If following a diet is one of your goals for this year, U.S. News and World Report has done the research for the best diets of 2014.
U.S. News evaluated 32 of the most popular diets and identified the best.
Best Diets Overall
The DASH diet tops the list for best overall diet because of its emphasis on portion control and balance. This leading diet recommends eating fruits, veggies, whole grains, lean protein, and low-fat dairy while eliminating sweets and red meat.
The second best diet overall is the Therapeutic Lifestyle Changes (TLC) diet which features a low-fat regimen. The key to this diet is cutting back sharply on fat, particularly saturated fat.
Best Weight Loss Diets
The best diet to follow for weight loss is Weight Watchers followed by The Biggest Loser and Jenny Craig diets. Weight Watchers, which emphasizes making healthy choices that fill you up so you’ll eat less, and Jenny Craig also rank as the easiest diets to follow.
If you want more information on diet rankings, click here.
Three Steps to Weight Loss
I lost 10 pounds last year by cutting back on sugar and carbs. This approach didn’t rank as high in this study for weight loss but it worked for me (here’s a book that I found to be a great resource).
Three steps that I’ve followed to achieve my weight loss goal are:
- Conquer your food addiction (whether it’s sugar or fat).
This requires a lot of will power, but once you cut back on your food addiction, the weight loss should be pretty quick and motivate you to lose even more weight.
- Use substitutions for the foods that you love.
- Use chopped cauliflower as a substitute for white/brown rice; see a great recipe here.
- Try kale chips instead of potato chips (I stir-fry kale chips with a touch of olive oil instead of baking them to control the crunchiness).
- Bake a Paleo bread with no wheat or grain. Check out 21 Paleo bread recipes here.
- If you hit a plateau while following your diet, lower your calorie intake a couple of days during the week to shake things up.
TIP: Don’t go too low (under 1200 calories) because you’ll kick in the starvation response which will slow down the calories you burn.
The bottom line is keep trying until you find what works for you!
[Image via U.S. News]