The 10 Best and Worst Fad Diets for Weight Loss

Discussion in 'Diet and Nutrition' started by Kayall, Jan 25, 2019.

  1. Kayall

    Kayall Roots of LW Administrator New wings

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    Should you try keto, flexible or full-on vegetarian, or some other plan? Dieting is tough, but the likelihood of your success may depend on which one you choose.'

    Losing weight or “eating better” on your mind these days? There's no shortage of weight loss diets grappling for your attention. And the reality is that most diets — the good and bad — will help you shed pounds in the short term. But the difference is in keeping it off, and that relies on having a doable plan that you can stick with for life. Usually, that means that diets that cut out entire food groups (sorry, keto) or impose strict rules for eating (looking at you, Whole30) are out, unless medically advised by your healthcare team.
    We chatted with a few registered dietitians to learn more about the diets they want to see stay — and those they’d be happy to see go.
    The 4 Best Fad Weight Loss Diets in 2019

    1. Mediterranean Diet

    U.S. News & World Report ranked this mostly plant-based eating approach its No. 1 overall diet in 2019, and registered dietitians such as Amy Gorin, RDN, owner of Amy Gorin Nutrition in New York City, stand by that choice. Gorin applauds the Mediterranean diet — which is rich in whole vegetables, fresh fruits, whole grains, fatty fish, olive oil, nuts, legumes, and some red wine and dairy — because it’s a balanced way of eating. The Mediterranean diet’s focus on choosing whole, plant-based foods over those you might find in a vending machine may make you more likely to stick with it.
    Beyond weight loss, there are the health benefits associated with eating like Italians, Greeks, and other people who live on the Mediterranean Sea (the diet’s namesake). This approach, Gorin says, alsosupports heart and brain health. For example, a review published in the journal Metabolic Syndrome and Related Disorders suggested that a Mediterranean diet, especially when combined with exercise and followed for longer than six months, was associated with reduced weight gain. The review involved 16 randomized controlled trials, which represented 1,848 people following a Mediterranean diet and 1,588 people who acted as the controls.

    2. WW (Formerly Weight Watchers)

    You know this popular weight loss plan by its previous name: Weight Watchers. But in 2018, the company rebranded to make the program more about wellness than just losing weight, per an explainer on the WW website. “This program is one of the most effective weight loss programs out there, promoting long-lasting, sustainable changes with many studies to back this up,” says Gorin, who writes a nutrition blog, called The Eat List, for WW. The newest version of WW, Gorin says, offers tangible rewards, like fitness class passes and travel shoe bags, when members reach their goals, delivering more incentive to lose. Also, “This year U.S. News ranked WW as the best diet for weight loss,” she says.

    3. Vegetarian Diet

    It’s difficult to call a vegetarian diet — one where you don’t eat meat — a “fad,” as there are so many reasons for going vegetarian, including environmental and ethical considerations.
    Weight loss, though, is a potential benefit of opting to eat plants instead of meat, according to a review of 12 randomized, controlled trials representing about 1,150 people, published in January 2016 in the Journal of General Internal Medicine. Indeed, the Mayo Clinic notes that when you pay attention to portion size, a vegetarian diet can help with weight loss because the foods you'll eat (including fruits, veggies, whole grains, and plant-based protein) contain fewer calories and fat but are more filling than foods found in a standard American diet.
    Boosting your health may be another reason to adopt a vegetarian diet, and there’s science behind this choice. When carefully planned, “a vegetarian diet is a wonderful diet,” as it is rich in plant foods and low in saturated fat, says Jeanne Tiberio, RD, a tutor with Varsity Tutors based in Salem, Massachusetts. In a meta-analysis published in November 2017 in the journal Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition, a vegetarian diet was associated with a 25 percent lower risk of heart disease and 8 percent reduced odds of cancer.
    A word of caution: If you have a personal history of eating disorders, you may want to sidestep this approach. An study published in August 2012 in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics noted that some people use a vegetarian diet to legitimize food restriction to aid with weight loss. There can be many perks to going veg — but play it safe and ask yourself where your motivations lie before making this choice.

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