Here we are again on the eternal quest to lose three pounds and attain the bodies we had when we first thought we were fat at age, like, 13. Unfortunately, the world of weight loss can be a complicated one, what with pills, flashy commercials, fake news, and Instagram models telling us to chug laxative tea and work out 20 hours per day to attain our dream bods. Going on a fad diet won’t work, but adopting a lifestyle change and actual diet that you don’t go off of after four weeks will help you in the long run with weight loss, heart health, cholesterol, and more. Luckily, we found a few diets that work, and won’t make you hungry all the time.
The main thing you’ll notice about all of our top five best diets that work is that none of them cut out an entire food group, limit calories to ridiculous amounts, or tell you to continually eat one type of food group over and over again (I see you, grapefruit diet). Tbh, they’re not really diets so much as they are lifestyle changes. They’re all varied, allow you to splurge in places, and are something you can stick with through the best of times (like winter when sweaters cover our arms) and the worst of times (when Tinder bae ghosts you and ice cream becomes your bff).
These are the best diets—that aren’t really diets in the way you’re thinking—that are worth sticking to.
1. Mediterranean Diet
According to Pure Wow, the Mediterranean diet works because it aids in heart health, focuses on all the right food groups and allows you to splurge once in awhile. The “diet” is really just focusing your eating on veggies, fruit, whole grains, legumes, nuts, and mostly seafood as opposed to red meat. Plus, you’re saying “nope” to butter and using olive oil in most recipes, so there isn’t as much saturated fat sitting around waiting to f*ck your sh*t up. The best part is that, yes, you can have (and are encouraged to drink) wine with dinner, plus fruit-based desserts here and there. Note: This does not include drinking an entire bottle of red alone while nursing a pint of strawberry ice cream. Sorry
2. Nordic Diet
Eat lots of fish, berries, whole grains, and vegetables to live like the Vikings do, minus the raping and pillaging! According to Harvard Health, following the Nordic diet won’t only help you live a healthier (and probs slimmer) lifestyle, it could also help lower the risk of stroke later on. Like the Mediterranean diet, the Nordic diet limits red meat in favor of fish, tells you to keep your hands out of the cookie jar (and maybe don’t eat so much dessert in general), and advises against processed crap, so say adieu to the morning Danishes and late night pizza rolls.
3. Cooking Light Diet
If you’re familiar with Cooking Light at all, you know that the whole aim is to eat the foods you want, prepared in a way that won’t completely ruin your relationship with your scale or pants. Recipes are created to keep calories minimal but flavor to the max (sorry). The best part of this diet is that you still get to cook and be creative with your meals without adding in all the extra fat. You can go all in and, like, pay to do it (which includes a plan for you, diet tips, reminders to exercise, etc.) or you can just peruse the site for tons of recipes that are low in calories but still satisfying. It’s a great lifestyle plan for those of us that hate being on an official restrictive diet, love to cook, and want to learn to make a healthier mac n cheese (CAN I LIVE).
4. Flexitarian Diet
You’re basically becoming a flexible vegetarian with this one. The best part is that you can claim not to eat meat and pretend to be better than all of your friends when you’re out. The even better part is that as soon as you get home, you can totally inhale a small chicken or plate of fish. Since you’re limiting your meat intake, you’re encouraged to eat more fruit, vegetables, nuts, and legumes, which are good for you anyway. According to Red Book Magazine, “vegetarian and vegan diets typically lead to weight loss … you’ll see results from being a flexitarian, too. Studies show that those who are mostly vegetarian or vegan have a lower BMI than full-on meat-eaters.”
5. DASH Diet
According to US News, “the DASH Diet, which stands for dietary approaches to stop hypertension, is promoted by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute to do exactly that: stop (or prevent) hypertension, aka high blood pressure. It emphasizes the foods you’ve always been told to eat (fruit, veggies, whole grains, lean protein, and low-fat dairy), which are high in blood pressure-deflating nutrients like potassium, calcium, protein, and fiber.” So, yeah, eat healthy and chill on the crappy food like cheese, ice cream, sleeves of Oreos, and triple smothered fried chicken, and you’ll be well on your way to a newer, healthier you.
