The start of the New Year is often the time when many people resolve to lose weight and for those who attempted in vain to shed those extra pounds last year, trying a new diet in 2015 may just work. With all the bizarre and extreme diets out there, two particular regimens are getting the praise of nutritionists:

Mediterranean diet

The eating regimen involves consuming more fruits, vegetables, unrefined grains, legume, olive oil and dairy, and less red meat. The eating plan does not only help with weight loss, it is also touted for its health benefits. The Dietary Guidelines for Americans, in fact, recommends it as an eating plan for promoting health and preventing disease such as cancer and heart disease

5:2 diet

Also dubbed as the fast diet, this 5:2 diet involves eating healthily with no restrictions for five days and having restricted eating of only 500 calories for two days of the week. While the eating regimen appears easier than other extreme diets, health experts recommend it for offering opportunity of a balanced diet. Nutritionist Rosemary Stanton said that while extreme diet may work and get people to lose weight quickly, dieters would just put back the weight sooner or later because the diet is impossible to stick to.

"Even if you could, any good nutritionist will advise you not to, as unbalanced eating is pretty bad for you long-term. For example with paleo, we know cutting out grains lifts your risk of bowel cancer," Stanton said.

Of course, losing weight does not only involve diet. It also requires making lifestyle changes. Here are simple changes that you can make in the New Year that may help with your goal of becoming physically fitter:

Spend one less hour watching TV

Watching one less hour of TV a day may help curb food cravings. A study involving 76 students showed that the more the subjects watch TV, the more frequent they ate and the more food they consume overall. Ditch at least one program and use the time to go for a walk.

Engage in recreational physical activities

Engaging in physical activities will help but for those who hate to go to the gym and exercise, opting for alternatives may work as well. Afterall, chasing the dog, riding bikes and swimming are still physical activities that are good for the body.

Get enough sleep

Studies have shown that people with insufficient sleep tend to overeat and accumulate unnecessary weight. A research reported in the journal Obesity in January last year found that women who have less than six hours of sleep at night were more likely to consume more calories than those who get at least seven hours of rest at night.

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