What Do Successful Diets Have in Common?

August 13, 2019
Following reckless diets may be one of the leading causes of premature death and chronic diseases. On the contrary, successful diets are associated with an increased life expectancy.

Today, the weight loss industry is worth billions. Losing weight seems to be the dream goal of millions of people. Although the followers of each diet defend and ensure that their plan is the best, the reality is that the healthiest and most successful diets have many things in common.

It’s important to separate the wheat from the chaff (no pun intended) when it comes to diets and to know what works from what doesn’t. If you analyze all the types of effective and scientifically proven diets and see what they have in common, you’ll discover the true keys to staying slim.

What successful diets have in common

According to a Yale University study, successful diets are based on natural foods and very few processed products. So you can understand this better, below, we share the things these diets have in common.

1. Can be followed in the long term

A good diet must become part of your lifestyle, which is why healthy diets are easy to follow in the long term. In fact, experts say that they should become a simple life-long habit.

Following reckless diets may be one of the leading causes of premature death and chronic diseases. On the contrary, successful diets are associated with an increased life expectancy, according to Yale University.

A woman eating fruits.

Unlike ‘miracle’ diets, successful diets have long-term goals and can be adopted as a lifestyle.

2. Successful diets eliminate sugar

This may sound like people who believe in “low carb” diets. However, restricting and even eliminating white sugar has become a point most people agree on. Even the World Health Organization recommends it.

Today, we know that sugar makes the liver make body fat and increases bad cholesterol and triglyceride levels. Overall, consuming sugar interferes with physical and mental well-being.

Read on: Control Your Bad Cholesterol Levels with a Healthy Diet

3. Include vegetables

Even low-carb diets, such as the paleo diet, highlight the importance of eating plenty of vegetables (broccoli, artichokes, green beans, cabbage, spinach, and peppers, among others).

Although some diets that work may restrict fruits (even though all of them accept some low-glycemic fruits such as green apple or berries), they also advocate for the consumption of vegetables.

4. Promote moderate weight loss

Diets such as high-protein diets or the Perricone diet, ranked among the best weight-loss diets by the European Association for the Study of Obesity (EASO), promote healthy weight loss, because their goal is for people to lose extra pounds and improve their health.

A happy woman who lost weight.

Diets that help you lose weight gradually are usually more successful because they help you maintain the results. Also, they don’t cause side effects.

5. Successful diets focus on quality

This is because not only how much food you eat matters, but that the things you eat are of the highest quality. It doesn’t mean that everything has to be organic and fresh, as there are products such as whole wheat pasta that are healthy.

6. Eliminate trans fats and restrict vegetable fats

Medical professionals reached a consensus on trans fats (identified on labels as “partially hydrogenated” or “hydrogenated fats”) long ago: they’re the worst dietary fats. Even the state of California has prohibited restaurants from using them.

Trans fats are artificial fats (produced industrially from vegetable oils) that can lead to inflammation, cardiovascular diseases, and many other health problems.

Industrial vegetable fats (made of sunflower, soybean, and corn) are somewhat restricted in all successful dietary programs. These fats are associated with oxidation, inflammation, and vascular problems. Instead, all successful diets recommend extra virgin olive oil.

Before you go, make sure you read: 6 Health Benefits of Extra Virgin Olive Oil

7. They’re satiating

You don’t have to starve yourself to lose weight or fight diabetes. Healthy eating plans include the right amounts of foods, calories, and nutrients to ensure you’re always satisfied and your body has the energy it needs.

Now that you know what successful diets have in common, we recommend you follow the one that best suits your needs. If you have any doubts or questions, consult a professional. Your doctor or nutritionist can help you choose a diet according to your current health condition, age, and habits, among other factors.

  • Can We Say What Diet Is Best for Health? D.L. Katz and S. Meller. Annual Review of Public Health 2014 35:183-103 annualreviews.org/action/showCitFormats?doi=10.1146%2Fannurev-publhealth-032013-182351.
  • Harvard Health. The Perfect Diet. https://www.health.harvard.edu/diet-and-weight-loss/the-perfect-diet
  • Pérez-Cueto, Federico J.A. (2015). ¿Dieta sostenible y saludable?: Retrospectiva e implicancias para la nutrición pública. Revista chilena de nutrición, 42(3), 301-305. https://dx.doi.org/10.4067/S0717-75182015000300012