I know that there are hundreds of diet directions out there with a lot of plans, types and menus. However, most of them don’t tell you whether it’s suitable for you or a specific group of people or not.
And that’s the truth, not only one diet plan can fit all individuals!
You also should know that diet makes up 70% of the chances of success in weight loss. So how many calories should you consume each day to lose weight as much as your desire?
In this article, apart from providing you all trendy diet plans at the current time, which should not to follow and things to consider before choosing, I also share you my favorite diet as well as tricks to measure the amount needed of each kind of food.
But first, consider this
Determine the amount of intake calories
For those who don’t know, calorie is a unit of energy measurement of food and drink. When we feed ourselves, the body is responsible for turning food into calories for daily activities.
When it comes to calories, bear in mind this basic rule of thumb: “Less intake calories, lose weight. More intake calories, gain weight!”
Now, might you wonder where the upper limit of intake calories is, then here is the answer:
How many calories should a woman need each day?
According to the NHS, women need 2,000 calories a day to stay fit, and if they meet their weight loss needs, cut their daily intake calories by around 1500.
BUT, it is important to remember not to lower the calorie intake to less than 1200 unless you are specifically directed by an expert. According to some studies, 7000 calories are equivalent to 1kg, from which you can guess the time you need to lose 1 kilogram based on the number of reduced calories.
However, a team from the US Department of Health and Human Services said that the average consumption depends on many factors including: age, height, weight, mobility and health status.
Thus, when follow any diet plan, pay attention to the ratio of different food group then, supply it with your own body index. I don’t highly recommend you to go after exactly the number of foods that are listed or advised by somebody unless you have the same body index (such as age, weight and height) as them.
Don’t starve yourself!
I saw many people tried to starve themselves and hoped it works.
Yeah, chances would your body lose some weight, however, it’s not a healthy and long-term method. In other words, you’ll die soon with it not because the hunger, but the risk of heart disease, diabetes, high cholesterol and gastrointestinal diseases.
Not to saying that once your hunger reaches the limit, you will start eat like crazy, it even gains more weigh than ever.
How to lose weight healthily and safely?
Simple! There’re many things to say but in general, remember these four things:
- Cut down sugar and fast foods
- Increase protein
- Drink at least 2 liters of water/day
Increase the amount of protein in the diet
Do you know that protein is known to contain 10-20% of the total energy needed for the body?
Studies have shown that protein increases the rate of metabolism and helps curb appetite. Essentially, it needs energy to metabolize, which is exploited in the body to burn off excess calories, limiting the backlog of calories to cause fat accumulation.
From that point, it’s essential to add protein in a diet to lose weight efficiently.
And, to know how many grams of protein needed to add to your body, apply this formula which is recommended by experts:
1.5 x (your weigh in kilograms)
For good protein sources, here are some of my options: skinless chicken, lean beef, lean pork, fish, seafood, eggs, beans, mushrooms, cheese and milk.
Drink more than 2 liters of water / day
Water not only purifies the body and eliminates toxic but also helps to lose weight effectively. Might it sound weird, but water is a human’s best friend to lose weight.
Taking 1 to 2 glasses of water before each meal will fill your stomach, which helps to eat less. In addition, water will neutralize sugar in the food, limiting the effect of sugar on your body.
Particularly, for those who are gymer, if you usually find your muscles are saggy as well as not as firm and strong as the others, chances yours are dehydrated.
By drinking enough water, apart from strengthen your muscles, there will also be a lot of changes in your weight loss process, for example, your skin will look lively and more gorgeous than usual.
In addition, your liver also requires a sufficient amount of water to carry out its purification and fat excretion. Without enough water, your liver tends to store fat, making your weigh loss process even more difficult.
- Eliminate sugar and fat foods
- Combining exercise
Some trendy diet plans this year
Based on such provided information above, here are the best diets for you to consult. Also, they are the trendiest ones that thousands of people has been following this year.
If you are suffering from hypertension, DASH diet is worth a try.
The characteristic of this method is recommending you to eat a mixture of fruits, vegetables, whole grains and dairy products with low levels of protein and fat.
On the other hands, dieters should avoid saturated fat, sugary beverages, sweets, high fat dairy products and some edible oils. Besides, they need to eat less salt.
In the first place with the DASH diet, this type of weight loss takes its name from the habits of people living in the Mediterranean.
It helps you not only to lose weight, but also stay healthy and live longer. Mediterranean diets are primarily focused on fruits and vegetables as well as those foods containing healthy fats like fish, nuts and olive oil.
