Choosing the perfect diet plan can be exhausting and confusing. To make your job easier, here is a compilation of the top 10 most popular diets. Note that a diet plan that works for one may not work for another, and it is crucial to consider the pros and cons to make a suitable choice. Keep reading to make a decision.
NOTE: Make sure that you consult a professional before making a choice, as the diet plans may lead to complications if followed unsupervised.
10 Popular Diets To Lose Weight
The following is a list of diet plans to help you lose weight based on their popularity, results and health benefits. Remember that there is no one-size-fits-all diet plan when it comes to weight loss.
1. Ketogenic Diet
The Ketogenic or the Keto diet is one of the most popular diet plans involving eating fewer carbohydrates and more protein and fats. With carbs missing, the body begins to utilise fats for metabolism, leading to healthy weight loss. This state when the body relies on fats for metabolism is called ketosis.
- There are different types of Keto diets and you can choose the one that suits you the best.
- Studies show that besides weight loss, the Ketogenic diet also reduces stubborn belly fat.
- You are likely to experience double the amount of weight loss, while on the Keto diet, compared to other calorie-restricted diets.
- As you consume more fats and proteins instead of carbs, it promotes satiety and natural calorie restriction.
- The Keto diet may cause a spike in bad cholesterol due to an increased intake of fats.
- Some people may also experience side effects such as constipation, brain fog, irregular menstrual cycle and even a fatal condition known as non-diabetic ketoacidosis while on the Keto diet. Thus, expert supervision is mandatory.
2. The Low-Carb Diet
A Low-carb diet suggests restricting carbohydrates with an increase in the consumption of proteins and healthy fats in the form of whole foods, fruits and vegetables. When you remove complex and refined carbohydrates from your diet, it creates a calorie deficit, promoting faster weight loss. The focus is to consume more nutrient-rich foods and lose weight healthily.
- This diet increases calorie burn, improves metabolism and stimulates fat burn.
- Manages blood sugar levels, better digestion and gut health, prevents metabolic syndrome, improved energy levels, and healthier skin.
- It may take a while for your body to adjust to the diet plan and may lead to side effects such as headaches, dizziness, fatigue, irritability, nausea, cramps.
- It may not be healthy for pregnant women and breastfeeding mothers, people with chronic illnesses, or those with exhaustive lifestyles.
3. The Paleo Diet
The Paleo diet suggests eliminating processed and refined foods and consuming whole foods along with fruits, nuts, seeds, and lean proteins. The diet discourages eating dairy products and grains. Similar to the effect of the Keto diet, the decreased carbohydrate content, leads your body to use fat as fuel, aiding weight loss.
- Effective in reducing waist circumference significantly besides overall weight loss.
- Eating more proteins and fewer carbs leads to automatic calorie restriction, reducing the risk of heart diseases.
- Eliminating nutritious foods such as legumes, grains and dairy may lead to nutritional deficiencies.
4. The Vegan Diet
The Vegan diet has gained massive popularity in recent years for its effectiveness in weight loss without consuming of animal and animal-derived products. Stricter than a vegetarian diet, you leave out foods such as honey, dairy, gelatin, etc. while on the Vegan diet.
- It has a positive impact on your cardiovascular and overall health.
- A Vegan diet is rich in nutrition and fibre but low in fat, drastically reducing your calorie intake.
- Apart from significant weight loss, you might also stabilise your BMI on a Vegan diet than other weight-loss diets.
- A sudden switch from a non-vegetarian diet can lead to side effects. So, it is best to begin the diet under expert supervision.
- Excluding animal products may lead to nutritional deficiencies, as vegetarian foods are usually low in omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin D, iodine, calcium, zinc, iron, and other nutrients.
5. The Atkins Diet
The Atkins diet focuses on eating proteins and fats while avoiding carbohydrates and has four stages. The diet primarily aims to manage insulin levels in the body. Eating refined carbs leads to a sharp rise and fall in insulin levels, making the body store fat. By reducing carb consumption, you are restricting fat storage, leading to weight loss.
- You will experience significant weight loss results by simply restricting carb intake.
- It prevents the risk of diabetes, high blood pressure and cardiovascular diseases.
- You must be careful and follow it with precision, or it may lead to complications.
