10 Diets For Women That Work
There are hundreds, if not thousands, of diets out there and virtually all of them claim to be a miracle cure to weight loss. Not all of them are all that they seem however. There are countless fad diets and also outright dangers diets being advertised making dieting risky business if you’re not careful. It can be hard knowing which diets will work, what one’s will suit your lifestyle and of course which one’s will work for you (not all diets work for everyone!) making the whole endeavor a bit of a minefield. Don’t let that put you off beginning you’re new venture however. There are plenty of diets out there that are safe to do, have a high success rate and are easy to stick to.
Being a yo-yo dieter myself, this is a very interesting topic for me. I’m always looking for a new diet, giving up due to my love of fatty foods and starting over again. With that in mind, I’ve selected the following 10 diets based on personal experience as well as scientific facts. That’s not to say I’ve tried all the diets on this list (though I have tried a few and plan on trying a few more to reach my goal!), it just means as a dieter I’m taking into account how achievable and realistic I think they are.
1. The 5:2 Diet
The 5:2 diet is based on the principal known as intermittent fasting. The idea behind the diet is that you will eat normally and healthily for five days of the week and then fast for the other two days. Studies suggest that this will dramatically reduce your insulin levels, make you less likely to suffer from chronic diseased such as type 2 diabetes and may help lower the risk of certain obesity related cancers such a breast cancer. As well as this, fans and supporters of the diet also claim that as well as losing weight you will likely increase your life span, improve your brain function and reduce your risk of succumbing to diseases such as dementia and Alzheimer’s.
- Dieting for two days a week is more achievable than dieting seven days a week, therefore you are more likely to stick to the diet and preserve your new way of eating thus successfully losing weight.
- Following a restricted diet for two days a week can lead to reductions in body fat, greater insulin resistance and can help reduce the likely hood of you getting a chronic disease.
- During the five non-restricted days you still need to be strict about your calorie consumption and make healthy choices. This does not mean you can partake in unlimited feasting.
- You still need to be physically active for the diet to work.
- Skipping or restricting meals could make you feel dizzy, light headed, irritable and/or could cause you to have headaches and interfere with your sleeping pattern.
2. The Scarsdale Medical Diet
If counting calories isn’t for you and you’re main reason for hating diets is that you always feel hungry during them then perhaps you might consider trying out the Scarsdale Medical Diet. It’s a great way to lose weight using a strict regime without having to count calories, weigh foods or measure portions. The diet shouldn’t be followed for more than two weeks in a row however the creators and advocates of the Scarsdale diet claim you could lose up to 7-15 pounds during that time.
The diet involves eating lean protein and low carbohydrate foods such as vegetables, fruits, salads and lean meat. You can find the diet plan in it’s entirety online. The first 14 days of the diet allow you to eat 850-100 calories per day and then the Scarsdale Diet moves into the Keep Trim phase where you’re allowed 1000-1200 calories per day.
– If the diet is followed correctly, you can have amazing results in just two weeks.
- You can keep repeating the diet and Keep Trim cycle until desired results are achieved.
- You don’t have to count calories, weigh foods or monitor portion sizes.
- You cannot stray from the diet plan at all.
- You must avoid using oil, mayonnaise and other rich dressings in the salads the diet requires you to eat.
- Alcohol is strictly forbidden while on the Scarsdale Diet.
3. The Three Day Diet
The Three Day Die is also often refereed to as the Cardiac Diet and is meant for achieving rapid weight loss. It’s often used in hospitals for cardiac patients who must lose large about of weight before undergoing heart surgery. The reason the diet is only to be followed over three days is that it allows people very few calories which can be very unhealthy if followed over a longer period. After the three days are up you should begin following your normal diet again (or a healthier version) before repeating the Three Day Diet.
The diet consists of portions of lean meat, grapefruit, tuna, eggs, toast and vegetables and the only seasonings allowed are salt, pepper and ketchup. There is no sugar at all allowed in the diet. Yes, it sounds bland however it’s claimed you can drop 10 pounds in three days using the Three Day Diet and that if the diet is repeated over a month you can lose up to 40 pounds. On top of the strict food regime, dieters are encourages to drink 8 glasses of water per day.
- You can lose up to 10 pounds in 3 days or 40 pounds in a month.
- The diet can be repeated after a five day interval.
- It’s excellent for rapid weight loss provided it’s done correctly.
- The diet can leave you hungry over the three days.
- The Three Day Diet is extremely strict and requires a lot of will power.
- The foods can be considered bland and may leave you craving other foods.
- No sugar at all is allowed.
