A good diet and workout plan could speed up weight loss and enhance energy level. But choosing the right diet plan is a challenge as there are many options available.
For example, there are separate diet plans for vegans and different diets for non-vegetarians. Also, you can choose from a low-carb diet or low-fat diet depending on your needs.
Here’re 8 best and the most popular diet plans for health-conscious folks. You can go through each plan and choose one that suits your needs the best.
1. Intermittent fasting
It is a dietary strategy that includes cycles of fasting and eating. And there are different methods for intermittent fasting. For example, take the 16/8 method that involves limiting calorie intake to 8 hours per day. Similarly, the 5:2 method limits the calorie intake to 500-600 calories twice per week.
Process: The objective is to restrict the eating time to cut calorie intake. There are periods of fasting and eating. And it leads to quick and significant weight loss unless the person compensates the calories by consuming high calories during the eating period.
Benefits: It slows down aging, increases insulin sensitivity, improves brain health and reduces inflammation. And it is safe for people of all ages.
Cons: In general it is safe for people to do fasting but people with serious health issues like diabetes should consult their doctors before fasting.
2. Plant-based diets
A plant-based diet can be divided into two categories according to its ingredients. The first is veganism where animal products in any kind or form are strictly prohibited. And the second is a flexitarian diet that allows animal products in moderation.
Process: Vegan diet restrict animal products but flexitarian diet allows animal-based products to some extent. In both types of diets, the restricted food items belong to the high calorie group.
Benefits: Plant-based diet prevents chronic ailments including heart problems and cancer. Also, it is suitable for the environment.
Cons: Plant-based diet lacks the nutrients found only in animal products like vitamin B12 and D, iron, calcium, zinc and omega-3 fatty acids.
3. Low-carb diets
Popular for weight loss, low-carb diets cut the carbs content significantly than any other diet. Examples of low-carb diets are Atkins diet, ketogenic (keto) diet, and low-carb, high-fat (LCHF) diet.
Process: The objective is to limit intake of carb and increase intake of protein and fat. The rich protein content in low-carb diets help in controlling hunger pangs and increases body metabolism.
Benefits: Low-carb diets control cholesterol and blood pressure. Also, they have a significant effect on blood sugar and insulin levels in type 2 diabetes.
Cons: Increase in LDL (bad) cholesterol level and digestive upset are linked to low-carb diets. Also, it can develop ketoacidosis that is a dangerous metabolic condition.
4. The paleo diet
It suggests following the food habits of ancestors of the human race. It relates modern diseases to western food habits and believes that human body can’t process legumes, grains and dairy.
Process: The diet includes whole foods, fruits, vegetables and lean meat. And it limits use of processed food, grains, dairy products and sugar.
Benefits: This diet reduces risk of heart ailments like high blood pressure and triglyceride levels.
Cons: It is healthy but lacks nutrition found in whole grains and dairy.
5. Low-fat diets
Low-fat diets restrict intake of fat up to 30% of daily calories but some ultra-low-fat diets cut the fat intake up to 10% of calories.
Process: Since fat contains twice the calories per gram in comparison to calory content of protein and carbs, it is necessary to limit the intake of fat. Cutting fat drastically reduces the calory content in daily food consumption.
Benefits: Low-fat diets improve heart health and reduce the risk of stroke, inflammation and diabetes.
Cons: Cutting intake of fat could have an adverse effect on hormone production, nutrient absorption and cell health.
6. The Mediterranean diet
This diet is based on the food habits of people living in Greece and Italy. And it includes eating fresh vegetables and fruits, legumes, whole grains, poultry, dairy, seafood and virgin olive oil. But it restricts use of red meat.
Process: The objective is to consume as much natural food as possible and limit the use of refined grains and oil, processed meat, trans fat and added sugar.
Benefits: This diet contains antioxidant rich foods that combat inflammation and neutralize free radicals.
Cons: It doesn’t help in weight loss.
7. Weight Watchers (WW)
It is a weight watch program that includes setting daily points to achieve a weight loss goal. The food items are selected according to their calorie, fat and fiber contents.
