Do you want to lose weight, but are confused about choosing the right diet plan. There are so many diet plans for losing weight that it sometimes gets overwhelming to understand which one is suitable for your body.
Here are some of the best diets for weight loss, with their sustainability, benefits in weight loss and a few related side-effects that you will choose wisely.
Best Diets for Weight Loss
1. Intermittent Fasting
Intermittent fasting is a popular dietary technique that has a fixed cycle between periods of eating and fasting.
There are different you can get into doing intermittent fasting. To talk about the first one, it is the 16/8 process, which limits your calorie intake to only 8 hours a day. The other one is the 5:2 method, in which you limit your calorie intake to 500-600 calories only twice per week.
How the diet works
By restricting the time you eat, you can simply reduce the calorie intake. It eventually leads to weight loss, unless you start compensating by over-eating during the period you are allowed.
In various studies on intermittent fasting, it indicates how it causes a person to lose 3-8% of their weight over 3 to 24 weeks. Intermittent fasting is a proven way of weight loss than other existing methods.
The same study discussed above also showed that by intermittent fasting, you reduce the waist circumference by almost 4% to 7%, which again is a marker for the belly fat.
Other similar studies revealed that intermittent fasting could boost fat burning along with preserving your muscle mass, which eventually improves your metabolism.
This kind of diet plan for weight loss links to increased insulin sensitivity, anti-aging effects, controlled inflammation, enhanced brain health and several other benefits.
Intermittent fasting is a safe weight loss regime for many healthy adults.
If you have low blood sugar levels or sensitive to reducing their blood sugar levels, talk to a health and fitness expert before adopting this diet plan. The same goes for breastfeeding and pregnant woman.
2. Plant-based diets
Another popular weight loss diet plan is taking a plant-based diet. Veganism and vegetarianism are the two most popular versions of plant-based diets that limit animal products for ethical, health and environmental reasons.
Besides these, there are many other flexible plant-based diets like the flexitarian diet. It is a kind of plant-based diet that allows you to eat animal products moderately.
How the diet works
There are different kinds of vegetarianism, but most people go with avoiding all types of meat, fish and poultry. Similarly, some vegetarians may avoid dairy and eggs.
Coming to the vegan diet, it restricts all the animal products, including animal-derived products such as honey, gelatin, dairy, albumin, whey and casein.
Next in flexitarian diet, there are no strict rules to follow as it is more about changing your lifestyle than just diet. This kind of plant-based diet encourages eating more vegetables, fruits, whole grains and legumes. But at the same time, allows for animal products and proteins in moderation, which makes it one of the popular alternatives to veganism and vegetarianism.
Most restricted foods in plant-based diet are high in calories, which ultimately leads to weight loss.
According to several research, it is clear that plant-based diets are helpful in weight loss. An analysis of almost 12 studies that included 1151 individuals inferred that people getting on to plant-based diet lost around 4.4 pounds of weight on an average. This data was in comparison to the people who consumed animal products.
Plus, the ones who followed veganism lost around 5.5 pounds on average, which is more than people not on a plant-based diet.
This diet aids weight loss because the foods included are rich in fiber, which keeps you fuller for a long period of time and is low in calorie.
Plant-based diet is linked to several benefits like reduced risk of diabetes, cancers and chronic diseases such as cardiac problems. They are also environmentally sustainable.
Though it is a healthy diet, they can limit significant nutrients that are mainly found in animal-based food. A few examples include vitamin B12, vitamin D, iron and omega-3 fatty acids.
Going with a flexitarian approach can help gain these nutrients.
3. Low-carb diets
Low-carb diets are one of the most reliable diet plans for weight loss. Some of the examples of such diet include Ketogenic Diet (Keto), Atkins diet and the LCHF diet (Low-calorie, high-fat diet).
Some of the types of low-carb diets reduce carbs more than others. For example, the typical keto diet restricts macronutrients to less than 10% of the total calorie intake as compared to 30% or less restriction in other types of low-carb diets.
How the diet works
A low-carb diet limits your carbohydrates intake in favor of fat and protein. They are specifically high in protein as compared to low-fat diets. It works as an advantage, as protein is a crucial element to improve your metabolism, control your appetite and preserve muscle mass.
Various studies suggest that low-carb diets can promote weight loss. It can be more beneficial than the usual weight loss diet plans and other methods of weight loss.
In an analysis of 53 studies, which included 128 participants, it concluded that low-carb diets lead to more weight loss in comparison to low-fat diets. These kinds of diets help in faster fat burning.
Research indicates that getting into a low-carb diet can reduce the risk of heart disease, problems of high blood pressure and high cholesterol levels. They also help improving insulin and blood sugar levels in people having type 2 diabetes.
In some people, low-carb diet can increase the LDL or ‘bad’ cholesterol levels. Getting into a very low-carb diet like keto can lead to an upset stomach or other digestive problems for some people.
In the rarest of situations, a very low-carb diet can result in a condition called ketoacidosis. It is a severe metabolic condition that can go fatal if not treated on time.
