9 Popular Weight Loss Diets Reviewed
There are many weight-loss diets.
Some focus on reducing their appetite, while others restrict calories, carbs, or fat.
Since all of them claim to be superior, it can be difficult to know which ones are worth trying.
The truth is that no diet is best for everyone – and what works for you may not work for anyone else.
This article audits the 9 most mainstream weight reduction eats less and the science behind them.
1. The Paleo Diet:
The Paleo diet claims that you should eat the same foods that your hunter-gatherers ate before agriculture developed.
The theory is that most modern diseases can be linked to Western diets and the intake of cereals, dairy and processed foods.
While it is debatable whether this diet actually provides the same food that your ancestors ate, it is associated with several impressive health benefits.
How it works: The Paleo diet emphasizes whole foods, lean proteins, vegetables, fruits, nuts, and seeds, discouraging processed foods, sugar, dairy, and grains.
Some more flexible versions of the Paleo diet also allow for dairies such as cheese and butter, as well as tubers such as potatoes and sweet potatoes.
Weight Loss: Many studies have shown that a Paleo diet can significantly reduce weight and reduce waist size.
In studies, paleo dieters automatically eat much fewer carbs, more protein, and 300–900 fewer calories per day.
Other benefits: Diet seems effective in reducing risk factors for heart disease, such as cholesterol, blood sugar, blood triglycerides, and blood pressure.
Downside: Paleo diet eliminates whole grains, legumes, and dairy, which are healthy and nutritious.
The Paleo diet emphasizes whole foods but bans cereals and dairy. Its many health benefits include losing weight.
2. The Vegan Diet:
A vegetarian diet prohibits all animal products for ethical, environmental or health reasons.
Vegetarianism is also associated with resistance to animal exploitation and cruelty.
How it works: Vegetarianism is the most rigorous form of vegetarianism.
In addition to eliminating meat, it eliminates dairy, eggs, and some forms of animal-derived products, such as gelatin, honey, albumin, whey, casein, and vitamin D3.
Weight Loss: A vegetarian diet is very effective in helping people lose weight – often without counting calories – as it is very low fat and high fiber content that can make you feel full for longer.
Vegetarian diets are consistently associated with lower body weight and body mass index (BMI) than other diets.
An 18-week study showed that people on a vegetarian diet lost 9.3 pounds (4.2 kg) on a control diet. The vegetarian group was allowed to eat to perfection, but the control group had to restrict calories.
However, calorie to calorie, vegetarian diets are not more effective for weight loss than other diets.
Losing weight on a vegetarian diet is mainly low-calorie intake.
Other benefits: Plant-based diets are associated with a lower risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and premature death
Limiting processed meat can reduce the risk of dying of Alzheimer’s disease and heart disease or cancer.
Downside: Because vegetarian diets completely eliminate animal foods, they can be low in many nutrients, including vitamin B12, vitamin D, iodine, iron, calcium, zinc, and omega-3 fatty acids.
Vegetarian diets exclude all animal products. They may lose weight by reducing calories while reducing the risk of many diseases.
3. Low-Carb Diets:
The low-carb diet has been popular for decades – specifically for weight loss.
There are many types of low-carb diets, but all have a limited carb intake of 20 to 150 grams per day.
The primary purpose of the diet is to force your body to use more fat for fuel rather than using carbs as its main source of energy.
How it works: A low-carb diet emphasizes an unlimited amount of protein and fat, severely limiting your carb intake.
When carb intake is very low, fatty acids are carried into your blood and carried to your liver, where some of them turn into ketones.
Your body would then be able to utilize unsaturated fats and ketones without carbs as its essential vitality source.
Weight Loss: Many studies indicate that low carb diets are extremely helpful for weight loss, especially in overweight and obese individuals.
They appear to be very effective in reducing dangerous belly fat, which can get lodged around your organs.
People on very low carb diets usually get into a condition called ketosis. Several studies have stated that the ketogenic diet has twice the weight loss than a low-fat, calorie-restricted diet.
Other benefits: Low-carb diets reduce your appetite and make you less hungry, which automatically reduces calorie intake.
