Have you tried countless diets only to give up and feel like a failure after a week or two? When you do start a new eating regime, are you frustrated with the abrupt and sometimes ridiculous changes which you face, not to mention the numerous disruptions you find in your daily routine when trying to follow through? Clearly there are infinite meal plans to choose from that state they can help meet your goals and expectations. However before diving into yet another potential disappointment, I suggest this time, you take a few minutes to reflect on your personal daily routine and lifestyle and your likes and dislikes. For instance, do you enjoy cooking, do you dine out often or do you prefer protein vs. carbohydrates, etc.? Once those decisions are assessed I suggest searching for healthy well rounded nutrition meal plans that can easily fit into your normal daily routine. This method allows you to concentrate on the foods you enjoy and sustain a semi normal routine, yet hopefully allow you to experience and learn better eating habits as well as accomplish desired goals. The ideal goal is having these newly learned habits now become a lifelong way of eating.
A recent report published in US News & World Reports listed the top-25 best diets for 2012. In order to make this list, diet plans had to be considered safe and nutritious as well as beneficial in supporting weight loss, diabetes and heart disease. They also needed to be reasonably easy to follow. Below are the top 5 diets.
- DASH DIET
The Dash Diet has been holding the No. 1 spot for the best, as well as healthiest, diet for two consecutive years. Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) eating plan was initially designed to help control high blood pressure, but studies also suggest it may offer protection against osteoporosis, cancer, heart disease, stroke and diabetes. The DASH diet encourages a wide variety of fresh wholesome foods and promotes healthy lifestyle choices. It is not considered a weight loss diet as such, but with a little fine tuning of its original 2,000 calories per day, one could easily adapt it toward wanted weight loss.
- TLC Diet
The Therapeutic Lifestyle Changes Diet is endorsed by The American Heart Association and focuses on low fat low food choices, especially saturated fat, in order to prevent or manage cardiovascular disease. The goal for this diet is to reduce the “bad” LDL cholesterol by 8-10 percent in six weeks.
- MAYO CLINIC DIET
The premise of this diet plan is two-fold: 1. Lose excess weight. 2. Develop lifelong habits in order to improve and sustain overall health and appropriate weight. This meal plan follows the Mayo clinic Healthy Weight Pyramid for food choices and emphasizes physical activity.
- MEDITERRANEAN DIET
Studies have shown this diet helps protect against many chronic diseases, such as heart disease, metabolic syndrome, obesity, type 2 diabetes, cancer, Parkinson’s, dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. Emphasis for this dietary regime is focused on consuming fresh seasonal whole foods that are not processed, teaching overall healthy ways of eating, making lifestyle choices and incorporating physical activity.
- WEIGHT WATCHER
Weight Watchers is a balanced diet geared for weight loss followed by weight maintenance where you choose the foods that you want, and then keep a tallied point system. Foods can be purchased via Weight Watchers brands, or your own choosing. It can be expensive since it’s a paid membership.
Next time you find yourself faced with diet dilemmas, remember to first assess your individual lifestyle, habits, likes/dislikes along with desired goals. Once these are evaluated, you can then find a well balanced healthy diet plan that fits reasonably easily into your daily routine. New habits soon turn into a normal way of living and last a lifetime.
Stayed tuned for my next blog in which I will continue my discussion on selecting a healthy diet that might be right for you.