Nutrisystem is a commercial weight loss diet that involves eating the company’s pre-packaged and delivered meals and snacks, along with some produce you shop for yourself. By outsourcing meal-management chores, you won’t have to think about portion control, meal prep, or meal timing, but you may tire of heat-and-eat meals and smallish portions. Nutrisystem claims you can lose up to 13 pounds and 7 inches overall in your first month on its central plan, Turbo13, which isn’t surprising since the program makes for guaranteed calorie restriction, the tried-and-true weight-loss tactic. Nutrisystem is also built around the glycemic index, a measure of how various carbs affect your blood sugar. The program is high in protein and emphasizes “good” carbs, such as many veggies and whole grains that are digested slowly. That keeps you feeling full longer and your blood sugar and metabolism from going out of whack. Depending on your plan – there are gender-specific tracks for adults, seniors, diabetics and vegetarians – you’ll eat five to six times a day. The program can also be customized for those needing a lower sodium (about 1,500 mg/day) level.
The MIND diet takes two proven diets – DASH and Mediterranean – and zeroes in on the foods in each that specifically affect brain health, which may lower your risk of mental decline, according to initial research. And though there’s no sure-fire way to prevent Alzheimer’s disease, eating healthful mainstays such as leafy greens, nuts and berries may lower a person’s risk of developing the progressive brain disorder. The MIND diet, which stands for Mediterranean-DASH Intervention for Neurodegenerative Delay, was developed by Martha Clare Morris, a nutritional epidemiologist at Rush University Medical Centre, through a study funded by the National Institute on Aging and published online February 2015. The study found the MIND diet lowered Alzheimer’s risk by about 35 percent for people who followed it moderately well and up to 53 percent for those who adhered to it rigorously. And while more study is still needed to better understand the long-term impact of the diet, her team’s second paper on the MIND diet notes that it’s superior to the DASH and Mediterranean diets for preventing cognitive decline.
Flexitarian is a marriage of two words: flexible and vegetarian. “The Flexitarian Diet: The Mostly Vegetarian Way to Lose Weight, Be Healthier, Prevent Disease and Add Years to Your Life,” registered dietitian0 says you don’t have to eliminate meat completely to reap the health benefits associated with vegetarianism – you can be a vegetarian most of the time, but still chow down on a burger or steak when the urge hits. By eating more plants and less meat, it’s suggested that adherents to the diet will not only lose weight but can improve their overall health, lowering their rate of heart disease, diabetes, and cancer, and live longer as a result.
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 (fruits, veggies, whole grains, lean protein, and low-fat dairy), which are high in blood pressure-deflating nutrients like potassium, calcium, protein, and fiber. DASH also discourages foods that are high in saturated fat, such as fatty meats, full-fat dairy foods, and tropical oils, as well as sugar-sweetened beverages and sweets. Following DASH also means capping sodium at 2,300 milligrams a day, which followers will eventually lower to about 1,500 milligrams. DASH Diet is balanced and can be followed long term, which is a key reason nutrition experts rank it as U.S. News’ Best Overall Diet, tied with the Mediterranean Diet.
- These diets fall within accepted ranges for the amount of protein, carbs, fat and other nutrients they provide.