Ever wondered what the best diets to follow in the cooler months are? Here are three diets that get my tick of approval. Watch my video above to find out more…
Because it has an emphasis on real foods, fruits and vegetables, balanced with a good amount of protein, DASH has been voted the best diet in the world by the US News and World report . It is filling, satisfying and sustainable, ie you can follow it for your whole life.
It is a plan that you can feed your entire family, with larger portion sizes for those who don’t need to watch their weight. It helps you easily lose weight, even though you feel as if you are not on a diet.
In addition to being a low salt (or low sodium) plan, the DASH diet provides additional benefits to reduce blood pressure.
The DASH eating plan has been proven to lower blood pressure, in around 14 days. Best response came in people whose blood pressure was only moderately high, including those with prehypertension. For people with more severe hypertension, who may not be able to eliminate medication, the DASH diet can help improve response to medication, and help lower blood pressure. The DASH diet can help lower cholesterol, and with weight loss and exercise, can reduce insulin resistance and reduce the risk of developing diabetes.
Think of the New Nordic Diet as the Mediterranean diet for cooler climates. It is based on three fundamental guidelines:
1. Obtaining more calories from plants and fewer from meat. Although high protein intake can reduce the risk of several diseases, particularly in sedentary and overweight people, meat is among the least environmentally friendly foods, so more environmentally friendly protein sources, with greater health benefits, are preferred in this diet. Replacing some of the meat we eat with plant foods would lead to a reduction in the intake of saturated fat and increased intakes of unsaturated fats, dietary fibre, vitamins and minerals. Again plant foods are low in calories, so we can eat larger amounts while lowering the energy density yet ensuring satiety.
2. Obtaining more foods from the sea and lakes. Fish and shellfish contain high amounts of protein and an increased intake may help to prevent weight gain and obesity, type 2 diabetes, and age-related reduction in muscle mass in the elderly. Different species of fish and shellfish contain different amounts of vitamins, minerals and fatty acids. So alternate between fatty and lean species, in order to get the full health benefits while minimizing risks of toxicity from heavy metal (such as mercury) pollution.
3. More foods from the wild countryside. Foods such as mushrooms, berries, fruits and meat foraged from the wild are interesting because of their possible health potential. Wild plants have higher contents of vitamins C and E, and antioxidants. Some weeds are also very nutritious but use them with caution since they can be toxic. Meat from wild animals and fowl generally contains less fat and has less saturated fat and more polyunsaturated fat, than meat from commercially reared animals. Further, they have significantly higher content of omega-3 fatty acids.
TOTAL WELL BEING DIET:
Created by the CSIRO, the Total Wellbeing Diet is a higher protein, low GI plan designed to curb cravings and even out blood sugar levels.
Recent research has proven that a combination of a high protein diet with low GI foods has been associated with greater weight loss and healthy weight maintenance. Eating foods that reduce your glycemic index, combined with exercise, is one of the best ways to lose weight and improve your overall health and wellbeing.
WHY EAT A HIGHER PROTEIN DIET
Higher protein foods include lean meats, poultry, fish, eggs, tofu and legumes/beans. In addition to providing important nutrients, they can help with controlling hunger and prevent muscle loss which is important during weight loss.
HOW LOW GI FOODS SUPPORT WEIGHT LOSS
Low GI carbohydrate foods such as some bread, rice and pasta are digested slowly and maintain blood glucose levels for longer. Their sustained energy keeps you feeling fuller for longer.
TOP TIPS FOR WEIGHT LOSS DURING WINTER:
- Keep Exercising! Pick indoor options, get a trainer, do whatever you can to stick to your routine.
- Keep an eye on your weight: Pick a way to accurately track your weight, be it weekly weigh in, a measuring tape around your middle, trying on your ‘skinny jeans.’ Even a good look at your naked self in a full length mirror! Whichever method, do it once per week.
- Watch Portion Distortion: Portion sizes can creep up during winter, especially with those heavier comfort foods. Keep those protein portion sizes to around the size of the palm of your hand, and don’t go back for seconds!
Watch my segment above for more info on each diet, and remember to at least maintain, not gain, over winter!