A healthy diet plan balances the nutrients you need by including foods from all the main food groups in the correct proportions. That balanced nutritional intake – with enough vitamins and minerals – helps reduce the risk of chronic diseases, such as diabetes and osteoarthritis, helps with weight loss, and improves your gut health. It can also help prevent cognitive decline and put you in a positive mood.
Finding Your Ideal Diet Plan
Ready to Discover Your Best Diet Plan?
One of the most effective ways to lose weight and live a healthy life is to improve your diet. When that is combined with “7 to 8 hours of quality sleep a day, work and exercise in moderation, you can thrive” says Anita Pee, a Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) physician for the health and wellness company Eu Yan Sang.
Read on to find out what your answers mean!
If your answers are mostly A’s
Your goal is to lose weight or improve your overall well-being. That means your best diet plan is the Paleo diet. This diet plan focuses on consuming lean meats, fish, nuts and seeds, fruits, and vegetables. You cut out processed food, dairy, sugar, legumes, and grains.
The Paleo diet is especially effective for weight loss, appetite control, and lowering your blood pressure. However, restricting the consumption of dairy, grains, and legumes could prevent you from getting a balanced nutritional intake. So, speak to a nutritionist before committing to the Paleo diet.
Paleo Plus: To ensure you get the right amount of essential vitamins and minerals, consider taking a daily multivitamin. Many contain all the essential nutrients and enzyme complex formulas that will help improve and maintain your overall health.
If your answers are mostly B’s
Your goal is to lose weight and get rid of your belly fat without restricting your consumption in drastic ways. That means the Atkins diet is suitable for you. This low-carb diet involves four phases and is focused on eating nutrient-dense foods. The downside? It requires you to drastically cut your carbohydrate consumption during the first two weeks. After that, you can gradually increase your intake.
Atkins Plus: Because this diet plan calls for a significant reduction of carbs, you may need a hand. Supplements called carb or starch blockers may help. They inhibit enzymes that digest complex carbs (like whole grains and fiber-rich veggies), preventing the carbs from providing calories or raising blood sugar. They also can improve digestion and promote a healthy metabolism.
If your answers are mostly C’s
You do not have specific weight goals, but want to make healthier food choices. You’re a candidate for the Pescatarian diet. This is a vegetarian diet that adds in fish and seafood as the primary protein source. For example, you can add shrimp, salmon, octopus, etc. Aim for 2 to 3 seafood meals per week. Complete your diet with vegetables, fruits, nuts, beans, eggs, and dairy.
A diet with lots of cold-water fish, high in omega-3 fatty acids, and vegetables reduces your risk of heart disease and colorectal cancer. One study found women who were pescatarians gained 2.5 fewer pounds each year than women who ate meat. Another large study looked at people who rarely ate meat or were pescatarians. They had a 22% lower risk of dying from heart disease compared to regular meat-eaters. However, some fish may contain high amounts of mercury. Tip: Pregnant women or nursing mothers should consult a nutritionist before following the Pescatarian plan.
Pesca Plus: If you’re going to try this diet plan, including a supplement to aid your digestion would be a nice bonus. These are usually in powdered form and you can easily mix them with a glass of water or any of your favorite drinks. They contain a wide variety of fruits and vegetables to encourage healthy digestion and prevent toxins.
If your answers are mostly D’s
You are not one to be shackled by stringent dietary restrictions. The 16/8 intermittent fasting diet plan may be perfect for you. This diet has only two basic rules – fast for 16 hours and eat what you like (in normal proportions) during an eight-hour window daily.
It’s not a complete fast during those 16 hours. So, you can and should drink plenty of water to prevent dehydration. The benefits of this diet plan include supporting weight loss, improving blood sugar levels, boosting brain function, and aiding overall wellness.
Intermittent Fasting Plus: During your eight-hour eating window, include a turmeric supplement with your meals. Curcumin is a polyphenol found in turmeric. It helps to enhance brain and cognitive function, reduces inflammation, improves your digestion, and promotes the healthy functioning of your organs. It’ll help you stay physically and mentally active as you age.
TCM, Balance, and Your Diet Choices: Instead of viewing weight loss as a goal, think of it as a result of healthier eating habits. If you choose a diet plan that fits your lifestyle and food preferences, you’re more likely to adhere to it long-term. Also, it’s okay to ask yourself every so often if the current diet you’re on is still the best fit for you.
“In TCM, we don’t want to restrict any food type. We believe in balance. So, we recommend a variety of foods, including grains, meat, fruits, vegetables, nuts, and beans – and that you avoid overly processed foods. We also recommend that you adopt healthy cooking methods. Try not to deep-fry or use a lot of oil or spices. So, just warm, cooked food without too much sugar and salt, that would be good,” explains physician Pee.
Physician Pee also recommends that you make an effort to understand your body constitution before adopting a diet for weight loss. “Depending on one’s body constitution, certain dietary choices may be better able to aid in the weight loss journey and help achieve better health. It is best to consult a TCM physician to learn about your body constitution. Then discover the diet that is suitable for your body type,” she says.
Finally, regular exercise and an active lifestyle coupled with your appropriate diet will go a long way toward optimizing the health benefits of the nutritional choices you make. If you’re inspired by your results, share this quiz with your friends!
- Parade. 2021. Which One of These 100 Diets Could Help You Lose Weight? We’ve Got Tons of Info to Help You Decide [Accessed 25 October 2021]
- US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health. Curcumin: A Review of Its’ Effects on Human Health[Accessed 25 October 2021]
- Thebmj. 2019. Vegetarian and pescatarian diets are linked to lower risk of ischaemic heart disease, study finds [Accessed 25 October 2021]
- American Institute for Cancer Research. 2021. Pescovegetarian Diet (or Pescatarian): May Boost Omega-3 Fats. [Accessed 25 October 2021]
- Harvard Health Publishing. 2020. Intermittent fasting: Surprising update [Accessed 25 October 2021]
- International Journal of Obesity. Weight gain over 5 years in 21,966 meat-eating, fish-eating, vegetarian, and vegan men and women in EPIC-Oxford [Accessed 25 October 2021]