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8 Diet to Lose Weight: Guide to Stay Healthy and Feel Great

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Are you unhappy with your weight? If so, you have a lot of company. Almost 70% of adults in the US are heavier than they should be for their health. It can be tough to figure out how to eat right and lose weight for good. There is so much information out there that is misleading or contradictory.

But don’t worry, there is hope. You can lose weight and get healthier by making some easy changes to eating and moving. Speaking of eating, which diet should you pick to shed those extra pounds? Well, the question might sound tricky but we got the answer!

We’ll show you the best diet to lose weight and keep it off. Plus, you’ll get to know how you can pick the one that suits your taste while keeping you full. Also, we’ll tell you how to stick to your plan for a long time so you can reach and keep your perfect weight safely.

 

How to Choose a Simple Diet to Lose Weight

How to Choose a Simple Diet to Lose Weight

If you’re looking for a simple diet to lose weight, it should be balanced, sustainable, and enjoyable. So, when looking for a diet, choose one that includes all types of food, rather than cutting out your favorites.

Here are some questions to consider —

Is the diet sustainable long-term?

If you can’t see yourself following it every day indefinitely, you might regain the weight once you stop.

Does the diet feel too restrictive?

If it makes you feel deprived, sticking to it can be hard, often leading to overeating or binging.

Can you still enjoy life on this diet?

If you love dining out, having ice cream occasionally, or enjoying mimosas at brunch, make sure your diet accommodates these pleasures. If it requires pausing your life, it’s probably not the right choice.

Does the diet provide enough nutrition?

Avoid any diet that severely limits your calorie intake, like those suggesting you restrict yourself to 1,200 calories. Such diets are not sustainable, and you’re likely to regain weight once you stop them.

 

Top Diet to Lose Weight

Top Diet to Lose Weight

Let’s move on to the diets that can rid your body of worry and excess weight without taking too much time.

1. Mediterranean Diet

The Mediterranean diet isn’t about cutting out specific foods or nutrients; it’s about overall diet quality. This diet is known for reducing the risk of heart disease and Type 2 diabetes, and it’s linked to longer, healthier lives.

Its benefits were first noted in the Seven Countries Study from 1958 to 1999. This study, involved around 13,000 men from countries like Greece, Italy, and Japan. It showed that the type of fat in your diet matters more for heart health than the amount of fat.

While general advice often limits fat to 30% of your diet, the Mediterranean diet suggests that up to 40% can be healthy if it’s mostly unsaturated fats. If you’re looking for an easy diet to lose weight, the Mediterranean diet might be a great option.

It focuses on wholesome, unprocessed foods and includes a variety of nutrients and flavours, making it a sustainable and enjoyable way to improve your health.

How Does the Mediterranean Diet Work?

The Mediterranean diet is known for its health benefits, like reducing the risk of chronic diseases and slowing cognitive decline. But it’s also effective for weight loss.

Especially if you keep your daily calories under 1,500. Research shows that following this diet, or its low-carb version, can lead to a 5-10% reduction in body weight over a year. Plus, it’s great for keeping the weight off.

A British study found that people who followed a Mediterranean-style diet after losing a lot of weight were twice as likely to maintain their weight loss.

Short-Term Weight Loss

Combining the Mediterranean diet with fewer carbs seems to be effective for quick weight loss. In a study with 194 overweight Type 2 diabetes patients, participants were split into three groups, each following a different diet while also reducing calories and exercising.

After a year,

  • The low-carb Mediterranean diet group lost an average of 22 pounds
  • The traditional Mediterranean diet group lost 16 pounds
  • The American Diabetes Association diet group lost 17 pounds.

Long-Term Weight Loss

While there are fewer studies on the Mediterranean diet’s long-term weight loss effectiveness, the existing research is encouraging.

 

2. WeightWatchers Diet

WeightWatchers (WW) is all about sustainable weight loss through behavioural change, nutritional understanding, and community support. It encourages you to form lasting habits, eat better, and increase physical activity.

WW provides support through its app, online and in-person workshops, and guidance on changing your eating habits and mindset.

How Do the WeightWatchers Work?

WeightWatchers focuses on altering your relationship with food. While it doesn’t ban any foods, it evaluates them based on nutritional content like sugars, fibre, and fats to assign a Points value. This system helps you make healthier food choices.

A 2013 study showed that people on WW were eight times more likely to lose at least 10% of their body weight in six months compared to those dieting alone.

How Do the Weight Watchers Work?

Short-Term Weight Loss

In a 12-week study of 740 people with obesity or overweight, participants were assigned to various weight loss programs, including WeightWatchers. The study found that all groups lost weight, but those on WeightWatchers had the most significant loss, averaging 9.8 pounds in 12 weeks.

It makes WeightWatchers the best diet to lose weight quickly, offering a structured yet flexible approach to weight loss

Long-Term Weight Loss

A comprehensive review of 45 studies on various weight loss programs found that after a year, those on WeightWatchers had lost 2.6% more weight than people who didn’t follow any specific program or just received basic health education.