4. The Cabbage Soup Diet
While the Cabbage Soup Diet is often considered to be a fad diet, it certainly works fast and has a proven track record. The diet lasts for only one week and is extremely high in fibre and low in calories, a perfect mix for losing weight. Advocates of the diet claim they can lose up to 10 pounds in one week when following the Cabbage Soup Diet and that no exercise at all is required – bonus!
The diet is simple. Every day you eat cabbage soup for your lunch and tea and on various days you can add an addition of the following foods:
Day One – You can consume all fruits, with the exception of bananas.
Day Two – You can eat any raw or cooked vegetables of your choice.
Day Three – You can eat as many fruits and vegetables as you desire, with the exclusion of potatoes and bananas.
Day Four – You can eat up to eight bananas.
Day Five – You can eat beef and tomatoes.
Day Six – You can include beef and vegetables in your diet with the exception of potatoes.
Day Seven – On the final day of your diet you can have rice, fruit juices and vegetables.
- You can lose weight fast, up to 10 pounds in one week.
- The diet is simple to follow.
- You get plenty of nutrients from the diet.
- Cabbage soup could potentially be replaced with a soup equally as low in calories.
- No exercise required.
- The diet isn’t to everyone’s tastes.
- It’s too restricting for some people.
5. The Atkins Diet
No doubt we’ve all heard of the Atkins Diet – it’s extremely famous and one of the most popular diets going. It’s a very low-carb, high-protein weight loss program that is designed to help you lose up to 15 pounds in two weeks. The diet comes in phases, each lasting a pre-determined length of time depending on your weigh loss goals.
- You can lose up to 15 pounds in two weeks during Phase One. This can be extremely motivating.
- It encourages you to cut out processed carbs.
- It allows you to eat foods such as red meat, butter, cream, mayonnaise and cream so it’s not too restricting.
- It allows you to eat fats.
- Due to cutting out carbs and fibre, initial side effects can include bad breath, tiredness, dizziness, nausea, constipation and a dry mouth.
- The high intake of saturated fats may increase your rise of hear disease.
- There is a lack of fruit, veg and dairy products on the menu for the Atkins Diet.
6. The Paleo Diet
You may have heard of the Paleo Diet as it’s becoming ever more popular – it was Google’s most searched weight loss method in 2013. It’s also known as the caveman diet as it consists of foods that can be hunted or fished (e.g meat and seafood) and foods that can be gathered (e.g fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, eggs herbs and spices). As you may have guessed, it’s based on the eating habits of our hunter-gatherer ancestors from 10,000 years ago. With that said, it means dairy, refined sugar, potatoes, salt, wheat and any other processed foods are off the menu with no exceptions. There is however no official Paleo Diet – it’s just generally seen as a low carb, high protein diet. Advocates say the healthy eating plan, if followed long term, can help you lose weight, reduce your risk of diabetes, heart disease, cancer among other health problems.
- The Paleo Diet encourages you to eat less processed food and replace it with more fruit and vegetables.
- The diet is simple to follow.
- There is no calorie counting.
- It’s a very flexible diet making it easier to stick to.
- Many versions of the diet ban dairy products and whole grains which form part of a healthy, balanced diet.
- It’s impossible to follow if you’re vegetarian as it requires you to eat meat, seafood and eggs.
- It can be expensive depending on the meat cuts you’re using.
7. The South Beach Diet
The South Beach diet is split into three phases, each of which allows you to eat a different variation of foods. It’s claimed by advocates and professionals alike that you can lose between 8 to 13 pounds in the first two weeks of the South Beach diet and then can continue dropping 1 to 2 pounds per week after that. Of course, like with any diet the amount of pounds you lose depends on your starting weight.
The diet allows you to choose from a wide variety of food items and, for those of you that are put off by the mathematical side of dieting, it does not involve counting calories, carbs, fat grams or measuring your portion sizes. You’ll be well fed during the diet and will get three full meals a day, two snacks and that all important high protein dessert. The basic idea is that you’ll be replacing bad carbs with good carbs and bad fats with good fats – sounds sensible, doesn’t it? Eating the foods on the diet in moderation will not only help you to lose their weight but it will help you prevent gaining it back again.
- You can lose 8 to 14 pounds in the first two weeks.
- The diet helps you lose the weight and keep it off.
- You still get plenty of eat each day so you won’t be left feeling hungry.
- The results may vary and not be as promising depending on your starting weight.
- You have to be very strict with yourself and be satisfied with the snacks the South Beach Diet allows you.
8. The Flat Belly Diet
Unlike a lot of these fad diets, the flat belly diet promises to help you lose belly fat permanently. That’s right – forever! It’s focused on reducing the unhealthy fats which are located deep inside your abdomen and by doing so also promises to help you drop up to 15 pounds in 32 days.
