Do you want to lose weight? Almost every reader will give a “yes” answer to this question…because…if you weren’t interested in weight loss, I bet you wouldn’t be on this page.
You see, weight loss is something that many people struggle with. But frankly, it is not supposed to be a struggle. There’s no need for suffering and struggle. You can lose weight with ease, but…only if you follow the right weight loss programs. Fortunately, you’ll get to know about these programs in this article.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, millions of Americans struggle with weight loss every year (1).
The conventional methods employed in weight loss are exercise and dieting. Well, if there’s any consolation, it is that diets are very much unequal. Yes! Diets are not created the same. They differ in many ways.
What’s more? Sticking to a diet or exercise plan can be very tasking – one that calls for strong willpower. And many people find it hard to stick to the end. They give up, and the pounds and fats come rushing back.
So, what can you do to shed those extra pounds once and for all?
Here’s introducing to you the top 4 free weight loss programs for 2021. They are medically proven, and work well in both gender (men and women).
Top 4 free weight loss programs
The criteria employed in the selection of the programs discussed in this article include:
- Quality of nutrition
- Evidence-based research
- Weight loss benefits
The origin of the Mediterranean diet is credited to the eating patterns of Greece, Spain, and Italy. This pattern of eating includes healthy fats, proteins, seeds, nuts, whole grains, vegetables, and lots of fresh fruits.
Of course, processed foods and added sugars are not allowed on this diet (2). While the Mediterranean diet is not originally a weight loss eating plan, results from several nutritional research have shown that it could help you to shed some pounds (3, 4, 5).
The PRIMED study by Ramon Estruch, MD et al. and published in the journal The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology showed that Mediterranean dieters lost more weight compared to those who followed a low-fat diet plan. There was also very little increase in the waist circumference of the Mediterranean dieters compared to the low-fat dieters (6).
You can also it a plant-based diet.
A plant-based diet places emphasis on plant foods – that is food substances gotten from plants. Foods in this category include vegetables, fruits, pulses, grains, nuts, and legumes.
Plant-based diets are somewhat different from vegetarian diets in that they do not eliminate animal or meat products. You can take these substances, but only in moderate amounts (8).
Plant-based diets contain plenty of fiber. The human digestive system cannot break down fiber. Fiber also enhances satiety, meaning that it keeps you feeling full for a long period. When you feel full, you won’t take in calories and this contributes to weight loss (9, 10, 11).
In a 2016 review, Ru-Yi Huang et al. observed that a plant-based vegan diet taken for 18 weeks caused a weight loss of 2kg (4.5 pounds) as compared to a non-vegan diet (12).
What’s more? Apart from weight loss, studies have shown that the plant-based diet can reduce, reverse, or control chronic diseases. The research documented in The China Study by T Collin Campbell, and Thomas M. Campbell, suggests that with the plant-based diet, one can have a lower risk of chronic ailments like heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and some forms of cancer (13). It also ups your energy levels, reduces inflammation, and improves fitness.
Just like other diets, the health benefits of a plant-based diet depend on its nutrient profile and quality. This means that you must do away with white or processed carbohydrates, and instead replace them with whole grains. It is also important that you avoid sweetened and sugary drinks, and instead fill your diet with healthy fats and plant-based proteins.
A pescatarian diet is a form of plant-based diet which permits seafood and fish. The seafood or fish serves as the main source of protein. Pescatarians may also include dairy and eggs in their snacks and meals.
People with thyroid conditions will also benefit from the pescatarian diet. Seafood contains a lot of selenium, and selenium is one of the major elements that make up thyroid hormone (17).
Fasting? Isn’t that the same thing as starvation?
Well, it isn’t. There is a key difference between fasting and starvation, and that is summed up in one word – “control.” When you starve, you’re avoiding food for a long time, but this happens involuntarily. Starvation can result in death.
Conversely, when you fast, you’re voluntarily avoiding food for some reasons, such as health, or spiritual reasons. Fasting is best done by people who have enough fat reserves, and who are not underweight. The body will be able to live off the fat. If done the right way, fasting will not cause sickness or death.
When you fast, it isn’t that you don’t have food to eat, you do, but you decide not to eat. You can fast for any period that you want, ranging from a few hours to a few days.
So, whenever you’re not eating, you’re undergoing an intermittent fast.
Results from several pieces of research show that women experiencing menopause benefit immensely from intermittent fasting (20).
How to choose a weight loss program
The most important step to take is consulting healthcare professionals. In some cases, these professionals may fail to address vital issues like physical activity, healthy eating, and weight management. You must bring up these issues. If you are not comfortable discussing your weight, simply write your questions and practice conversing about it before visiting your doctor.