Every year, the dreaded bikini season rolls around, and we are all left wishing we had started working out sooner. It can be tough getting into a regime, with conflicting advice, cold, wet weather, and a head-spinning array of options and plans. Everyone is different, and the routine your sister swears by may be no good for you—that’s why we have decided to make life easy for you and put together a list of the top three diets—pick whichever suits you best!
The Mediterranean Diet focuses on the nutritional habits of Southern Europe, looking at cuisines from Crete, Greece, Southern Italy, Spain, Southern France, and Portugal. The focus is on a plant-based diet, as well as fresh fruits, beans, nuts, whole grains, and olive oil.
The primary source of meat comes from fish and poultry, and cheese and yogurt form the main dairy foods. Eggs are also encouraged, as is a small amount of wine. There is a focus on healthful fats, and the diet is known to be low in saturated fats, instead focusing on ‘good’ fats such as nuts and oils. Research suggests that the Mediterranean diet is ideal for improving the quality of life and lowering the risks of disease.
South Beach Diet
Designed by cardiologist Arthur Agatston and dietician Marie Almon, the South Beach Diet was initially intended to help people to lower their risk of heart disease. It soon gained popularity as a diet plan after one report showed that it was also helping people lose weight. The program is based on a backlash to the low-carb, high-fat trend, which Agatston felt was ineffective and unsustainable over a long period.
Here are three main phases to the South Beach diet:
Kick-start The Weight Loss Process
The first phase aims to remove any cravings for sugar and starch, and works by stabilizing blood sugar levels. In this phase, the participant may see rapid weight loss. There are three meals a day, plus snacks—important for a feeling of satisfaction—and typical foods include lean meats and poultry, shellfish, eggs, nuts, and beans while avoiding of bread, rice, and potatoes.
Reaching A Target Weight
The second phase is ongoing until the desired weight is achieved. It involves reintroducing carbohydrates, such as potatoes and whole grains, and often results in slow, steady weight loss.
Adopting A Lifestyle
The third phase involves helping an individual to change their diet long term in a way which is healthy and sustainable. It focuses on maintaining an ideal weight and improving long-term health.
Raw Food Diet
A relatively new but growing trend, the raw food diet involves the consumption of food and drinks which are unprocessed, organic, and totally-plant based. Followers believe that at least three-quarters of food intake should be uncooked.
There are four main types of ‘raw foodists’:
- Raw vegetarians who eat plant-based food as well as eggs and dairy
- Raw vegans who eat no animal products
- Raw omnivores who eat both plant-based and animal-based foods
- Raw carnivores who eat meat, but no cooked meat
A raw food diet can have benefits such as weight loss and clearer skin but requires a great deal of planning and preparation to be healthy. It may be best consulting with a nutritionist before taking this route.