There are more diets than you can count out there, but some have taken off more than others. Here we compared the top 5 most popular weight loss diets to see how they work.
The Atkins Diet
The Atkins diet is a high fat, low carb diet plan that aims to keep the amount of carbohydrates you eat very low. The aim of this diet is to get the body burning off its own fat reserves rather than energy from carbs. This has unpleasant side effects like constipation and bad breath, because the body is burning off fat reserves fast.
This is a controversial diet because a high fat diet can lead to heart disease, and you aren't encouraged to eat lots of fruit and vegetables so could be missing out on vital nutrients. Also, Dr. Robert Atkins declared bankruptcy, although rumours that he died of a heart attack are false.
This is a good diet in that you can lose weight quickly, but it is rather bad for your health so certainly isn't something we'd recommend following for long.
South Beach Diet
The South Beach Diet is also a low carb diet but the focus is much more on eating protein than high saturated fat foods like Atkins. You can also eat more carbs as long as they are “good carbs” e.g ones that have a lesser effect on your blood sugar levels.
The diet has two phases. In phase one you stick to a very strict low carb diet and after this stage you start introducing carbs and fruit again. If you start gaining weight you can go back to the initial two week phase to quickly get your diet in check.
This is healthier than Atkins because it is less strict about carbs,fruit and vegetables and is generally more balanced overall.
The Cabbage Soup Diet
One of the most popular diets of all time is the Cabbage Soup diet, which is exactly as it says on the tin. You replace main meals with a soup made from cabbages. This works for weight loss because cabbages contain so few calories. Thankfully, you can eat fruit and vegetables but only up to a certain point. The maximum time you should follow this diet for is only a week.
It is very strict because you can't eat much and can only drink water and unsweetened juice. Also, it has bad side effects like flatulence and bad breath.
If you are trying to lose weight for a wedding, or an event then the cabbage soup diet should be relatively safe to use to drop a couple of pounds in the run up to the event, but it is unhealthy to carry on such a low calorie diet for any long period of time.
The Zone Diet
The main foodstuffs of the zone diet are meat for protein and fruit and vegetables for minerals and vitamins. Carbs,saturated fats,processed foods and sugar are all banned on this diet. As well as controlling carbs, you count the calories you eat a day in order to stay in a healthy but low calorie range.
This is a relatively healthy diet for longer term use, but some people find it expensive because of the amount of fresh foods and meat you need to buy
Although not strictly a diet, diet pills are ideal for including in a low carb, low fat or low calorie diet because you can pick a pill to help with each type of diet. For example, Proactol is a fat binder that blocks about 25% of the fat you eat from being absorbed, so is ideal for a low carb diet.
Nuratrim is ideal for low calorie dieters because as well as increasing the metabolism, it reduces hunger which helps you restrict your eating.
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