3. DASH Diet

DASH, which stands for Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension, is a diet plan aimed at preventing or controlling high blood pressure. Endorsed by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, it’s a flexible and heart-healthy diet.

It focuses on increasing your intake of fibre and minerals like potassium, calcium, and magnesium while reducing sodium and unhealthy fats. The DASH diet typically limits sodium to 2,300 milligrams a day, often reduced further to about 1,500 milligrams.

How Does the DASH Diet Work?

The DASH diet is similar to the Mediterranean diet but provides more specific guidance on the amounts and types of food to eat. A study involving obese older adults showed that following the DASH diet led to weight loss, reduced body fat, and other health benefits.

How Does the DASH Diet Work?

This makes it the best diet to lose weight and gain muscle, offering clear dietary guidelines and promoting overall health.

Short-Term Weight Loss

A clinical trial found that the DASH diet led to a notable decrease in weight and BMI in just eight weeks, outperforming the control diet.

Long-Term Weight Loss

By cutting out processed, sugary, salty, and high-fat foods, as recommended by the DASH diet, and maintaining regular exercise, you can lose weight.

4. Flexitarian Diet

The Flexitarian diet is a less strict form of vegetarianism, blending ‘flexible’ and ‘vegetarian’ principles. Unlike a strict vegetarian diet, it allows you to enjoy meatless meals most of the time while still indulging in meat occasionally, like a burger or steak during special events.

This diet, which focuses on more plant-based foods and less meat, has been linked to not just weight loss but also improved overall health. Studies indicate that following a Flexitarian diet can reduce the risk of heart disease, diabetes, and cancer.

If you’re looking for a diet to lose weight without exercise, the Flexitarian approach offers a balanced and health-conscious choice.

How Does the Flexitarian Diet Work?

The Flexitarian diet involves focusing on non-meat proteins like peas, beans, and eggs, along with vegetables, fruits, dairy, whole grains, and various seasonings. You gradually cut down on meat, increasing the number of meat-free days each week.

If you’re missing meat, plant-based alternatives like veggie burgers are a great option. A study found that flexitarians had lower rates of metabolic syndrome compared to regular meat-eaters.

Short-Term Weight Loss

Though the Flexitarian diet doesn’t completely cut out meat, research shows that plant-based diets can lead to quick weight loss.

Long-Term Weight Loss

A review of 25 studies showed that people on a semi-vegetarian or Flexitarian diet generally had lower body mass indexes (BMIs) than those on a non-vegetarian diet. The lowest BMIs were observed in those who followed a fully vegetarian diet.

5. Vegan Diet

A vegan diet means you eat grains, vegetables, fruits, beans, nuts and seeds. Vegans get all the nutrients they need from foods that come from plants. You don’t eat any foods that come from animals, like meat, milk, cheese, and eggs.

Some people want to be vegans because they think it is good for the planet to eat only plants. To understand how much it helps the planet, look at this data. It shows that you need almost 100 times more land to make one calorie or one gram of protein from beef than from plants.

 

How Does the Vegan Diet Work?

The vegan diet is all about consuming plant-based foods. This includes whole vegetables, grains, seeds, fruits, beans, legumes, and nuts. It’s important to steer clear of all animal products. This also means avoiding foods that might not seem like they come from animals, such as gelatin and honey.

Even though some snacks like chips and cookies may be vegan, they’re often highly processed and not part of a nutritious vegan diet. So, it’s best to limit these when you can.

Besides, an Australian study in 2020 found something intriguing. Vegans and vegetarians are more likely to stick to their diet in the long term compared to those on diets like paleo. That’s because their motivation often comes from ethical and moral beliefs, not just the desire to lose weight.

Short-Term Weight Loss

A study involving adults who were overweight or obese found that a vegan diet led to a decrease in body mass index and weight over 16 weeks. The study also looked at body composition and found a reduction in fat mass and the volume of visceral fat in those following a vegan diet.

Long-Term Weight Loss

According to a Taiwanese study, for each year someone followed a vegan diet, the likelihood of them being obese decreased by 7%.

6. Noom

Noom is a health app that you subscribe to. It helps you track your meals and workouts. It also offers virtual coaching and education to help you make lifestyle changes for better health.

While Noom ads suggest you can eat anything, the Noom Healthy Weight program still emphasizes food calorie content.

In May 2023, Noom launched Noom Med. This service provides prescription weight-loss medications to eligible patients. It’s currently available in 35 states. Besides, Noom Med has a clinical team that assesses patients, gives advice, and prescribes weight loss medications to those who meet the criteria.

How Does the NOOM Diet Work?

Being accountable is very beneficial. If you honestly log all your food and drink in the Noom app, it can guide you to stay within your daily calorie limit. The app also emphasizes low-calorie nutrient-rich foods and offers one-on-one coaching through messaging, which are all useful tools for weight loss.