The diet consists of eating monounsaturated fatty acids during each meal which in turn will eliminate belly fate, promote fullness and prevent overeating. These fatty acids are found in foods like nuts, dark chocolate, sunflower seeds, avocados and olives so you’ll still be eating plenty of tasty foods. The diet comes in two parts: a four day anti bloat period to jumpstart your diet and a four week eating plan.
The four day jumpstart period is designed to help you lose weight asap and does so by only allowing you 1200 calories a day and forbidding salt, processed foods, high carbohydrate foods and gas producing foods which will cause you to bloat. While you can still eat plenty, the Flat Belly Diet does not allow you doe drink tea, coffee, sugar alcohols or sugary drinks. These drinks are to be replaced by two liters of ‘sassy water’ (water with lemon, herbs, spices and cucumber added to it) per day.
The four week plan which follows is made up of four 400 calorie meals every four hours. During this phase, dieters will be provided with a list of 28 mix and match breakfasts, lunches, dinners and snacks along with guidelines to portion sizes and calories.
- You can lose over a stone in a month.
- The four day phase really kickstarts your diet and you can begin losing weight almost immediately.
- There is plenty of choice in what you can eat.
- Permanently lose belly fat.
- It promotes fullness and prevents overeating.
- The four day plan can be hard to stick to.
- Tea, coffee, sugary alcohol and carbonated drinks are not allowed what so ever.
9. The Grapefruit Diet
The grapefruit diet is a fantastic way to lose weight quick as it promises to help you lose 10 pounds in less than two weeks. The diet is low in calories and low in fat and requires you to cut out carbohydrates. Let me get the list of what you can’t eat out there as quick as possible, that way you knew exactly what you’re in for if you follow the grapefruit diet. You also aren’t allowed to eat sweet fruits, white onions, celery, potatoes, cereal, peas, corn, pasta, crisps, low fat salad dressing, jam, peanut butter or pretzels. That’s quite a lot, huh? Don’t panic though. The list of what you can eat is even longer and from my point of view even more appealing.
The goal of the diet is to play of food combinations in our battle to lose weight. This can help you burn off excess body fat quickly and with little effort. To achieve this however you should never eat between meals however eat until you are full and satisfied to help prevent you from feeling hungry later on in the day. As you may have guessed by the diet’s title, grapefruit or grapefruit juice is consumed at every meal. This is because it contains a fat burning enzyme that helps to turn fat into energy.
The diet can be followed for up to 12 days however if you wish to continue for longer you must wait for 2 days before starting again.
- You are allowed to eat red onions, carrots, spinach, lettuce, cucumbers, tomatoes, cabbage, green beans, fish, lean meats, mayonnaise, cheese, coleslaw, squash, eggs, regular salad dressing, dried nuts, and much more while following the diet so it’s not restrictive.
- You can lose up to 10 pounds in two weeks.
- You can repeat the diet after a two day break.
- It’s no good if you don’t like grapefruit.
- It cuts a lot of foods out of your diet.
10. The Volumetrics Diet
The problem with a lot of diets is that we don’t feel full or satisfied after we finish eating the restrictive meals they set out for us. This diet however focusses on your satisfaction as well as your goals. The diet is based on eating low density foods which are very low in calories but high in volume. They fill up your stomach and make you feel fuller quicker and also for a longer period of time.
Food is divided into four categories on the Volumetrics eating plan which are as follows:
- Category One – Mostly fibre and water rich foods such as fresh fruit, non starchy vegetables, non fat dairy products and broth based soups.
- Category Two – Starchy fruits and vegetables, grains, pasta, beans, breakfast cereal, rice, fish, legumes and low fat meat.
- Category Three – Cheese, pizza, meat, fries, salad dressing, bread, ice cream, pretzels and cake.
- Category Four – Chips, chocolate, cookies, nuts, butter, crackers and oil.
The diet works by selecting foods from each category. For the best weight loss results, stick mainly to the first two categories. You are allowed to eat reduced portion sized of things from category three however you should keep your intake of foods from category four at a minimum.
So there you have it, 10 great diets for women that really do work! Like I say I’ve tried a few of them an do recommend them and those that I haven’t tried I’m now lining up to attempt. They all help you lose weight quickly and safely, the perfect combination. If done right and if you look after yourself afterward you should also be able to keep the weight off (so long as you don’t indulge in chocolate and pasties like I have a habit of doing!). I wish you all the best of luck with your diets. I know how frustrating it can be trying to lose weight but rest assured you’re not alone in your struggle and never will be. Just keep thinking of your end goal and why you’re dieting so hard. I once got told ‘don’t give up what you want most for what you want now’ and whether it’s meant about diets or any other aspect of life it’s completely true.
Disclaimer: This article is for informative purposes only and does not in any way attempt to replace the advice offered by an expert on the subject.
(All images sourced via pinterest.com)