While malnutrition is a serious problem in underdeveloped countries, an equally serious health issue, especially in more developed countries, is obesity. That is why diet plans have become so popular. It not only reduces the risks brought about by obesity, it also allows a person who has successfully completed the plan to feel and look better. After all, who would not want to look sexy and feel healthy?
Here is a list of the top 10 most popular diet plans.
1. The Atkins Diet
This has been around for ages and has been revised several times. Previously, it allowed unlimited consumption of meat, cheese and eggs. It focused instead on limiting carbohydrate intake, such as sugar, bread, pasta, milk, fruits and vegetables. The current plan promotes a variety of healthy food that features lean protein, leafy greens, vegetables, nuts, fruits and whole grains. It is based on the theory that one should minimize eating carbohydrates because it creates insulin, a hormone that leads to weight gain and hunger. It is billed as a faster way to lose weight. Experts caution however that losing weight quickly is not healthy. A healthier approach is to lose only a couple of pounds each week for the first two weeks.
2. The Pritikin Principle
This diet plan is contingent on having a very low fat but high-carbohydrate food intake. Vegetables, fruits and high-fiber grains are recommended. Fats must not exceed more than 10 percent of the total daily calories consumed. It also recommends following a low calorie diet through the consumption of in dense foods like apples and brown rice. Advocates say that you can consume these items up to seven times a day until you feel full. This will reduce your hunger level overall and result into weight loss.
3. The Zone Diet
This diet plan operates on the theory that the body will have maximum energy and will be able to sustain weight loss if an ideal ratio in calorie intake is reached. The ratio should be 40 percent from carbohydrates, 30% from proteins and 30 percent from fats. It promotes a balance in nutrients without any restriction on total calories. Healthy fats should be used in lieu of saturated and trans fats.
4. The South Beach Diet
The aim of this diet is to remove the bad fats and bad carbohydrates from your food intake. It points the cause of the obesity problem to the fast rate of process and absorption of sugar and starches into the bloodstream. This diet plan therefore advocates a food intake high in protein, low in carbohydrates and restricted in fats. The initial step is to remove food cravings to jumpstart the weight loss process. Afterwards, a long-term and steady weight loss regimen is followed. Upon reaching your weight goal, the diet should be followed for the rest of the year in order to maintain the ideal weight level.
5. The Ornish Diet
This diet plan was actually developed as a result of research. The ultimate goal of the Ornish Diet is to reverse or reduce the risks of heart problems. It advocates the consumption of a diet that is high in fiber and low in fat. It encourages a vegetarian lifestyle with a sprinkling of dairy foods. Only complex carbohydrates should be consumed, meaning vegetables, fruits and whole grains. Fats should come in the form of omega-3 fatty acids. The plan also calls for stress management and physical activity. Experts, though generally supportive of this diet plan, advise those who want to follow it to slightly modify the recommended intake. Increase in fiber consumption must be done slowly. Eating meat in moderation may also not be that bad of an idea because cutting off a food group entirely may be hard to maintain and sustain in the long run.
6. Jenny Craig
This is a diet that allows you to consume delicious prepackaged food, so long as you follow the exact specifications of the plan. It calls for the consumption of an exact amount of calories that the body needs to lose weight. Fresh produce and dairy are added. Consultation with an expert on a weekly basis is required to monitor and assist you comply with the plan. Physical activity and exercise are also needed. In other words, just eat what you are given because it is nutritionally balanced and calorie-controlled. The only disadvantage is that once you stop with the plan, then weight gain will set in. Also, it is still preferable to be able to eat your own food rather than constantly consuming prepackaged ones.
7. Nutrisystem Advanced
This plan adheres to a low glycemic index diet rich in fiber and protein. The food is prepackaged and sold either online or through a toll free number. Several plans are available depending on the one who will undergo the diet, including women’s, men’s, women’s silver, men’s silver, women’s Type II diabetic and men’s Type II diabetic. Also included in the package is an exercise DVD.
8. Weight Watchers Flex Plan
This diet plan involves weekly meetings either in person or through an online support group. In this plan, points are assigned to the different food items. The point value depends on the food’s calories, fat and fiber content. The aim of the plan is to stay within the recommended amount of points each day. A weekly allowance is also provided that will allow you to indulge on special events.
9. Three Day Diet
It promises a weight loss of 10 pounds in three days, provided that you strictly follow a food intake plan. The portion size and the type of food are very specific. It claims that the food combination allows a unique metabolic reaction that enhances the burning of fats. Experts note however that what you lose is actually fluids, not fats. It also doesn’t promote better eating habits.
10. Weight Watchers Core Plan
It also involves weekly meetings, but unlike the Flex Plan, this one is based on the amount of calories in a given weight of food. Low energy dense foods, like vegetables, veggie soups and fruits, have small calories for large volume. High dense foods, like butter and cream sauce, have massive calories even for small amounts.
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