Noom doesn’t provide a detailed menu. Instead, the Noom app gives personalized feedback based on your food log. Foods are sorted into three colour-coded groups based on their calorie content and nutritional value. It’s about getting away from high-calorie, low-nutrient stuff.

Short-Term Weight Loss

During an eight-week trial, women who used the Noom app and had individual therapists guide them lost more weight and fat than those using apps without personal coaches.

Long-Term Weight Loss

A study found that people who used the Noom app lost 7.5% of their body weight in 15 weeks. They managed to keep most of the weight off for a year by regularly recording their meals and workouts.

 

7. TLC Diet

The TLC diet, short for Therapeutic Lifestyle Changes, is a plan developed by the National Institutes of Health’s National Cholesterol Education Program. It’s designed to reduce cholesterol as part of a heart-friendly eating plan.

The diet encourages you to eat plenty of fruits, lean meats, vegetables, and bread, whole-grain pasta, and cereals. It also advises you to limit saturated fats, trans fats, and cholesterol.

How Does the TLC Diet Work?

Keep your meat portions small, around 5 ounces daily, and go for lean options like skinless chicken, turkey, or fish. Include 2-3 servings of low-fat or fat-free dairy, 4 servings of fruit, and 3-5 servings of veggies each day.

When starting the TLC diet, first decide on your calorie target. For lowering LDL cholesterol, men should aim for 2,500 calories and women for 1,800 calories a day. For weight loss, men should have 1,200-1,600 calories, and women 1,000-1,200 calories a day.

Also, cut down on saturated fats to less than 7% of your daily calories. It means eating less fatty meats and high-fat dairy products. Along with diet changes, staying active is key to better health.

 

Short-Term Weight Loss

A small study in the Journal of the American Medical Association Internal Medicine found that people with a body mass index over 27 lost more weight in 12 weeks on a low-carb diet than those on the TLC diet.

Long-Term Weight Loss

A study comparing the Atkins and TLC diets found that after a year, people on the Atkins diet lost an average of about 11 pounds, while those on the TLC diet lost about seven pounds

 

8. Paleo Diet

The paleo diet is inspired by the eating habits of early humans from the Paleolithic era. The idea is straightforward: If our prehistoric ancestors didn’t eat it, neither should you. It includes foods like refined sugar, legumes, dairy, and grains.

How Does the Paleo Diet Work?

This diet involves cutting out all grains, legumes, dairy, and processed foods. Instead, you’ll mainly eat fish, meat, fruits, poultry, and vegetables.

Yes, getting rid of processed food is beneficial. However, when you completely remove healthy whole grains could lead to a lack of essential vitamins and minerals, as per the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

Short-Term Weight Loss

According to analyses of 11 studies, people on the paleo diet lose an average of 8 pounds more and reduce their waist circumference more than people on other diets.

Long-Term Weight Loss

A study involving 70 obese, postmenopausal women compared weight loss over two years on either the paleo diet or the Nordic diet. After six months, those on the paleo diet lost an average of 6 pounds more than those on the Nordic diet.

 

Safety Tips for Weight Loss Diets

Most diets for losing weight are simply ways to eat healthier or consume fewer calories, which is usually safe for many. But, diets that focus on fast weight loss can be risky.

Some people should not follow weight loss diets. These include —

  • People who have had eating disorders like anorexia or bulimia.
  • People whose doctor has advised them not to lose weight.
  • People with health conditions need a special diet.

If you’re not sure whether a weight loss diet is right for you, it’s best to ask your doctor or a dietitian.

 

Conclusion

Losing weight successfully often comes down to picking the right diet. It’s important to choose a diet that you can stick to and that gives you all the nutrients you need.

The best diet to lose weight is one that doesn’t limit you too much and lets you enjoy your life while being healthy. Take the Mediterranean Diet as an example. It’s known for its well-rounded way of eating. Or the Flexitarian Diet, which gives you more choices in what you eat.

Both are good choices because they help with weight loss and are good for your health in the long run. In the end, the best diet is the one that easily fits into your daily life and helps you feel good overall, without feeling too much effort.

 

FAQs

How long should you stick to a diet before trying a new one?

The answer varies. If your current diet lacks essential nutrients, you might want to switch soon. But if it’s just about getting used to the new routine, give it more time. Generally, if there’s no real benefit after a month, consider changing it.

Remember, you don’t have to strictly follow a diet like the Mediterranean one. You can adapt it to your needs or follow it mostly, like 80-90% of the time.

Is a liquid diet effective for losing weight?

Before starting a liquid diet, it’s best to talk to a doctor. While some find success with liquid diets, they’re not ideal for everyone.

What is a fad diet?

A fad diet is a diet that becomes popular quickly and promises fast weight loss. These diets often cut out important foods and usually don’t help with long-term, healthy weight loss.

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