If you’re looking to lose weight, and you want to be successful, then it’s time to learn The Diet List for Weight Loss. I’m showing you step-by-step what you need to do, so that your success rate will increase dramatically. I’ve heard people complain about how hard it is to lose weight — and let me tell you this — it is hard enough without making it more complicated than it has to be! So let’s add some clarity into the mix and get focused on what works.
How to choose a new diet
Deciding on a new diet is a big deal, and it can be tricky to select the right one for you. “One must remember that healthy weight loss is a commitment that takes time,” says Keri Gans, M.S., R.D., author of The Small Change Diet. “There is no silver bullet. When choosing a diet, opt for one that is an all-food inclusive and not one that is about eliminating foods, especially those you love.”
Amanda Holtzer, M.S., R.D., a dietitian at Culina Health, suggests asking yourself the following question before settling on a new diet:
● Is this diet sustainable for you? “Meaning, can you do it seven days a week, forever?” she says. “Because if not, the second you stop doing it, chances are you’ll gain the weight back.”
● Is this diet overly restrictive? If you’re going to feel deprived, Holtzer says it will be tough to stick with a particular diet. “Eventually, those cravings will take over,” she says. “Oftentimes, this kind of situation leads to overindulgences or even binges.”
● Will you be able to live your life while on it? If you like to eat out with friends, grab ice cream on occasion, and enjoy mimosas at brunch, it’s important to consider if your diet will allow this, Holtzer says. “If you think you’ll have to put your life on hold to execute this diet properly, it ain’t the one,” she says.
● Will you be adequately nourished? Holtzer says this is “the most important” question to ask yourself. “Any diet that prescribes intensely low calories is not the one,” she says, citing diets that want to you to restrict yourself to 1,200 calories. “Remember, the second you stop eating that way, you’ll gain the weight back,” Holtzer says.
Ultimately, Gans says, “a good fit will have many parts to it that become part of your lifestyle, not something that you will be counting the days ‘til it is over.”
How long should you give a diet before trying something new?
Sure, it’s possible to choose a diet the first time that may not be right for you. So, how long should you give it? Holtzer says “not very long.” She recommends doing daily check-ins with yourself to see how you’re feeling on a new diet. A few things to consider, per Holtzer:
- How well you’ve been able to stick to the diet
- What you did well
- What you could have improved on
- Whether you feel satisfied from your meals and snacks
- How much you’re thinking about food on the diet
- How much the diet is impacting other areas of your life
“Even if you finish day one of a diet, and the answers to some of these questions indicate that this diet may not be right, I would say it’s time to call it,” Holtzer says. “Life is too short to be on a diet that takes away from it.” (But, she adds, if you feel like daily check-ins are too much, you can reevaluate every week.)
Gans agrees that you shouldn’t stick with something that doesn’t feel right. “If you are losing one to two pounds a week, then you are on the road to success,” she says. “However, if you are losing weight, but feel you cannot continue for long because it is so darn hard, the time to switch is immediate.”
Overall, Gans recommends keeping this in mind: “The best diet is the one that doesn’t feel like a diet. The plan incorporates all foods groups, teaches you about portion sizes, provides healthy cooking tips, includes dining out strategies, suggest regular physical activity and adequate sleep. The best diet is actually not a diet, but a lifestyle.”
We asked a panel of dietitians to sort through some of the most buzzed-about diets, and discuss the good, the bad, and the hungry. Here are their recommendations of the top 11 to consider—and 4 to forget about.
Consistently rated as one of the best diets by U.S. News & World Report, Volumetrics was created by Barbara Rolls, Ph.D., a professor of nutrition at Penn State University. The strategy here is simple: Fill up on foods that provide the most nutrition for the least amount of calories. Foods are divided into four categories, from least energy-dense (fruits, non-starchy vegetables, broth-based soups) to most energy-dense (crackers, cookies, chocolate, nuts, and butter); dieters plan their meals to include as many of the lower-density foods as possible.
How it works for weight loss: The math here is simple—the fewer calories consumed, the more weight you’ll drop. A 2016 study found a significant association between low-energy-density diets and weight loss.
