Whether your weight is a constant struggle or just something you notice after the holidays or a long vacation, almost everyone goes on a diet from time to time. And despite some evidence the diet trend is slowing, a growing obesity rate makes this a little hard to believe. Clearly something isn’t working.
It’s easy to get pulled in by diets that claim that by eliminating this from your diet you can lose 20 pounds or by doing this you can drop two pant sizes. Radical diets like these rarely lead to long-term weight loss and the drastic measures they require are often harmful to your body and your metabolism.
Rather than looking for a quick fix, invest your time and money in diets that encourage long-term success through changes in lifestyle and habits. These four weight loss programs are some of the most trusted and highly researched diets out there.
1. Mayo Clinic Diet
This diet is as trustworthy as it gets. The program was developed by medical professionals and is based on their research and clinical experience. This diet works because it focuses on your overall health, not just the way you eat. It encourages a full lifestyle change and the adoption of healthy habits to create long-term success.
The Mayo Clinic Diet has two main parts: The “Lose It!” phase is a two-week period that allows you to jump-start your weight loss by skimming off as many as six to 10 pounds right of the bat. You’ll learn how to add five healthy habits, break five unhealthy habits, and adopt another five bonus habits. In the subsequent “Live It!” phase, you’ll learn about food choices, portion control, and menu habits that will help you lose one to two pounds a week until you reach your goal weight. Once you’ve reached your goal weight, the diet is ongoing, helping you maintain your goal weight permanently while establishing long-term healthy eating and exercise patterns.
Since this diet was introduced in 2009 over one hundred thousand people have successfully completed the program with impressive results. The diet works by stripping certain foods like sugar, grains, dairy, and legumes from your diet completely for 30 days. Falling somewhere between a cleanse and a diet, Whole30 works by removing harmful foods from your diet allowing your body to heal itself. In the course of a month, your metabolism will be reset and any hormone unbalancing, inflammatory foods will be cleared from your daily diet, returning your body to optimal health.
Dieters who choose Whole30 can expect to eat natural and unprocessed meats, seafood, eggs, veggies, healthy fats, and some fruits.
3. Weight Watchers
There’s a reason why you’ve heard of Weight Watchers. It works. Their point-based system allows you to indulge in every whim and craving, while keeping your portions in control. If you want to eat ice cream for lunch, you can, but you may have to settle for a veggie-heavy salad for dinner to keep your day in balance. Weight Watchers also incorporates exercise to take a whole body approach. The diet program works because users can utilize the tools and portion control even after the diet has ended. The program also has a well praised support system in place to encourage dieters along the way.
4. Mediterranean diet
This diet is not only well researched, but it is based on the historic dining habits of people in the Mediterranean. Studies have found that the Mediterranean diet can assist with weight loss and help prevent heart attacks, stroke, and type 2 diabetes.
The Mediterranean diet encourages the daily consumption of fruits, vegetables, grains, olive oil, nuts, legumes, and seeds with weekly servings of fish and seafood. Dairy, eggs, and poultry are eaten in moderation while red meat should be eaten rarely. Added sugars, processed meat, refined grains, and highly processed foods should be avoided completely. This diet works because it takes a whole life, realistic approach to dieting without restricting too many things.