Nov 12

Top 10 Diets, or Just the Newest Fads?

There is no shortage of weight-loss ideas out there, especially for those who dread exercise and eating right. Fad diets, which usually focus on one type of food or category of food, have become popular in recent years. But there’s a difference between a fad diet and a healthy diet that optimizes weight loss. And while pills may be a big thing now, they don’t offer the one thing that a dieter needs: the ability to make wise choices. Top 10 diets like the Sonoma diet and the South Beach diet not only provide healthy eating choices, they help followers change their eating habits. The following diets have been studied by doctors and dieters alike:

1. South Beach Diet: This has a lot in common with the once-popular Atkins Diet. Created by a cardiologist, this three-phased diet involves temporarily giving up fruit, starches, and fatty meats, which is meant to cure the craving for unhealthy types of foods.

2. Sonoma Diet: This is another three-phase diet, but this one emphasizes ten “power” foods, including tomatoes, grapes and spinach. It’s not a low-carb or low sugar diet, but does limit saturated fats and white flour.

3. NutriSystem: Of the top 10 diets, this program is the only one that requires dieters to buy their food from the company. It serves to reduce cravings through controlling the intake of glycemic index carbs.

4. Weight Watchers: This is not a diet but a way of life. Individuals determine goals, and work toward completing those goals while attending regular support group meetings. There are two different plans, the core and flex plans. They both work off of a point system, with each food afforded a different value.

5. The Zone Diet: This isn’t a “diet” in the traditional sense either. It was invented by a biochemist, and promotes eating protein and carbs in a 3 to 4 ratio. While it is a low-carb diet, it doesn’t take it to the extreme that other diets do. The Zone Diet emphasizes the importance of maintaining a hormonal balance through eating certain foods.

6. Atkins Diet: Perhaps the most popular of the low-carb diets, Atkins brought people away from the food pyramid and toward a diet that restricts carbohydrates that effect blood sugar. With exercise and supplements, the Atkins Diet stresses the importance of eating unprocessed foods and avoiding food high in saturated fats.

7. Ornish Diet: This diet opposes the Atkins and other low-carb diets. It is a vegetarian diet which stresses the importance of complex carbohydrates while strictly prohibiting simple sugars, cholesterol and saturated fat. It is another ratio diet, with 10% fat, 20% protein and 70% carbohydrates.

8. The Blood Type Diet: This is a controversial diet that works off the idea that each person should eat foods that match their blood type, based on the evolution of the types. Proponents of this diet believe that “O” types should eat primarily meat. “A” types should be following a more vegetarian diet, and “B” types should eat high amounts of dairy products.

9. Fit For Life Diet: Short term dieting isn’t the solution, according to the couple who created this diet. Combinations of foods are stressed. Only fruits should be eaten in the morning, and meats shouldn’t be combined with complex carbs.

10. Subway Diet: The list of top 10 diets wouldn’t be complete with this diet. Everyone seems to know Jared, the college student who lost 245 pounds eating Subway sandwiches. But is it really a diet? As with other weight-loss plans, Jared’s story includes daily walks and a severe reduction in daily calories, in addition to eating healthy subs with fresh vegetables and baked chips.

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