It’s estimated that nearly half of American adults attempt to lose weight each year. Diet and exercise are necessary to improve health and lose weight. There are many types of diets available now and each one has its supporters, who post all over social media about how their particular choice helped them achieve their goals. Experts say that the key to success is to find which diet will help you lose weight and more importantly, help maintain outcomes long-term. Here are six ideal diets for weight-loss diets in 2020:
- Mediterranean diet: This is one of the most healthy eating plans recommended by the Dietary Guidelines for Americans to promote health and prevent chronic disease. This diet plan also helps weight loss if you limit your calorie intake to 1,500 a day or less. A PREDIMED study that aimed to assess the efficacy of the Mediterranean diet in the primary prevention of cardiovascular diseases showed that people lost slightly more weight when following a Mediterranean diet, compared to a low-fat diet.
A Mediterranean-style diet includes healthy fats such as avocados, olive oil, nuts, and fish at least twice a week, plenty of beans, fruit, leafy greens, and whole grains, and even a daily glass of red wine. You can also eat cheese in moderation, but red meat needs to be limited to once or twice a week.
- Volumetrics diet: Ranked second in Best Weight-Loss Diets by U.S. News& World Report, the Volumetrics diet focuses on the energy density of foods which is the key to achieving healthy, long-term weight loss. This diet plan aims to help you quit on-and-off dieting by living a healthy lifestyle based on nutritious food and regular exercise. Created by Barbara Rolls, PhD, a professor of nutrition at Penn State University, foods are divided into four categories in the Volumetrics diet:
- Category 1 (very low-density): Nonstarchy fruits and vegetables, nonfat milk and broth-based soup
- Category 2 (low-density): Starchy fruits and veggies, grains, breakfast cereal, low-fat meat, legumes and low-fat mixed dishes like chili and spaghetti.
- Category 3 (medium-density): Meat, cheese, pizza, French fries, salad dressing, bread, pretzels, ice cream and cake
- Category 4 (high-density): Crackers, chips, chocolate candies, cookies, nuts, butter and oil.
In general, diets rich in low-energy-dense foods have been shown to promote fullness on fewer calories and deliver weight loss, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. A U.S. News & World report notes that “you will very likely lose weight following the Volumetrics plan.
- Moderate protein plan: Also referred to as a moderate carbohydrate plan, this diet emphasizes whole grains, produce and animal proteins (for meat eaters). A high-protein diet decreases hunger, making it easier to stick to the plan. Intake of processed foods and added sugar should be limited. The diet aims to provide 30% of your daily calories from protein, 30% from fat, and 40% from carbohydrates.
- Dash Diet: Short for Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension, the low-sodium DASH diet was designed as a way to curb high blood pressure without using drugs. The DASH plan breaks out the number of servings you should eat from each food group. This style of eating helps with weight loss and lowering cholesterol.
The DASH diet includes fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and low-fat or nonfat dairy and limits saturated fat and dietary cholesterol. A personalized, calorie-limited plan can provide anti-inflammatory, high fiber, heart-healthy benefits and help you lose weight too.
- Ornish Diet: Created in 1977 by Dr. Dean Ornish – a clinical professor of medicine at the University of California, San Francisco, and founder of the nonprofit Preventive Medicine Research Institute in nearby Sausalito, the Ornish diet helps people feel better, live longer, lose weight and gain health. Ranked sixth in Best Weight-Loss Diets by U.S. News& World Report, the Ornish diet is low in fat, refined carbohydrates and animal protein.
- Vegan Diet: Vegans shun all animal products, including dairy, eggs, and honey for ethical and environmental reasons. Vegan diets can also support weight loss. However, you cannot lose weight by simply cutting intake of animal products. Instead, you need to eat healthy-quality vegan food like leafy greens and plant-based proteins. Studies confirm that those on a plant-based diet have a lower average BMI than those who eat animal products (prevention.com).
Other widely popular weight loss diet plans include the Flexitarian Diet, Intermittent Fasting, and the Mayo Clinic Diet.
There’s no one diet that will fit everybody’s needs, personalities, lifestyles or food preferences, says registered dietitian Andrea Dunn, RD (www.health.clevelandclinic.org). She recommends choosing a scientifically proven eating plan. Dunn notes, “It’s about matching your lifestyle with the foods you enjoy and what will work best for you long-term, without feeling deprived or ripped off.”