• Top 20 Diets that Help Reduce Weight


  • When your weight begins to affect your health adversely and hinders you from having a normal and enjoyable life, it is best to start looking for ways to lose the weight. One of the most common methods people use is by adopting weight-loss diets. With a considerable number of the Dublin population considered overweight, it is of no surprise that there are multiple weight loss diets to choose from, with some being more sustainable than others.

    While there are multiple diets for weight loss with their differences, they all have the same fundamentals – eating fewer calories than you use. This is also referred to as being in a calorie deficit. It is best to choose sustainable diets for both your lifestyle and health, as diets that promote fast weight loss can cause unhealthy eating habits and detrimental effects on your overall well-being. This article will discuss the top weight loss diets you can adopt, including their pros and cons. So, let’s get right to it.

    1. Mediterranean Diet

    As one of the most searched diets in the world, this diet incorporates the healthy eating habits of people from Greece, Italy, and Spain, which involves consuming seasonal fruit, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, nuts, pulses, olive oil, and fish. While this diet may promote weight loss, it can offer different health benefits, like improved cardiovascular health and reduced risk of diabetes.

    What is involved?

    The Mediterranean diet involves less sugar, saturated fat and red meat; more vegetables, nuts, and healthy foods. You can also consume cheese, eggs, poultry, and yoghurt in moderation. While the people from different areas in the Mediterranean eat differently, they all share some of the same philosophies. This diet doesn’t require a restrictive calorie target, portion guidelines, and meal structures, but you can use this diet for weight loss by limiting your calorie intake daily. Besides, this diet is not a quick weight loss fix; rather, it is a lifestyle you need to adopt.

    Pros

    • Studies show that a Mediterranean diet can improve heart disease, diabetes, metabolic syndrome, and obesity outcomes.
    • This diet offers diverse sets of food groups and nutrients

    Cons

    • There is no strict set of rules to follow
    • The Mediterranean diet requires lots of cooking

     

    2. DASH Diet

    DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) diet was specifically designed with cardiovascular health in mind. Research shows that alongside helping to lose weight, this diet can reduce blood pressure, cholesterol levels, and the risk of developing a stroke.

    What is involved?

    This diet eliminates salty foods, saturated fats, and high-calorie foods to replace them with vegetables, fruits, low-fat meat, low-fat dairy products, and whole grains. It has similar elements to the Mediterranean diet but with a very specific eating structure. An estimated calorie intake and food servings from different food groups are recommended for you with the DASH diet. The rate of weight loss using this diet can be slow as it caters to improving your health while providing a sustainable weight loss solution.

    Pros

    • The DASH diet offers a flexible and balanced meal plan
    • This diet helps to reduce systolic and diastolic blood pressure
    • It offers a balanced diet of proteins, fat, carbs and other nutrients

    Cons

    • It reduces the intake of Vitamins A, D, E, and K due to the adoption of low-fat dairy
    • The average DASH diet has more than 2000 calories daily, which helps in weight maintenance rather than weight loss.

     

    3. WW Diet

    This commercial diet, formerly called Weight Watchers, gives you access to a customized plan, a robust online community, on-demand workouts, activity trackers, a restaurant database, and different recipes.

    What is involved?

    This diet focuses on food moderation rather than restricting specific food groups. With this plan, foods are assigned different points based on their nutritional value and calories, and you have a fixed number of points to use daily. Most fruits and vegetables are 0 point foods, encouraging members to eat more of them, and you’ll also earn extra points for exercising and drinking more water. All food groups are included in this diet to fit every preference.

    Pros

    • WW is very effective for weight loss
    • Personalized plans to fit your lifestyle
    • No food groups restriction

    Cons

    • 0-point foods present an opportunity for members to overindulge in certain foods
    • Membership can be costly, depending on the program you choose

     

    4. Flexitarian Diet

    The flexitarian (flexible vegetarian) diet is a vegetarian diet with an occasional serving of animal protein, like fish or meat. According to studies, this diet has been shown to help with weight loss, reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes, and enhance blood pressure.

    What is involved?

