Approximately 45 million Americans go on a diet each year, but researchers at UCLA say 80 percent of dieters will gain back the weight within two years.
Whether you are trying to detox after vacation, get back on track after a holiday or improve your health before the new year, many people focus solely on weight loss and turn to fad diets for a quick fix. Rather than fixating on the scale, it’s best to choose a diet that promotes long-term health benefits for lasting results.
Diets that do more than help you drop weight have the potential to increase your lifespan, improve brain function, or even aid in major disease prevention. I’m sharing three top diet plans recommended by registered dietitians and nutritionists that can help you reap some major health benefits alongside weight loss.
The MIND diet combines two diets that are highly recommended by dietitians: the DASH and Mediterranean diet. This diet aims to reduce decline in brain health that can lead to Alzheimer’s disease by focusing on heart healthy foods that benefit brain function. The MIND diet recommends consuming foods from these brain-healthy foods groups:
- Green leafy vegetables + all other vegetables
- Whole grains
- Fish and poultry
- Olive oil
Fasting Mimicking Diet
Fasting diets have become extremely popular this year, but fasting has been part of the human diet for nearly 99 percent of our existence! Most Americans are accustomed to eating throughout the day, so the idea of fasting can be overwhelming, which is why Dr. Valter Longo developed a “fasting with food” concept known as the Fasting Mimicking Diet. This diet provides the same health benefits as prolonged fasting but it’s more sustainable to do over the recommended five days, because the stomach sees food while the cells see fasting.
The flexitarian diet is like a vegetarian diet with a little wiggle room. This diet encourages people to eat plant-based most of the time without entirely cutting out meats. The term “flexitarian” was coined by a registered dietitian who wrote the book “The Flexitarian Diet” which highlights the benefits of becoming a part-time vegetarian if you can’t become a full time vegetarian. According to studies published in Nutrition Reviews, vegetarians weigh about 15 percent less than non-vegetarians, so you will likely lose weight on this diet alongside other health benefits. Focusing on healthy plant proteins and minimally processed plant-based foods may reduce the risk of heart disease, cancer and type-2 diabetes.
With so many diets out there, it’s important to know how each one can help you reach your long-term health goals. Choosing a diet that not only aids weight loss but can improve your health from the inside out will allow you to become a stronger, healthier version of you!