“To ensure good health: eat lightly, breathe deeply, live moderately, cultivate cheerfulness, and maintain an interest in life.”– William Londen

Have you been trying to lose the same 10lbs for years? Are you losing motivation and unable to imagine finally reaching your goal weight? In times like these, it’s easy to turn to an extreme fad diet and hope that these new measures will finally bring the results we’re looking for. 

The first and most important tip about diets for losing weight is that extreme dieting doesn’t work. In fact, one study found that three years after participants concluded a weight loss program, only 12 percent kept off at least 75 percent of the weight they’d lost and a shocking 40 percent had gained back more weight than they had originally lost.

The term “yo-yo dieting” (also known as weight cycling) refers to repeated efforts to lose weight through often extreme dieting methods and the gradual regaining of the weight. The term refers to the up and down nature of a yo-yo fluctuating like one’s weight.

It’s possible to avoid weight cycling and develop healthy habits that lead to sustainable weight loss. If you want to lose weight long-term, you will have to change your lifestyle long-term and stay consistent. 

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1. Reduce Heart Disease With the DASH Diet

The DASH Diet was created by the National Institute of Health in the United States. DASH stands for Dietary Approach to Stopping Hypertension. Cardiovascular disease is one of the most common chronic illnesses in North America and it can be prevented through healthy lifestyle changes. In the U.S. alone, 655,000 Americans die from heart disease each year, that's 1 in every 4 deaths. The DASH Diet was developed to help reduce hypertension and save lives.

What is the DASH diet?
The DASH diet has nothing to do with running but a healthy lifestyle will help you maintain a healthy weight. (Source: sasint)

According to U.S. News, the DASH Diet is tied with the Mediterranean Diet as the best diet for overall health. 

So what do you eat on the DASH Diet? The DASH Diet consists of extremely balanced meals high in whole grains and fruits and vegetables and low on processed fatty foods and sugars. A typical DASH meal plan would consist of the following:

  • Grains: Whole grains with every meal.
  • Fruits and Vegetables: Five servings of fruits and vegetables per day.
  • Low-fat Dairy: Two or three servings of low-fat or fat-free dairy products per day.
  • Protein: Six or fewer servings of meat, poultry, or fish per day.
  • Fat: Two to three servings of fats and oils per day.
  • Nuts and Legumes: Four or five servings of nuts, seeds, dry beans, and peas per week.
  • Natural Sugar: A maximum of two servings of natural sugars per day.

Find out more about eating healthily.

2. Eat a Balanced Diet With the Mediterranean Diet

The Mediterranean Diet is tied with the DASH Diet as one of the best diets in the world. While quite high in fats, Mediterranean populations have some of the best cardiovascular health in the world.

The type of fat you consume makes a difference. This diet consists of olive oil, vegetables, nuts, fish fats, seafood, and very few processed products. It’s delicious and not restrictive.

What's so special about the Mediterranean diet?
Olive oil is a core ingredient in the Mediterranean diet. (Source: stevepb)

If you want to adopt the Mediterranean Diet you will have to eat more whole foods (non-processed foods) that our ancestors would have recognized. Rather than reaching for a frozen dinner or fast food meal, you should include the following: 

  • Fresh fruits and vegetables should be included with every meal.
  • Cook with olive oil as your main fat.
  • Include whole grains with every meal.
  • Drink lots of water.
  • Incorporate fish and seafood at least twice a week.
  • Add eggs to occasional meals.
  • Limit meat, especially red meat.
  • Limit dairy and try to swap cow’s dairy for goat’s dairy.
  • Indulge in a moderate amount of red wine.
  • Very few sweets and processed foods.

As you can see, the Mediterranean Diet is similar to the DASH diet. The foundation of both diets includes fruits, vegetables, and whole grains with healthy fats and limited animal products. Both diets steer clear of sugar and processed foods.

Discover the best meals for losing weight.

3. Reduce Meat Consumption With the Flexitarian Diet

Canadians want to reduce their meat intake. In a recent survey, over 17 percent of Canadians stated that they will probably reduce meat consumption in the near future, and 8.66 percent of Canadians had concrete plans to decrease their meat consumption.

The goal of the Flexitarian Diet is to eat less meat and fish without becoming vegetarian or vegan.

While no particular foods are forbidden, there are certain foods that you should eat less of. This isn’t a regime for losing weight but it can lead to it.

If you want to reduce your meat consumption to reduce your environmental impact, save the animals, or simply improve overall health, you should engage in the following habits:

  • Eat light meat once or twice a week.
  • Eat fish once or twice a week.
  • Include a high amount of cooked or raw fruits and vegetables at every meal.
  • Increase your intake of vegetable proteins like soy, dried fruits, nuts, seeds, and wholegrain cereals.
  • Incorporate more organic foods.

4. Live Longer With the Okinawa Diet

Japan has the highest number of people reaching the age of 100 in the world. The Okinawa Diet incorporates the lifestyle and diets of the population that has led to them leading longer lives. 

