Wondering which diet to choose? These days there are many diets specifically designed to lose weight quickly and without gaining it back.
Crash or fad diets, quick-loss diets, rapid weight loss diets, and flash or quick-fix diets are just some of the many popular names for weight loss programs and plans that promise to help you achieve weight loss fast and with long-term results. But are they really efficient?
To achieve satisfactory results and without seriously affecting your health, you should follow an appropriate diet plan based on your body’s unique nutritional needs. Listed below are some of the most popular diets that work fast and that actually help people to lose weight. Choose the one that suits you best.
The low-carb diet focuses on low carbohydrate content foods and promises to lose weight quickly.
This diet involves eating foods that are low in carbs and fats but rich in minerals and vitamins such as broccoli, spinach, tomatoes, herbs, strawberries, chicken breast, sea bass, milk, etc.
A low-carb diet presumes that excessive carbohydrate consumption can cause insulin levels to become highly unbalanced, which in turn may lead to excess weight gain.
With this diet approach, 10 percent of your daily calorie intake comes from carbohydrates, 60 percent comes from fat, and 30 percent from protein. You should consume lean proteins and healthy mono and poly-unsaturated fats, such as olive oil, flax oil, fish oil, nuts, seeds, and peanut butter.
There are, however, many different types of low-carb diets, each allowing different kinds and amounts of carbohydrates. In general, they all restrict similar foods such as grains (flour, pasta, and bread), beans, certain fruits, and starchy vegetables.
Zone diet promises to lose 1 to 2 ponds a week. It works on balancing the daily intake of carbohydrates, fats, and proteins, and considers portion control as one of the most important keys to lose weight.
This type of diet is focused on maintaining your insulin levels stable or “in the zone”, that is to say not too high and not too low, which allows you to lose weight and keep your energy high.
The Zone diet consists of consuming 40 percent carbohydrates, 30 percent fat, and 30 percent proteins. A zone calculator is used to determine the exact amount of carbohydrates, fat and protein that you can consume in a 24 – hour period.
As far as portion control is concerned, “the only measuring tools you need are your hand and your eye”, says Zone diet creator Barry Sears. At the beginning you might use a kitchen scale, but than you should get used to estimating and “eyeballing” portion sizes by yourself.
The Zone diet recommended daily allowance of calories is 1200 calories for women and 1500 calories for men.
This diet focuses on satiety or on the feeling of fullness and satisfaction after you have finished eating.
It is based on eating low-density foods, which are low in calories but high in volume. These foods can fill up your stomach and make you feel fuller faster and for a longer period of time.
The Volumetrics diet actually works on lowering energy intake without reducing the amount of food you eat. Foods with high water content, such as watermelons or grapes, promote a feeling of satisfaction and fullness even with low number of calories per bite, and they allow you to eat larger portions. They help you keep hunger at bay.
High-energy-dense foods instead contain plenty of calories and are low in fiber and water. They take up relatively little stomach space and they don’t create feelings of satiety until you’ve overeaten.
According to the Volumetrics Eating Plan food is divided into 4 categories:
Most water and fiber rich foods such as fresh fruits and non-starchy vegetables, nonfat diary products, and broth-based soups;
Starchy fruits and veggies, grains, pasta, rice, beans, breakfast cereal, fish, low-fat meat, legumes, and low-fat mixed dishes;
Meat, cheese, pizza, French fries, salad dressing, bread, pretzels, ice cream, and cake;
Crackers, chips, chocolate candies, cookies, nuts, butter, and oil;
To lose weight, you should stick to first two categories, reduce portion sizes in category 3, and keep category 4 foods to a minimum.
The South Beach Diet claims that you can lose 8 to 13 pounds within the first two weeks, and then continue dropping 1 to 2 pounds a week. The number of pounds you lose will depend on your starting weight.
This diet plan allows you to choose from a wide variety of items and it does not involve counting calories, fat grams, carbohydrates, or measuring portion sizes. It comprises three meals a day, two snacks and one high-protein desert.
