Diet Plans & Programs: The "Skinny" on Popular Diet Plans

Belly (Abdominal) Fat Quiz: Test Your Belly Fat IQ

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Diet-To-Go enables you to customize not only your daily and weekly menus but lets you choose a pricing plan that best fits your budget. Proceedings of the Connecticut State Medical Society: Going keto can take a little getting used to, but once in a rhythm, the mental clarity, and energy, etc. The long-term safety of low-carbohydrate, high-protein diets is unknown at this time. This diet has been around for decades and has undergone many revisions. Dieting is a complex issue and ongoing professional support may be needed for success. What to know how to lose belly fat fast?

Pros and Cons of an Atkins Diet

Ketogenic Diet vs Atkins Diet Which is Better?

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Unsourced or poorly sourced material may be challenged and removed. Department of Agriculture and U. Department of Health and Human Services Retrieved December 15, Department of Health and Human Services. News Reveals Best Diets Rankings for ". The New England Journal of Medicine. A meta-analysis of individual data for one million adults in 61 prospective studies". Southern California Urology Institute. Retrieved 21 April From Clinical Trial to Dinner Table".

Cleveland Clinic Journal of Medicine. The Cleveland Clinic Foundation. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. Human nutritions and healthy diets.

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Most popular diets are considered fad diets. There is no clear definition for what constitutes a fad diet. Merriam-Webster defines a fad as "a practice or interest followed for a time with exaggerated zeal. Long-term success requires permanent changes in behavior, diet, and activity. The following review examines the advantages and disadvantages of several popular diet plans.

Many of the diets emphasize the restriction of one nutrient as the basis for their plan. The other food groups and nutrients are allowed in limited or unlimited quantities, depending on the plan. Weight loss is impossible without a calorie restriction, so each diet has to provide fewer calories than your body needs to maintain your weight.

Any diet that claims otherwise can end up causing weight gain. Various diet plans are summarized below to help you learn to review them for safety and effectiveness. The Atkins diet may be one of the most well-known fad diets. It is a high-protein, high-fat, low-carbohydrate plan. This diet has been around for decades and has undergone many revisions. The previous plan allowed for unrestricted amounts of meat, cheese, and eggs while severely restricting carbohydrates, including sugar , bread, pasta, milk, fruits, and vegetables.

The Atkins diet web site states the current plan "is about eating delicious and healthy foods, which makes it so much better than any of those fad diets out there. You eat a variety of your favorite foods -- lean protein, leafy greens, vegetables, nuts, fruits, whole grains.

Plus, you get delicious Atkins bars and shakes from day one and every step of the way. The plan is based on the theory that eating carbohydrates creates a production of insulin , a hormone secreted from the pancreas, leading to increased weight gain and hunger.

When converting to this approach, the plan holds that dieters will experience a reduced appetite, and their bodies will use stored fat for energy versus burning glucose from carbohydrate digestion.

Burning fat for energy will supposedly lead to weight loss. The most recent version of the Atkins diet is by far the most nutritionally balanced. For the first time, the Atkins diet has placed an emphasis on the kinds of fat being consumed instead of allowing all dietary fats. The monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats are now emphasized over saturated and trans fats. The diet has also changed to allow "good carbs" instead of severely restricting all carbohydrates.

These foods provide fiber , vitamins , and minerals that were once lacking in this diet. The high amount of protein will be beneficial in keeping you full.

Research is clear that protein has a positive impact on increasing satiety, which means that you will feel full between meals. Disadvantages The Atkins diet has gone through numerous revisions over the years, though there was never any acknowledgement of flaws in any of the diet plans.

Until recently, there have not been any studies on the safety or efficacy of the Atkins diet. Short-term studies have shown improvements in blood cholesterol and blood sugar and an increased weight loss over the first three to six months in comparison to control diets. Unfortunately, the weight loss is not sustained at one year, and the improvements that were seen were due to weight loss and not the actual diet. The long-term safety of low-carbohydrate, high-protein diets is unknown at this time.

In a rating of diet books done by Consumer Reports, the Atkins diet was ranked at the bottom. There are four phases to the plan, and the first one is severely restricted in carbohydrates.

The induction phase lasts two weeks, and the claim is you can lose up to 15 pounds in this time. During this time you consume no more than 20 grams of carbohydrates per day. For example, one slice of bread has 15 grams of carbohydrates, one serving of fruit has 15 grams of carbohydrates, one serving of dairy has 12 grams of carbohydrates, and one serving of vegetables can have between 5 and 15 grams of carbohydrates.

It's clear that 20 grams is extremely limited, potentially unhealthy, and would be very difficult to follow for the long-term. The Atkins web site states that "depending on how much weight you have to lose, you can safely continue with the induction phase as long as the following three conditions are met:.

Most people who follow this diet are not under medical supervision, and this can become a very dangerous situation for them. The the induction phase gets people used to losing weight at a fast rate, which will not last and is not healthy. Faster weight loss does not mean healthy weight loss. Any diet that emphasizes fast, easy weight loss is one to approach with caution. The guidelines are clear that a safe, healthy rate of weight loss is to lose 1 to 2 pounds per week after the first couple of weeks.

The Atkins diet states you will lose "only body fat" by eating regular meals, taking in adequate calories, and keeping your insulin levels down. There is no way to only lose body fat when losing weight. Claims that you will lose only fat are not based on science despite the fact that the Atkins diet claims to be scientifically based. The Pritikin diet is a very low-fat, high-carbohydrate eating plan. The focus is to eat vegetables, fruits, and high-fiber grains.

