Dieting can be a lot like dating— daunting and draining until you find the right one. Many people find it hard to follow a diet as it restricts their food options and it could turn quite stressful to organize and manage their daily meals especially when on the go. Dieting could also be a mental struggle as when the brain knows that some foods are ‘forbidden’ it wants them more.
There are different reasons why you might consider starting a diet. It could be to improve general health and well-being, tackle an existing health condition or purely for better physical appearance and improved self-esteem. Others might consider a short-term diet for detoxification and metabolism boost.
Dieting trends are shifting in recent years and emotional well being is gaining higher importance than the physical aspect. People have started to realize that feeling great on the inside also radiates on the outside. There is a greater focus on improving overall lifestyle and eating more nutritional meals prepared in non-toxic cookware rather than following a strict diet plan.
The below list outlines some of the best diets of 2022 and suggests what each program focuses on.
The Mediterranean diet
A top pick in recent years, this diet resembles the traditional eating habits of people living in Italy and Greece and is often mentioned as the gold standard for nutrition benefits. One of the reasons it gained such popularity is the lack of many strict rules and restrictions. Dieters should focus on increased consumption of fresh fruit, vegetables, seafood, legumes and unrefined whole grains.
Extra virgin olive oil should also be made the only fat source during meal preparations. Due to its balanced nutritional intake and anti-inflammatory properties numerous studies suggest that this diet could prevent medicine intake and lead to increased longevity. This is a long-term investment in healthier life rather than a short-term quick results program.
The Flexitarian Diet
Often named semi-vegetarian, it’s a great gateway to swiftly adopting an exclusively vegetarian diet. The choice is yours, but the suggestion is to pack your plate with vegetarian dishes and occasionally include fish or meat. It’s more about hearing the needs of your body and if you really fancy something meaty, don’t think twice about it. The emphasis is not on calorie intake or fully removing food groups but rather on being selective of your shopping list and choosing whole foods and wildly grown animals.
The Weight Watchers Diet
This program is the perfect pick for someone who prefers having a great support network as progress is checked at weekly face-to-face sessions or via online meetings. Dieters feel accountable so they are more likely to fulfill their weight loss goals. It focuses on moderation and food portion sizes rather than limiting food groups.
Foods are assigned a number of points, with some being given ‘zero points’, based on nutritional value and the dieters are allocated a limited amount of points they should consume on a daily/weekly basis. A new Personal Points plan was introduced this year which offers a customized point-based system according to the user’s personal data.
The Volumetric Diet
Pioneered by nutrition professor Barbara Rolls at Penn State, this is more of a way of eating than a structured diet. The focus is to consume as much low-density foods such as fruit, veg and soups as you like and avoid high-density foods such as cakes, chips, nuts and fat sources. By doing this you will fill up on fewer calories and hence lose weight. This might prove to be the best diet plan for someone who loves fruit and vegetables.
Regardless of the diet plan you choose to follow, there are some useful tips to keep in mind at all times.
- Drink enough water. Staying hydrated at all times especially during warm weather is greatly important.
- Avoid consuming added sugar. If you like your coffee or tea sweet, try to cut down by reducing the amount slowly until your taste preference changes and you can drink it plain.
- Avoid salty packaged foods. Excess sodium can increase the risk of heart problems so it’s best to avoid savory packaged snacks.
- Eat enough food. Starving yourself and always feeling hungry can only lead to a yo-yo effect once you decide to stop.
Whether your main goal is weight loss or you are craving a lifestyle change and you feel beginning with establishing healthier eating habits is your thing, make sure to choose a program suitable for you. Think about the importance of food to you and whether you can restrict certain food groups from your diet or you prefer to shrink the size of your portions but to be able to eat it all. Do your research and begin your diet endeavor.