When looking for the top weight loss programs available today, there are certain things to take into consideration: Effectiveness, convenience, cost, pleasure, and whatever else makes weight loss easiest for you. When it comes to dieting, it is important to talk to your physician before you start. However, there are two low-risk and overall physically beneficial diets that topped all search results in areas most important to the majority of dieters: DASH Diet and Weight Watchers. These two diets have similar results of success and improved health with vast differences on how to get there. This article will inform you on which of the two best weight loss programs is better suited for you. Either way, you win.
Introduction to DASH
The DASH diet is a plant-based diet in which you cut out salt, sweets, and saturated fats and replace them with fruits, veggies, nuts, lean meats, low-fat and nonfat dairy, fish, poultry, and heart healthy fats. The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute created the diet to fight high blood pressure, but the diet more than exceeded expectations. DASH, or the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension plan, proved to also fight diabetes, reduce risks of a variety of cancers and stroke, lower cholesterol, maintain a healthy heart, and, of course, cause healthy, long-term weight loss. Sound too good to be true? There’s more.
In addition to the long list of benefits, it’s easy to follow and works for nearly everyone that accurately follows it. That being said, it makes sense that DASH tops the charts in US News & World Report as the best weight loss program out there for the past six years. It’s a healthy balance between all fad diets created by physicians with the goal of curing a diet-related condition. How can you not get excited about a diet that you not only lose weight on but is so beneficial for your overall health? It’s said the DASH diet heals you from the inside out, leaving you with a nutritionally-induced glow. No wonder it’s the most talked about diet in 2016! Check out this video about the DASH diet:
7 Pros and Cons of DASH
Non- Commercial Diet
• Pro: Everything you need to know is online and free. Yes, free. This is not a diet designed for best-selling books and massive profit. Everything you need is right at your fingertips.
• Con: You’re responsible for shopping and preparing every meal. There are no pre-packaged foods landing on your doorstep.
Slow and Steady Weight Loss
• Pro: You are losing weight in a healthy way, consistently. Though you don’t lose 20 pounds in a week, the weight you do lose will be hard to put back on. When it comes to dieting, it’s easy come, easy go; and vice versa.
• Con: The only way to succeed is by sticking with it. This is more of a lifestyle change than a diet, so if you’re looking for rapid weight loss, look elsewhere.
• Pro: There is no public announcement about your lifestyle change. You can keep your progress, or lack thereof, all to yourself. You have complete freedom to, or not to, involve people in your journey.
• Con: There is no one to keep tabs on you, and if you’re like me, a piece of chocolate cake can quickly become entirely justifiable. What’s just one more, right?
Tons of Freedom
• Pro: You can snack throughout the day on nuts, sugary drinks, fruits and much more. No more months of window shopping outside of the candy store. Not only are these foods are filling, but they also satisfy your sweet tooth and carb cravings.
• Con: The satisfaction of eating your favorite sweets can turn into a binge in a heartbeat. Many “domino foods” (foods easy to overeat) are allowed, so the temptation is strong. You’re going to have to have some willpower stored away.
• Pro: Not only do you learn how to eat healthy, you learn to live healthy. Additionally, since you tone while you lose, it makes looking in the mirror just as rewarding as looking at the scale.
• Con: If you have a significant amount of weight to lose, taking on more than just dieting may be overwhelming. It also might not be good for your joints, so be sure to consult your physician before any strenuous activity.
Keeping Track of Everything You Eat
• Pro: You’re forced to be brutally honest with yourself by keeping track of every little thing you consume. Remember: That which is measured is managed.
• Con: It can be a bit tedious to write down, measure, and weigh every single thing you eat and drink.
Time Consuming and Somewhat Pricey
• Pro: DASH is time-consuming and pricey because you are buying and personally preparing high quality or organic produce. During this diet, you learn to cook and search out the best foods for your overall health. These skills will lead to a lifetime of healthy choices, and create an entirely new outlook and relationship with food.
• Con: Let’s face it, most of us are busy people that are lazy by nature. Sometimes cooking and packaging tomorrow's meals and snacks sound less appealing than doing taxes for the entire family, twice.
Introduction to Weight Watchers
If you’ve watched cable TV, been on the internet, and live in the United States, you’ve heard of Weight Watchers. Everyone has heard of it; you know someone, or someone who knows someone that has done it, and you will always find people that are currently involved. This program was created over 50 years ago and was attempted by over 2 million people in 2011 alone. For some people, this is the best weight loss program they have ever tried. Weight Watchers is easy to understand, has a huge support group, and loyal following. When embarking on a long journey, it is good to have people by your side; that’s where Weight Watchers comes in. Check out this video on why SmartPoints are better than calories:
7 Pros and Cons of Weight Watchers
• Pro: Whether you’re vegetarian/vegan, kosher, gluten-free, low-salt, etc., you can morph this diet to fit your needs, and have the same amount of success as the next person.
• Con: Too much freedom. Unlimited choices can make the right decision harder. For some people, fewer choices mean less temptation. And let’s face it, willpower is overrated.
• Pro: You learn the nutritional value of everything you enjoy eating. By measuring your portions and serving sizes, you learn the benefits of healthy food and what does and does not satisfy hunger or cravings.
• Con: This process is time-consuming and makes you constantly think about food, which can get annoying.
• Pro: The leaders educate you on nutrition, how to maintain a healthy lifestyle during and after the program, and how to balance your eating in the healthiest way for your body and lifestyle. Also, peer pressure can be a great motivator for some.
• Con: Not everyone is comfortable sharing their struggles, particularly when their weight is concerned, with strangers or people they aren’t close to. This could be a deal breaker, because meetings are a big part of what makes Weight Watchers, Weight Watchers.
Slow and Steady Weight Loss
• Pro: You lose 1 or 2 pounds a week, which is a very healthy rate. When you drop weight quickly, it’s usually water weight and will be back as soon as you stop the strict diet. On the contrary, Weight Watchers lives by the motto slow and steady wins the race.
• Con: Some weeks you won’t lose anything, even though you’ve been doing everything you can. This can be discouraging.
You Don’t Have to Exercise
• Pro: You don’t have to exercise.
• Con: At some point, you will need to bring exercise into your life. Weight Watchers does recommend 30 minutes of activity a day, but if you don’t do some hardcore toning after losing a significant amount of weight your body might not look the way you imagined. Additionally, a healthy lifestyle consists of exercise, benefiting not just the body but the mind too.
• Pro: When you put money into something, it motivates you. No one likes to waste money.
• Con: The program costs can add up quickly, and with food costs on top of the registration fee and weekly and monthly meetings, it can easily become too much money for some.
Not the Most Accommodating for Men
• Pro: This program works equally for men and women.
• Con: Weight Watchers is generally geared towards women. Weight Watchers Online is the only program offered for men at this time. Men don’t get to take part in weekly and monthly meetings, which, as I said earlier, is a huge part of Weight Watchers.
It can be hard finding the best weight loss program for your life. Weight Watchers was created over 40 years ago, while DASH is incredibly fresh, making its debut in the new millennium shortly after research finished in the late nineties. Weight Watchers was meticulously designed for weight loss and is consistently successful by focusing on calorie counting and peer support. DASH, on the other hand, was created to fight high blood pressure which, in this area and many others (like weight loss), has been more than successful. Reducing or curing health conditions along with long-term weight loss, DASH is quite the combination. So, is the tried and true Weight Watchers program better for your weight loss success or the young and thriving DASH? I’ll let you make the decision. Tell me what has worked for you in the comments!