New Year Resolutions 2018: Lose weight Fast in 2018!
These are the Top 5 Best Weight-Loss Programs this year, according to U.S. Health News. Their health-expert panelists evaluated 38 different diet and exercise programs, before presenting their annual Diet Awards in August. I’ve selected the Top 5 weight-loss diets based on normal foods you can buy in any store, and including high- and low-exercise plans. So if you’re ready to lose weight, it’s time to pick a winner!
Best snacks for weight loss
‘Best Weight-Loss Diet’ Award – Weight Watchers
Weight Watchers won in these three categories:
- No. 1 Best Weight-Loss Diet
- No. 1 Easiest Diets to Follow
- No. 3 Best Fast Weight-Loss Diet
The goal: Lose up to 2 lbs. per week
What You Eat
Grilled Salmon with Mustard-Herb Crust
Weight-Watchers works by offering a flexible eating plan and no food groups are ‘off-limits’. The aim is to encourage dieters to choose filling, protein-rich foods that are full of healthy nutritional value. The eating plan is higher in protein and lower in saturated fat and sugar, so fewer calories are consumed. This is the most expensive diet plan and local support group, and the most successful.
Exercise: All forms of physical activity are rewarded in this system, so you don’t need to do gym work-outs to succeed.
Meetings: The Weight-Watchers Diet offers a local support-group system that can be very helpful in keeping you motivated.
‘Best Overall Diet’ Award – Biggest Loser Diet
The goal: Disease prevention and weight-loss through cutting calorie intake and taking regular ‘work-out’ exercise over a 6-week period.
What You Eat
Enchilada Chicken from ‘Biggest Loser Family Cookbook’
You eat 4-servings of fruit and/or vegetables a day, 3-servings of protein and two-servings of whole grains. In addition, you can eat 200 more calories as dessert or extras. Your daily food intake should be – 45% of calories from carbs, 30% from protein, 25% from fat. You eat 5 – 6 small meals a day of lean protein, low-fat dairy or soy, fruit, vegetables, whole grains, beans and nuts.
This prevents the dips in blood-sugar that cause hunger pangs, and protein with low-cal/high fiber plant-foods helps you feel full longer. Avoid caffeine from coffee, green tea and ‘energy’ sodas, and drink 6 – 8 glasses of water a day. The Biggest Loser books teach how to choose food that provides healthy nutrition, instead of calorie-rich food with no nutritional value.
Limitations: Although you can eat from all food groups, some of the meal plans go below 1,200 calories per day. So you may need to take mineral and vitamin supplements to meet your nutritional needs.
Exercise: This diet requires you to exercise a lot during the 6-week weight-loss period. So you need to dedicate time and effort to reaching your goal, but you’ll also have learned a lot about reading food labels and healthy eating for life!
In-person meetings: None, but there are hundreds of ‘Biggest Loser’ recipes online and various BL Cookery Books to buy.
‘Best Commercial Diet Plan’ Award – Mayo Clinic Diet
The Goal: To lose 6 – 10 lbs. in two weeks. Then continue losing 1 – 2 lbs. each week until you reach your weight-loss goal. Disease prevention and good health.
What You Eat
Pineapple Chicken Stir-Fry from Mayo Clinic Diets online
The world-famous Mayo Clinic sells the Mayo Clinic Diet book, which explains food groups and nutrition. The underlying principle is to change poor eating choices to healthy nutritious foods, without omitting any food groups, or counting calories. You can eat as much fruit or vegetables as you want.
The guide takes you through two weeks of the ‘Lose it!’ plan, after which you move on to the ‘Live it!’ section. You’ll learn how many calories you need to lose weight, and then maintain a healthy body for life.
Exercise is encouraged and you’ll understand why as you learn how food is converted into fuel for the body. There are plenty of Mayo Clinic Diet recipes online and independent online communities exist for general help and mutual support.
‘Best Plant-Based Diet’ Award – Mediterranean Diet
This is a well-known diet, traditionally eaten by Europeans living around the Mediterranean Sea. Those who eat this diet suffer fewer diseases and tend to live longer.
The goal: Long-term weight loss, improving your heart and brain health. Prevention of cancer and diabetes.
What You Eat
Mediterranean Diet Sardines
The Mediterranean Diet includes fairly small quantities of red-meat, saturated fat and sugar. The emphasis is on healthy plant-foods, with salads or vegetable soup eaten as a first-course before lunch and dinner. This means you aren’t so hungry as you eat your main meals and fresh fruit is used for desserts and snacks.
The diet includes plenty of fish, moderate quantities of eggs, cheese and yogurt and a variety of nuts. And red wine is consumed with meals in moderation. You can find details and recipes for this popular diet online in many places.
Exercise: To work, the Mediterranean Diet requires you to maintain an active life-style with regular, but general, physical activity.
‘Best Plant-Based Diet’ Runner-Up – Flexitarian Diet
The goal: Weight-loss and good health from a diet based on vegetables and fruits, plus fish and occasional meat dishes. Flexitarians weigh less than meat-eaters, and have lower rates of cancer, diabetes and heart disease.
Background: The dietitian, Dawn Blatner introduced this diet in her book, The Flexitarian Diet (2009), which is worth buying. There are also lots of independent flexitarian support sites and tasty recipes online.
What You Eat
The idea is to concentrate on eating a meat-free diet, which cuts out a ton of calories, but you can still eat meat occasionally. Protein comes from tofu, lentils, dried beans, peas, nuts, seeds, eggs and dairy. Fiber and protein also come from vegetables and fruit. Whole grains are also a Flexitarian Food Group, along with Sugar & Spices.
No foods are banned, but your goal is to cut-back on meat and increase plant foods. The Flexitarian Diet (2009) is an excellent guide, which suggests you start by planning two meat-free days a week. This cuts a significant amount of calories off your weekly calorie intake instantly. Advanced flexitarians have 3 – 4 meat-free days a week and ‘experts’ eat vegetarian meals on five-plus day a week.
Exercise: You are encouraged to take walking exercise for 30 minutes on five days a week.
Plus: Healthy smoothie recipes for weight loss
These popular, healthy diet plans really work and teach how to control your weight for life. So good luck and I’d love to hear how you get on!