Why the Mediterranean reigns supreme.
As we begin a new year, we all desire to lose those pounds we gained during the holiday season. Fad diets are the in thing right now but it important to recognize that better health and weight loss begin with choices that, in due course, become habits. We encourage supporting lifelong change through actionable, tangible strategies that you can make use of for any scenario. Setting boundaries is a good point to start from.
Below are the seven basics for a more healthy approach towards better eating habits according to experts:
⦁ Pack on the greens: fruit and vegetables
⦁ Prioritize on healthy fats: unsaturated fats and other plant-based oils
⦁ Take up more seafood: fatty fish, mollusks and crustaceans
⦁ Opt for 100% whole grains: buckwheat, farro, Wheat, bulgur, and oats
⦁ Limit yourself and follow conscious indulgences: sweets, chocolate, and baked goods in moderation
⦁ Think inclusive vs. exclusive: low-fat and full-fat dairy, opt for quality over quantity
⦁ Encourage enrichment of various varieties: enjoying favorite restaurants, cooking with herbs and spices, and trying new flavors
In a nutshell, if you wish to learn more about the best diet plans for the new year, then you are in the right space.
The Best Diets to Try in 2019
The Mediterranean Diet
This is not just a diet, think of it as a lifestyle. This is a great diet plan and unlike other diets geared towards weight loss that leave you counting calories and measuring portions, the Mediterranean diet concentrates more on enjoying a meal or meals with family and friends. It’s your chance to savor each flavor, indulging in delicious, quality food items such as flavorful cheeses and other desserts, and creating time for plenty of physical activity such as walking along the sunny beaches.
The diet entails filling up on tons of fruits, veggies, 100% whole grains, and pulses such as chickpeas, beans, lentils, and peas. Also go for lean protein like eggs, seafood, and some meat. Sweets and other higher-in-saturated-fat choices should be savored in limited amounts.
Although the diet offers no “restrictions,” foods that dominate this diet promote both weight management and health. The idea behind the Mediterranean is getting the most nutritional value through conscious indulgence. By this, ultra-processed foods that contain more saturated fats, sodium and added sugar are not encouraged.
The DASH Diet
DASH stands for “Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension.” The approach can offer both an overall healthier way of eating and a smart method to weight loss. It underlines produce of all types; low-fat dairy, seafood, 100% whole grains, nuts, and seeds. The main protein sources are pork, poultry, and seafood, with a prominence on omega-3 filled fatty fish, like sardines, tuna, and salmon.
The DASH diet advices you on what to indulge in without over-emphasizing any particular nutrient. It’s high in magnesium, potassium, and calcium, which offset the effects of sodium, help prevent hypertension, and promote better heart health.
The plan keeps a check on sodium, saturated fat foods, and added sugars by limiting red meat by about half a serving per day and cutting back on processed food such as sauces, condiments, breads, fast foods, cereals, sweetened beverages, syrups, jam, and breakfast pastries.
The Volumetrics Diet
The diet was the brain child of a team of experts at Penn State. The diet heavily relies on some incredible weight-loss fundamentals which include eating more vegetables, more fruit in more creative ways. You are also encouraged to take in more calories from plant-based foods packed with fiber and lots of water. As a dietician we find that many diets have adapted a similar general approach and mindset-shift. The thing people fancy most about this volume-based diet is that it makes you feel like you can eat without constantly thinking about the obvious “restriction” in most other healthy diet approaches. Another plus in regard to this diet is that nothing is set in stone or off-limits, this implies that you can adapt it to meet your dietary needs and your budget.
The diet encourages eating “more produce” and essentially works by displacing calories from other foods, making you feel both satisfied and full and not resulting in the “OMG I can’t eat any more?” phenomenon of other weight-loss dietary plans.
The Bottom Line
With any health diet plan, if you take away nothing else from us, chew on this: Think more greens, more often. That thought process helps you merge great things about all mentioned and not mentioned eating plans. But Mediterranean wins it for 2019 in our books.