Process: The diet supports weight loss objectives by reducing calorie intake and increasing intake of necessary elements.
Benefits: It is easier to follow and it allows people to change their food habits according to their tastes.
Cons: It allows flexibility in choosing a diet plan but it could prove to be an expensive affair.
8. The DASH diet
Simplified as Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension, DASH is a diet plan for controlling high blood pressure called hypertension. It includes fruits, vegetables, whole grains, red meat, fat and added sugar. But it is low on salt.
Process: It is divided into servings like 5 servings of vegetables and fruits, 7 servings of whole grains and 2 servings of low-fat dairy products for an average person.
Benefits: It is helpful in controlling heart ailments by balancing blood pressure. Also, it can reduce the risk of breast and colorectal cancer.
Cons: Taking too little salt is linked to increased insulin resistance and death with heart failure.
Choosing the right plan is the half battle won but there is more to do before you can feel like a winner. A right diet plan will give you the energy needed for workout. If you are doing the right workout, you can achieve your health goals.
Like diets, there are different workout plans for weight loss and bodybuilding. But the weekly plan discussed here is one that can accommodate every need including weight loss and muscle building.
The plan starts with strength training on Monday and concludes with resting on Sunday so that you can rejuvenate your tired self for Monday morning workout.
Monday: Total-Body Strength Training
Strength training is the key to fitness because it burns fat faster, shapes the body and increases the number of calories burnt while resting. For strength training, you need a workout bench and a set of dumbbells. You can choose the right dumbbells by keeping your height and weight in mind.
1. Bodyweight Squats: Take 15 reps with your chest up keeping your knees well above the toes.
2. Dumbbell Row: Take 12 rep each side and you can use bent-over-row, if you don’t have a bench.
3. Lying Isometric Y: Make an isometric Y and hold for 30 seconds. If you want, you can allow your legs to rest on the ground for comfort.
4. Box Set-Ups: 15 reps each leg is enough but you can alternate between the legs for more strength.
5. Plank: Keep your core tight and hold for 30 seconds.
Repeat each step 3x with 1minute break between each step
Tuesday: Sprint Intervals
Sprinting does a better job than jogging. It torches calories and increases energy consumption to get the body back to a resting state. Also, you can do this exercise on any indoor cycling bike or rowing machine.
- 30 seconds of full-out sprint
- 60 seconds of moderate pace jog
- Repeating it 12x
Wednesday: Foam Rolling + 12,000 Steps
After two days of intense exercising, your body would demand time for recovery. But it doesn’t mean that you should sit idle. It is time for doing some foam rolling and stretching. It will improve mobility needed for achieving full range of motion during workout.
Foam rolling should be paired with 12,000 steps for speedy recovery. The low impact movement of walking will improve blood flow that will help in quick recovery. For counting steps, you can use a mobile app or buy a health device.
Thursday: Total-Body Strength Training
Follow the Monday workout
Friday: High-Intensity Group Fitness Class
Join a fitness group or make one with family members, friends, neighbors and colleagues for a high-intensity group fitness class. For workout, you can head to a fitness studio or practice your moves in an open-gym. The workout session could include a friendly chit-chat and lots of laughs. You should sweat while having fun with your group. It is easier to find a fitness group of likeminded people and join it.
Saturday: Total-Body Strength Training
Follow the workout plan of Monday and Thursday
Sunday: Rest Day
Rest and relax as it is Sunday. You have done enough workout throughout the week and now it is time to let your muscles relax, repair and re-energize for the Monday schedule. Rest is an integral part of a workout plan because it allows time to rejuvenate.
Your diet plan should accommodate your food needs. It should pamper your taste buds in addition to energizing your body and mind. Before you make an opinion on a diet plan, you should go through its pros and cons so that you have all important factors before your eyes.
Choosing a workout plan would also require some insight into popular workout plans of celebs. Also, you can go through the advice tendered by personal trainers of celebs. The above-mentioned is a simple seven-day workout plan and its advantage is that it can be followed at home. You don’t need special equipment or specific training or a trainer to follow this workout plan.