It seems as though everyone is always on a quest to find that perfect diet plan, often going from fad to fad and wondering why nothing works. Trying to find a diet plan that works well and actually delivers the results they claim is difficult, to say the least. Often times diet trends pop up and end up being debunked just as quickly.
Whether you’re wanting to lose weight or are trying to address a more specific health issue, here are the 10 best (and safe) diets for 2017.
1. Weight Watchers
The Weight Watchers diet has been around since the 1960’s and has remained one of the most successful commercial diet plans. Though they different diet plans, such as the Core or Flex plan, overall the Weight Watchers diet focuses on moving more and eating less. It is based on portion control and calorie counting, as well as exercise.
Two key elements of Weight Watchers is that it does restrict any food groups and it also focuses on changing behavior towards food. Unlike other dieting programs Weight Watchers is all about community and require online or in-person meetings to help keep participants on track.
2. Mediterranean Diet
The Mediterranean diet is so much a specific diet, but rather a general way of eating. This means there isn’t a specific diet plan, instead, this diet focuses on the types of foods being consumed. A traditional Mediterranean diet is made up of a foundation of fresh fruits and vegetables, along with nuts for healthy fat and olive oil.
The main protein source is fish and seafood, with actual meats being consumed very few times. This diet is excellent for anyone but is highly recommended for those concerned of the risk of Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s as this is a very physical and brain-healthy diet.
3. Paleo Diet
While many diets reduce the amount of meat and fatty foods being consumed, paleo goes in a seemingly backward way. The Paleo diet is either a “love it or hate it” diet for many. Those that enjoy it find that they’re never felt better on it, even on other diets, though there is still a large number of people concerned over the amount of meat in it.
Regardless, this is still a diet that many have had amazing success with, especially for weight loss. The Paleo diet is based on the natural diet early humans consumed, making it rich in vegetables and meat, as well as nuts and a small amount of fruit. This is a higher fat diet, but one higher in healthy fat. Dairy is also typically restricted.
4. DASH Diet
Unlike some diets that are only designed to be followed for a short amount of time, the DASH diet is a lifestyle diet, meaning it’s designed to be followed for life. It is specifically designed for those that have or are at high risk of hypertension. In order to keep blood pressure balanced, the DASH diet focuses on very low sodium and certain foods that are high in potassium, calcium and magnesium.
This diet restricts high-fat foods and does not encourage consumption of foods with saturated fat or transfats. Whole grains, fish, lean meats (chicken) and nuts make up a lot of this diet, as well as plenty of vegetables. Red meat is also restricted as well as any sweet foods or drinks.
5. Whole30 Diet
On the opposite end of the spectrum of lifestyle, diets are short-term diets like the Whole30 Diet. The Whole30 Diet is a 30 day clean eating diet that is similar to paleo but far more restrictive. You get premade meal plans and recipes to follow. This diet is designed to reduce inflammation and spur weight loss. It eliminates grains, sugar, sweeteners, legumes, dairy, and processed foods.
This diet requires a lot of at-home cooking, which is nice for those that enjoy time in the kitchen. The Whole30 diet is difficult to stick to because it is so restrictive, but that being said, if you stick it out you will see amazing results.
6. Jenny Craig Diet
Similar to Weight Watchers, the Jenny Craig Diet has been around for quite some time and it another commercial diet plan. This diet is great for those that don’t like to cook or really need their hand held because they tend to not follow diet plans well. The Jenny Craig Diet incorporates prepackaged meals which include about 70 different varieties.
Aside from these meals, you may also have fruits and vegetables and low-fat dairy, but that is about it. This diet also includes consultant help to keep you on track as well as an exercise plan.
7. Nutrisystem Diet
The Nutrisystem Diet is another pre-packaged meal plan enjoyed by many. With this system, you get a giant package of 28 days worth of meals delivered to you, which include breakfast, lunch, dinner, and a dessert. These meals are carefully designed to help with weight loss by providing low-glycemic carbs, a lot of fiber, and only lean sources of protein. (These are the Best Nutrisystem Meal Plans)
You can supplement the prepackaged meals with fresh produce and dairy, but again, no other foods/snacks should be added aside from these. This diet is incredibly convenient and easy, ideal for those that are very busy and do not have time to cook for themselves.
8. Mayo Clinic Diet
The Mayo Clinic Diet is slightly less well-know but a great choice for those that need a long-term weight loss plan. This diet is approved by doctors and focuses on not just losing weight, but also changing your behavior towards food and health overall.
Unlike other diets that just tell you what to eat, the Mayo Clinic Diet explains why you should eat their recommended foods to ensure you can maintain a healthier lifestyle when you’re down to a healthy weight. The foundation of this diet consists of fruits, vegetables and plenty of daily activity. Healthy carbohydrates are the next staple, followed by protein, dairy, and healthy fats (nuts).
9. Flexitarian Diet
The Flexitarian Diet has been around since 2009 and though it’s been flying under the radar, this diet is an excellent choice for those that want to lose weight and achieve overall better health. The name of this diet is a combination of flexible and vegetarian, which explains how this diet works.
It is a completely vegetarian diet, but one that allows some meat when you feel inclined. Otherwise, it works very much like a traditional vegetarian diet and therefore has much of the same benefits. This diet comes with a 5-week meal plan to follow, though you can certainly carry on with these same principles after the 5 weeks is up.
10. MIND Diet
The MIND Diet is another diet in which two diets have been combined for additional benefits than either one could deliver on their own. The MIND Diet is a combination of the Mediterranean Diet and the DASH Diet. This diet is all about leafy greens, fresh vegetables, healthy nuts, berries, beans, whole grains and olive oil.
This diet focuses on fish and seafood for protein and omega-3s as well. Unlike other diets that completely eliminate alcohol, the MIND Diet allows for wine as a treat. This diet is another lifestyle type and one that can be followed for however long you’d like.
Before starting any type of new diet it is important to consult your doctor first to ensure your diet plan is sound and that you are healthy enough to make a drastic change. This is especially important for the more restrictive diets that eliminate major food groups.
Be sure to listen to your body when trying a new diet, and remember, just because one diet works for one person doesn’t necessarily mean it will work for you.
Additional Readings (Get to Know All the Meal Plans)
- Medifast vs Nutrisystem
- Diet to Go vs Nutrisystem
- Seattle Sutton vs Nutrisystem
- The Best Nutrisystem Alternatives for 2018
Health enthusiast, runner, protein nut. Owen likes to write about protein, particularly alternatve supplementation and supplement comparisons.