Atkins, Paleo, South Beach, Raw Foods, Clean Eating, Grapefruit, Meal Replacement, Veganism: diet plans, trends, and fads have come and gone over the past half century or so, some with relative success – others, not so much.

Most so-called fad diets offer up little more than wild claims of fantastic results with little to no work or change in lifestyle.

However, at the core of many of these diets, however ridiculous or fantastical is a nugget of useful, practical advice that can actually play a beneficial role in a healthy and effective weight loss strategy.

Here’s a few we’ve stumbled upon:

1. Lean Protein + Plenty of Veggies

A plan called “The Zone” recently caught on with Hollywood types including Jennifer Anniston. The plan encourages dieters to consume meals that adhere to a strict ratio of 30% protein, 30% fat and 40% carbs.

The theory is that this exact 30-30-40 formula can reset your body’s metabolism in such a way that weight will be lost in the process.

Here’s the deal, don’t worry about the math. That 30% of this, that or the other doesn’t mean much – but combining a serving of lean protein like chicken or salmon with whole grains and lots of vegetables is a recipe for healthy eating.

2. Fat isn’t ALWAYS the enemy

The Atkins and South Beach Diets – to varying degrees – allowed us to realize that living fat free wasn’t necessarily the only way to lose fat and drop pounds.

3. Expand your palate beyond cabbage soup.

The Cabbage Soup Diet was never quite as daunting as the name implied: there were plenty of other items on the menu besides bowl after bowl of cabbage soup. That being said, the creator should’ve looked beyond cabbage, because incorporating a variety of low-sodium soups based on a low-calorie vegetable – or vegetable mix – has been proven to help diets lose weight.

4. Watch your sugar intake.

Countless fad diets encourage us to eliminate sugar at all costs, even at the expense of naturally-occurring sugars found in fruits and low-fat dairy products. It’s a good idea taken to extremes. Certainly it is a good idea to be conscious of sugar intake, but if you focus on reducing the amount of processed sugars, you’ll in fine shape.

Looking for advice on diet strategies that work? Contact us here at Mediplan and let’s talk about how you eat, how you live and how we can help.