Similar to a Flexitarian diet, a plant-based diet doesn’t have any super-strict rules: You just focus on eating whole foods derived from plants most of the time, with wiggle room for the occasional piece of chicken or scrambled egg. You’re basically taking the standard American diet—which features a big hunk of meat in the center of the plate, with a few vegetables scattered on the side—and flipping that around, so vegetables, fruits, beans, nuts, and whole grains, are the star of the show, and beef, poultry, fish, eggs, and dairy only make small, cameo appearances when you have a true craving.
How it works for weight loss: Plant-based foods tend to be higher in fiber and lower in fat than animal products, keeping you filled up for fewer calories. According to one large study, overweight and obese adults who followed a plant-based diet for six months lost an average of 26 pounds.
The New Mayo Clinic Diet
The Mayo Clinic Diet was created by the highly esteemed medical organization of the same name, and it’s specially designed to be a lifestyle change—not a quick fix. The diet centers around an easy-to-follow food pyramid that stresses the importance of loading up on fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, while minimizing sweets and certain fats.
The diet happens in two phases. First, there’s a two-week phase that’s designed to jump-start your weight loss by introducing five healthy habits and teaching you to break five common habits. The second phase is designed to be followed for life and helps you learn more about healthy food choices and portion sizes, along with being physically active.
How it works for weight loss: Keri Gans, R.D., author of The Small Change Diet says the focus on lifestyle changes is important, both for weight loss and weight maintenance. “It teaches you about portion sizes and food choices, while not excluding any food groups, as well as including daily physical activity, all of which may play a huge role in weight loss,” she says. Worth noting: The Mayo Clinic says you may lose up to 10 pounds during the first two weeks, and one to two pounds during the second phase, depending on what your lifestyle was like before you went on the diet.
Noom is a subscription-based app that tracks a person’s food intake and exercise habits. It helps categorize foods as potentially being helpful or detrimental to a person’s weight-loss goals and also offers up daily calorie goals. Users of the app are synched up with coaches to help guide them through their weight loss process. “It has one-on-one support, and the tech is very convenient,” says Jessica Cording, R.D., author of The Little Book of Game-Changers.
How it works for weight loss: The accountability aspect is “really helpful,” Cording says. Gans agrees. “If you are truthful and log everything you eat and drink via the Noom app, it will help guide you to stay within your daily calorie allotment,” she says. “It also focuses on low-calorie nutrient foods and provides a one-on-one coach via messaging, all valuable for tools for weight loss.”
The Pescatarian diet is a mostly plant-based diet that still allows room for fish and other seafood. “It’s a mostly vegetarian diet, but with some fish,” Cording says. The emphasis is on eating whole, unprocessed foods, along with grilled or seared seafood for an overall healthy diet.
How it works for weight loss: “Fish is a pretty lean protein source,” Cording says. “When you compare that to somebody who was eating heavy amounts of red meat, you would expect to see some weight loss.” Gans stresses the importance of eating plenty of fruits, veggies, and 100% whole grains, along with “watching portion sizes and preparing your fish in a healthy way, i.e. broiled, grilled, or steamed.”
Different Diet Plans That Could Help You Lose Weight — We’ve Got Tons of Info to Help You Decide
Whether you want to lose weight or improve your health, discover all the different diet plans out there
We all wish there was a bulletproof answer on how to lose weight. Every day, another celebrity is enthusing about the increase in energy and glowing skin they got simply by switching to X or Y diet. There’s no magic bullet, this we know. But there are types of diets out there that can help you lose weight, in combination with other healthy lifestyle choices. There are also fad diets that will do nothing for you—and possibly even endanger your health.
So we set out to gather all the info for you on all different types of diets—low-carb diets, keto diets, fasting diets, diets that work and diets that don’t. We list the pros and cons and other key facts to know when you’re searching for how to lose weight. Read on for the real skinny on all the different kinds of diet plans out there.
Best Life Diet
The basics: A structured plan to phase in healthy food choices as you phase out less healthy foods. Created by Oprah Winfrey’s one-time trainer Bob Greene, as outlined in his book The Best Life Diet.
Positives: The focus on making gradual changes to your diet increases the chance that you will stick with a healthier way of eating long term. Includes regular exercise as part of the plan.
Drawbacks: Eating away from home may be difficult to navigate.
