New Year’s resolutions are hard. Saying no to chocolate cake is hard. Dieting — is hard.
So, why not make it easy? Not all diets are difficult to follow. Some are so easy, in fact, that they don’t seem like “diets” at all, but more of just a way of life.
U.S. News and World Report looked into 38 of the most popular diets and rated them according to how easy they are to follow. The top 10 that made the list were noted as “flexible, tasty and allowing plenty of eating throughout the day.” (I love that last part.)
If you’ve got anything like “get in shape,” “eat healthier” or “tell my cravings who’s boss” on your 2016 resolutions list, then you might want to try one of these diets. After all, the easier the diet, the longer you’ll probably stick to it. (Goodbye, resolutions-failing-after-one-month.)
1. The Fertility Diet
The Fertility Diet was created to boost ovulation and increase women’s chances of getting pregnant. That said, the diet is universal. It focuses on eating good fats, whole grains (yes, bread!) and plant proteins. And read this: “They also suggest that full-fat dairy products are good for fertility compared with skim milk and sugar sodas,” U.S. News explains. All I heard was that cream in my coffee is OK!
2. MIND Diet
The MIND Diet is a mix between the Mediterranean and DASH diets — or Mediterranean-DASH intervention for neurodegenerative delay. Based on a study funded by the National Institute on Aging, the diet was found to lower the risk of Alzheimer’s disease by 35 percent for moderate followers and 53 percent for rigorous followers. It emphasizes eating from the “10 brain-health food groups” and avoiding foods from the five unhealthy ones (red meat, butter, cheese, pastries/sweets, fast/fried food).
3. Weight Watchers Diet
The Weight Watchers Diet is aimed for losing weight and keeping it off. It uses a point system, allowing you to eat any food you choose, as long as you don’t exceed your personalized point allowance. You can also go to designated centers each week and “weigh in,” encouraging a support system to keep you motivated.
4. Jenny Craig Diet
There’s no denying how easy this diet is. Upon signing up, you will receive a personalized 1,200 to 2,300-calorie meal plan and weekly one-on-one counseling. The program will send you prepackaged meals that fit your plan, so you don’t have to think about dieting at all. You just eat what they send, and follow your workout schedule. This diet will have you dropping about 2 pounds each week.
5. The Flexitarian Diet
Following the Flexitarian Diet will having you eating a balanced diet for better health overall. U.S. News reports, “Flexitarians weigh 15 percent less than their more carnivorous counterparts; have a lower rate of heart disease, diabetes and cancer; and live an average of 3.6 years longer.” And with this diet, you don’t have to give up meat — you just don’t eat it as often. Instead, you’ll be focusing on eating tofu, beans, nuts, seeds and eggs for protein.
6. Mediterranean Diet
A very healthy diet (ranked 4.6 out of 5), the Mediterranean Diet is modeled after the diets of people living in countries around the Mediterranean Sea — who live longer and suffer less from cancer than most Americans do. The diet focuses on eating fruits and vegetables, whole grains, beans, nuts, fish and seafood, as well as olive oil, herbs and spices (and wine).
7. Slim-Fast Diet
Slim-Fast can get you to lose 1 to 2 pounds each week by restricting calories and portion sizes. This sounds awful, but is actually easier done than said. Slim-Fast offers products (meals, shakes, etc.) that you consume in place of your meals. The products have specific calorie counts and nutrients that will keep you on track — and have you looking forward to the one 500-calorie meal you can prepare each day (in addition to the replacement meals).
8. Volumetrics Diet
If you love to eat, then this one is for you! The Volumetrics Diet’s theory is that more voluminous foods (like popcorn) will keep you feeling full longer and will restrain you from mindless snacking. The catch is that the voluminous foods you choose must be low in calories. This includes foods that have a high water content, like soup, fruits and vegetables, yogurt and — pasta!
9. DASH Diet
The DASH diet aims at getting you back to better health — specifically lowering high blood pressure. This is probably the most traditional of all diets — you know, the one your doctor always advises. Yes to fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean protein and low-fat dairy. No to red meat, sweets, pastries, cookies, candies and everything else your mother always said you couldn’t have.
10. Mayo Clinic Diet
This diet is all about weight loss. It’ll have you dropping 6 to 10 pounds in the first two weeks (part one) and 1 to 2 pounds for each week after (part two). It even has its own Healthy Weight Pyramid tool to help you visualize how much of what you should be eating. And something more awesome? It’s free. There’s no membership fee, but if you’re dying to spend money, there is a book you can purchase for $26.