4. The Paleo Diet
The paleo diet encourages eating the food that our ancestors allegedly ate. Based on a theory that speaks about our modern-day diseases to be the result of the western diet. It is because the proponents believe that our body is still to evolve to process grains, legumes and dairy.
How the diet works
The paleo diet suggests eating fruits, whole foods, lean meats, vegetables, seeds and nuts. It limits the consumption of grain, dairy, processed foods and sugar. However, there are some less-limiting versions to this, which allows a few dairy products such as cheese.
In several studies, experts discovered that paleo diet can promote weight loss, eliminating the excessive belly fat.
In a 3-week study, 14 healthy adults followed a paleo diet, which showed around 5.1 pounds of weight loss and reduced waist circumference by o.6 inches on an average.
Several research also indicates that following paleo diet will make you feel fuller than other popular diet plans for weight loss. It may be because of the high protein content.
When you follow paleo diet, it will help reduce risk factors of cardiac diseases like high levels of blood pressure, triglycerides and cholesterol.
Even though a paleo diet is considered healthy, it limits many nutrients from foods like whole grains, dairy and legumes.
5. Low-fat diets
Low-fat diets have also been popular over decades. To explain in easy words, low-fat diets is a type of weight loss diet that restricts fat intake to almost 30% of your every day calories. Some ultra-low fat diets encourage limiting fat consumption to less that 10% of your daily calorie intake.
How the diet works
Low-fat diets limit your fat intake as fat gives you twice the number of calories every one gram in comparison to the other two macronutrients – carbs and protein.
Ultra-low fat diets encourage taking less than 10% of calories from fat and 80% and 10% from carbohydrates and protein respectively.
Ultra-low fat diets are typically plant-based, which limits animal products completely.
As this type of diet limits your calorie intake, they can promote weight loss.
In a review of 33 studies that included more than 73,500 individuals, it was inferred that people who followed a low-fat diet saw little but significant changes in waist circumference and weight.
Despite being effective for weight loss in controlled situations, people opt for low-carb diets over low-fat diets.
Ultra-low fat diets are also successful, mainly in people having the problem of obesity. In an 8-week study that included 56 people, health experts concluded that following a diet with 7-14% fat result in a weight loss of 14.8 pounds on an average.
Low-fat diets help in reducing the risk of stroke and heart disease. They can also help improving the markers of diabetes and reducing inflammation.
Restricting too much fat can result in various health problems in the long run. The reason is that fat is essential for nutrient absorption, hormone production and cell health. Additionally, going into very-low fat diets can lead to an increased risk of metabolic syndrome.
6. Mediterranean diet
The Mediterranean diet includes eating food that people in Greece and Italy used to eat, thus the name Mediterranean diet. Originally designed to reduce the risks of heart disease, several studies have found that it can also promote weight loss.
How the diet works
The Mediterranean diet suggests eating plenty of vegetables, fruits, seeds, legumes, nuts, whole grains, tubers, seafood, fish and extra virgin olive oil. You can eat foods like dairy products, eggs and poultry in moderation, while limiting red meat intake.
In addition to this, the diet limits intake of trans fats, refined grains, processed meats, refined oils added sugar and processed foods.
Even though it is not a typical weight loss diet, several studies showed that adapting this diet can help in weight loss.
In a review of almost 19 studies, experts discovered that people who followed Mediterranean diet along with calorie restriction or exercise, lost around 8.8 pounds on an average than the ones who followed a control diet.
The Mediterranean diet promotes eating lots of anti-oxidant rich foods that help reducing inflammation and oxidative stress by neutralizing the free radicals in the body. It also helps in reducing the risk of premature death and heart disease.
As this diet is not typically a weight loss diet, people may not experience weight loss unless they start consuming less calories.
7. WW or Weight Watchers
Formerly known as Weight Watchers, WW is among the most popular diets for weight loss across the world. Though it doesn’t limit any particular food groups, people should eat according to the planned daily points to attain the desired weight.
How the diet works
WW is typically a point-based pattern that encourages different beverages and foods assigned a specific value, based on the concentration of fats, fiber and calories.
If you want to attain the desired weight, you must eat within the set daily points.
Several studies on WW indicate that it can help in weight loss. N analysis of 45 studies concluded that individuals who adapted the WW program lost almost 2.6% more weight than the ones who took standard counseling.
People following this program saw more successful weight loss eventually over the years as compared to those who followed other kinds of diet plans.
Weight Watchers or WW allow you to be flexible with the food we eat, making it more widespread. It also allows you to follow your dietary restrictions. So, if you are allergic to a particular food, you can avoid it while following this diet.
Even though it gives you the flexibility of eating, it can be a little expensive to follow based on the subscription plan suggested. Moreover, dieters may not get the benefit on choosing unhealthy foods.
Many diets promote weight loss. Some of the best diets for weight loss include plant-based diets, intermittent fasting, low-fat diets, low-card diets, WW and the Mediterranean diet.
While all of these diets have proved to be effective in losing weight, you should always consult a health and fitness expert before starting any of the diets for weight loss.