The curtain has closed on 2020, and I think we can all agree that we are looking forward to a brighter 2021. Even if the world hasn’t changed overnight, we can all make choices that will improve our daily lives right away. If your New Year’s resolution is to lose weight and eat healthier, there are a variety of diet plans to follow that can help you reach your goals. Check out these 7 diets to see if they are right for you.
If you have tried dieting in the past and always felt hungry, this is the diet for you. The idea behind it is that you fill up on the foods that have the least number of calories for the highest volume of food. In this plan, foods are divided into four categories based on their energy-density, and dieters design their meals to include as many low-energy-density foods as possible such as fruits, non-starchy vegetables, and broth-based soups. Aronia berries, at only 47 calories per 100 grams, are a low-energy-density fruit that will brighten up any meal.
2. The Mediterranean Diet
You might have heard that people who live in the regions bordering the Mediterranean Sea have lower instances of heart disease and a longer life-expectancy than people in many countries. Scientists attribute this to their active lifestyles and their diets. Though there isn’t only one style of Mediterranean diet, what all of these diets have in common is healthy fats from olive oil and avocados, a focus on vegetables, leafy greens, beans, whole grains, fruits, and limited red meat. In order to lose weight on this diet, it’s important to consider the calories you consume and to be careful of all of those delicious carbs. Red wine is also a feature of this diet. If you are abstaining from alcohol, an Aronia berry spritzer will provide many of the health benefits of red wine without the alcohol.
3. Flexitarian Diet
A flexitarian diet is primarily a vegetarian diet with the occasional inclusion of meat. This diet helps you lose weight by focusing on consumption of vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and legumes. If you want to include the occasional piece of chicken or fish in your salads, this is allowed in the flexitarian diet.
4. Vegan Diet
A vegan diet excludes all animal food products, including meat, dairy, eggs, and for some, honey. This diet helps you lose weight and focus on your health by eliminating saturated fats and calorie-dense foods. For some people, following this diet is a health choice and for others it is a lifestyle and ethical decision. Aronia berries are an excellent addition to a vegan diet because they contain iron and calcium as well as other valuable nutrients.
5. Intermittent Fasting
This diet doesn’t limit the foods you eat but it does determine when you eat them. There are a variety of approaches to this diet that range from restricting the number of hours you eat during each day to skipping whole 24-hour periods of eating a number of times per week. Periods of fasting provide a variety of benefits to the body including improved insulin sensitivity and better sleep. Because you are limiting the amount you eat, make sure to include nutrient-rich foods such as Aronia berries in every meal.
The Dash Diet is designed to improve health first and foremost. Dash stands for Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension. The focus in this diet is the consumption of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, nuts, seeds, and low-fat or non-fat dairy and limiting sodium intake. It also limits the amount of cholesterol and saturated fats in the diet. The DASH Diet Action Plan: Proven to Lower Blood Pressure and Cholesterol without Medication, written by Marla Heller, MS, RD, includes 28 days of recipes, plans, and strategies to help you follow this heart-healthy diet. Berries are a recommended food on this diet, and Aronia berries contain important nutrients for your health.
The Keto diet has been around for a while. Keto is short for “ketogenic,” which makes it a low-carb diet. On this diet, you get most of your calories from proteins and fats and fewer from carbohydrates. After a few days of following this diet, you will start to burn stored fat for energy. This is designed to be a short-term weight loss plan and not a long-term lifestyle choice. Because Aronia berries are a relatively low-carb fruit, you can include them in a keto diet.
Following any of these diet plans can help you reach your weight loss and health goals. Choosing the one that is right for you might take some time, so don’t be discouraged. Enlist the help of your doctor if you have questions. If you aren’t ready to commit to a plan, you can take some steps in the right direction by including healthy ingredients into foods you already eat. Aronia berries are a nutrient-dense, low-calorie food that is easy to include in almost any recipe.