Images: Brooke Lark / Unsplash; Giphy (2)
Holy shit, it’s June. We ignored all the signs and warnings. We threw caution to the wind as we ate that third (all right, fifth) slice of pizza. We didn’t switch out our Diet Coke for LaCroix (LET ME LIVE). We promised ourselves that tomorrow would be the start of our diet. Bitches, tomorrow is here. But before you freak out and go on a 72-hour fat flush and laxative tea diet, we did some investigatory journalism about those diet myths you def have believed since age 12, when you saw your first issue of Vogue and wondered why your tummy had fat rolls. Stop believing these diet myths now that you are a grown-ass adult.
1. All Calories Are Created Equal
If a piece of pizza is 300 calories and a giant salad is also 300 calories, then, like logically, I should “cheat” and have the pizza cause I deserve it and also it’s the same amount of calories and will sit upon my thighs the same way. Right? Fuckin’ wrong. According to Eat This Not That, your body will store calories differently depending what they are.
If you eat something that’s more difficult to digest, like corn, your body can’t absorb as many of the calories and, therefore, you aren’t as likely to gain weight from it. Protein is also great because a) it keeps you fuller longer and b) your body is more easily able to burn off the calories while it’s digesting your salmon or steak. Cookies, on the other hand, get their calories from our friend sugar, which isn’t as easily burned off. So veggies and protein good. Cookies and pizza, not so good.
2. All Sugar Is The Devil
Errrrrr, wrong. You can’t equate the sugar found in a banana with the sugar found in a box of Jelly Belly (like my mom’s now-defunct diet program tried to do in the early 2000s). It just isn’t the same. According to Prevention, the sugar in fruits and veggies comes with fiber that helps slow down the absorption of said sugar. Jelly beans come with nothing but short-lived happiness, then a slow decline into cellulite, so there’s that trade-off to consider. Don’t be afraid of the naturally occurring sugars in your fruit. Be afraid of the naturally occurring sugars in cookies and pie.
3. Cut Out Every Single Carb
Carbs are evil: a mantra we’ve known since the dawn of about age 14. According to Prevention, you CAN have carbs, live your life, and not end up on an episode of My 600-lb Life anytime soon.
Just follow the USDA recommendation: half your plate should be veggies, one-quarter whole grains, and one-quarter protein. Plus, you can ditch shitty carbs like white bread and white potatoes and replace them with bougie carbs like farro, quinoa, and sweet potatoes. If you cut carbs altogether, you’re more likely to crave them, order from Domino’s at 11pm, inhale that three topping cheese-stuffed goodness, then cry yourself to sleep.
4. You Need To Do Juice Cleanses And Detoxes
Ok, first of all—you don’t need to detox. That’s what your liver and kidneys are for. It’s fine to eat lighter or more healthfully the day after drinking a handle of vodka and eating a Little Cesar’s Hot & Sweaty, but there’s no need to starve yourself into a meditative plane and subsist on lemon juice and cayenne pepper because Beyoncé did it and I just do everything Beyoncé fuckin’ does now. Plus, if you slash your calories to like, 800 per day for a week, you’ll end up losing and then GAINING weight thanks to your body being too smart to fuck up your metabolism like that. Get it together and have a sandwich.
5. Don’t Eat After 7pm
Sounds great and is based on nothing. According to Real Simple, “calories can’t tell time,” which is news to me and probably most of our great American nation. The idea is that if you stop eating after 7pm, your body has more time to digest before it goes into nappy sleep mode. That isn’t true, since if you eat a bowl of oatmeal for whatever reason 15 minutes before bed then pass out, your body will just use those calories the next day. Now, this doesn’t mean you should def continue your routine of eating a bowl of Breyer’s before bed every night, but it also means you can have that piece of fruit or bit of cereal before hitting the sack without worrying about gaining 50 pounds.
Images: Jamie Street / Unsplash; Giphy (2)