The Ultimate New Year Diet Comparison
What are your New Year’s resolutions for 2021? If you’ve resolved to eat healthier and lose weight, you’re in good company. Weight loss and healthy eating are some of the most popular New Year’s resolutions around the country.
If this is a goal you are working towards, your body will thank you for losing weight. Dropping just 5 to 10% of your body weight can improve your blood pressure, cholesterol, blood sugars, energy, mobility, mood, and confidence. In fact, losing only a few pounds can even decrease your risk factors for some chronic diseases.
After you’ve decided to lose weight, though, the real struggle can begin. Most of us know that diet and exercise are the healthiest and most effective ways to shed pounds. But, there are hundreds of diets out there, including some dangerous fad diets. How can you pick the right diet for your needs?
Keep reading to examine the details, benefits, and risks of six popular diets.
The ketogenic diet – or Keto diet, for short – involves eating fewer carbs and more fat. While that might sound like a counterintuitive way to lose weight, a higher fat intake actually encourages your body to burn fat for energy in a metabolic state called ketosis.
Anyone on the Keto diet will avoid high-carb foods like sugars, starches, fruit, legumes, unhealthy fats, and alcohol. Instead, your diet will be packed with filling whole foods like meat, fish, eggs, dairy, nuts, healthy oils, and low-carb veggies.
When first beginning the Keto diet, some people experience a set of symptoms called Keto flu. They feel tired, foggy, hungry, and maybe even a little nauseous. But, it’s possible to avoid the Keto flu by easing into the diet slowly and taking mineral supplements. Overall, the combined benefits of weight loss, reduced blood pressure, lower blood sugar, and increased insulin sensitivity have convinced many to adopt the Keto diet full-time.
Unsurprisingly, the Mediterranean diet is based on traditional Mediterranean foods. The Mediterranean diet involves following a healthy lifestyle of good eating, regular exercise, and social stimulation. While the diet is very flexible and doesn’t enforce a rigid list of foods to eat or avoid, there are a few common guidelines to follow when going Mediterranean.
For example, you’ll want to fill your pantry with vegetables, fruits, nuts, legumes, potatoes, whole grains, bread, fish, seafood – and don’t forget the extra-virgin olive oil! Eggs, cheese, yogurt, red meat, and poultry will make less frequent appearances on your plate. All you need to avoid are the well-known unhealthy foods: anything with added sugar, refined grains, trans fats, and refined oils, Including processed meats and “diet” foods.
Since the Mediterranean diet is all about eating healthy amounts of healthy foods, there are very few risks in following it. Just don’t forget the regular exercise and social aspects that make the Mediterranean lifestyle so ideal! Additionally, remember not to indulge solely in fatty foods like olive oil and nuts. When you fill your plate with a variety of colorful Mediterranean foods, you’ll feel healthy and satisfied as you lose weight and keep it off.
Low-Carb and Low-Fat Diets
Since low-carb and low-fat diets are so similar, let’s compare them at the same time. Low-carb diets, like the ketogenic diet that was discussed earlier in this article, limit your intake of carbohydrates from foods like sugars, grains, starches, legumes, and fruits. Low-fat diets encourage dieters to cut out fatty foods like butter, avocados, nuts, seeds, and full-fat dairy.
While these two diets might sound like two sides of the same coin, research shows that low-carb diets are much more effective for fat loss, weight loss, and satiety. Low-carb diets are also good for controlling blood sugar and blood pressure. On the other hand, when compared to low-carb diets, low-fat diets provide only a fraction of these same benefits.
Jenny Craig Diet
If you’ve tried to lose weight more than once over the years, then you’ve probably heard of the Jenny Craig diet. When you sign up for the Jenny Craig program, you’ll get prepackaged, low-calorie meals delivered to you. You’ll also get one-on-one support from a Jenny Craig consultant who can help you learn to maintain a healthy lifestyle without relying on the prepackaged Jenny Craig meals.
The Jenny Craig diet is fairly flexible and easy to follow. Dieters are allowed to eat anything that fits within their allotted calories for the day. Additionally, there are dozens of choices for prepackaged entrées, snacks, and drinks to keep the meal plan fresh and exciting.
While the Jenny Craig diet really can help members lose weight and learn about balance portion sizes, it’s not perfect. Jenny Craig dieters can easily spend thousands of dollars on upfront costs, monthly fees, and food. The Jenny Craig foods are also highly processed and are not designed for people on special diets such as gluten-free, vegan, or halal. But, if you have a few dollars to spare and feel like you need social support and structure to succeed, then the Jenny Craig diet could be right for you.
Weight Watchers Diet
Weight Watchers is one of the most popular diets in the world, and for good reason. Members of Weight Watchers can receive 24/7 online chat support, in-person group meetings, and one-on-one support from personal weight-loss coaches and apps to support their weight loss goal. Every Weight Watchers membership also includes an online database with thousands of healthy recipes.
Many people appreciate the flexibility of the Weight Watchers program. No foods are off-limits, but all foods are assigned point values based on their nutritional contents. Sugary, high-calorie foods are higher in points than healthy foods. Additionally, since 2017, Weight Watchers includes over 200 foods that are rated zero points. That means members can eat those foods as much as they want!
While the Weight Watchers diet has proven to be very effective for many people, it’s not right for everyone. The monthly membership costs money, and dieters need to be diligent about tracking the number of points they eat each day.
Diet Comparison Summary
Other than the low-fat diet, all of the diets covered in this article will help you lose weight effectively. Does one of the diets especially appeal to you? Why not try it for 30 days and see how you feel? You might just find a new, healthy diet to love and live by.
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