For many women, the decision to lose weight is not as difficult as deciding which diet plan to use. Because there are so many to choose from, it can be confusing. You should choose one that meets with your lifestyle so that you will be more inclined to stay with it in the long run. Comparing several of the more popular weight loss programs will help you make that choice.
The South Beach Diet was invented by Arthur Agatston, M.D., a cardiologist, who named it after a beach in his home state of Florida. The diet has three phases, with Phase I being the strictest. During Phase I, you are restricted from eating dairy products and all carbohydrates. You concentrate on eating low-fat proteins and low-carb vegetables. You are encouraged to snack several times during the day, on South Beach Diet-approved foods to maintain level blood sugar and stave off hunger. In Phase II, you introduce low-glycemic carbs into your daily diet. These can include avocado, whole wheat pastas and brown rice. You are cautioned to watch the scale after introducing each new carb to determine how your body reacts to it. If you begin gaining weight, then you remove the last carb you introduced as your body is thought to have a bad reaction to that particular food. In Phase III, you go into maintenance mode. Maintenance basically means eating this way for life as long as you do not gain weight. The basic premise is not to eat any white food or refined sugar. One diet features is that it is easily adaptable to eating out and social functions. For example, if you go out to eat with friends you can order a cheeseburger without the bun and eat it with a side of vegetables instead of fries.
Flat Belly Diet
The Flat Belly Diet is a 28-day plan that begins with a strict four-day induction phase. The induction phase consists of 1,200 calories a day of strictly guided food plans. You are also expected to drink 2 liters of water each day, laced with herbs and spices. Following the first four days, you move to a 1,600 calories a day diet that focuses on whole grains, nuts, fruits and vegetables. Proponents of the diet claim you can lose 15 lbs. in the first 30 days of following the plan.
While the Zone Diet is basically a low-carbohydrate diet like the South Beach Diet, you can eat what you want from an approved list of foods as long as you balance your daily intake of food with a 40-30-30 ratio.
Invented by Barry Sears, M.D., the Zone Diet believes that by getting 40 percent of your nutrition from low glycemic carbs, 30 percent from protein and 30 percent from fats, your blood sugar will be so stable that insulin won’t be needed. The diet also requires that you drink eight 8-oz. glasses of water a day. You eat five times a day, including three meals and two snacks. You are encouraged to eat at least once every five hours–if not more often–to maintain healthy blood sugar and energy levels.
The name of the diet comes from the athletic term of being “in the zone.” Proponents of the Zone Diet believe if you do not follow the 40-30-30 ratio balance, you won’t be in the zone and will not feel or perform at your best.