More than two in every three adults in the USA are overweight or obese—so says the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK). If you are one of the 66% majority, you may be wondering what is the best diet to lose weight?
There are plenty of diets to choose from: The South Beach Diet, the DASH Diet, the TLC Diet, the Flexitarian Diet and others, so why aren't we all skinny and healthy? These so called "fad" diets unfortunately fail to deliver long-term results.
Related: What is the DASH Diet?
Instead, those serious about adopting the best diet to lose weight need to adjust to a whole new way of eating. By consuming whole, fresh foods your body will gradually shed those excess pounds and your heart, blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar levels will all be healthier too. With this diet, it’s not a list of things you can’t eat, but a list of things you must include, such as:
1. Fruits and Vegetables
Aim to include 4-5 cups of fruit and vegetables in your daily diet in smoothies, salads and sides. Vegetables and fruits are high in vitamins, minerals, fiber and antioxidants that help prevent disease and keep your body fit and healthy.
2. Whole Grains
Whole grains such as quinoa, whole wheat (including flour), wild rice, whole-grain corn, oatmeal, popcorn and brown rice deliver protein, fiber, B vitamins and trace minerals to reduce heart disease, type-2 diabetes and obesity. Avoid terms such as "refined wheat", "brown bread" (made from refined wheat and colored with molasses), "multigrain" and "stone ground" unless they specify they are "whole grain.”
Beans, peas and lentils (pulses) make up the legume family. These edible seeds are crammed with protein, fiber and minerals, making them excellent ingredients to include as part of the best diet to lose weight.
4. Raw seeds and Nuts
Raw seeds and nuts should be included in your diet in small amounts. Although unsaturated fats are high in calories, the body needs omega-3 fatty acids for brain function, supporting healthy red blood cells and fighting inflammation.
5. Cold-water Fish
Another excellent source of Omega-3 is cold water fish such as salmon and tuna. The American Heart Association recommends we eat oily fish at least twice a week, so make sure you include them in your new weight loss diet.
6. Free-range Poultry
Organic chicken is a low-fat source of high quality antibiotic-free protein with plenty of flavor. Protein helps dieters to feel full for longer, helping fight hunger pains and the urge to snack between meals.
Drinking eight glasses of water per day is important to stay hydrated, flushing out toxins and helping you lose weight faster. Drinking a glass of calorie-free water with each meal helps you eat less and it slows down the digestive process so you feel satiated for longer.
These seven food groups comprise the best diet to lose weight and keep it off, so you can stay slim and healthy without resorting to the latest "wonder" diet.