From celebrity-endorsed to science-backed, finding the best diet for your body and lifestyle can be an exercise in frustration—definitely not the kind of exercise you need right now! To make your search easier, we've pulled together the 10 most popular diets based on which ones have consistently ranked highest on the annual U.S. News & World Report rankings, WebMD, and other current diet lists. Just know this: It's not about finding out which diet is the most popular overall but which one fits your goals and lifestyle the best. After all, the best diet for you is the one you can stick with (and enjoy)!
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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.
Souping is the new juice cleanse, and for good reason: "Soup is a fabulous food. It's hydrating and fills up your stomach, so eating it before a meal can curb your appetite," says Taub-Dix. In fact, research shows that a soup appetizer can reduce the number of calories you eat at a meal by 20 percent. That said, there's no reason to consume only soup. (You're not going to eat only soup for the rest of your life, right?) Instead, make it an addition to your diet and you'll reap the benefits. This recipe may even help you live to 100.
This is a signature recipe for aficionados of the weight loss game. If the situation is urgent, desperate measures may be needed. Luckily, the garden may hold the clues to a successful slimming venture. With a core of cucumbers and limes, all harmful compounds are forced to evacuate the body. This leaves only the helpful chemicals behind. A sprinkle of line adds even more potency to the blend, and the stomach reaps serious aids from mint and grated ginger. These two ingredients should be added last to preserve the drinks complex flavor. If they are mixed early, the taste may be muddled.
Many of today’s trending craft beers have as much as 200–250 calories per pint, and that’s just for one. Wine has around 120 calories per 5-ounce pour, if you can limit it to just a glass. Cocktails mixed with sodas, simple syrups and tonic waters add up quickly, too — and come in much smaller portions that “vanish” rapidly. Limiting alcoholic beverages is one of the first steps you can take for successful weight loss.
According to the UK's Radio 3 editor, Edwina Wolstencroft, the classical music industry has long been open to having women in performance or entertainment roles, but women are much less likely to have positions of authority, such as being the leader of an orchestra. In popular music, while there are many women singers recording songs, there are very few women behind the audio console acting as music producers, the individuals who direct and manage the recording process.
First you'll meet with a consultant, then pick out your own menu of Jenny Craig food. (Meals are designed to be lower cal versions of what you love, like chocolate shakes, pancakes, and burgers.) The combo of social support plus portion control is a fat-busting duo, helping dieters lose nearly 5 percent more weight after a year versus dieters in a control group, according to the same study that evaluated Nutrisystem. It's so promising that researchers think docs should recommend Jenny Craig to their overweight patients. Besides: no cooking. Score!
In today’s modern era of 24-hour meal delivery and extra-large food portions, many people are confused about how much and how often to eat. Gueron says one of the most common questions she gets is, “How late can I eat dinner and still lose weight?” Recently, several studies have shown that avoiding food past certain hours of the day or intermittent fasting can promote weight loss. She says a moderate approach that boosts weight loss and comes without apparent side effects for the healthy individual is the 12-hour intermittent fasting approach. An example is having your first morning meal no earlier than 7 a.m. and your last evening meal no later than 7 p.m. Thus, 12 hours without food or caloric beverages consumed gives your body time to rest from eating and promotes fat burning without unnecessary hunger that daytime fasting can cause.
Bloating is directly attributed to water retention, which is something that cucumbers are known to prevent. Water rushes out of the system when cucumbers are consumed consistently. They are especially good for handling weight gain due to a menstrual cycle. Cholesterol is combated by oranges, which also assist the immune systems functions. The other citrus fruits in this blend emphasize a deep intestinal cleansing. Meanwhile, the mint fosters fast nutrient absorption and energy conversion. In general, it also quickens and eases digestion, especially for those who have ulcers or hernias. This recipe focuses on functionality over flavor, but it still has a decent taste.
Also known as branch chain amino acids. BCAAs are three amino acids known as Leucine, Valine and Iso-Leucine. They help prevent muscle breakdown and can be bought as yummy flavoured powders to use in place as sports drinks. Drink them during your workout instead of water as they will help you tone up as you lose that belly and may even help in the formation of abdominal muscle.
Pretty self-explanatory: eat 1,200 calories a day. If you're doing it for quick weight loss or to jumpstart a diet, it can get the job done, says Salzman. But you've got to make those calories count. "You can have a balanced and satisfying 1,200 calorie day full of good protein, healthy fats, and complex carbs—or you can have one full of junk that spikes your blood sugar and makes you feel lightheaded and awful," she says. Just remember: if you're a tall woman or athletic, you may need to eat more calories even when trying to lose weight to make sure your body is getting the sustenance it needs.
Like protein, fiber slows the rate at which your body plows through carb calories so you feel full for longer and maintain steadier blood sugar levels, one reason why research consistently links fiber intake to weight loss. That means fibrous whole grain bread tends to be a better choice than white bread and also explains why fruits, which contain fiber and valuable vitamins in addition to sugar, beat straight-up candy every time.
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Finally, in a notable blow to some interpretations of the Paleo diet, Katz and Meller wrote, "if Paleolithic eating is loosely interpreted to mean a diet based mostly on meat, no meaningful interpretation of health effects is possible." They note that the composition of most meat in today's food supply is not similar to that of mammoth meat, and that most plants available during the Stone Age are today extinct. (Though it wouldn't surprise me to learn that Paleo extremists are crowd-funding a Jurassic Park style experiment to bring them back.)
While it might sound counterintuitive to eat something before you head out to a restaurant or party, showing up famished to the event will likely make it all the harder to stick to your weight loss goals. Eating something small (about 100 calories) with fiber (two to four grams) is a great way to readjust your appetite so you can show up and mingle a bit before diving into the cheese dip. Choose a whole food to take the edge off, like an apple or handful of nuts. For example, 30 pistachios are just 100 calories and offer two grams of fiber, along with protein and healthy fats, to truly take the edge off your appetite while providing a satisfying pre-party crunch. Enjoy your mini snack with a tall glass of water before the festivities to reduce your chances of post-party weight gain.
Though Katz also says it isn’t nearly enough. "That doesn't help you pick the most nutritious bread, or the best pasta sauce. A member of the foodie elite might say you shouldn't eat anything from a bag, box, bottle, jar, or can." That's admittedly impractical. "We do need to look at all the details that populate the space between where we are and where we want to be."