The Best Diets for Men Who Want To Lose a Few Pounds
If you’re wanting to lose weight, you may be tempted to follow the newest diets that offer big results. Unfortunately, most diets don’t help you keep the weight off for good because they are strict and unsustainable. That means that while you might lose a lot of weight at first, you’ll likely put the weight back on once you “go off” the diet. After all, maintaining weight loss can be the biggest challenge.
To save your time, energy, and sanity, consider adopting a healthy, well-balanced diet that can become a lifestyle while also helping you lose weight. The best thing about these diets is that they can help you maintain weight loss because they’re easier to stick in the long term.
The Mediterranean Diet
The Mediterranean diet is based on the traditional eating habits of people who live near the Mediterranean Sea in countries like Greece, Italy, and Spain. The Mediterranean diet includes plant-based foods such as whole grains, nuts, seeds, fruits, legumes, vegetables, and vegetable oils as its foundation.
Fish and seafood are the preferred protein sources in the Mediterranean diet, while poultry, dairy products, and red meat are eaten less often than they are in a typical Western diet. Added sugars are limited while regular physical activity and red wine in moderation are encouraged.
The Mediterranean diet has consistently been named one of the best diets by US World News & World Report, earning the #1 spot for 2021. It’s also associated with several beneficial health outcomes including reduced risk for heart disease, diabetes, and weight loss.
The Mediterranean diet isn’t a weight-loss diet, but it can help you lose weight by helping to promote healthy habits. It’s also more sustainable than other fad diets, meaning it will help provide long-term health benefits instead of yo-yo diet behavior.
Focusing on regular physical activity, which is the base of the “Mediterranean diet pyramid,” is a vital piece of the weight loss puzzle. According to a 2018 report from the Centers for Disease Control, only 23% of Americans get enough exercise, which includes both cardiovascular exercise and strength training.
The DASH Diet
The DASH diet stands for Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension. Hypertension is the medical term for high blood pressure, which is more prevalent among men compared to women up until the age of 60. Chronic high blood pressure increases your risk of heart attack, stroke, and kidney problems, to name a few.
Excess sodium (salt) intake can increase fluid retention and worsen high blood pressure. The DASH diet is lower in sodium than a typical Western diet at 2,300 milligrams or less. In comparison, the average American consumes 3,400 milligrams of sodium per day.
One of the biggest contributors of excess sodium is processed food like deli meats, prepared frozen meals, fast food, soups, and other convenience foods. Learning to cut back on processed foods and rely on more whole, unprocessed foods can be difficult at first. Small changes can add up and get you used to relying less on these high-sodium foods.
Similar to the Mediterranean diet, the DASH diet is rich in foods like fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, and legumes. It emphasizes lean protein like poultry and fish, and also encourages the consumption of low-fat dairy. These foods are rich in nutrients like potassium, magnesium, and calcium, which are all beneficial for heart health, including blood pressure.
The DASH diet is also low in added sugars, which are much too prevalent in most people’s diets.
The Paleo Diet
The Paleolithic, or “Paleo Diet” is also referred to as the Caveman Diet. It includes foods that our ancestors ate by hunting and gathering, such as meat, fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds. It avoids foods that were introduced through farming such as legumes, dairy products, grains, and refined sugars.
The Paleo diet also avoids corn products since corn kernels are technically grains, though corn cobs are considered vegetables. Corn byproducts are prevalent in the typical Western diet because it’s inexpensive and versatile, so avoiding corn can be a growing pain when you first adopt a Paleo diet.
The Paleo diet can be helpful for weight loss because it excludes foods like refined grains and added sugars, which don’t provide much nutritional value. According to some studies, a Paleo diet is associated with weight loss and reduced waist circumference.
While the Paleo diet does have some restrictions, it might not feel as restrictive as other diets like the ketogenic diet or vegan diets. Following overly restrictive diets is difficult to do for the long term and can lead to more weight gain than when you started dieting. The Paleo diet might be a good fit for you if you like having some guidance on what to eat but don’t do well with overly strict diets.
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Weight Watchers (WW)
Weight Watchers uses a point system to help you reach an energy deficit to lose weight. An energy deficit means you burned more calories than you ate, which results in weight loss. You can achieve an energy deficit by eating fewer calories, exercising more, or a combination of both.
Weight Watchers uses a point system to help you track your meals and drinks. You’re given a certain amount of points each day to “spend” on what you eat, and also are given points for exercise. The goal is to not go past your daily allotment of points each day, but you are given some “flex points” to account for days that you go over your points.
Foods like fruits, vegetables, and lean proteins are lower in points while foods like refined grains, high-fat foods, and added sugars are higher in points. The idea is that you’ll be more inclined to opt for healthier foods and be mindful of your portion sizes, which can aid in weight loss.
Unlike other diets, you need a subscription to use the point/food database for Weight Watchers. Because of that, Weight Watchers might not be effective long-term if and when you decide to stop. However, Weight Watchers can help you be more mindful of your food choices, which may result in long-term healthy lifestyle changes.
A “flexitarian” diet is one that is primarily vegetarian with small amounts of meat, seafood, etc. It’s great for people who want to gain the health benefits of a vegetarian diet without completely giving up meat. People following a flexitarian diet may also opt towards fish more often than red meat. Fish, especially fatty fish like salmon, are rich in heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids.
The flexitarian diet is what the name indicates – flexible. Because of its flexibility, it’s likely one that you’ll be able to stick to long-term, which is the best kind of diet. Instead of cutting out foods entirely, aim to include more plant-based foods. Experiment with plant-based proteins more often, while still savoring burgers, steak, and other types of meat that you enjoy.
Cutting back on meat and eating more plant-based foods can help promote weight loss. Meat can be high in fat and calories, whereas plant-based foods are generally higher in fiber and lower in calories. Vegetarian diets are associated with greater weight loss compared to non-vegetarian diets.
The MIND Diet
The MIND diet combines aspects of the Mediterranean diet and DASH diet while focusing specifically on foods that can promote brain health. While the MIND diet is meant to help reduce the risk of neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s, it’s an overall healthy diet that might also help you shed a few pounds.
The MIND diet encourages the consumption of brain-health promoting foods like nuts, berries, dark leafy green vegetables, whole grains, and olive oil while limiting sweets, meat, and cheese. Because of its focus on plant-based foods and avoidance of added sugars, the MIND diet is a sustainable, balanced diet that can also help you lose weight, especially if you change your eating habits for the better by adopting this style of eating.
If you want to lose weight and keep it off, you’re better off to adopt a sustainable diet versus a popular fad diet. Diets that are rich in plant-based foods and low in added sugar can help you lose weight without cutting out whole food groups or feeling deprived.
See more about - The Best Diets For Men To Try Who Want To Get Healthy