The name of this method is a combination of two words: flexible and vegetarian.
It encourages the person to spend most of their time eating vegetables for better health, but does not force you to completely cut off the meat ration, which is a thumb up from me.
Weight Watchers is a popular weight loss method, promoted by celebrities such as Oprah Winfrey.
This method works based on a scoring system: each food is assigned a specific score and the dieter is recommended to consume only a certain number of points each day.
Highly nutritious foods are generally given lower point on a general basis. In contrast, the sweets have very high scores.
MIND diet is a combination of DASH diet and Mediterranean diet.
It’s told to help people take care of the brain and prevent Alzheimer’s. However, there must be more researches to determine whether this diet actually helps to suppress the degeneration of the brain.
Dieters are encouraged to eat 10 brain food groups as follows: dark green leafy vegetables, all other vegetables, nuts, berries, beans, whole grains, fish, grilled meat, olive oil and wine.
It is advised to avoid the following 5 food groups: red meat, butter and margarine, cheese, sweets, fried foods or fast food.
TLC stands for Therapeutic Lifestyle Changes.
This method encourages people to cut back on those foods that are high in cholesterol. At the same time, they are advised to cut down on fat in general, especially saturated fat.
In addition, dieters should eat foods that contain more fiber.
Diets that I don’t recommend trying
Though those diets mentioned below are quite popular and followed by thousands of people, they are not in my favorite list for some reasons:
Constructed by renowned British nutritionist – Pierre Dukan, the Dukan diet is suitable for those girls who love protein-rich foods.
In generally, it looks like this:
The biggest advantage of this type is you will lose weight very fast during the first stage of dieting and be able to maintain that weight even after returning to your old eating habits.
Although Dukan diet is quite strict and detailed, it is easy to do if you like meat and seafood. In addition, you do not have to worry about calorie counting or weighing the food before cooking except to reduce the amount of salt and fat in your diet.
However, the way it helps you lose weight – based on the rule of cutting a group of foods in protein – sugar – flour – fat to lose weight, is what I really don’t like Dukan Diet.
This method will cause you to these symptoms: bad breath, fatigue, dizziness, and nausea because the body does not have enough starches and vitamins from fresh fruits and vegetables.
Therefore, if you choose this diet, take time to search and purchase good vitamin tablets or liquid to add to your body.
Intermittent Fasting is considered to be the most standardized trend in the world. It does not focus on what you should eat, but on what you eat at the time. The most widely used method is 16:8, which explains that you will fast for 16 hours during the day and in the rest 8 hours, you are allowed eating whatever you like.
And that 16:8 method is what I truly hate. You know it, immoderate eating schedule is risky to cause many troubles in digestion. Not to saying that after 16 hours without eating anything, in the rest time, chances will you eat like hell.
So, in generally, it’s a “no” from me!
As the name implies, Alkaline diets require you to choose foods that are rich in alkaline, such as fruits, vegetables rather than red meat and white starch.
In fact, there are many Hollywood top stars Jennifer Aniston, Victoria Beckham and Gwyneth Paltrow choose to follow the Alkaline diet.
It is based on the premise that our daily diet contains too much acid, which causes weight gain. For those who don’t know, high levels of acid in the body also causes arthritis, osteoporosis, fatigue and disorders in the liver – kidney function. Therefore, this alkaline diet requires you to remove acidic foods such as meat, white starches, refined sugar, dairy products, caffeine, alcohol, and processed foods.
It generally adopts the 80/20 rule, where 80% of the food are fruits and vegetables, and the remaining 20% are proteins plant (such as soybeans, tofu and nuts). All eggs and milk are removed from the daily diet.
Now, might you wonder why I don’t like this diet, right? Well, can’t deny that this “monk diet” follows many healthy eating tips to prevent the maximum risk of cancer, arthritis, kidney stones, and type 2 diabetes. In addition, your heart and brain also thank you for the good fats from these nuts.
HOWEVER, the deficiency of calcium, iron, and zinc when removing dairy products and meat is the first obstacle in the implementation of Alkaline.
The truth is, dieters will face dizziness, chills, and weakened immune systems leading to flu. In addition, physical exercise is also side affected by such energy loss.
Alkaline diets are said to help you lose weight fast like bat but the theory of pH balance in the body has not been verified by scientists.
In addition, removing more than one food group over time can cause a shortage of vitamins and minerals in the body.
I don’t highly recommend you to try it. However, if you do, you should follow it in a short time (2-4 weeks) and don’t forget to add essential minerals through additional medications.
