From Keto to paleo to Whole30, there are plenty of promising diets to embark on when you’re trying to finally shed the spare tire. Except, with so many options, how do you know which eating plan will yield the most desirable results? To answer this gripping question, U.S. News & World Report evaluated 41 of the most popular diets out there and determined the best one: the Mediterranean diet won first place!
What is the Mediterranean Diet?
You may be familiar with the Mediterranean diet or have tried it at some point in time to lose weight. The eating pattern prioritizes vegetables, fruits, healthy fats (think nuts and fish), and quality carbs such as legumes and whole grains. There aren’t any strict calorie-counting rules and hunger-inducing exclusions of certain food groups—you just have to limit red meat and avoid processed foods and added sugars. And the benefits go beyond weight loss: It can protect against diabetes, heart disease, and cognitive decline. But if your imminent concern is cinching your waistline, there’s major proof that this easy-to-follow diet is worth giving a go. Another worthy bonus: women can enjoy one daily glass of red wine, while men are allowed two.
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How can it help you lose weight?
“In terms of weight loss for someone who is actively interested in weight management, the Mediterranean diet may be beneficial because it is based in whole and minimally processed foods with limited added sugars and lab-made fats,” Maya Feller, MS, RD, CDN tells us. “If a person is transitioning their current eating plan from a standard American diet, then a Mediterranean style of eating will likely provide fewer calories while increasing the nutrients.” So, because the Mediterranean diet is so nutrient-dense, you’ll become satiated while eating less! Plus, a 2016 study in The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology journal found that people on the Mediterranean versions added the fewest inches to their waistline.
Feller adds that this style of eating may not be ideal for everyone because there is no one size fits all, but the Mediterranean diet can be modified to meet any person where they are along their food and nutrition journey. “Since the diet’s foundation is whole and minimally processed foods, you’ll have access to a wide range of phytonutrients and antioxidants coming from plant foods.”
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