The French Diet
The basics: Eat like a French person—savor indulgent foods, but control portions. The concept was popularized by the book French Women Don’t Get Fat by Mireille Guiliano.
Positives: You get to eat what you like, with the caveat that you eat it slowly, mindfully to fully enjoy it. Taking that time lets your brain get the signal that you are full before you overstuff yourself. Emphasizes fresh foods over processed foods.
Drawbacks and concerns: It can be hard to find the time to have a leisurely meal three times a day.
The basics: High fat, moderate protein, very low carb
Positives: The keto diet eliminates processed, empty-calorie staples like white breads, white rice and sugary drinks. Many followers experience fast weight loss, without having to give up fave foods like bacon and butter.
Drawbacks and concerns: It eliminates many nutritious fruits and vegetables with a high carb count. Eating too much fat or too much protein can have an adverse effect on overall health.
The list of foods you can eat on keto is limited and following the diet requires meticulously tracking every bite to keep to a 5% carb/10% protein/75% fat ratio for weight loss or maintenance. Though keto advocates often credit this way of eating with increasing their energy, many find that the lack of carbs leads to fatigue, especially in the first weeks of transitioning to the diet.
The basics: Very low carb
Positives: While the ketogenic diet requires followers to keep track of the percentage of fat, protein and carbs they eat each day, lazy keto dieters focus only on keeping their carb count low.
Drawbacks: The goal of the keto diet is to put the body into a state of ketosis, so that it burns fat instead of carbohydrates. Lazy keto may not lead to ketosis.
The basics: Like keto, but with more carbs and less fat
Positives: On a traditional ketogenic diet, you are supposed to consume 75% fat, 10% protein and 5% carbs. Keto 2.0 adjusts that ratio to 50% fat, 30% protein and 20% carb. That higher carb percentage makes it easier to add fruits and vegetables that would blow up your carb count on traditional keto.
Drawbacks and concerns: Still relatively restrictive. Requires tracking food.
The basics: A bit of keto, a bit of carb cycling, some intermittent fasting and a bunch of branded products, outlined in The Bulletproof Diet by Dave Asprey.
Positives: Pumping up the carb count twice a week will counteract side effects like keto flu, constipation and lack of energy that can sometimes accompany a super low carb diet.
Drawbacks and concerns: Extremely restrictive food list. Can be costly when using the branded products that the diet calls for.
Cabbage Soup Diet
The basics: Eat a lot of cabbage soup for one week, and not much else.
Fad diet alert: If you can stick to eating mostly cabbage soup for one week, you may lose water weight due to the calorie restriction, but this is a temporary weight loss plan.
Five Bite Diet
The basics: Skip breakfast, eat what you like for lunch and dinner, but only five bites for each meal
Fad diet alert: The extreme calorie reduction may lead to weight loss, but also to health issues, fatigue, lack of proper nutrition.
Soup Diet (multiple variations)
The basics: Eat a hearty soup for at least one meal a day for a limited time to lose weight
Positives: Emphasis on adding vegetables into diet. Soup has been shown to be filling. Discourages processed foods and snacking.
Drawbacks and concerns: Restrictive. Weight loss is short term.
Fad diet alert: Some variations of the diet promise extreme weight loss in a short period of time.
Apple Cider Vinegar Diet
The basics: Sip a few teaspoons or tablespoons of apple cider vinegar before each meal or add the vinegar into the meal (assumes that you are already eating a healthful diet).
Positives: May have some health benefits, such as maintaining a good alkaline level in the body.
Drawbacks and concerns: Undiluted apple cider vinegar can erode tooth enamel. May cause nausea. Vinegar may alter insulin levels, so this plan could be detrimental to people with diabetes.
Fad diet alert: Claims for weight loss have not been backed by research.
Baby Food Diet
The basics: Eat baby food for breakfast and lunch (14 jars total), have a healthy dinner
Positives: Effective for weight loss. Baby food has lots of nutrients.
Drawbacks and concerns: Baby food does not appeal to adult tastes. Adult nutrient requirements are different than infant requirements.
Fad diet alert: You may lose weight if you can stick to this plan, but will likely regain it once you stop.
Hollywood Cookie Diet
The basics: Eat 4-6 of the branded Hollywood Cookies throughout the day instead of meals and snacks, then have a low-calorie dinner.