The best example of the willpower to resist the seduction of food, 5:2 Diet is the one that allows you to eat well for five days, and almost fasts for the other two days (roughly supply 600kcal / day to your body).
In addition to the rapid weight loss results, the two founders of this 5: 2 methods: Michael Mosley and Mimi Spencer also highlighted its benefits to improve of blood pressure, blood cholesterol levels and Insulin reflexes on the body (extracted from thefastdiet.co.uk website).
However, if you compare the effectiveness of 5: 2 with other diets, this mode is limited by many factors such as long-term diet requirement or limitation in exercise.
Though this method reduces the risk of type 2 diabetes and cancer related to obesity such as breast cancer more than the others, I don’t like it yet. The top reason is that other than the two days of fasting strictly, you have to follow a serious diet.
I mean in the remaining five days, you are also not entirely allowed to wear the soul to eat freely. You still have to follow a healthy diet with a limit of 2,000 calories a day.
In addition, skipping meals and fasting can make you dizzy, irritated, headache, reduced ability to concentrate and nausea. Therefore, 5:2 Diet is not recommended for long term use and is limited to a maximum of 3 months with advice and guidance from a physician.
However, you still enable to try this method if you want to lose weight quickly. During the diet process, you shouldn’t work hard and also, all health indicators should be stable.
My diet is…
inspired mostly from the France’s diet and the South Beach Diet.
For those who don’t know South Beach Diet is based on the diet for heart disease patients in the United States. Importantly, it’s not about cutting the number of calories and foods.
You are encouraged to eat at least 3 meals a day and two snacks to follow the fitness program. There are three main stages that last for at least a month.
The South Beach Diet allows you to lose weight fast during the first period (within one or two weeks) with lean meat (beef, chicken and fish) and low GI vegetables as well as unsaturated fat in the menu.
To me, this South Beach diet is the most suitable for my body and my preference as I’m not that kind of person who try to cut down any essential groups of food to lose weight, which not only causes me to almost run out of energy but also feel appetite or lack of nutrients than usual. I neither don’t like supply my body with those vitamin tablets.
I like maintaining a balanced menu with moderate exercise and keeps me a clean amount of protein needed to train and create muscles whereas excrete fat out of my body.
So, if you are looking for a standard body, toned body and a healthy heart, join me now.
What should and shouldn’t eat?
In the first stage of the South Beach diet, dieters must follow strict plans including fish, chicken, lean pork, tofu and fiber-rich vegetables such as salads, broccoli, artichokes and tomatoes.
On the other hand, sugar and starch are reduced as much as possible. Along with that, you should do cardio, such as running, cycling, and swimming for an hour.
This process lasts for 2 weeks and helps to lose at least 5kg if you strictly follow it.
Move on to the stage 2, it now allows you to loosen up your diets by adding fat through dairy products and fatty grains such as cashew nuts, peanuts and almonds.
In addition, eggs and brown rice also begin to be tolerated. This process lasts 1 week while the exercises are done regularly 1 hour per day. During this stage, you won’t lose weight or lose very less weight, but the main goal is to regulate and help your body adjust to the new weight.
Stage 3 is considered as a zipper, ending the series days of South Beach Dieters. At this time, the meat, vegetables and starch are reappeared in the diet, except white starch such as rice or noodles.
In addition, you are encouraged to replace the fats used in daily cooking such as butter into olive oil, or avocado instead of cheese to make the salad healthier and less greasy.
Stage 3 can last a lifetime to keep you physically fit. In addition, at this time the body is accustomed to the practice of cardio training habits so, you can keep it at 3 days per week (1 hour/day).
Though it’s my favorite method to lose weight, truth to say that in the first stage, you may experience some fatigue and muscle aches due to lack of starch and exercise. However, this status will quickly disappear after this week.
Tricks to easily measure the amount of each kind of food
I know that many of us want to follow a reasonable diet, but you cannot bring your own balance at every meal to determine the right dose.
Understanding the Handy guide to portion sizes of the nutritionist – Sian Porter – will help you get better nutrition each day.
Flesh: a palm
For a proper diet, we should only consume meat in the size of the palm (not including fingers) for every day.
Sian Porter said that to eat enough meat in the size of the palm of your hand, you should divide the meat into many meals during the day whereas avoid eating more than 500g red meat in a week.
White fish: Both hands
Cod and pollock are low in fat and calories. From that point, you can consume as much meat as the size of both hands (including fingers). This amount will fluctuate in about 150g and provide about 100 calories for the body.
Sian Porter also explained why white fish are good. He said that they were low in protein and fat content.
