It’s mid-January, which means many people’s New Years Resolutions to lose weight are probably already out the window.
But if you’re still on the weight loss bandwagon, US News and World Report recently published their Best Diets for 2015. As part of this annual review, 35 diets were evaluated and ranked by a panel of health experts.
Diets were rated on their ease of implementation, nutrition quality, safety, and effectiveness, as well as their ability to prevent diabetes and heart disease.
Here is a rundown of the top 5:
- The DASH Diet – DASH stands for the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension. The DASH diet was developed to help treat high blood pressure and to prevent against heart disease and stroke. The diet promotes ample fruit and vegetable intake, whole grains, and lean poultry, fish, and low fat dairy, while cutting back on sodium. To get started: choose lean poultry and fish as your main protein options, ditch the salt and use herbs and spices to season your foods while loading up on veggies, whole grains, and have fruit for dessert.
- TLC Diet – TLC stands for Therapeutic Lifestyle Changes. The TLC diet claims to lower bad (LDL) cholesterol by 8-10 percent in 6 weeks. The TLC diet cuts back on saturated fat and limits fatty meat, full fat dairy products, and fried foods. To get started: take the skin off of your poultry and include plenty of fruits and vegetables at meals and snacks.
- (tie) Mayo Clinic Diet: the Mayo Clinic diet promotes gradual weight loss, claiming that you’ll shed 6-10 pounds in 2 weeks and continue losing 1-2 pounds per week until you have reached your goal weight> Snacking on fruits and vegetables is encouraged while also promoting mindful eating, such as avoiding eating while watching TV. To get started: cut out sugar for the first 2 weeks, incorporate sweets only sparingly thereafter, and create your customized diet plan with Mayo Clinic’s food pyramid.
- (tie) Mediterranean Diet: this well-known diet promotes long-term weight loss success, heart and brain health, cancer prevention and diabetes prevention and control. The diet encourages an active lifestyle, a diet low in red meat, sugar, and saturated fat and high in produce, nuts, and other whole foods. To get started: build meals around whole grains and veggies, have a small glass of red wine with dinner, and eat red meat no more than a few times per month.
- (tie) Weight Watchers Diet: Centered on weight loss, the Weight Watchers diet claims you’ll drop up to 2 pounds per week using their point system for foods. Choices that are high in fiber and are more nutrient dense have lower point values. The idea behind the diet is to encourage healthful foods that keep you feeling fuller for longer. To get started: snack on high fiber foods to stay satisfied and sign up with Weight Watchers online.
Remember that the key to weight loss success and health is to make a lifestyle change that you can stick with. A healthy diet and lifestyle includes incorporating exercise into your daily routine, eating plenty of fruits and vegetables, eating mostly whole grains, choosing lean protein and low fat dairy products, and enjoying saturated fat and high sugar content foods in moderation.
Special thanks to Dietetic Intern Jenny Legrand for her contributions to this post.