    There is no distinct way this diet works, but plant-based foods majorly characterize it with an intermittent inclusion of meat or fish. This diet involves more vegetables, whole grains, legumes, and fruits. Some flexitarians restrict red meat and poultry while others avoid consuming dairy products, as there is no one-size-fits-all way to follow this diet. The flexibility of this diet makes it easy to maintain in the long run. Besides, the best way to utilize this diet for weight loss and management is to increase your intake of plant-based foods and reduce processed foods.

    Pros

    • It reduces the risk of heart disease and type 2 diabetes
    • There is no food group elimination with this diet
    • Flexible and sustainable in the long term

    Cons

    • No daily calorie restrictions

    5. Volumetrics Diet

    The Volumetrics diet was created by Barbara Rollins, PhD, a Penn State University professor of nutrition. It is for people who want to eat many low-calorie foods like fruits and vegetables while losing weight.

    What is involved?

    This diet involves filling up on food with the most nutritional values and fewer calories like soups, fruits, whole grains, legumes, beans, lean protein, and vegetables. The volumetrics diet encourages people to practice moderation while eating their favourite foods, and it also encourages you to increase your fibre intake with greens. No food group is banned in this diet, but they are grouped into different categories based on their nutritional density. Cheeses, bread, sweets, fried food, and high-fat meats are allowed in moderation.

    Pros

    • No food is off-limits completely
    • It can reduce the risk of diabetes and heart disease

    Cons         

    • You need a good understanding of Volumetrics to properly partake in this diet.
    • No strict daily calorie structure

     

    6. Intermittent Fasting

    Intermittent fasting is a diet strategy that progresses between fasting and eating periods. There are different intermittent fasting methods, and finding the best one for you requires trial and error. Additionally, studies have shown that intermittent fasting can help with weight loss.

    What is involved?

    The 16/8 intermittent fasting method involves limiting your food intake to 8 hours a day and fasting for the remaining 16 hours. The 5/2 method, on the other hand, enables involves eating normally five days a week and consuming 500- 600 calories for the remaining two days. Intermittent fasting only works for weight loss when limiting your daily calorie consumption.

    Pros

    • It doesn’t involve counting calories
    • There are no dietary restrictions
    • It helps with weight loss

    Cons

    • No strict portion regulation

     

    7. Vegetarian Diet

    A vegetarian diet involves limiting the intake of animal products for health and environmental reasons. This diet doesn’t have strict rules as there are many types of vegetarianism, with some eliminating fish, meat, and poultry while others remove dairy and eggs. Also, this diet is known to be good for the heart and reduces the risk of type 2 diabetes.

    What is involved?

    The Lacto-Ovo vegetarian does not consume meat, fish, or poultry but eats eggs and dairy products. On the other hand, the Lacto-vegetarians eliminate eggs from their diet, and the Ovo-vegetarians remove dairy. Vegetarian diets are rich in fiber with foods like whole grains, beans, nuts, fruits, and vegetables, and they aid in weight loss as a result.

    Pros

    • This diet reduces the risk of heart disease and diabetes

    Cons

    • Some vegetarian diets can limit essential nutrients found in animal products, like calcium, vitamin B12, iron, and zinc.

     

    8. MIND Diet

    The MIND (Mediterranean-DASH Intervention for Neurodegenerative Delay) diet combines different aspects of the Mediterranean and DASH diets to help improve brain health. This diet was created by the late Martha Clare Morris, a nutritional epidemiologist at Rush University Medical Centre. Besides, research shows that the MIND diet may lower the risk of Alzheimer’s, improve brain function, and protect against Parkinson’s disease.

    What is involved?

    The MIND diet involves eating more brain-defending food groups like vegetables, berries, beans, nuts, whole grains, olive oil, wine, and poultry. It also encourages limiting foods like butter, cheese, fried foods, pastries, sweets, and red meat.

    Pros

    • It helps reduce the risk of cognitive decline
    • It is beneficial to the heart

    Cons

    • No strict meal plans and guidelines
    • Lack of details

     

    9. Nordic Diet

    A group of nutritionists and chefs created the Nordic diet to help manage the growing obesity rates in Nordic countries like Denmark, Iceland, Finland, Norway, and Sweden. This diet restricts processed foods while encouraging you to eat what you grow. Research shows that the Nordic diet can reduce the risk of stroke, lower blood pressure, and enhance insulin sensitivity.