Nathan Pritikin's diet is based on the theory of eating low-fat, low-calorie, plant-based foods to promote weight loss and improve or prevent heart disease. The revised Pritikin diet includes a "Calorie Density Solution: Eating low-calorie foods throughout the day will reduce hunger and cause weight loss.

Research has shown that the calorie density of our diets will impact our weight. The calorie density is the amount of calories in a given weight of food. Consuming foods that are considered low-calorie dense aids in weight loss.

These foods will provide a high volume without a lot of calories. By replacing foods that are considered high-calorie dense, you save additional calories. Some find it more satisfying to focus on consuming low-calorie dense foods in large quantities versus counting calories. The Pritikin diet also encourages daily exercise and stress -reduction techniques. The most controversial part of this diet is the severe fat restriction.

There has been a considerable amount of research showing the health benefits of omega-3 fats, including protecting your heart.

The American Heart Association now recommends that people without coronary heart disease eat a variety of omega-3 fat-containing fish at least twice a week and that those with coronary heart disease consume one gram of omega-3 fats per day. Dietary fat is also needed to transport the fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E, and K. Without fat to transport them, they will not be able to serve their functions in your body.

Our diets are meant to have a balance of protein, carbohydrates, and fat. When you consume too little of one of these nutrients it means you are consuming too much of another nutrient.

Most people who follow a very low-fat diet end up consuming an excess amount of carbohydrates. Too much of any nutrient can cause health problems. The Dietary Reference Intake DRI established the need for each one of these nutrients based on research for optimal health and weight. If you follow the Pritikin Principle it would be best to adjust your intake to meet the DRI guidelines.

The Zone diet is a high-protein, low-carbohydrate, fat-controlled eating plan. It is not as restrictive as other high-protein diets and it allows for a broad range of foods to be consumed. A small amount of protein is combined with twice the amount of "favorable" carbohydrates, including fruits and vegetables.

If choosing "less desirable" carbohydrates, the portion size is smaller. Sears' Zone diet is based on the theory that the human body is genetically programmed to reach peak efficiency when all meals, including snacks, consist of a set caloric ratio of carbohydrates, proteins, and fats.

When this ratio is achieved, the body is working within the "zone. The Zone diet promotes eating a balance of each nutrient, without severely restricting calories. Protein increases your feeling of fullness, helping you to avoid eating between meals, and there is a guide to what kind of fat you can consume.

Healthy fats are encouraged in place of the saturated and trans fats. The calorie restriction will help you lose weight. The claims made about the health implications of carbohydrates and protein are controversial. As with other fad diets, one nutrient is being made to look like the enemy carbohydrates , while protein is made to look like the key to weight loss and health. Most diets that are against carbohydrates use the arguments that we consume less fat and more carbohydrates than we did 10 years ago, and obesity is on the rise.

This is half true. We consume more carbohydrates, which means we consume more calories. Our fat intake remains above the recommendations, but the percent of our total calories from fat has come down because we are now consuming more calories.

Again, research clearly shows that a balance of each of these nutrients is needed and that an excess or deficiency in any of them will cause problems. This diet can be difficult to stick with long-term, so weight regain can be an issue.

The South Beach Diet. The South Beach diet is the newest high-protein, low carbohydrate, and fat-controlled diet. This diet claims that the cause for obesity "is simple: The faster the sugars and the starches you eat are processed and absorbed into your bloodstream, the fatter you get. The first phase claims to eliminate cravings and kick-start weight loss; the second phase is for long-term, steady weight loss; and the third phase is to be followed for days a year once you have achieved your weight loss goal.

The second and third phases of this diet promote a balanced diet that can be beneficial to your health and weight. These phases promote consistent meal times, healthy snacks and desserts, and water. Once you choose your plan, a team of highly skilled chefs, nutritionists, dietitians, and certified health coaches start creating delicious meals that make weight loss actually taste good.

The entire team of Diet-To-Go is there to help you succeed in your weight loss efforts. On top of everything, the company features loads of useful information on its official blog and the food safety section on the website. As we already pointed out in this Diet-To-Go review, this meal delivery service makes weight loss easier than you ever thought possible. Restaurant-grade food spread across four award-winning menus lets you enjoy fully-prepared, great-tasting meals, all while losing weight.

All that for less than the cost of eating out. All meals prepared by Diet-To-Go are nutritionally balanced, perfectly portioned, and ready to eat. All the meals are rotated on a 5-week schedule, which gives you plenty of time to explore your potential favorites without things getting repetitive.

The Balance menu has been helping dieters reach their weight loss goals for 25 years. It is calorie-controlled, nutritionally balanced, and carefully controlled for sodium, carbs, fat, and cholesterol. It is suitable for omnivores and individuals who do not like seafood. With the Balance meal plan, you can eat between 1, and 1, calories per day. The meals available with this plan are designed to help you naturally control your blood sugar and shed pounds at the same time, with no health risks.

The Keto-Carb30 plan is specifically designed for those who prefer Atkins-style, carb-restricted diets. By replacing carbs with fat and offering a wide variety of meals based on meat, cheese, and eggs, it helps you lose weight quickly and effectively. With this plan, your daily carb intake is limited to just 30 net carbs on average, which makes it a perfect choice for individuals on the keto diet.

On average, the meals included in the Carb30 plan have around 1, calories per day. The Vegetarian plan represents a meat-free version of the famous Balance plan. The meals included in this plan are heart-healthy, perfectly balanced, and portion-controlled. They contain limited amounts of sodium, cholesterol, fats, and carbs.

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