Here is a brief review of some popular diets, and some – because they are not heavily marketed – are not well known by the public.
The Dash Diet
The Dash Diet – from “Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension” has been around for years in
fact – U.S. News and World Report has voted It “Best Diet Overall” for the last 8 years*. It
was also voted #1 for “Best Heart-Healthy Diets.” But why? Well, it’s not just for those with
high blood pressure, or hypertension. Bursting with fruits and low-fat dairy, and low In sodium
– it has been shown not only to improve heart health but also to help prevent diabetes, reduce
one’s risk of cancer along with aiding weight reduction. *The Dash Diet was voted #2 for
Diabetic Diets, and the Mediterranean Diet tied the Dash Diet for Best Diet Overall
Yes – this old familiar name; who doesn’t know something about the Weight Watcher’s
Program? Firmly established in the commercial diet industry, this program delivers. U.S. News
and World Report gave it the highest ranking for “Best Long Term” and “Best Short Term
Weight Loss” diets. The expert panel expressed appreciation for the support system that
Weight Watcher’s includes, believing this aspect contributes to maintaining weight loss.
The Volumetric Diet
This diet, developed by nutrition professor Barbara Rolls at Penn State University, was awarded
#2 in U.S. News and World Report’s Review for the “Best Weight Loss Diet” Category, with the
Weight Watcher’s Program taking the first place. The eating plan is laid out in her books. She
teaches about “energy density” of different foods, and how to choose or substitute foods of
lower energy density to achieve weight loss.
The Mediterranean Diet
Dr. Ancel Keys began explaining this diet as early as the 1950’s, but in the United States it
became best known in the 1990’s. U.S. News and World Report’s panel of experts awarded this
diet first place in “Best Diet Overall” – tying the Mediterranean Diet, and first place in “Best
Diabetes Diets” with the DASH diet coming in second. This diet, in addition to recommending
physical activity, advocates eating mostly fresh fish and lean meats along with plenty of
vegetables and whole fruits. Whole grains and oils are permitted. The U.S. News and World
Report’s panel chose it as a great option for diabetics because it did help lower the hemoglobin
A1c levels, which are an indication of glucose control.
The Whole 30 Diet
This diet is chosen for review simply because I hear a lot of people are using it right now. Maybe
because it’s a 30 day program, and it seems like a good idea after the holidays. This plan claims
to “reset the body” and to identify food groups that don’t agree with you. It also claims to
“change your life” – and all in 30 days. Being an elimination diet (no caffeine, no alcohol, no
added sugar, no artificial sweeteners, no grains, no legumes/soy, no dairy, etc.) it is a very
restrictive diet in regard to food choices but does not require calorie counting. Nor does it
require one to weigh or otherwise measure their foods. Stepping on the scale during the 30
days is also prohibited. I cannot speak to it’s effectiveness, but U.S. News and World Report’s
expert panel ranked it near the bottom of their list.
MEDI Weight loss
If you think you need a little more help, consider MEDI Weightloss. This is a medically
supervised weight loss program available in San Antonio. Doctor Bryan Cox is the Medical
Director of the San Antonio clinic, and Doctors Bryan Harle and Shannon Gallagher have
invested in the clinic. In addition to nutritional supplements and shakes, appetite suppressants
and B12 shots may be prescribed.
So, what is the down low on the diet? I think, in general, that most diets will work if you stick to
them. However, while our willpower is good in the beginning, studies support that due to
boredom, and maybe to the natural slowing of our weight loss after the initial few weeks, our
willpower wanes. Initially we follow our diets “to the letter” but as time goes by we let portion
sizes creep up, or frequency of treats increase. No matter which diet you choose, be ready to
“focus on the horizon.” Don’t let little setbacks get you down, and expect to make lasting
changes. Review you diet plan (whether on website, in book, or other materials) monthly to
make sure you continue to follow all recommendation. Incorporate ACTIVITY to Increase your
metabolism. Old habits die hard, but if we don’t change them, we won’t see the changes we are
looking for. Here’s to YOUR health in 2018!