There is a plethora of fad diets out there, all promising fast results and substantial weight loss but often they don’t live up to the hype. If you ever experienced a diet that was impossible to follow and involved a small fortune in grocery supplies, or showed you little to no results then you know how difficult finding a good diet plan can be.
A lot of the diet options out there are based on dubious pseudo-science and can sometimes even be dangerous for the practices they advocate.
Never fear however, there are good diets out there! We’ve put together a list of the 10 best diets for weight loss – some of them are recommended by, doctors, nutrition and other specialists. Read our list below to find out more.
What are the 10 Best Diets to Lose Weight?
Here are the top 10 diet to lose fat fast without much effort:
- The Mediterranean Diet
- 16:8 Intermittent fasting
- Weight Watchers
- The new Atkins diet
- The Nutritarian Diet
- The Keto Diet
- DASH Diet
- CICO Diet
- The Ornish Diet
- The Paleo Diet
1. The Mediterranean Diet
If you’re looking for a diet to lose weight, improve your health and keep your heart healthy into old age then the Mediterranean diet if the diet for you. This diet regularly top list’s as one of the best because of its balanced and sustainable nature.
How The Mediterranean diet works?
The Mediterranean diet is based on the eating habits of those living in the Mediterranean region – the idea for it was developed based on the observation that people living within the region lived far longer lives than those in other regions. Unlike the highly processed diets found in the US, Mediterranean food is all about healthy eating and emphasises plant-based foods and healthy fats like olive oil, herbs and spices to flavour instead of high sodium foods, fish and poultry over red meat and the occasional glass of red wine.
The Mediterranean diet is not hugely restrictive but involved cutting down on saturated fats or high-sugar foods and instead involves making smart choices about food. A lot of the Mediterranean staples can be high fat and in some diets might be seen as foods to avoid, but they’re often healthy fats found in nuts and oils and can contribute to a healthy, longer life.
The food profile of this diet is so fantastic; you’ll barely notice you’re on a diet.
16:8 Intermittent Fasting
Intermittent fasting has been around since the beginning of man and was once a regular practice for Ancient man. Nowadays, with such easy and convenient access to food the practice is often avoided.
The 3-meals a day routine has been strongly ingrained for many people, so the idea of willingly going hungry for any length of time is a little bit intimidating. The truth it, when practiced responsibly intermittent fasting can have some great health benefits.
How 16:8 Intermittent Fasting diet works?
A modern take on intermittent fasting is the 16:8 fasting method for its ease and convenience. This diet basically involved as 16 hour fasting period, followed by an 8 hour eating window. The fasting period basically allows the body to burn off fuel and begin to break down fat, resulting in weight loss and other health benefits.
This diet is easy to follow and non-restrictive of food choices which makes it ideal for fitting into the busy lifestyles of today.
For short fasting periods you are not at risk of many of the complications that you might associate with fasting, such as malnourishment or re-feeding syndrome, which means this is a safe and effective form of weight loss. Studies have shown the effectiveness of the diet.
This diet is easy to follow and perfect for those who don’t want to count carbs, if you eat later in the day and avoid snacking it’s unlikely you’ll even notice the fasting periods.
No diet list is complete without mentioning Weight Watchers. Mention of the brand ubiquitous with dieting will probably conjure memories of the ads from the 90’s and Oprah Winfrey, but Weight Watchers has moved on with the rest of the world from focusing solely on weight and has been re-imagined in recent years to involved a more holistic approach that prioritises overall health and wellbeing, in addition to weight loss.
How Weight Watchers diet works?
Their system involves using digital tools, coaching and a science backed points system to track your diet and help you to make good food choices.
If you’re looking for a diet to fit your life and help to improve your overall lifestyle then you certainly can’t go wrong with Weight Watchers.
The New Atkins Diet
Your probably remember the Atkins diet from the 90’s, the low-carb diet was all the rage for a while and popular with celebrities like Jennifer Aniston. The diet was subsequently dismissed as a fad diet, and unhealthy because of its content and restrictiveness. The Atkins diet has since then been reworked and the new Atkins diet involved phased eating, and the eventual reintroduction of carbs making it far more sustainable to follow and maintain.
How The New Atkins diet works?
The diet involves cutting out a lot of processed foods or food high in carbohydrates and starch initially during phase 1, and instead eating high protein foods and low-carb vegetables to try and kick start weight loss. Phase 2 involves balancing out the diet and slowly reintroducing foods, whilst phase 3 involves fine-tuning as you approach goal weight. Phase 4 is all about maintaining your goal weight.
Whilst the phasing of the new Atkins diet is very weight focused, the diet is actually great for encouraging people to make long lasting lifestyle changes gradually and sustainably so that results can be maintained and they don’t yo-yo between fad dieting and poor diet choices.
The Atkins diet is an effective way to lose weight and great for those wanting to see weight loss results but hoping to get them in a way that is long-term sustainable.
The Nutritarian Diet
The Nutritarian Diet has been getting a lot of attention in recent years – this eating plan created by Dr Fuhrman promises to assist with losing weight, reducing the signs of aging and help you to live longer. The diet is vegan, gluten-free, low sodium and low fat so it’s perfect for people with concerns or restrictions about the food that they eat.
How The Nutritarian diet works?
The heart of the Nutritarian diet is a large daily salad, and non-starchy vegetables which can be consumed regularly throughout the day.
The diet is very restrictive so it can be difficult to maintain for longer periods of time, the strictness of the diet will definitely make it difficult to eat out or find quick food solutions so this might not be the best choice for some.
If you’re looking to hit reset on your diet however and make a big change to the way that you eat, then Nutritarian diet is probably a good one to try.
The Keto Diet
The Keto Diet is a low-carb, high-fat diet that has been used medically for many years to help to improve the health outcomes for patients suffering from conditions such as epilepsy and Alzheimer’s disease.
