One of the apprehensions that people seem to have with regards to diet plans is the probable lack of sustainability. Aside from the high possibility that they will not be able to follow them through, they are often unsure if the diet plans themselves are worth following over long periods.
These concerns are not unfounded as there exist unbalanced diet plans severely lacking in vital nutrients, that prove to be hazardous in the long run. That being said, there are balanced diet plans that have shown to cause significant weight loss and improve overall health. Let us take a look at a few of them.
Sustainable Diet Plans that you can follow:
Low-carb diets are a no brainer. They are popular and used by hordes of people as they make for a highly effective diet plan for weight loss.
There are a variety of Low-carb diets, examples of which are ketogenic diet, low-carb, high-fat (LCHF) diet, and the Atkins diet, Low-carb diets are known to have a higher volume of protein than low-fat diets. The consumption of protein in adequate amounts limits your appetite and raises your metabolism. The added advantage of low-carb diets is that they help burn excess belly fat.
If you plan to follow this diet plan religiously, this is what you can consume:
- Whole Eggs
- Veggies like cauliflower and broccoli
- Lean meats, such as chicken breast, or pork
- Green vegetables
- Plain milk and Greek yogurt (Greek yogurt is known to be high in protein and improves digestive health)
- Nuts and nut butter
Low-carb diets boast a variety of health benefits that include the prevention of metabolic syndrome, diabetes, high blood pressure, and cardiovascular disease.
The Mediterranean diet is known to be one of the healthiest diet plan recommended by the Dietary Guidelines for Americans to promote health and prevent chronic disease. The World Health Organization also recognizes it as a healthy and sustainable dietary pattern.
While the Mediterranean diet is not well-defined, it is typically high in vegetables, fruits, whole grains, beans, nut and seeds, and olive oil. The Mediterranean diet entails the consumption of the following:
- Vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and healthy fats daily
- Fish, poultry, beans, and eggs every week
- Dairy products in moderation
- A limited amount of red meat
The Mediterranean diet is primarily plant-based. It recommends moderate amounts of sea-food and the occasional consumption of red meat. It also encourages the consumption of healthy fats. While olive oil is the primary source of added fat in the Mediterranean diet, fatty fish such as mackerel, herring, sardines, albacore tuna, and salmon finds its place in this diet plan as a wholesome source of healthy fats.
If you wish to follow the Mediterranean diet plan, make sure you do the following:
- Consume an adequate amount of fruits and vegetables – Aim for 7 to 10 servings a day of fruit and vegetables.
- Opt for whole grains – Make sure you switch to whole-grain bread, cereal, and pasta
- Start using healthy fats – Olive oil is an excellent replacement for butter while cooking.
- Consume for seafood – Eat fish twice a week. Fresh or water-packed tuna, salmon, trout, mackerel, and herring are excellent choices. However, avoid deep-fried fish.
- Reduce your consumption of red meat – Avoid red meat as much as possible, and consume fish or poultry instead. If you do consume meat, make sure you consume small portions of lean meat.
- Consume an adequate amount of dairy – Eat low-fat Greek or plain yogurt and small amounts of cheese. Yogurt is high in protein and improves digestive health.
Weight Watchers (WW) is one of the most popular weight loss programs in the world. It does not exclude specific food groups, but people on a WW diet plan must eat within their daily set points to reach their desired weight.
It is a point-based system that allocates points of value to different foods and beverages, depending on their calorie count, fat, and fiber content. This diet plan has proven to be highly effective for people looking to lose weight, and several studies have backed this.
The WW diet plan is flexible and, therefore, easy to follow. However, it can prove to be too costly, depending on your subscription plan.
Intermittent fasting (IF) is a diet plan that requires you to switch between periods of fasting and eating.
There is a variety of forms of this diet plan. Examples of this include the 16/8 method, which requires you to control your intake to 8 hours per day, and the 5:2 method, which limits your daily calorie count to 500 or 600 calories twice a week.
Intermittent fasting primarily focuses on when you can eat, as opposed to what you are allowed to eat. It makes for an excellent diet plan for weight loss, so long as you do not overeat during your eating periods.
Most people stick to the 16/8 weight loss diet, as it seems to be the easiest to start and stick to. Here are some benefits of this diet plan:
- Simplification of eating habits: Intermittent fasting makes it much easier to eat healthy as you do not have to waste time and energy in making your meals.
- Heart health: Intermittent fasting is known to reduce lipoproteins (LDL) cholesterol, blood triglycerides, inflammatory markers, blood sugar, and insulin resistance. All of these play a critical role in heart disease.
The diets mentioned above plans are the ideal alternative to ‘quick fix’ diets that claim to help you reduce weight short-term. These are well-balanced diets and tend to hold up in the long run.