If you are thinking about changing up your eating habits and starting a meal plan, it can be daunting to choose the right one. With so many options out there, weeding through the fad diets and selecting a plan that is both healthy and fits into your lifestyle can be a challenge.
Here, we have laid out the most popular plans to help you determine which might be right for you.
Keep in mind, it’s important to always consult your doctor before you start any type of restrictive meal plan.
Whole 30 is a plan that you adhere to for 30 days and doesn’t allow alcohol or added sugar. While there is nothing wrong with the foods allowed on Whole 30, like fresh veggies and fruits, it does not allow foods like legumes, dairy or grains which can make the program challenging to stick to. Whole 30 doesn’t have a set meal plan, it simply details foods that are or are not allowed.
Keto is a high-fat, moderate protein and low carb diet and the jury is still out on the safety of this program. It’s easy to rapidly lose weight on this plan, but if and when you go back to “normal” eating, it’s common for the weight to come back. This way of eating can also be a challenge to adhere to because of the food restrictions involved.
Intermittent fasting has been shown to promote weight loss and can be done in several ways. The most popular is eating only in a specific window of the day, for example, 16 hours fasting, 8 hours feeding. There are no food restrictions on this plan, but it is recommended to choose healthy foods during your eating hours. This program can be flexible, and you can choose your fasting window based on your active hours, but it is restrictive in nature and can lead to over eating if you aren’t diligent about what foods you consume in your feeding hours.
This mostly plant-based plan is rich in whole vegetables, fresh fruits, whole grains and healthy fats including fish, nuts and legumes. Unlike most of the other plans on this list, Mediterranean also allows some red wine and dairy. This is the most balanced of the plans and is easier to stick to because of the variety of foods allowed.
Ultimately, the best meal plan is the one you will stick to. Take into consideration your lifestyle, health issues and any dietary restrictions you may have. There is no one size fits all plan, so it’s okay to take tips from a few different sources and tailor them to what works for you.
Question: What meal plan has worked for you?