Best Diets for Weight Loss

First, it should be sustainable, meaning you can easily make it a lifestyle rather than count the days until it’s over.

Secondly, it shouldn’t be overly restrictive, especially on the foods you don’t want to give up on. Most importantly, supervised plans from a weight loss clinic ensure that the diet keeps you adequately nourished and aligns with your specific needs. Without this, the diet may do you more harm than good. 

In this post, we’ll review some popular weight loss diets you’re probably considering: intermittent fasting, keto, and Mediterranean diet.

Best Diet Programs for Weight Loss and Overall Health

Intermittent Fasting (IF)

By now, you have probably heard inspiring testimonies about intermittent fasting. A trendy diet since the 2010s, IF is argued to be the best for weight loss, especially when coupled with a low-fat diet plan

Intermittent fasting divides your time into eating and fasting windows. There are several IF methods to choose from, depending on your daily routine, experience level, and weight loss needs. Overnight or 12-hour fasting involves spreading your meals across 12 hours and fasting for 12 hours. There’s also alternate-day fasting, in which you fast every other day. 

One way intermittent fasting works is by flipping the metabolic switch. The body depletes its glucose stores after 10-12 hours of not eating. As a result, it starts breaking down fat into ketones to supply its fuel needs, leading to weight loss. 

Intermittent fasting also promotes weight loss by creating a calorie deficit, possibly leading to weight loss. 

Proponents of intermittent fasting appreciate that it does not restrict any food groups. Plus, there are close to 10 ways of intermittent fasting, making it easy to tailor this diet to one’s lifestyle and weight loss needs. 

Conversely, extreme IF methods like OMAD and 20:4 fasting may not be sustainable in the long run. Additionally, it’s possible to overeat during your eating window, which may cause weight gain. 

Ketogenic Diet (Keto)

A ketogenic diet is a diet that’s very low in carbohydrates (5-10%), moderate in proteins (10-20%), and high in dietary fats (70-80%). While its popularity has spiked in the last few years, keto has been around since the 1920s.

Keto was originally used to treat epilepsy and manage diabetes, cancer, and Alzheimer’s disease. Along the way, this diet was found to positively impact its patient’s body fat, blood sugars, and hunger levels. Just like that, it was added to the top diets for weight loss. 

The keto diet promotes weight loss by restricting carbohydrates- the body’s main energy source. By doing this, the keto diet teaches the body to depend on ketones as its primary energy source. Your liver cells make ketones from the fat in your diet or fat stores. Fat loss is a key component of weight loss. 

Ketogenic diets also work by suppressing the production of ghrelin. Ghrelin is a hunger hormone that stimulates appetite and tells the brain when to eat. Lower levels of ghrelin mean you feel full for longer. This reduces your chances of eating excess calories, which boosts your weight loss goals. 

The major drawback of keto is its overly restrictive nature. This diet typically requires plenty of meat, eggs, butter, oil, cheese, fish, and nuts, making it hard to follow for most people.

Mediterranean Diet

The Mediterranean diet first attracted the attention of researchers in the 1950s after noticing that people living in the Mediterranean Sea basin had better overall health than the rest of the world. Among other things, these populations portrayed significantly lower risks of cardiovascular diseases and premature death. 

The Mediterranean diet is based on foods consumed in all the countries around and on the Mediterranean Sea. These include Greece, Egypt, Italy, Spain, Morocco, and France. 

This plant-based diet is rich in fruits, legumes, vegetables, whole grains, and heart-healthy fats. The Mediterranean diet also involves moderate animal-based products, such as poultry, eggs, dairy, and seafood. It steers clear of processed red meats, ultra-processed foods, butter, refined grains, and alcohol (except for red wine).

The Mediterranean diet is typically touted as the world’s healthiest diet. Research consistently links the traditional Mediterranean diet to increased life expectancy and lower incidence of chronic diseases, including type 2 diabetes.  

There’s also strong evidence that the Mediterranean diet promotes weight loss. In one systematic review, the Mediterranean diet resulted in greater weight loss than a low-fat diet over 12 months. 

One drawback to the Mediterranean diet is the cost of some foods, including fresh seafood, seeds, nuts, and olive oil. People used to the Western diet are also likely to find the Mediterranean diet overly restrictive. 

Vegan Diet

Veganism is another go-to diet for most people trying to shed pounds. This is probably the easiest diet to understand because it’s mainly composed of produce: vegetables, fruits, legumes, nuts, and seeds. People on a vegan diet do not consume animal products, including dairy, poultry, or eggs. 

Note that vegan diets are different from vegetarian diets. While both diets exclude meat products, vegetarian diets allow dairy products, including milk, butter, cheese, and yogurt. 

The health benefits of going vegan abound. Research shows that practicing a vegan diet can help reduce the risk of diabetes and certain types of cancer and support healthy skin.

Multiple studies also suggest that a vegan diet can have a greater impact on weight management. An analysis of 16 studies found that vegan groups lost more weight than other groups, including those on low-fat diets. Weight reduction has often been linked to increased consumption of fiber, plant proteins, and polyunsaturated fats and reduced intake of animal proteins and saturated fats. 

The vegan diet also has its fair share of disadvantages. For one, strict vegans are at a higher risk of developing Orthorexia nervosa- an unhealthy obsession with “healthful” eating. Also, recent studies, although inconsistent, have shown a possible association between vegan diets and depression. 

Final Words

That’s it for now. We don’t suggest that any of these diets are right or wrong for anyone. We aim to educate you so you make informed decisions based on your lifestyle and routine. That said, the best weight loss diet is the one you enjoy.