Here's a little secret not many people know: Carbs are not the enemy. In fact, you're supposed to get 40-50 percent of your daily calories from carbs.
That's not to say you should go to town on refined carbs like white pasta, bagels and bags of chips, however. It simply means stocking up on healthy carbs like fruits, veggies and whole grains.
With any weight loss diet, getting your macronutrients (carbs, protein and fat) is absolutely crucial. (FYI: While 40-50 percent of your daily calories should come from carbs, 20-30 percent should come from protein while 30 percent or less should come from fat.)
That's why losing weight while still eating carbs is totally doable! Start the slideshow to see which diets are best for all the carb lovers out there.
You'll find that this is one of the most highly recommended "diets" out there, simply because it doesn't cut out any specific food groups, meaning it's not low on fat or carbs. The Mediterranean Diet focuses on plant-based foods like fruits and veggies, nuts, whole grains, olive oil and herbs and spices. While it allows the very occasional meal with red meat, it's high in fish and poultry.
The occasional glass of red wine is also part of the Mediterranean Diet (do we have your attention now?).
Not only has the Mediterranean Diet been proven one of the best diets for weight loss, it's also one of the best for heart health. In fact, a recent study in Spain of 7,500 people showed that the Mediterranean Diet can cut your risk of heart attack, stroke and heart-disease-related deaths by 30 percent.
“The diet isn’t about any one magic food or formula,” says Wesley Delbridge, R.D., a spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. “It comes down to eating healthy foods in healthy portion sizes. With the Mediterranean diet, you're consuming lots of protein, fiber, whole carbohydrates, unsaturated fats, and lots of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. You're eating foods in their most natural state.”
The DASH Diet has created a lot of hubbub in recent years thanks to it topping lists of the best weight loss diets. Created to prevent and lower high blood pressure, the DASH Diet is high in potassium, calcium, protein and fiber — all great sources for fighting off or preventing hypertension.
What that means is that you'll be seeing a lot of fruits, veggies, whole grains, lean protein and low-fat dairy in your diet, while added sugar, red meat and high-sodium foods will be a thing of the past.
If you've thought about going vegetarian but were could never make the switch, this might be the diet for you. The Flexitarian (aka flexible vegetarian) Diet allows you to add food groups to your food bank rather than take any away.
It's high in meat alternatives like tofu, beans, lentils, peas, eggs, nuts and seeds, while you can still nosh on your favorite lean meats. Fruits, veggies and dairy are also a big part of the Flexitarian Diet (are you noticing a trend here?).
Emphasizing plant-based foods lets you fill up on healthy, nutritious calories — leading to eating less food overall!