How The Keto diet works?
The main goal of the keto diet is to induce the metabolic state of ketosis, which basically involves the body burning fats instead of glucose. The low-carb nature of the Keto diet means that the body doesn’t have access to its usual stores of carbohydrate and will begin to access fat stores instead to produce energy.
The fat burning action of the Keto Diet means that it is highly effective for weight loss and many people on the diet see great results.
A typical meal on the diet might involve fatty meats such as bacon, cheese, eggs and nuts, making it easy to have tasty meals on the diet. It is possible to eat out with Keto, look for egg-based meals or meat dishes.
This flexibility means the diet is more easily maintained than many low-carb diets, however it is still quite restrictive and when used medically it is usually only over a short period – this is for a good reason, it is difficult to maintain a restrictive diet over a long period of time and ketosis can have some interesting side effects, like bad breath and fruity smelling urine.
Keto isn’t right for everyone but it has a slew of health benefits and can be life changing for those needing to reduce their sugar intake or lose weight.
The DASH Diet stands for Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension and is focuses on heart health and lowering blood pressure through a flexible, balanced diet.
How DASH diet works?
The eating plan sets out a number of weekly goals for food to include in the diet (i.e 6 servings of grain) but does not restrict any food items.
By meeting the goals people are naturally encouraged to be conscious of their portion sizes, reduce their sodium intake and eat a wider variety of foods.
The DASH diet is not specifically geared towards weight loss, but it’s a common side effect of the healthy eating guidelines set out by the eating plan.
The DASH diet is very forgiving and flexible and advocates moderation for all things, even caffeine and alcohol. It advocates that you do not punish yourself for slip ups and that you reward yourself on occasion.
If you’re sick of punishing, highly restrictive diets than DASH might be a good one to try.
The CICO diet stands for calories in, calories out and is a very simple and easy to understand eating plan. The CICO diet basically proposes that weight loss basically happens when you burn more calories than you eat. There are no dietary restrictions or foods to void when following this diet, you just need to follow one basic rule which is to eat less calories than you burn in a day.
How CICO diet works?
CICO basically just involves calculating the calories your body needs in a day and then tracking what you eat and your exercise.
The CICO diet is a great starting point for those looking to lose weight, but it doesn’t get everything right. It’s important to ensure that the calories being eaten are coming from sources that also provide the right nutrients and vitamins needed to stay healthy.
If you follow CICO with no consideration of the quality of foods you put in your mouth then it’s possible you might end up unwell or deficient in important vitamins and minerals.
If you’re not eating the right things you’ll probably also feel hungry and you won’t be able to maintain the diet for longer periods of time.
That being said, when followed with a balanced diet CICO can be a highly flexible and very effective weight loss method. There are certainly many people who swear by it and it’s becoming an increasingly popular weight loss method.
The Ornish Diet
The Ornish Diet is a low fat diet that prioritises fruits, vegetables and grain; it is a predominantly vegan diet so it restricts a number of food groups like meat, poultry, fish, dairy and eggs.
The Ornish Diet, developed by Dr Dean Ornish and a team of researchers in the 90’s has become increasingly popular over the years for those needing to look after their heart health, reduce stress and lose weight.
How The Ornish diet works?
The diet is a part of a wider eating plan that involves four components, diet, exercise, stress management and social support. This is effective as it recognises there is more to a healthy lifestyle and weigh loss than just dietary choices.
The diet has some impressive research behind it and has been shown to reduce the weight of its followers and maintain it long-term. The solid evidence base that is has built up means that it is a popular recommendation from doctors seeking to assist patients with improving their quality of life.
The extreme restrictiveness of the diet however means that it can be very difficult to follow and impossible for some. The diet involves dropping dietary fats to less than 10% of daily calories and can be challenging for those who like to eat out or socialise.
If you have heart disease or you’re looking to lose weight, the Ornish diet is certainly very effective. Some people may struggle, but there are many people out there who are likely to benefit from the clear guidelines and restrictions involved with the diet.
The Paleo Diet
The Paleo Diet or ‘caveman diet’ is perhaps one of the most talked-about and popular diets in recent years. It is certainly extremely trendy and there has been a lot of debate in recent years about the diet and its effectiveness. It certainly had a large fan base, with the interest in it continuing to grow each year, fuelled by celebrity proponents and a strong millennial following.
The Paleo diet is based on the diets of our ancient ancestors and aims to help with weight loss, improve heart health and reduce the risk of disease.
How The Paleo diet works?
The basic idea behind it is based on the hypothesis that modern eating is mismatched to the body’s needs – the pace at which farming practices evolved and the changes that led to in the average diet meant that evolution did not have time to catch up.
The mismatch between the modern diet and the human body contributes to modern diseases like diabetes and heart disease.
The diet basically focuses on whole foods such as meat, eggs, vegetables, nuts, seeds and healthy fat and oils. Anything processes or made in a factory should be avoided.
There is no calorie counting required and the diet is quite filling because it’s rich in fiber and lean meat, and its popularity means that there’s a big range of allowable items available when eating out so you don’t have to miss out on socialising when following the diet.
The Paleo diet when strictly adhered to can be one of the more difficult diets to follow, it is restrictive of food groups like dairy, beans and grains and not necessarily very balanced.
It’s important to remember that our ancestors didn’t live particularly long lives. So whilst the diet might be helpful for weight loss and has a lively community for support, you might benefit from following it in moderation or adapting it to your own dietary needs.
This article is private opinion, based on private research and it’s not medical advice. Please remember to speak with your GP before changing any diet, so you can be sure if the chosen diet suits you.
Executive Editor at Best in Australia. Mike has spent over a decade covering news related to business leaders and entrepreneurs around Australia and across the world.