One of the most important components of weight loss diets should be that it is sustainable over a lifetime. In fact, the best diets are not diets, but a way of eating and living that will provide longevity and good health throughout the lifetime of the individual. Four diets that have stood the test of time include the Mediterranean, South Beach, Atkins and The Zone diets. Each of these diets have hit the popular media, have been shown to be effective both in popular usage and in medical research studies and each is sustainable over a lifetime.
One of the more popular weight loss diets is known as the Mediterranean Diet. The origins of the most commonly accepted nutritional plan known as the Mediterranean Diet is found in the popular food consumed in the countries around the Mediterranean Sea. Individual following this dietary plan includes plenty of plant foods and fresh fruit each day. Fish and poultry are the source of protein but they are consumed in smaller amounts. Red meat is also a small portion of daily intake. No more than four eggs weekly are consumed and wine intake is consumed in small amounts. The maximum fat level is approximately one-third of total calories.
The South Beach Diet is another popular and effective weight loss diets that have recently become the choice of many overweight individuals looking to lose some of the excess weight. The South Beach Diet was developed by Arthur Agatston, a well known Miami, Florida cardiologist. The diet distinguishes between so-called good fats and carbohydrates and bad fats and carbohydrates. This diet rates carbohydrates and fats by a Glycemic Index. The three phases of the South Beach diet recommends eliminating or at least reducing the consumption of bad carbohydrates and fats. The dieter is trained to change eating and lifestyle habits for permanent weight management.
The Atkins Diet popularized by Dr Robert Atkins was one of the earliest popular weight loss diets in the Western World. It represented a significant departure from traditional dietary wisdom. Previously, individuals who wanted to lose weight were placed on very restrictive calorie counting diets. The Atkins Diet instead considered carbohydrates to be the largest factor in obesity rather than calorie intake. The Atkins Diet severely restricts the intake of carbohydrates to the point where the body goes into a state of ketosis. Critics of the diet state that weight loss results from boredom and thus lower caloric consumption.
The Zone Diet has been found effective in unscientific studies such as the one conducted by a PBS television documentary team filming the Scientific American Frontiers show. Weight loss diets such as the Zone Diet rely on an effective balance between carbohydrates, proteins and fats in a ratio of 40%, 30%, and 30% respectively. The Zone diet has the double advantage of being effective against such diseases as diabetes, hypertension and other health conditions. This lifestyle changes involved in the Zone Diet are definitely sustainable for a lifetime.