Meanwhile, a Nestlé Nutrition Institute study review found that consuming dairy proteins increases satiety, reduces food intake and keeps blood sugar steady. "Greek yogurt, which is strained to remove liquid whey, contains double the protein and less sugar than regular yogurt," Dubost says.
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.)