There are dozens of weight-loss and healthy-eating plans out there on the internet. Every other Instagram seems to feature someone with a strange drink in hand extolling the virtues of the latest fad. It boggles the mind — and isn't especially helpful if you're looking for a safe way to lose weight.
If you're seeking health-conscious food, it can feel overwhelming — and might not always be budget-conscious, let's be honest. The key is knowing your limits and experimenting until you find what works best for you. Don't ever be ashamed if a diet doesn't work for you; everyone's bodies are different! And most importantly, be sure to talk to your doctor if you're planning to start a new health regimen so that they can help you lose weight in a safe way. Here are some of the options we've found.
- Whole30: The Whole30 plan has gained in popularity for its sustainability. Instead of encouraging you to eat less or consume highly specific combinations, it focuses on making healthy choices and eliminating problem foods from your diet. Not only does this make it more sustainable in the long run, but it's also designed to address health concerns other than weight loss.
- Keto: One of the newest diet trends taking hold, the ketogenic diet revolves around a low-carb, high-fat food intake that helps restrict calories while satisfying the cravings that can derail a typical diet. And as a bonus, it's meant to be temporary, and you can learn good habits that you can apply after you leave the full-time diet behind you.
- Plant-based: While it requires some significant learning to make sure you're still getting the protein and nutrients you need, a vegan diet might be just what you need to achieve your weight-loss goals. Cutting out packaged and processed foods is a surefire way to rid yourself of many sneaky chemicals that hinder your weight loss. Plus, eating plants has a ton of health benefits aside from weight loss — it's a win-win!
- "Scandi Sense": You might not have heard of this diet, based on a popular way of eating in Scandinavian countries, but I guarantee you'll like it. Put simply, it's about portion control, with two hand-sized portions of veggies, one of protein, and one of carbs per meal, plus a few tablespoons of healthy fats. Like the name suggests, it's all about sensible eating, not a quick-fix fad.
- Weight Watchers: I know, it conjures images of your health-nut aunt in the '80s, but Weight Watchers has endured for a reason. The fundamental concept is accountability, which means you still get to eat your favorite foods, but there's a points system that helps you keep track of the nutritional value of everything you eat, like a budget for your waistline. It's not just about the weight loss but about educating you to make smart choices.
- Mediterranean: Like the "Scandi Sense" diet, this one is essentially an adapted version of how a region eats. Italians, Greeks, and north African cultures put the emphasis on fresh foods, fruits, veggies, olive oil, beans, and grains, resulting in a diet that's not only amazing for weight loss but also great for your eyes, heart, and brain. What's not to love?
- DASH: An acronym for "dietary approach to stop hypertension," DASH was developed by the National Institute of Health to help those with high blood pressure, but its overall benefits have helped it catch on as a weight-loss diet as well. While not designed with weight loss in mind, its guidelines encourage you to cut out junk foods, eat healthier, and exercise — all of which can add up to the results you want.
- Intermittent fasting: This diet practice is growing in popularity thanks to some celebs who have openly discussed it. It's exactly what it sounds like: you cycle between periods where you are allowed to eat (making healthy choices!) and periods where you eat nothing. The idea is to allow your body to burn excess fat and regenerate cells.
However you choose to approach your weight loss, make sure you find a diet that works for you and that you feel you can stick to. Burnout or boredom are some of the most common factors in not achieving fitness goals, so try one of these diets that prove weight loss doesn't have to be bland or boring!