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If you prefer to avoid calorie counting and concentrate on eating specific
foods, then the low-carbohydrate Atkins diet or South
Beach diet may suit you.
The popular Atkins diet is really four diet plans in one - The Induction, Ongoing Weight Loss, Pre-Maintenance and finally Maintenance stage. Carbohydrate foods are reduced and replaced with fat and protein - bacon and egg for breakfast as opposed to cereals. The diet states this will change your metabolism and enable you to lose weight easily.
Many supermarkets are now marking their food with carb content and GI high or low scores, due to the popularity of these diets. The GI dietwill help you eat slow-burn foods that keep you feeling satisfied for longer, and less likely to reach for the sugary snacks.
A popular choice for those good at organising their meals down to the percentage of carbohydrate, fat and protein - specifically at a ratio of 40-30-30 - is the Zone diet. The diet plan is very specific and depends on your gender, activity level, and current percentage of body fat.
If you don't like the idea of giving up your favourite foods for good, the Alternate day diet might suit, as you can still have your cake and eat it (every other day!)
Alternate day diet
This popular diet was introduced by Californian Dr Michael Moreno. It has
been reported that a weight loss of 10-12 pounds is possible during the first
cycle of 17 days. The diet cuts the intake of 'bad' carbs initially and then
reintroduces 'good' carbs gradually back into the eating plan.
There are three cycles that each last for 17 days. This is reported as preventing the boredom that can set in with a diet after 2 weeks, and changing the menu and exercise can help the body increase metabolism and burn more calories and fat.
More on the
17 Day Diet
The late Dr. Richard Atkins developed one of the most popular and controversial diets of recent years.
Designed to alter the way your body deals with foods, the Atkins diet suggests a reduction of carbohydrate intake in order to cause a change in your metabolism to induce dissolving of body fat. The idea is that instead of using carbohydrates for energy, your body uses up stored fat instead.
The Atkins diet might be best for you if you enjoy meat and are looking for
More on the Atkins Diet
Atkins Diet Recipes
This popular eating plan is proving very successful in dropping those unwanted pounds. Eat what you fancy on one day, then on the next day limit yourself to 500 calories. It's reckoned to be easier to follow because you only have to do without your favourites for one day!
Created by Dr.James Johnson, the diet plan is based on the idea that the calorie reduction on alternate days causes a 'skinny gene' to be activated. This is believed to block a process of storing fat. Trials have shown that Alternate day diet users lost from 10lbs-30lbs. It is also claimed to boost the immune system, resulting in better health and longer life!
More about the
Alternate day diet
Calorie counting is simple - just count the number of calories in everything that you eat and drink - to lose weight just keep your daily intake of calories lower than the amount your body needs. Oh - if it were that easy!
But you can lose a pound a week by consuming 500 calories a day less than your body uses and you can continue to eat your favourite foods.
This is a high protein, non-fat, low-calorie eating plan which aims to naturally
reduce your appetite. Because protein is harder for the body to break down, the
body consequently burns more calories during digestion on a high-protein diet.
The detailed instructions, in the form of a 4 stage eating plan, are easy to follow and also makes provision for maintaining the target weight. Although, initially in the first 'Attack phase' you are limited to high protein and non-fat foods, all the main food groups are gradually re-introduced to provide a varied and healthy diet.
The diet has proved to be easy to sustain, as at the end of the 4 phases you revert to normal eating with just one day a week of protein-only foods to maintain your weight.
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Based on the fact that all sugars, starches and fruits are digested at different
rates. The GI diet categorizes carbohydrates by the speed the body digests
and converts them to energy. The foods are recognised as being 'high' or 'medium
to low' on the GI index, the latter being preferred.
A gradual release of energy from low GI foods will prevent hunger and give you plenty of energy throughout the day. As an added bonus, this diet reduces the risk of heart disease and diabetes.
GI Diet Recipes
Low GI : a value of 55 or less - porridge oats, lentils,
pulses and beans, barley, tomatoes, raspberries, strawberries, blueberries,
oranges, cherries, grapes, apples, pears, peaches, custard
Med GI : values of 56 to 69 - granary bread, wholemeal pasta, basmati rice, honey, jam, Weetabix, Shredded Wheat, ice cream, new potatoes, sweet potatoes
High GI : value of 70 or more - grapefruit juice, cereal, white and wholemeal bread, baked potato, mashed potato, sugar, banana, watermelon, parsnips, brown rice
More about the GI Diet
The invention of the american cardiologist Arthur Agatston, the South Beach diet has three stages which aim to move your food intake in the direction of 'good' away from 'bad'.
The diet aims to break the cycle of sugar / insulin highs and lows which occur as a result of eating 'bad' quickly absorbed carbs and which can encourage us to snack.
It's possible to achieve significant weight loss in the two week induction phase making it another good option for fast weight loss.
The South Beach Diet is also said to be good at getting rid of excess weight around the stomach area.
More about the
South Beach Diet
Weight watchers is a diet 'club' with thousands of meetings held every week
around the world. It's also online with lots of useful free information on
the website which you can join for the benefits of full membership.
The two types of diet promoted by Weight watchers are the Core Plan and the Points Plan - both low-fat, low-calorie diet plans which are easy to follow.
Many Weight watchers members praise the help and support they get at meetings, so if you have willpower problems, this could be a good option for you. The encouragement of your fellow dieters can make all the difference to giving in to temptation or staying strong!
Dr Barry Sears' zone diet is based on the principle of regulating levels of insulin and other hormones in the blood within recommended levels (The Zone), by eating the correct balance of food at the right intervals.
The diet plan recommends a 30:40 ratio of protein to carbohydrates to help maintain a balance between the hormones insulin and glucagon, which is optimum for fat-burning and overall health.
The Zone diet plan causes the body to work within its ideal performance 'zone' providing maximum energy and weight loss.
No caffeine and moderate alcohol intake is recommended. Alcoholic drinks contain very little carbohydrate - most wines and spirits contain virtually none.
The health recommendations for drinking are a maximum of 14
units of alcohol
More about the Zone Diet
Zone Diet Recipes