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Best Diets

Diets That WorkWith so many options to choose from, it can be daunting to find diets that work for your particular lifestyle. Are you fed up with your attempts at weight loss? You’re not alone. Some of today’s best diets encourage strict calorie counting and limited carbohydrates, sending dieters into a tailspin of frustration and deprivation, which only spells trouble. The key to fast weight loss isn’t through pills or skipping meals, but taking a more sensible approach that balances diet with positive lifestyle changes. Studies show that the best method for lasting weight loss is under the guidance of health professionals who can help you combine a personalized diet and exercise regimen with one-on-one counseling to achieve maximum results.

A review of today’s best diets

So, which diets really work—and do so safely? Finding the best way to lose weight isn’t easy. Dieters must achieve that perfect balance of nutrition, portion control, physical activity and motivation. Here’s a run-down of the pros and cons of some of today’s most popular diets for weight loss:

Raw Food Diet: Proponents of the raw food diet claim that cooking foods above 115 degrees Farenheit destroys the enzymes, nutrients and vitamins. Dieters will eat mainly raw fruits and vegetables, sprouts, nuts, seeds and dried legumes (chickpeas, adzuki beans and mung beans).

  • Pros: You’ll shed pounds due to the lower caloric intake.
  • Cons: Creating tasty raw dishes takes a lot of advanced preparation and access to pricey kitchen appliances, since sprouting and dehydrating are common in most recipes.

Weight Watchers Diet: This plan is based on a points system, which gives a value to food based on protein, carbs, fiber and fat content. Nothing is off limits, but dieters must stick to their daily points target number. The company sells pre-packaged foods including everything from breakfasts to snacks.

  • Pros: By following this calorie-controlled plan, dieters can ostensibly lose up to 2 pounds a week.
  • Cons:  Following the points system can be just as complicated and time consuming as calorie counting.

Biggest Loser Diet: Based on the best-selling book series, the latest of which is “6 Weeks to a Healthier You,” this plan is focused on serious grunt work coupled with a 1,500 calorie-per day meal plan. The menu is balanced with four servings a day of produce, three servings of protein, two of whole grains, and 200 calories allowed for extra treats or desserts.

  • Pros: You can eat any type of foods you’re craving, as long as you keep the portions in check.
  • Cons: Some people may find the exercise component, including weight-training, extremely challenging.

Atkins Diet: One of the first protein diets to go mainstream, the Atkins plan limits carbs to force the body into burning stored fat for energy. During the first few weeks, your daily menu consists mainly of red meat, fish, pork, chicken, cheese and eggs. Carbohydrates are gradually re-introduced to the menu.

  • Pros:  Heavy on proteins, the Atkins plan is a dream for carnivores. The diet can yield fast weight loss during initial weeks.
  • Cons: Common side effects often include bad breath, dry mouth, fatigue and severe constipation from restricted fiber and carbs.

Volumetrics Diet: The premise behind this plan is eating foods that are less energy dense, which help satisfy without calorie overload. Nothing is forbidden on the volumetrics diet, and a typical meal would include non-starchy fruits and vegetables, broth-based soups, whole grains, legumes, and low-fat meats.

  • Pros:  Since no food group is off limits, this diet encourages moderation and keeps you feeling full throughout the day.
  • Cons: Lengthy meal preparation can be very time consuming and the plan may be unsuitable for those who don’t enjoy soups or lots of veggies.

Best diets for lasting weight loss

Everyone knows the tried and true method for long-term weight loss is the age-old combo of diet and exercise. And no one understands these principles better than the physicians at The Center for Medical Weight Loss, who’ve helped thousands of patients achieve their goals. By creating individualized programs that include behavioral counseling, the Center ensures all patients are equipped for lifelong success.

Average patients who partake in the program lose 11.1 percent of their total body weight in just 12 weeks, according to a study published in the American Journal of Medicine. More importantly, nearly 100 percent of those patients kept the weight for at least one year.

In the end, the best diets for weight loss are the ones that work for you. Take the first step to a healthier life today: read stories of weight loss succes, and enter your zip code in the box to find a Center in your area. Introductory offers are available for first-time visitors in most locations.