And although white fish are low in Omega 3, they contain high levels of Selenium, which is important for the immune system and helps keep your hair and nails healthier.
Spinach: Both hands
We should eat the amount of spinach in the size of both hands per day (they can be divided into 5 times). Or you can choose other vegetables with similar qualities.
It’s advised to eat vegetables at every meal, with a total amount equal to both hands. Some of the vegetables in the sandwich will not be enough.
Small fruits: The hollows of both hands that are stacked together
When we clasp our hands and place them side by side, we will get the dosage for small sized fruits for each day. And when talking about small fruits, I mean blueberries, raspberries and strawberries.
Cabbage: A fist
The amount of vegetables needed for a day should be quantified with a fist. You can choose from a variety of different types of diets to avoid boredom and provide richer nutrients to the body.
Remember that on the plate, vegetables should be half of it.
Unprocessed noodles: A fist
You probably think that a fist is pretty small. But in fact, the noodles after being cooked weigh twice as much as the original. Moreover, the sauces used together with the pasta will contain more calories.
Foods high in carbohydrate should only account for a quarter of the food plate, and the rest should be vegetables.
Beans: a palm
Beans and nuts are great snacks! They contain a lot of unsaturated fats that are good for the cardiovascular system. However, these foods can cause headaches.
Thus, to have a healthy diet and to avoid the heat in the body caused by this food, you should only eat one palm of beans and nuts every day. In addition, you should eat beans to beans, not to eat a variety of different types.
Potato: a fist
Each 180g potato provides 175 calories while baked potatoes provide twice as much calories as the boiled.
Meanwhile, you should only absorb about 200 calories from carbohydrates per day (250 calories for men).
Fatty fish: a palm
Like meat, we should only consume a palm of fatty fish such as salmon, sardines and mackerel for a week. By the way, palm size equals to about 100g of fish and gives the body about 200 calories. At 200g, we have been providing enough omega-3s and fatty acids for a week.
Unless you want to lose weight, you can eat more than that without side effects on your health.
Butter: a thumb
Fatty foods like butter, oil, bread and peanut butter should not be eaten more than one spoon, or with a thumb.
Chocolate: index finger
Each piece of chocolate that’s sized to an index finger is equivalent to 20g and provides about 100 calories. Every day, 20g of chocolate is the right amount for a healthy diet.
Cheese: two thumbs
You should only consume about 30g of cheese per day, equivalent to the length and width of two thumbs. 30g of cheese provides 125 calories, equivalent to ⅓ of calcium needed for the body.
Cake: two fingers
For a healthy diet, you should only eat a piece of cake that’s sized to two fingers. A finger-sized piece of cake provides about 185 calories for the body.
To help you lose weight much easily, here are my top tips and tricks to consult:
Drink water (as mentioned above)
Enjoy every meal
Let’s enjoy every meal as a way of enjoying life!
No need to rush. No need to eat while checking email or watching TV. Just you and the dish. By focusing on your meal, you’ll feel full more quickly and also control the amount of food you eat.
Use a smaller plate
To avoid eating too much to cause overweight, you should choose small plates and use chopsticks when eating. With the same amount of food, a small plate will play trick to your brain, make it feel more than usual.
Besides, when using chopsticks, you will eat more slowly, making you feel full more quickly.
Sleep more in a room with low temperature
Sleeping a lot can lose weight for two reasons:
Firstly, while you sleep, you cannot eat. In addition, a deep sleep improves metabolism and produce more beneficial hormones. Some studies shown that every hour of sleeping, the body would consume 50 to 100 calories.
Besides, a study by the National Institutes of Health found that sleeping frequently in room with a low temperature range of about 19 degrees would help you lose weight. In such condition, you will automatically consume more energy to keep the body warm. I can say this is a simple, easy and gentle way to lose weight for you – lazy girls.
Sounds very weird, right? But this is absolutely true!
Based on the old menu, just add salmon, eggs, nuts, olive oil, chili and green tea as they support metabolism and help burn efficiently. Simple weight loss without fasting, perfect!
If you suddenly want a cookie or a piece of chocolate … just eat it! But eat only small amount and early in the morning so your body will have time to burn off the energy in those foods.
It’s time to consider…
Now, I believe that you can confidently choose a suitable diet for weigh loss. It’s time to consider the suitable recipes and add to your plan. If you still have no idea about them, kindly consult these:
- Top Homemade Vegan Ice Cream Recipes to Try at Home
- Snacks to Lose Weight Effectively
- Best Ways to Eat Broccoli