The 5 Best Diets Of 2015

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    The word “diet” can scare you away with its negative implications - sacrifices, self control, being left out. But a lot of diets are actually very beneficial and allow room for a lifestyle change rather than a short-term deprivation of favorite foods like waffles or candy bars. Check out the top 5 best diets for all types of people and weight loss goals.

    ​The purpose of this diet is to lower blood pressure without taking medication.

    It is rooted in evidence and research done by the US National Institutes of Health. Numerous studies have arisen showing that the DASH diet reduces the risk for countless diseases, including cancer, stroke, heart disease, heart failure, kidney stones, and diabetes.

    Getting healthy is the first priority on deck, but the weight falls off in the process. This diet ranked #1 by US News & World Report in 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2014. The success of the DASH diet can be attributed to the core of the program - the diet.

    Type of food

    Number of servings for
    1600 - 3100 Calorie diets

    Servings on a
    2000 Calorie diet

    Grains and grain products
    (include at least 3 whole grain foods each day)

    6 - 12

    7 - 8

    Fruits

    4 - 6

    4 - 5

    Vegetables

    4 - 6

    4 - 5

    Low fat or non fat dairy foods

    2 - 4

    2 - 3

    Lean meats, fish, poultry

    1.5 - 2.5

    2 or less

    Nuts, seeds, and legumes

    3 - 6 per week

    4 - 5 per week

    Fats and sweets

    2 - 4

    limited

    Though the diet starting in the 90’s, it did not incorporate the modern “whole food” diet it recommends nowadays. A couple of decades ago, common nutrition theory held grains and starches as beneficial to the body. It’s since been further developed into a whole foods approach, incorporating fruits and vegetables, nuts, seeds and low-fat dairy.

    When the DASH diet began to implement the removal of refined grains and starches from the diet, it saw much enhanced results in its followers, seeing improvements in both body weight and blood pressure. More protein and healthy, hearty fats are important to the DASH diet rather than empty carbs.

    ​The DASH diet prides itself on not only helping in weight loss, but sustaining that lost weight.

    Snacks and meals rich in fat and fiber help stop hunger dead in its tracks. Of course you do still get hunger as your body reaches its low-fuel zone, but the cravings and starvation alerts are dimmed down and always able to be controlled. They hit with less force. Avoiding refined carbs helps quench sugar cravings, which this diet believes is the main cause of forming bad habits.

    Vegetarians find the DASH diet easy to live by since the diet is plant-based.

    The following is the DASH diet plan:

    Having a specific outline like the DASH diet does helps many people stick to a meal routine and know exactly what they can and cannot have. It provides a clear-cut way to know what will help you reach your goals.

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    ​2. Whole30

    ​The Whole30 program is very popular among the wellness community of today.

    Whole30 is a diet program that goes on for 30 days (it sounds like a long time, but you can do anything over 30 days!), the perfect amount of time to break bad habits and form a new and improved self.

    The purpose of Whole30 is to allow your body 30 days to heal by eating only whole foods, eliminating dairy, alcohol, grains, fats (except for natural fats like avocados, almond butter, etc.), all sugar, legumes, nothing that is processed at all.

    Can you pick it up from a farm and eat it? If the answer is no, then you cannot eat it. It sounds restrictive, but when you are eating so much natural meat and fiber, you find yourself surprisingly filled after every meal and very energetic. No lethargy or carb comas after lunch.

    ​This is a great diet for people who like black-and-white rules, to have what you can and cannot eat sprawled out in front of you. You are not allowed to step on a scale in between days 1 and 30. The program is strict about enforcing the fact that you are doing this to change the way you think about food and not to lose weight particularly, though weight loss is a guaranteed side effect.

    Though this may seem demanding, these are the only guidelines.

    No calorie counting, no measurements, just all natural eating. Over one hundred thousand individuals have completed this program successfully and claim they were able to throw their bad craving habits to the wind and now use food to nourish their bodies and minds only.

    ​3. The TLC Diet

    ​This diet’s major claim is that it will lower your bad cholesterol by 8-10% in just 6 weeks. It was devised by the National Institute of Health’s National Cholesterol Education Program and endorsed by the American Heart Association.

    The Therapeutic Lifestyle Change Diet (TLC) says it reduces the risk of cardiovascular diseases by severely cutting back on saturated fats. Whole dairy, fried food and fatty meats are a few examples of saturated fats, which elevate your chances of stroke and heart attack.

    Often without medication, cholesterol is able to be monitored by reducing these types of foods along with raising the fiber intake. For men looking to lower bad cholesterol and lose weight, the calorie aim is around 1,600 calories per day, while the intake for women should be about 1,200 on the TLC diet.

    The next step is to keep your fat intake to under 7% of your total calorie count. You can do this by cutting out things like butter and fatty meats. Whole grains, plant foods, low-fat dairy, fish and poultry are what the TLC diet hones in on. There isn’t an outline of exactly when you need to eat what, so that is up to your discretion.

    The TLC diet suggests opting for skinless when possible for meat, and to avoid red meats altogether.

    ​4. Weight Watchers

    ​Weight Watchers is a community designed to assist one another in losing weight. It is a program that has been around since the 60’s and started in Queens, NY.

    You can attend meetings, use an app for personal coaching, or track your nutrition based on their point system in order to participate in Weight Watchers. Based on your goals, current body type and weight, gender and age, you are assigned a point number to stay underneath per day.

    You can use those points however you’d like, but if you use 15 on dessert and only have 30 for the day, you’ll end up pretty hungry in the evening.

    You can eat anything, but you can’t eat everything. Weight Watchers is a trusted weight loss maintenance method, since it is more of a lifestyle change than a follow-the-rules diet. You can still eat out and drink alcohol on this diet. Portioning is the key to success when participating in Weight Watchers.

    5. The Paleo Diet​

    ​Eating paleo is not a new concept. It has been successful for many individuals and still remains popular after being around for quite a while.

    This diet intends to mirror that of our ancestors, to eat only foods that nature provides us with. No processed, refined sugars or grains. No gluten or dairy, which are inflammatory foods.

    Research in biology, biochemistry, and more scientific fields back up the paleo diet and claim that refined sugars, processed foods, and trans fats are all tied to causing autoimmune disease and degenerative diseases such as cancer, Alzheimer's, heart disease, diabetes, depression and infertility.

    The paleo diet is made up of vegetables, fruits, nuts, healthy fats and grass-fed meats. Weight loss is a benefit of this diet, along with improved lipids and immunity.

    It has also been said that the paleo diet is excellent for women because it eliminates sugar and other infertility causing foods, as well as foods that throw off hormonal balance.

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    About the author

      Andrea Villalba

      Andrea Villalba loves writing about how to live a healthy lifestyle. With a degree in communications and English, Andrea understands that it is the media’s job to share what science discovers and says in a language that the public can understand and apply to their own lives.