    What is involved?

    This diet emphasizes fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, organic produce, fish, and eggs, with animal products used sparingly. There are long-term benefits of this diet as its balanced nature provides you with the necessary nutrients.

    Pros

    • Sustainable diet
    • It helps reduce blood pressure and the risk of stroke

    Cons

    • This diet reduces the good fats needed by the body because of low-fat dairy options.
    • No strict calorie guidelines

    10. Mayo Clinic Diet

    Weight loss professionals created this diet at the Mayo Clinic, an academic non-profit medical centre. The idea behind this diet is for you to develop a healthy eating pattern without restricting any food groups.

    What is involved?

    The Mayo Clinic diet emphasizes foods with low energy density and fewer calories like whole grains, vegetables, and fruit. This diet ensures you know the benefits of meal planning and exercise – making it very sustainable in the long term. There are also specific daily calorie intake and servings you have to adhere to when taking part in this diet.

    Pros

    • It can help with weight loss.
    • It consists of multiple food groups that provide the body with the necessary nutrients.

    Cons

    11. New Atkins Diet

    Before its recent makeover, the Atkins diet involved cutting out carbohydrates and eating all fatty foods of your choice. However, this old method was nothing short of a quick fix as dieters gained all the weight back once they introduced carbohydrates back into their diet.

    What is involved?

    The new Atkins diet reintroduces carbs in phases rather than completely restricting them from your diet. By eliminating carbs in the first phase, your body will be transformed into a fat-burning machine and reintroducing it in phases will help reduce the issue previous dieters had with the old Atkins diet.

    Pros

    • It helps with weight loss

    Cons

    • It is not sustainable in the long term
    • Dieters tend to swap carbs for food high in saturated fats, which are bad for the heart.
    • Limiting carbohydrates will make dieters lack fibre and different vitamins

    12. Paleo Diet

    The premise of the paleo diet is to limit all processed foods and eat the plants and animal proteins that our ancestors ate. This diet is based on the theory that the western diet is linked to modern diseases, and it is a great option for people who want to opt-out of cooking.

    What is involved?

    This diet involves eating fruits, nuts, whole foods, seeds, vegetables, fish, and lean meats while restricting processed foods, dairy products, junk food, sweets, and refined sugar. If you reduce your portion sizes, paleo diets are expected to help you lose weight.

    Pros

    • It helps to control blood sugar in diabetic patients
    • It can improve blood pressure and cholesterol levels

    Cons

    • It limits particular nutrients associated with certain foods like whole grains and dairy.
    • Paleo diets are not balanced nutritionally

     

    13. Jenny Craig Diet

    The Jenny Craig diet focuses on limiting portions, fats and calories, and pre-packaged meals are delivered to your doorstep once you register.

    What is involved?

    After registering, you will receive personalized pre-packaged meals alongside exercise plans and a personal consultant to ensure you meet all your goals. There is the standard meal program, the Rapid Results Max weight loss plan and the Type 2 plan – designed for people with Type 2 diabetes. You are expected to drop 1 kg per week if you follow any plans. Besides, all the foods in the pre-packaged meals are balanced as they contain protein, fat, carbs and nutrients.

    Pro

    • It involves Pre-packaged meals.
    • Strict adherence to the plan can result in weight loss
    • The personal consultant ensures you meet your weight loss goals

    Cons

    • It is relatively costly
    • You have to avoid home-cooked and restaurant meals
    • It is not sustainable in the long term

    14. TLC diet

    The National Institutes of Health endorse the Therapeutic Lifestyle Change (TLC) diet. It was developed to help control the risk of heart disease and manage cholesterol by implementing a heart-protective routine.

    What is involved?

    This diet involves eating plenty of vegetables, cereals, lean meats, fruits, and pasta, and it contains less fat to help protect the heart. You need 25-35% of daily calories from total fat, 50-60% from carbohydrates, 15% from protein, and less than 200 mg of cholesterol daily. To maintain a healthy weight, you must consume only enough calories daily.

    Physical activities like brisk walking are encouraged, and you should consume whole foods like nuts, whole grains, and pulses to get your recommended daily fibre intake. Despite weight loss not being the primary goal of this diet, maintaining a low-fat, low-cholesterol diet will help you lose weight.