The South Beach Diet is focused on replacing bad carbs and bad fats with good carbs and good fats. Eating these foods in moderation will help you lose weight and prevent you from gaining it back again.
The diet program consists of three phases. In the first phase carbohydrates are almost completely eliminated. During the second phase, they are increased to 27 percent, while the third phase raises the carbohydrate consumption to 28 percent of your total daily calorie intake. To maintain weight, you should follow the third phase plan for the rest of your life.
According to the Atkins Diet Plan, you can lose up to 15 pounds within two weeks.
This diet restricts carbohydrates such as bread, potatoes, rice, chocolate, chips, cereals and sugar, and allows eating high protein foods (meat, poultry, fish and eggs) and high-fat foods (cream, butter, cheese).
“When fat is used as fuel, as it is on a low-carbohydrate diet, it gets mobilized. It does not accumulate, so weight and cholesterol drop”, says Atkins.
The Atkins Diet consists of 4 phases: the induction phase, the ongoing weight loss phase, the pre-maintenance phase and the lifetime maintenance phase.
In the first phase you are allowed only 20 grams of carbohydrates per day, 12 to 15 of which must come from vegetables high in fiber. In the second phase carbohydrates are gradually increased to 35 grams per day, while in the third phase you can increase your carbohydrate consumption by 10 grams each week, as long as you continue to maintain your weight. The forth or the life time maintenance phase allows you to eat more foods than in the first 3 phases, while still limiting the amount of carbohydrates.
Alcoholic drinks are strictly prohibited during the induction stage. Moderate amounts of alcohol are allowed only during the maintenance phase.
The Cabbage Soup Diet can be considered a fad diet as it consists of consuming cabbage soup for one whole week. It is certainly a diet that works fast.
It lasts only seven days and it is extremely low in calories and high in fiber. The followers of this diet claim that they can lose as much as 10 pounds in only one week and that no exercise is required.
This diet program involves the addition of certain foods every day.
1. The first day you can consume all fruits, except bananas;
2. The second day you are allowed to eat raw or cooked vegetables of your choice;
3. The third day you can eat all fruits and vegetables that you want, with the exclusion of bananas and potatoes;
4. The forth day you can eat as many as 8 bananas;
5. The fifth day you can couple the cabbage soup with beef and tomatoes;
6. The sixth day you are allowed you to include beef and vegetables, but no potatoes;
7. On the final day you can eat your cabbage soup with rice, fruit juices and vegetables;
The Grapefruit Diet is one of the best diets to lose weight quickly. It promises to drop 10 pounds in less than 2 weeks.
This diet is low in calories and low in fat and it requires you to cut out carbohydrates. You are not allowed to eat sweet fruits, potatoes, white onions, celery, cereal, peas, corn or other starchy vegetables, grains and cereals, pasta, potato chips, corn chips, celery, low fat salad dressing, peanut butter, jam, or pretzels.
You are allowed to consume red onions, broccoli, bell peppers, radishes, carrots, spinach, lettuce, cucumbers, tomatoes, cabbage, green beans, fish, lean meats, chicken, bacon, pork chops, no-bean chili, mayonnaise, cheese, coleslaw, squash, eggs, regular salad dressing, dried nuts, and hot dogs.
Food combinations play an important role in this diet. The diet creators claim that the right combination of recommended foods can help burn off excess body fat quickly and without much effort. In addition to this, you should never eat between meals. The goal is to eat until you are perfectly full or satisfied as this will prevent you from feeling hungry later on in the day.
During this diet, grapefruit or grapefruit juice is consumed at every meal. Grapefruit is necessary because it contains a fat-burning enzyme that helps the body use fat for energy. That’s why this diet allows some of the foods that are high in fat and protein.
For best results, the Grapefruit Diet should be followed for 12 days. If you wish to continue, you must wait 2 days before starting again.
