A few years ago, after I clocked in at 275, it was clear that my weight was a major issue, and I needed to lose some pounds. So I started counting calories and kept to 1,500-1,800 a day (usually much closer to 1,500). Though counting calories drove me to an obsessive, unhappy state a few years before, I still did it, and I was doing OK this time around. In about six weeks time, I'd lost 10 pounds.
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If you want to spend less time cooking and more time eating, the raw food diet could be your solution. The plan — which is mostly vegan — consists of eating foods that are raw or heated below 115 degrees. The diet also means saying goodbye to all processed and pasteurized foods, sugar and flour, caffeine, and salt. It might sound extreme, but because it consists of mostly fruits, veggies, seeds and nuts with no meat or dairy, you're bound to lose weight: Studies have shown a mostly raw diet leads to a decreased amount of body fat, and you don't even have to go full-out to see results.
This is one of the sweetest detoxifiers out there. It derives a big blast of sugar from its decadent array of fruits that includes pineapple, orange and agave. Grated ginger is also sprinkled on top to pack a spicy punch. It is also an elite digestive aid, especially for those with ulcers or a history of cramps. With this elixir, there is a lot of sharpness in terms of flavor, but the thick agave nectar can smooth out everything for a divinely syrupy texture. All of the citrus fruits naturally join forces to fortify stomach, intestines and colon. Say cheers!
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If the diet is a quick fix rather than one that promotes lasting lifestyle changes, this could pose a problem. In particular, extreme diets that promise big weight loss up front aren’t always sustainable — and you may end up overeating or even binge eating if you feel deprived. “Consider if the diet’s habits are ones you can continue throughout your lifetime, not just 21 or 30 days,” says Angie Asche, RD, a sports dietitian in Lincoln, Nebraska.
The MIND—a mix of DASH and the Mediterranean diet—is supposed to help protect the brain and prevent Alzheimer’s disease, though much more research is needed to determine whether it really helps curb brain decline. People are encouraged to eat from 10 brain-healthy food groups: green leafy vegetables, all other vegetables, nuts, berries, beans, whole grains, fish, poultry, olive oil and wine. They are also told to avoid foods from five food groups: red meats, butter and stick margarine, cheese, sweets and fried or fast food.
“Intermittent fasting can be really challenging if you have an ever-changing schedule,” adds Hultin. “If you're traveling and crossing time zones, it could be very difficult to follow. It might be best for people with more stability in their lives.” Intermittent fasting isn’t safe for people with type 2 diabetes, children, pregnant or lactating women, or anyone with a history of an eating disorder.
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.