    Pros

    • This diet helps improve heart health

    Cons

    • It can be hard to translate daily calorie intake into everyday meals
    • No strict meal plans

    15. The Noom Diet

    Room is a subscription-model fitness app that helps people track their food and exercise. This app categorizes foods based on their calories and nutritional values to help users reach their daily calorie intake. Coaches are also available to help users throughout their weight loss journey.

    What is involved?

    The Noom app ensures that you log in everything you eat and drink—guiding you to stay within your daily calorie allocation. The basis of the Noom diet is calorie density, as it focuses on foods with low calories. The app also calculates your daily calorie range using your weight loss goal, age, and gender. All types of food groups are encouraged with this diet, from protein to fat and carbs.

    Pros

    • Group and coaching support are available
    • No food group is restricted

    Cons

    • No strict food plan to follow

    16. Raw Food Diet

    This diet focuses on consuming only organic foods and removing all processed foods from your diet. Eating mostly plant foods with no cooking, processing, or irradiation can bring weight loss, but this diet is not sustainable in the long run.

    What is involved?

    This diet involves eating raw foods from plants and animals like raw unpasteurized milk, raw fish, and sashimi. This diet offers less than the recommended amount of calories needed, but most raw foods are rich in minerals and vitamins.

    Pros

    • It may help reduce blood pressure and sodium levels
    • Weight loss is guaranteed with this diet

    Cons

    • The diet is very restrictive
    • It involves rigorous meal prep
    • It doesn’t provide the recommended daily calorie intake

    17. Vegan Diet

    The vegan diet, unlike the vegetarian, excludes all animal products like eggs, honey, and dairy from their diet. With this diet, you can lose weight while following a healthy lifestyle.

    What is involved?

    This diet involves consuming fruits, whole grains, nuts, seeds, vegetables, and legumes. While some processed foods like pasta, sweets, and chips claim to be vegan, it is best to stick to the basics as many of them may not be healthy. With a vegan diet and little exercise, you will shed some weight in no time.

    Pros

    • The food groups in this diet are rich in fibre
    • This diet is sustainable over the long run

    Cons

    • You are in charge of your servings and calorie intake
    • The diet can be restrictive

    18. Nutrisystem Diet

    Nutrisystem diet is a commercial diet that delivers low-calorie meals to your doorstep, and you will receive a personalized weight loss plan when you register. This diet takes away all the stress involved with dieting, from shopping to cooking and calorie counting.

    What is involved?

    This diet plan offers pre-packaged meals for the week consisting of breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks. You can browse the meals available or opt for Nutrisystem to pick your meals for you. Some of the foods this diet encourages include lean proteins, healthy fats, smoothies, and salads. This diet does not restrict any foods, encouraging moderation and portion control. Besides, this diet includes supplements and personal coaching from professionals.

    Pros

    • No food group is restricted
    • It aids portion control
    • It aids weight loss

    Cons

    • It can be relatively costly

    19. Nutritarian

    This diet aims to ensure you lose and maintain your weight by avoiding foods with chemicals and carcinogens.

    What is involved?

    The Nutritarian diet involves eating nutrient-dense foods and carbs with a low glycaemic load and limiting processed foods and animal protein. There is no calorie counting with this diet, and you are free to eat as many fruits, vegetables, and legumes as you want. Some accepted foods include kale, mustard greens, collards, and tofu. Also, there are different plans, including the 20-day and six-week plans, which involve limiting animal products, snacks, and processed foods.

    Pros

    • No calorie counting
    • It is very sustainable in the long term
    • This diet can help improve heart health

    Cons

    20. Ornish Diet

    This low-fat diet involves consuming fish, whole grains and produce, and it is beneficial in reducing heart problems and the risk of diabetes.

    What is involved?

    The Ornish diet is low in fat, animal protein and refined carbohydrates, and it also highlights the need for exercise. This diet categorizes food into groups based on how healthy they are to enable you to always choose the healthiest options. Besides, this diet has less than the recommended fat limits but is good for people at risk of heart problems.

    Pros

    • It contains balanced food groups
    • It is beneficial to the heart

    Cons

    • It is relatively expensive
    • There are no strict meal plans



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