- When you begin consuming carbs, you are likely to regain weight.
6. Intermittent Fasting
Intermittent Fasting (IF) involves an eating pattern that alternates between eating and fasting cycles. There is no restriction on the type or amount of foods you eat during the IF eating pattern. You can choose from different types of intermittent fasting patterns based on your lifestyle or your eating habits.
- It helps boost metabolism, reduces cholesterol and blood sugar levels, reduces inflammation, and improves cellular repairs.
- You will shed harmful fat while retaining your muscle mass, which is crucial when on a weight loss diet.
- If not followed correctly, it can lead to dehydration, drop in blood sugar levels, abnormal menstrual cycles among women, and a decrease in fertility.
- Pregnant and lactating women, children, people with chronic illnesses, teenagers and malnourished individuals, or those suffering from any eating disorders, avoid this diet.
7. Mediterranean Diet
Mediterranean diet is derived from the dietary habits of people from across Southern Europe such as southern Italy, southern France, Greece, Crete, and Portugal. The diet suggests plant-based foods like whole grains, nuts, seeds, herbs, etc., with up to one-third of fats in each meal, and seafood instead of poultry or meat.
- The Mediterranean diet is one of the healthiest and sustainable diet plans that encourages weight loss and other health benefits.
- It restricts the intake of saturated fats to 8% of total calorie intake and hence helps lower the risk of heart diseases.
- It helps manage stress and symptoms of depression while enhancing the quality of life.
- It may lead to iron and calcium deficiencies due to less consumption of dairy and meat.
- You also need to exercise caution while consuming fats in fish, nuts and olive oil as it may make it harder to lose weight.
8. The Zone Diet
The Zone diet involves meals with a low-glycemic load where carbs, proteins and fats are limited to 30 to 40% of your daily calorie intake. Originally developed to reduce inflammation and the risk of chronic illnesses caused due to weight, this diet plan is highly beneficial in promoting and maintaining weight loss.
- By limiting the intake of high-glycemic carbs, the Zone diet follows a balanced approach to promote weight loss.
- It helps suppress hunger and reduce calorie intake.
- The Zone diet further promotes heart health by reducing bad cholesterol and triglycerides, control blood sugar and helps minimise waist size.
- The only downside is that it limits the intake of nutrient-dense carbs such as bananas, rice and potatoes.
9. The South Beach Diet
In 2003, Dr. Agatson and Marie Almon formulated the South Beach diet as an alternative to low-fat and high-carb diets popularised by the American Heart Association, which do not give satisfactory results. This diet is a balanced and sustainable eating plan with a selection of proteins and healthy fats, eliminating certain carbs. You can also follow it as a long-term weight loss diet for its benefits.
- Promotes a healthy lifestyle while eating good carbs as opposed to eliminating them.
- This low-carb diet sends the body into ketosis, where people often experience the same side effects as in ketogenic diets like brain fog, fatigue, dehydration, dizziness, nausea and headache.
10. Raw Food Diet
Also known as Raw Foodism, this diet encourages eating raw, organic and plant-based foods while eliminating processed foods, additives, synthetic colours, preservatives and carcinogens. You also avoid refined oils, coffee, tea, alcohol, sugar and flour. The emphasis is on consuming at least three-quarters of uncooked food in a day.
- High in nutrients, raw food diet promotes good physical health and aids in weight loss.
- The high fibre content of uncooked plant-based foods help is satiating, promotes digestion, leads to healthy skin, reduces inflammation and retains nutrients that are often lost in cooking.
- There is still not enough evidence to prove which foods are safe to be consumed raw.
- It may cause bloating. Some women may experience menstrual cycle irregularities.
- Cooking makes most of the foods safe to eat and eliminates the chances of infection due to food poisoning, which makes this diet unhealthy for some.
Must Read: How to Lose Weight Quickly in 2 Weeks?
Before starting a diet for weight loss, it is important to consider your body type, needs, unique weight loss goals and any health complications that may be aggravated.
Visit Oliva Skin & Hair Clinic, where expert diet and fitness experts will conduct a thorough analysis and prescribe a tailor-made diet and fitness plan for you. Beyond losing weight, you will also cultivate a sustainably healthy lifestyle.