5 Balanced Diet Plans

Many of today’s diets require dieters to virtually give up some categories of foods. And, many of these diets do offer some weight loss, at least in the short term. But, for long-term weight maintenance and for health, it’s important to eat a balanced diet.

Here are some of today’s most popular eating plans that can help you lose weight, while eating a balanced diet at the same time.

1. The Mediterranean Diet

This balanced diet is based on the natural diet of Mediterranean countries. It emphasizes good fats, lots of fruits and vegetables and whole grains. You don’t count calories, but do limit your intake of fatty meats, sugar and processed foods.

2. The Heart Healthy Diet

Heart healthy diets emphasize limiting saturated fats. You’ll eat lots of fruits and vegetables along with lean protein and healthy fats. These are very balanced diets, but for some people, they do not emphasize choosing the best carbohydrates enough.

3. The Glycemic Index Diet

The GI diet is designed to work with your body’s blood sugar to minimize the production of insulin. Since fat can only be stored when you’re secreting insulin, keeping insulin stable is a great way to help you shed pounds.

But, this diet is also a very balanced diet from a nutritional standpoint. You’ll eat lean proteins, fruits, vegetables and whole grains. This diet focuses heavily on avoiding simple carbohydrates in favor of complex ones.

4. The Mayo Clinic Diet

There are two diets that go by this name. One is a fad diet that relies heavily on eating grapefruit and requires you to eat bacon for breakfast. The other one was actually developed by the staff at the Mayo Clinic, and is a very balanced diet.

On this diet, you’ll eat four or more servings of vegetables, 3 or more servings of fruits, 3 servings of lean protein, 3 servings of healthy fats and four servings of “smart” carbohydrates (whole grains).

5. The South Beach Diet

Though many consider this to be a low carb diet, the South Beach Diet is really a very balanced diet. While carbohydrates are somewhat restricted, after the first phase of the diet the focus becomes choosing good carbohydrates that don’t unnecessarily raise insulin levels, rather than foregoing carbohydrates altogether.

You’ll eat lean protein, lots of vegetables and fruits along with whole grain carbohydrates. You are allowed to eat a fair amount of fat on this diet, too, but it is in the form of healthy fats.

Any of these balanced diets can help you lose weight. The trick is to find one that you can stick with for the long haul. When you choose a balanced diet that also emphasizes foods you enjoy and an eating schedule you can maintain, you’ll be well on your way to losing the weight and keeping it off for good.

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