Positives: Effective for short term weight loss. Recommends consulting with a doctor before starting the diet.
Drawbacks and concerns: Expensive. Low in vital nutrients. Not a long-term diet plan.
Fad diet alert: Requires buying the branded product to do the diet. Promises dramatic results.
Hard Boiled Egg Diet
The basics: Eat two to three eggs a day, or eggs at every meal, rounded out with lean proteins and low carb fruits and vegetables.
Positives: Eggs are a low-calorie source of protein. Effective for weight loss.
Drawbacks and concerns: Extremely low-calorie. May cause fatigue and lack of energy. Low in fiber.
Fad diet alert: Claims you may be able to lose 25 pounds in two weeks.
The basics: Atkins for vegetarians.
Positives: One study showed a greater reduction on “bad” LDL cholesterol among Eco Atkins dieters compared to regular Atkins adherents and to vegetarians. The diet offers an alternative to vegetarians and vegans who tend to bulk up their meals with carbs like bread, rice and potatoes.
Drawbacks and concerns: You’ll need to supplement the diet with a daily vitamin and fish or flax oil.
The basics: Eat only plant-based foods, including omitting anything that has any connection to animals, including eggs, milk or gelatin.
Positives: Studies show the diet can improve cholesterol, blood glucose levels and lower blood pressure. Many followers go vegan because they see it as more humane or environmentally conscious than other diets.
Drawbacks and concerns: Followers may not get adequate levels of iron, calcium, vitamin B12 and omega-3 fatty acids that are considered vital to a healthy diet.
Worth noting: Many vegans also avoid clothes, furniture and other goods that use animal byproducts.
Foods to Choose for Weight Management
You might be relieved to know that you don’t have to spend a lot of money or go to fancy boutique grocery stores to fill your fridge if you’re trying to healthily lose weight. In fact, most products on the best weight loss foods list are common items that you can find in any supermarket.
The best healthy foods to help during your weight management journey are naturally delicious, full of nutrients, and easy to prepare. You can find foods like this in every section of the grocery store and sometimes even in convenience marts.
Salad Greens and Produce
The best salad greens for you are those that you enjoy. Some people prefer a crunchy texture and some prefer a savory flavor. Blending them together is a smart idea too, to take advantage of both nutrition and flavor.
The Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2020–2025 recommends consuming 2 1/2 cups of vegetables per day based on a 2,000-calorie daily intake. The dietary guidelines also break it down further recommending 1 1/2 cups of leafy greens per week, 5 1/2 cups of red and orange vegetables, and 4 cups of other vegetables.1
- Bibb lettuce
- Green leaf lettuce
- Iceberg lettuce
Savory or bitter greens:
Nutritious dark leafy greens:
You can also consider getting a slaw mix to enjoy the crunch and color that many of them provide. A bagged or loose spring mix is another smart option.
You’ll also find flavorful vegetables in the produce department. Add them to salads or eat them as a snack or side dish. These foods are low in calories, many of them are low in carbohydrates and sugar, and most are high in fiber.
Look for these colorful vegetables in the produce department:
- Bell peppers (red, green, yellow)
- Brussels sprouts
- Red onions
Fruit can help to satisfy your sweet tooth. Fruit has more calories than most veggies and you’ll consume natural sugar when you eat fruit, but you’ll also benefit from fiber and important vitamins. Just be sure to monitor portion size to keep your diet on track. The current Dietary Guidelines recommend consuming 2 cups of fruit per day.
Look for these fruits in the produce department:
Berries are another great choice. Raspberries, blueberries, blackberries, and strawberries are packed with nutrition.
Remember: Fruit juice is not as good for your diet as whole fruit. Opt for whole fruit when possible.
Yes, you can enjoy dairy when you are watching your weight. There are some low-fat or no-fat choices that work well in a menu of satisfying foods.
If you choose full-fat foods, just be sure to measure portion sizes. Whole fat dairy products contain more dietary fat, so they may keep you satisfied for a longer period of time, but they are also much higher in fat and calories.
Current Dietary Guidelines recommend consuming 3 cups or servings of dairy per day.1
- Cottage cheese
- Eggs or egg whites
- Greek yogurt
- Skim milk or fortified soy milk
- Skim mozzarella sticks or cheese minis