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- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Healthy Weight—It's Not a Diet, It's a Lifestyle
- MayoClinic.com: Diabetes Diet: Create Your Healthy-Eating Plan
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Diets for Hardcore Weight Loss
Weight loss is a long-term process that should not exceed 1 or 2 lbs. per week, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Consequently, people looking to get hardcore weight loss results should be patient and consistent with their diet. Viewing a diet as a lifestyle change rather than a short-term fix can help you succeed. Consult your doctor or dietician before starting a new diet to be sure that it’s right for you.
Strict Low-Sugar, High-Fiber Diet
Sugar contributes a significant number of empty calories—calories containing little or no nutritional value—to a person’s diet. Sugar and sugar-derivatives can be found in many processed, boxed and canned foods at your grocery store. There’s no recommended daily allowance, or RDA, for sugar, so it’s not something you should be adding to your coffee and cereal each morning—those are just unneeded calories. Eliminating excess sugar calories from your diet can lead to significant weight loss. For instance, cutting out your daily 20 oz. bottle of cola and pack of Twinkies can reduce your sugar intake by 102 g per day and 530 calories—most of which are empty calories—according to SugarStacks.com. That equates to 1 lb. of weight loss over the course of seven days. By replacing these types of foods and drinks with high-fiber choices—vegetables, whole grains and fruits—you will get the nutrients your body needs to support weight loss and muscle development, feel fuller throughout the day and have more energy. You should aim for 20 to 30 g of fiber per day, according to MayoClinic.com.
An estimated 97 percent of all dieters in American end up gaining all of their lost weight back within just five years, according to People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, or PETA. Furthermore, PETA points out that the vegetarian diet is the only consistently successful long-term diet plan for people looking to lose weight. The vegetarian lifestyle is now endorsed as being a healthy way to live from multiple health organizations, including the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the American Heart Association. The reason that vegetarian diets are such successful weight-loss tools is that they’re typically lower in calories than meat diets. Animal flesh is full of calories and fats, so eliminating these calories from your diet can greatly reduce your daily caloric intake. The key to losing weight with a vegetarian diet is to do it right, meaning that you need to be sure your body is getting an adequate amount of vitamins and nutrients typically lacking in a meatless diet. This would include calcium, protein, vitamin D, vitamin B-12, zinc, omega-3 fatty acids, iodine and iron. By eating a wide variety of vegetables, fruits, vitamin-enriched soy products, fortified cereals, tofu, kale, nuts, seeds, legumes and whole grains, you can ensure that your body is getting all of the necessary nutrients it needs and lose weight at the same time.
Although the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension, or DASH, diet was first developed as a diet plan to help combat high blood pressure, it has been shown to lead to significant weight loss in a relatively short period of time. In fact, DashDiet.org reports that many DASH diet users have experienced 10 to 35 lbs. of weight loss within just a few months. The reason for the high success rate of the DASH diet is in types of foods recommended, which happen to be the basis of the USDA’s MyPyramid Plan. These dietary recommendations are based on scientific research and countless studies on the topic of healthy eating and nutrition, and this diet plan is supported by the USDA and American Heart Association among other health organizations. The DASH diet consists of the following food groups: grains, fruits, vegetables, low- or nonfat dairy, lean meats, nuts, seeds and legumes and limited fats and sweets.
- diet image by Thierry GUIMBERT from Fotolia.com