3 Diet Plans that Contribute to Weight Loss AND Major Health Benefits

Posted On Monday, 03 December 2018
3 Diet Plans that Contribute to Weight Loss AND Major Health Benefits

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
  • Nuts
  • Berries
  • Beans
  • Whole grains
  • Fish and poultry
  • Olive oil
  • Wine
Food groups that should be avoided in this diet include red meats, butter and stick margarine, cheese, sweets and fried or fast food. By limiting these food groups and concentrating on healthy fats, fruits and vegetables, you may lose weight and reduce your risk of dementia.

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.

You will likely drop 5-8 pounds of weight with this diet, but the additional health longevity benefits are so profound that TIME magazine named Longo one of the 50 most influential people who are transforming health care. Benefits of prolonged fasting include protection of lean body mass, maintaining health levels of metabolic markers and increased circulation of stem cells. ProLon is currently the only Fasting Mimicking Diet available, and it has been clinically shown to result in an average of 5-8 pounds of fat loss without losing lean body mass in the process.

Flexitarian Diet
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!

Felicia Stoler, DCN, MS, RDN, FACSM, FAND

Felicia Stoler, DCN, MS, RDN, FACSM, FAND, know as America's Health & Wellness Expert™ is a registered dietitian nutritionist, exercise physiologist and expert consultant in disease prevention, wellness and healthful living. She earned her Master of Science degree in Applied Physiology and Nutrition from Columbia University and her Doctorate in Clinical Nutrition from Rutgers School of Health Professions. She completed her residencies at Rutgers University Athletics and ABC News Medical Unit. Stoler has served as a part-time lecturer at Rutgers University where she teaches exercise physiology, nutrition and communications courses.

Stoler has extensive media experience and hosted the second season of TLC's groundbreaking series, “Honey, We're Killing the Kids!” which targeted unhealthy lifestyles of families, across the country, in an effort to motivate them to make positive changes. She is the author of, Living Skinny in Fat Genes™: The Healthy Way to Lose Weight and Feel Great (Pegasus, 2010), featured as a “must have” book in USA Weekend. Stoler authored the American College of Sports Medicine’s “Current Comment on Childhood Obesity.”

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