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Maybe you've already tried to change your diet this year – and maybe you haven't succeeded spectacularly. The truth is that most of the popular diets of the moment are really restrictive: many ketoists and those who have attempted Whole30 can easily tell you how difficult it is to completely eradicate food groups from your daily routine. But losing weight isn't always about shedding things; in fact, it could be adding other foods into your training. 

The best diets on our list may not be as trendy as paradoxically the worst diets are, but they will set you up for success when it comes to maintaining healthy weight loss for a longer period of time (and possibly, forever! ). Regardless of which diet you choose to try this year, you need to practice the following tips in order to truly reap the full benefits that sustained weight loss can offer:

Hydrate yourself: It's the first thing you can do for your body, and believe it or not, being dehydrated could be why you're having trouble dieting. Hydration may be key, because it keeps you full, expands in your stomach, and helps fill you up overall. At least six to eight cups each day, and you may need more depending on how active you are.

Eliminate added sugar: According to the American Heart Association, women should consume no more than 25g of sugar per day (35g for men). Keep sugar levels in check by focusing on your coffee order, what you eat for breakfast, cutting out soda and other sugary drinks, and choosing smart desserts.

Double your vegetable consumptionThe benefits of eating more cruciferous vegetables are too numerous to list. Focusing on eating more vegetables will help increase your fiber intake, keeping you fuller longer. Plus, you'll reap the benefits of antioxidants galore.

Go to the gym: Supercharging your diet with the leanest sources of fuel (i.e., fewer empty calories) is only half the battle. The other half is sweating every day: whether it's walking or running or just using the stairs all day, make your version of training efficient and keep it moving. Aim for at least 30 minutes of cardio activity each day.

Eat carefully: contrary to what many of the fad diets that we will mention in this article claim, it is important to eat when you are really hungry. “It's about listening to your body. Ask yourself, “Is this a hunger cue…or is it a habit I've created, and should I stop? If you eat cookies every day at 3pm, it might be a habit, but if you're hungry before bed, it might be time for a protein-rich snack because you didn't eat well that day."

The best diets to try this year

The Mediterranean diet

The best choice is the Mediterranean diet. You don't count calories or stress about a mistake on this diet, because it's based on the atmosphere of life in countries like Greece, Spain, Italy and the south of France. Instead, you'll be eating just as many greens, fruits, legumes and legumes (including everything from beans to lentils), and plenty of sources of whole grains (spelt is your friend!). While you'll enjoy lean protein like salmon most days, you can indulge in sources of saturated fat (cheese and some deli meats included).

It's an approach to cooking that emphasizes vegetables, naturally leading to a ton of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals in your diet, plus the Mediterranean diet has been linked to weight loss and reduced risk of disease, as well as an increase in longevity in general. 

Many health experts began exploring the benefits of the Mediterranean diet in the early 1920s, shortly after a team from the University of Barcelona demonstrated how effectively the diet transformed cardiovascular health for at-risk individuals. There is a lot of evidence pointing to the effectiveness of the diet in preventing disease, but more recently, the results of a study recently published in the journal Gut show that the Mediterranean diet can also greatly improve our digestion. It is essential, in fact, in combating states of generalized inflammation. In short, the best diet to lose weight and live healthy.

The Volumetric Diet

Developed by health experts at Pennsylvania State University, this diet is among the fun new ways to eat more fruits and vegetables, and increase the amount of water you consume without thinking about it. Since it's based on the volume of your meals, people often feel like they're eating a lot, which is good for dieters who can't fight hunger. The Volumetrics approach also increases the amount of fiber, to maximize the feeling of satiety. “Why would I eat one tiny cookie when I could be eating this gigantic Greek yogurt ice cream? I like it more and I feel full".

In short, maybe it's not the best diet ever, but it's definitely on the podium. It will help you eat more greens naturally by targeting the foods that keep you full and happy (without leaving you wishing you could eat a piece of cheese at midnight).

Flexible plant-based diet

Note that we are not using the “v” word here. In a nutshell, no one asks you to become vegetarian or vegan, lifestyles that can be really difficult for some people to follow. Rather than setting unattainable goals, it's better to do what you can, eat more vegetables for health, as well as for ethical reasons.

So being flexible isn't like following other hard-and-fast diets—it's about establishing a schedule that fits your needs and lifestyle, and there's no set meal plan to stick to. Flexible meal plans are best when you focus on certain meals that are as dairy and meat-free as possible, but that doesn't mean you can't enjoy these items throughout the week.

Before starting

One important caveat, though: being vegan or flex doesn't mean you have carte blanche to eat "fake" vegan alternatives (like Beyond Burgers) all time. Even meals and snacks vegans They Can Be Unhealthy: Things like Oreos and French fries may be considered vegan, but that doesn't mean they're healthy.

The list of diets to avoid in 2022

The Keto Diet

Just as the Mediterranean diet has enjoyed the spotlight as one of the healthiest diets in recent years, dubbed by many as the best diet, the keto diet it is equally touted for promising results on a controversial diet plan. For most health professionals, understanding a diet's effectiveness boils down to why it was created. And the ketogenic diet was largely designed, interestingly enough, as a form of treatment for pediatric epilepsy in the 20th century. But cutting out nutrient-dense veggies and other complex carbohydrates could hurt a lot more than just your waistline. 

When you cut out carbs completely, it could be affecting regions of your body that you aren't even aware of. There's some science behind why you can lose weight during the first few weeks (mostly, water weight), and the knowledge that keto programs have led to added sugar is commendable. However, it is good to eat natural sources of sugar. Apples, bread, cereals such as farro and quinoa, beans; all of these things contain natural sugars and complex carbohydrates, and are part of a healthy, balanced diet.

For most people, maintaining all sources of carbohydrates long-term is not sustainable. Additionally, a failed keto diet attempt could end in further weight gain, or harmful long-term side effects from increased fat addiction. 

What can we learn from other diets?

There are too many harmful fad diets to count, but sometimes the allure of a fad diet (often dramatically adopted by celebrities and quickly touted by the media as the best diet ever) has to do with the results. However, it is worth studying these diets, because even if they are wrong each one can teach us something. 

Alkaline diet: This fad diet basically promotes a healthy eating pattern; she calls for leaning on vegetables and a meal plan that is anti-inflammatory, free of processed foods, as well as boosting vitamins and minerals. But the mechanisms by which proponents of the diet say it works bear no weight in the actual research. Adopting meal plans can be helpful, but you shouldn't try to actively change the pH levels in the body with some ingredients.

Intermittent fasting: Whether you follow a 16:8 daily fasting plan or a more rigorous 5:2 weekly fasting plan, it's actually best to fast overnight. In fact, fasting for 16 hours a day can encourage you to overeat during the nine hours you're allowed to. Instead, try fasting overnight first, but if you exercise before work, eating breakfast will set you up for success later in the day.

Dukan diet: Because it requires you to completely limit multiple food groups and doesn't consider calorie counting at all, the validity of this program is in question (not to mention the lack of published clinical research on its effectiveness). There are countless rules to follow on the Dukan diet, but lean protein comes free. Incorporating more fatty fish, shrimp, chicken and steak can keep you satisfied throughout the day (perfect for lunch ideas!).