The Best Diets of 2015
2015 has been another year of buzzword diets. Jenny Craig, Weight Watchers, Atkins, Raw Food… making it all too easy to fall off one diet and onto another. All the while you’re left wondering which ones are effective and which ones you should skip. Here were the most notable diets of 2015 and the ones you should actually pay attention to.
1. The DASH Diet
The lowdown: the DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) diet is ranked the No.1 diet for next year. The aim is to prevent and lower high blood pressure by loading up on the whole grains and vegetables while skipping the salt and processed sugary snacks and switching to fruit.
Eating foods rich in fibre, potassium, calcium, and protein not only helps with healthy blood pressure levels but also weight control. It’s easy to follow and doesn’t recommend any supplements.
Combine with: mountain climbers. These ab-strengthening exercises are like planks (on your hands) where you bring one knee as close to the chest as possible. They build core strength, cardio health, and even tricep and shoulder strength.
2. The HMR Diet
The lowdown: while diet giant Weight Watchers won the category for best weight-loss diet, right behind it was the lesser-known HMR (Health Management Resources) diet.
First developed 30 years ago, phase one promotes rapid weight loss where all the food required is mailed to you, minus fruit and vegetables. Once you reach your goal weight, phase two kicks in with food mailed monthly while you work in your own healthy food choices. Meal replacement shakes and bars are prevalent throughout this weight loss plan.
Combine with: plyometric jump squats. We all squat with weights if we can get to the squat rack, but not many people jump squat. Plyometric squats strengthen fast-twitch muscle fibres, leading to an increase in power, and tight, lean legs and bum.
3. The Mayo Clinic Diet
The lowdown: one of the best hospitals in the world, the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota, has developed a heart/diabetic healthy diet with rapid weight loss in the first two weeks, then manageable weight loss until you reach your goal (0.5kg to 1 kilogram per week).
The unique food pyramid with balanced meals and portion control contains tennis ball-sized fruit portions, and protein the size of a deck of cards.
Combine with: “Crunning.” To work off cronut consumption, you might want to try crunning. It deftly mixes running and crawling with bear-like ferocity. If looks, whispers, and laughs don’t count, this might be the outdoor exercise for you.
4. The TLC Diet
The lowdown: one of the healthiest diets on the list was developed to cut high cholesterol. The TLC (Therapeutic Lifestyle Changes) diet is endorsed by the American Heart Association and severely reduces saturated fat consumption (how Paleo-unfriendly!).
Lowering LDL (low-density lipoprotein) is the goal, so calories are cut to a specific level for men and women, resulting in healthier cholesterol levels and weight loss.
Combine with: pull-ups. I know – there’s nothing new here, but the fact that pull-up bar has the least amount of fingerprints on it means a sad state of affairs at the gym. Pull-ups build back, shoulder, and grip strength while improving posture. I’m not listing pull-ups because they are fresh – they are rare and one of the best compound movements in the world.
5. The Paleo Diet
The lowdown: whoa, just wait one second before thinking Paleo’s inclusion is “good news”.
It’s still the most talked-about diet, so I had to see where it ranked on the list. The verdict is (out of 35 diets polled): #34 in Best Diet, #35 in Weight Loss, #34 in Heart Healthy, #32 in Healthy Eating, #33 in Diabetic, #30 in Easiest to Follow.
So don’t shoot this messenger; your target is the panel who voted from the likes of Harvard, the University of Chicago, and Johns Hopkins.
While I can’t outsmart the nutrition panellists, a level of scepticism also comes into play when I notice the Slim-Fast Diet (meal replacement snacks and shakes) just two notches lower in the rankings than a Vegetarian Diet.
But no matter the diet plan, the same messages remains: eat more veggies. Eat less processed junk. Watch your calorie intake. All diets are like the same architecturally-designed house, only differing by the colour of the picket fence.
The big question regarding your success is – how long can you live in that particular abode?
My personal diet recommendation? It’s called 10 Words. Eat protein and greens. Consume less junk. Move your body.
It’s guaranteed to work.