Diets are tricky because many of them work great at first, but can’t be sustained for the long haul. If you want to lose weight and keep it off, it’s important to choose a diet that is healthy, easy to follow, and actually enjoyable to live with.
Here are five diets that will help you slim down quickly, but still allow you to indulge your cravings from time to time so that your diet doesn’t become tedious or unbearable in the long run.
1) Atkins Diet
The Atkins Diet is a low-carb, high-protein diet that requires you to limit your carbs and eat until you’re satisfied. This diet was created by Dr. Robert C. Atkins in the 1960s. It’s often called a ketogenic diet because it produces ketones, which are produced when the body burns fat for energy instead of carbs or glucose.
The Atkins Diet is divided into four phases: Induction, Ongoing Weight Loss, Pre-maintenance and Maintenance.
Phase one (Induction) lasts two weeks and is designed to reduce your carb intake drastically – limiting yourself to 20 grams of net carbohydrates per day (the equivalent of about two slices of bread).
You’ll also need to stick with protein sources such as lean meats, eggs, poultry, fish and seafood.
Phase two (Ongoing Weight Loss) allows up to 60 grams of net carbohydrates daily from healthy sources such as fresh fruit or starchy vegetables like squash, carrots or potatoes.
Phase three (Pre-Maintenance) begins after weight loss has stopped. During this phase, you slowly increase your carbohydrate intake to match your activity level so that your body will be better able to store excess calories as glycogen and not fat. In phase four (Maintenance), you adjust your food plan based on what works best for you; whether it’s eating 100% healthy or using some cheat days once in a while.
2) South Beach Diet
The South Beach Diet is a diet that was first developed by cardiologist Arthur Agatston. It is a low-carbohydrate and low-glycemic index diet.
The idea behind the diet is that people can lose weight easily and keep it off, in part because people are usually able to stick with this kind of eating plan long term.
One of the main principles behind the South Beach Diet is that carbohydrates are not all created equal, so some carbs are more fattening than others.
South Beach Dieters should eat foods such as avocados, berries, nuts, olive oil, whole grains and poultry without skin.
They should avoid breads, pasta, potatoes and sweets.
The diet also encourages exercise. While there’s no one-size-fits all solution to weight loss, the high number of people who have successfully used the South Beach Diet proves that it has something going for it. For example , myself included.
3) The Zone Diet
The Zone Diet is a high-protein, moderate-carbohydrate, and low-fat diet that was developed by Dr. Barry Sears.
The Zone Diet is one of the most well-known diets in the world and has been highly successful in helping people lose weight fast. The Zone Diet works by balancing three important parts of any diet: food quality, quantity, and timing.
The plan emphasizes eating foods that are high in protein, low in carbohydrates, and rich in omega 3 fatty acids. Protein helps you feel full longer and provides energy throughout the day while carbs give your brain a boost. Omega 3s help reduce inflammation which can lead to a variety of chronic diseases such as heart disease or arthritis.
Eating every two to three hours also increases metabolism which helps prevent fat storage.
Followers of this diet are encouraged to eat foods like lean meats, fish, eggs, vegetables, nuts, fruit and healthy fats like olive oil.
There is no specific time frame for when followers should eat their meals but it’s recommended that they have breakfast within 45 minutes of waking up; lunch between 12 and 2 p.m.; dinner before 6 p.m.; an afternoon snack around 4 p.m.; a bedtime snack no later than 9 p.m., along with an hour before bed; and breakfast again within 45 minutes of waking up on each morning.
Foods to avoid include sugar, alcohol, refined grains, trans fats and processed oils.
It’s also recommended that followers consume less than 10% of their total calories from saturated fat and 25% from simple sugars including table sugar or high fructose corn syrup.
Those who want to lose weight fast may do so on the Zone Diet because its goal is achieving balance in all three factors (food quality, quantity and timing) rather than just focusing on one factor at a time.
4) Jenny Craig Diet
The Jenny Craig Diet is a popular diet plan designed by Jenny.
The company offers three different plans based on your weight loss goals and dietary needs:
the Basic Plan, the Core Plan, and the Uniquely Yours Diet.
All of them offer meal replacements like shakes, bars, soups and more.
They also provide nutritional support from a team of experts who can answer any questions you might have about food or exercise.
The Basic Plan includes pre-packaged entrees with around 100 calories each and four daily servings of fresh produce or salad greens.
The Core Plan is similar but provides more whole grains, limited sodium and fat content in your entrees. On the other hand, the Uniquely Yours Diet lets you customize what foods are best for your lifestyle while eating six small meals per day.
It may seem difficult to follow at first because it has no strict guidelines or set menu, but it’s really just making healthy choices throughout the day.
Plus, this plan includes new items like sugar-free baked goods that don’t leave you feeling deprived at all. So if you want fast results that will last long term, this may be the best option for you!
5) Nutrisystem Diet
The Nutrisystem diet is a weight loss plan that is designed to help people lose weight in six months.
The company offers three different plans: Basic, Core, and Uniquely Yours.
The Basic plan offers 28 days of pre-packaged meals and the Core plan offers 58 days of pre-packaged meals.
The Uniquely Yours plan lets you pick your own foods from an online catalogue with over 200 selections available.
There are no membership fees or other charges associated with any of the three plans. All three plans offer prepackaged food which can be ordered on their website.
A typical day’s menu on the Basic plan includes breakfast items like oatmeal, toast and eggs; lunch options like a salad or sandwich; dinner options like lasagna or vegetarian chili; desserts such as cake or pie; snacks such as yogurt and cereal bars; water, coffee, tea and juice.
The Core plan provides more choices by including breakfasts like steel-cut oats, pancakes and waffles as well as lunch options such as whole grain pasta dishes and sandwiches made with lean meats instead of processed deli meats.
In addition, dinners include grilled chicken with vegetables, braised beef with roasted vegetables and roast turkey breast with gravy and stuffing.
And just like the Basic plan, there is dessert offered every night such as apple crisp or peach cobbler. Participants of this program receive a daily snack pack consisting of fresh fruit (such as apples), nuts (such as almonds) and fresh veggies (such as carrots).
As mentioned above, there are no membership fees or other costs associated with these plans because all food comes pre-packaged. However, customers have to pay for the food upfront and then it is shipped to them.
If they do not cancel their subscription before time runs out, they will be charged $170 per week. Customers must also make sure they have enough room in their fridge at home so they don’t miss the delivery driver come when he drops off their next shipment of food.
One downside to this type of diet is that if you happen to order something with dairy and eggs then it might not sit well if you have an allergy or intolerance.
This makes it hard for some individuals to stick with the diet.
Another drawback is that participants are limited to the pre-packaged meals only and may not get exactly what they want each time.
This means those who want complete control over what they eat won’t be satisfied unless they decide to go outside of their meal plan and prepare their own food.
One last disadvantage would be how expensive the program is considering how much money customers end up paying after subscribing for a certain amount of time.