The 3 Day Diet, also referred to as the Cardiac Diet, is meant for rapid weight loss. It is often used in hospitals for cardiac patients who need to lose large amounts of weight before having heart surgery.
Proponents of this diet claim that you can drop 10 pounds in three days and that you can manage to lose 40 pounds in one month.
Being extremely low in calories, it is unhealthy to follow this diet for more than 3 days. After the 3 day period, you should return to your normal food intake for about four to five days. Only then you can repeat this diet again.
This diet consists of eating moderate portions of tuna, lean meat, grapefruit, toast, eggs and vegetables. Portions must be eaten exactly as specified in the diet plan. Only salt, pepper, and ketchup can be used to season foods and no sugar is allowed. Dieters are encouraged to drink 8 glasses of water a day.
The 3 Day Diet Meal Plan:
The Scarsdale Diet is an excellent way to lose weight without feeling hungry. The regimen is strict, but it doesn’t require counting calories, weighing, or measuring portion sizes. It should not be followed for more than two weeks in a row, but the proponents of this diet claim that during this period you can lose up 7 to 15 pounds.
The Scarsdale Diet is based on eating lean protein and low-carbohydrate foods such as fresh fruits, vegetables, salads, and lean meat. Breakfast generally consist of coffee, tea, one half grapefruit, and a slice of protein bread.
After 14 days of following the Scarsdale Medical Diet (SMD) plan, dieters should switch to “Keep Trim” phase for the next 2 weeks. During this period you can plan your own menus. A slightly higher calorie intake is permitted and a few additional foods are allowed.
You can continue repeating the SMD and Keep Trim cycle until you reach desired results.
The Scarsdale diet plan allows for a daily calorie intake of 850 to 1000 calories during the SMD, and between 1000 and 1200 during the Keep Trim phase.
In this diet you must eat exactly what is specified for breakfast, lunch and dinner, and avoid using oil, mayonnaise, or other rich dressings to season your salads. Alcohol is absolutely forbidden.
The Flat Belly Diet promises to help you drop up to 15 pounds in 32 days and lose belly fat permanently. It is focused on reducing unhealthy fat located deep inside your abdomen.
This diet consists of eating monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFAs) at every meal in order to eliminate belly fat, promote satiety and fullness, and prevent overeating. MUFAs are found in foods like olives, nuts, avocados, dark chocolate, seeds, soybean, flax, and olive and sunflower oils.
There are two parts to the Flat Belly Diet: a four-day anti-bloat jumpstart period and a four week eating plan.
The four-day anti-bloat jumpstart period is designed to reduce bloating and make you lose weight almost immediately. This phase allows only 1,200 calories a day and it forbids salt, processed foods, high-carb foods and gas-producing foods such as cabbage, onions, and legumes. It does not permit coffee, tea, sugar alcohols, and carbonated drinks, but it encourages the dieters to drink two liters of “sassy water” (a mix of spices, herbs, cucumber, and lemon).
The four-week eating plan consists of consuming four 400-calorie meals every four hours, each containing MUFA components. During this stage, dieters are provided with a list of 28 interchangeable mix-and-match breakfasts, lunches, dinners and snack packs, along with portion sizes and calories. There are eighty recipes and they all include full nutritional information like total calories, protein, carbohydrates, total fat, saturated fat, cholesterol, sodium and fiber. The key ingredients are fish, veggies, legumes, fruits, whole grains, and olive oil.
To keep your body healthy and in good shape, please consult your doctor before undertaking any of the above diets and remember that food depravation can have dangerous physical and psychological effects. Choose a healthy diet that will satisfy your body’s nutritional needs and exercise as much as you can.
If you have any other good diets to suggest, please leave a comment below and don’t forget to share this post with other people who are in search of weight loss diets that work.
This article is for informative purposes only and does not in any way attempt to replace the advice offered by an expert on the subject.
Jessica is a translator who has lived for many years in Asia and South America. She now lives and works in Europe, while preparing her new journeys. She enjoys traveling, meeting new people, exploring different cultures and foods, and being in love.