The Okinawa Diet is rich in Omega 3 and micro-nutrients. Micro-nutrients are “major groups of nutrients your body needs. They include vitamins and minerals. Vitamins are necessary for energy production, immune function, blood clotting, and other functions.”

The Okinawa Diet at a glance:

  • High in fruits, vegetables, and fish
  • Smaller portions
  • A colourful plate of food with diversified nutrients
  • Foods that are not overcooked
  • No use of a microwave or barbecue
  • Foods are cooked and consumed separately 

The Okinawa Diet is semi-vegetarian and consists of the following daily portions:

  • 7 to 13 servings of vegetables
  • 7 to 13 servings of whole grains
  • 2 to 4 fruits
  • 2 to 4 servings of soy or cabbage
  • 2 to 4 servings of high-calcium foods (broccoli, fish, yogurt, cheese)
  • 1 to 3 servings of foods rich in Omega-3 (fish, seafood, nuts, grains)
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil and condiments (herbs, spices, soy sauce)
  • Tea
  • 8 glasses of water

Discover some great ingredients for weight loss.

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5. Join a Weight Loss Community With Weight Watchers

Weight Watchers (WW) is not just a diet, it’s a community where like-minded people with similar goals can connect and encourage each other. Researchers say that people with social support (online or in-person) have more success losing weight and keeping it off. 

Does Weight Watchers work?
Weight Watchers is a diet that also comes with support from others. (Source: silviarita)

WW works on a system of points according to your age, gender, size, weight, and activity levels. You can lose around 15% of your weight after just two months by following these principles:

  • Eat a varied diet.
  • Drink 1.5 to 2 litres of water a day.
  • Eat five servings of fruits and vegetables per day.
  • Eat three dairy products per day.
  • Reduce the amount of fat consumed.
  • Exercise regularly.

6. Schedule Eating With Intermittent Fasting 

Intermittent fasting (IF) is a popular health and fitness trend that involves set “eating periods” and set “fasting periods”. You can set your eating windows, but it’s generally recommended that you start by eating within an eight-hour window and allow your body to fast for the remaining 16 hours of the day and night. 

For example, you can only eat between 11:00 PM and 7:00 PM and you don’t eat the rest of the time. Most eating windows encourage you to skip breakfast and stop snacking before bed. During the fasting period, you can drink sugar-free liquids like water, tea, and black coffee. 

If you turn your IF eating habits into a daily routine, it may help you lose weight gradually and keep weight off long-term. It will also shed light on your healthy eating patterns. Many people tend to overeat at night when they’re mindlessly snacking.

Learn how to lose weight healthily.

7. Keep Weight Off With the Low-GI Diet

Approximately 75 percent of Americans eat excessive amounts of sugar and many of these cases could be classified as having a sugar addiction. Some studies have suggested sugar is as addictive as cocaine and processed sugar can be extremely detrimental to one’s health.

The Low-GI Diet consists of consuming slow-sugars, that is, natural sugars that don’t give your body a spike and crash in energy.

What is a low GI diet?
You'll want to swap out certain sugars for other ingredients. (Source: fancycrave1)

Quick sugars raise your glycemic index and the secretion of insulin, leading to fat being stored. This is why sugar can lead to unwanted weight gain over time.

The Low-GI Diet focuses more heavily on the foods and substances you should avoid in your diet. This diet asks that you reduce the following food products:

  • White bread and baked goods
  • Soft drinks and fruit juices
  • Sugary desserts
  • White potatoes
  • Pasta
  • High-sugar condiments
  • Processed foods with sugary additives

The Low-GI Diet is great for boosting your energy levels and preventing spikes in insulin. After a while, engaging in this diet will also reduce sugar cravings and allow you to taste the natural sweetness of nature’s fruits and vegetables.

8. Start Simple With the Light Dinner Diet

It’s easier to eat healthy earlier in the day. People usually stray from their healthy eating habits at night when they don’t have the time or energy to prepare a healthy meal or resort to late-night snacking to satiate cravings. 

The Light Dinner Diet is entirely focused on simplifying your dinner and kicking off your health choices one meal at a time. One benefit of this diet is that it’s incredibly easy to follow.

If you want to participate in the Light Dinner Diet, include the following:

  • Make a vegetable-based starter for dinner.
  • Include a light protein-based dish cooked on the grill or in the oven.
  • Finish your dinner with an apple for dessert.

How Do You Start Losing Weight?

Are you interested in learning more about how to cook healthy food to lose weight? Why not connect with an online cooking tutor to help you prepare imaginative new meals? Superprof hosts a network of experienced teachers who have an educational background in nutrition, cooking, and fitness.

Superprof teachers host cooking classes in a variety of formats. You can opt for one-on-one lessons in person, schedule private online classes, or join a group of people in a community class. Teachers charge different rates depending on their teaching background and experience. Usually, group classes are more affordable than private online classes and private online classes are more affordable than in-person classes.

Choose the format that best suits your needs and search through a network of credible teachers to launch your healthy eating habits with adventurous cooking classes.

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Teri

Teri is a freelance writer based in Toronto. She enjoys travelling to new corners of the globe, unwinding in a yoga class, and focusing on self-improvement through continued education and learning.