The DASH diet has become the new rage these days because it is promising a lot for relatively less hard work. It scores at 3.3 points out of 5 in the "Weight Loss Effectiveness" category and a whopping 4.5 points out of 5 in the "Health Usefulness" category. The DASH diet allows you to create a customizable, balanced eating plan without the use of special supplements.
DASH stands for Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension, and it was specifically designed for reduction of blood pressure when a person is going through hypertension. But scientists found that it had numerous other health benefits and helped with weight loss.
Every important vitamin and component for the healthy functioning of the body is included in the DASH diet. This includes the entire assortment of vitamins, calcium, proteins, fiber and other useful nutrients. The end result is a healthy body.
While there are so many different diet programs out there, what makes DASH so special is the fact that it doesn't require you to go through hunger and fasting. It focuses on the quality instead of the quantity of the food.
Here are a few basic rule:
Drink at least 2 liters of water per day.
The frequency of food intake should be about 5 times per day.
Limit the daily caloric intake to about 2500 kcal.
Include more vegetables instead of meaty products.
Do not consume soda or alcohol.
The best way to lose weight should be to consume food which packs all the right kinds of energy and fewer calories. You also need to eat in measured portions instead of going all out on the food.
When properly followed, the DASH diet allows you to easily lose weight by targeting belly fat and increasing the metabolic rate of your body. What's more important is how it reduces the risk of developing diabetes in people.
It has been touted as the Best Overall Diet by US News & World Reports for about 8 years now and has proven research work to back up its results. For this reason it boosts weight loss and accelerates metabolism.
It was discovered by pure accident by the US National Institute of Health and was the answer to cure hypertension. But experts found that it served as the perfect means of reducing weight without taking a toll on the body.
If you want to successfully use the DASH diet, then it is vital to avoid the following foods: fast foods, burgers, alcoholic beverages, canned food, candies, soda, cookies and similar food products. They will jeopardize the DASH diet.
Some of the nutrients included in this plan are potassium, calcium and protein which are absolutely vital to fight off high blood pressure. It isn't important to track these nutrients, just focus on the right set of foods and you're good to go.
The National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI) which developed the DASH also publishes free guides on their website. One of those guides is about 20 pages and guides you on how many calories your body actually needs.
You only need access to organic produce (which could be slightly pricier) such as fresh fruits, vegetables and whole grain products. Avoid canned and processed foods - a staple of the typical American diet. While it is a mild deviation from your general expenditures, it doesn't have to break the bank.
IF you diligently follow the rules and design the plan in according to your body's activity levels and age, then you are good to go. If done right, you can lose up to 20 pounds in as little as four months.
The only difficult part of the plan is to give up fatty, sugary and salty foods. The rest of the foods are free for the taking because DASH doesn't restrict them at all. You don't have to give up eating (fasting) to lose weight.
NHLBI offers more than 180 recipes and a complete guide on how to approach the DASH diet and lose weight without sacrificing on your food intake. Other organizations which offer similar free advice include Mayo Clinic and WebMD.