In addition, a low-carb diet may benefit several key disease risk factors, such as blood triglycerides, cholesterol levels, blood sugar levels, insulin levels, and blood pressure.
Downside: Low-carb diet is not suitable for everyone. Some feel great on them while some feel unhappy.
Some people may experience an increase in “bad” LDL cholesterol.
In extremely rare cases, a very low-carb diet can cause a serious condition known as nondiabetic ketoacidosis. This condition appears to be more common in breastfeeding women and can be fatal if left untreated.
However, low-carb diets are safe for most people.
Low-carb diets severely limit carb intake and push your body to use fat for fuel. They aid in weight loss and are associated with many other health benefits.
4. The Dukan Diet:
The Dukan diet is a high protein, low carb weight loss diet divided into four phases – two weight loss phases and two maintenance phases.
How long you will stay in each step depends on how much weight you need to lose. Each phase has its own dietary pattern.
How it works: The stages of weight loss are mainly based on eating unlimited high protein foods and compulsory oat bran.
Other stages include some carbs and fat followed by non-starchy vegetables. Later, you will have fewer and fewer pure protein days to maintain your new weight.
Weight loss: In one study, women following the Dukan diet ate approximately 1,000 calories and 100 grams of protein per day and lost an average of 33 pounds (15 kg) over 8 to 10 weeks.
In addition, several other studies suggest that high-protein, low-carb diets can have major benefits of weight loss.
These include a high metabolic rate, a decrease in the appetite hormone Ghrelin and an increase in several fullness hormones.
Other benefits: Apart from weight loss, there are no recorded benefits of the Dukan diet in the scientific literature.
Drawback: There is next to no quality research accessible on the Dukan diet.
The Dukan diet limits both fat and carbs – not a science-based strategy. Conversely, fat intake as part of a high-protein diet increases metabolic rate compared to low-carb and low-fat diets.
More, rapid weight loss achieved by severe calorie restriction leads to significant muscle loss.
Loss of muscle mass and severe calorie restriction can also cause your body to conserve energy, making it very easy to lose weight.
The Dukan diet has not been tried in quality human examinations. Diet can cause weight reduction, however, it can hinder your digestion and lose bulk with fat mass.
5. The Ultra-Low-Fat Diet:
An ultra-low-fat diet restricts your consumption of fat to less than 10% of daily calories.
Generally, a low-fat diet provides about 30% of its calories as fat.
Studies show that this diet is ineffective for long-term weight loss.
Proponents of the ultra-low-fat diet claim that traditional low-fat diets are not low in fat and require fat intake to be less than 10% of total calories for health benefits and weight loss.
How it works: Ultra-low-fat diets contain 10% or fewer calories from fat. The diet is mostly plant-based and there is a limited intake of animal products.
Therefore, it is generally very high in carbs – around 80% of calories – and low in protein – at 10% of calories.
Losing weight: This diet has proved to be very successful for weight loss in obese individuals. In one examination, fat people lost a normal of 140 pounds (63 kg) on an ultra-low-fat eating regimen.
Another 8-week study with a diet of 7–14% fat lost an average weight of 14.8 pounds (6.7 kg).
Other benefits: Studies show that ultra-low-fat diets can improve several risk factors for heart disease, including markers of high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and inflammation.
Surprisingly, this high-carb, low-fat diet can also significantly improve type 2 diabetes.
In addition, it can slow the progression of multiple sclerosis – an autoimmune disease that affects the optic nerves in your brain, spinal cord, and eyes.
Downside: Fat restriction can cause problems in the long run, as fat plays many important roles in your body. These incorporate helping fabricate cell films and hormones, just as helping your body assimilate fat-solvent nutrients.
In addition, an ultra-low-fat diet limits the intake of many healthy foods that lack variety and are extremely difficult to stick to.
An ultra-low-fat diet contains 10% fewer calories than fat. It can cause significant weight loss and can also have impressive benefits for heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and multiple sclerosis.
6. The Atkins Diet:
Atkins diet is the most well known low carb weight-reduction diet.
Its proponents emphasize that as long as you avoid carbs, you can lose weight by eating as much protein and fat as you want.
The main reason why low-carb diets are so effective for losing weight is that they reduce your appetite.
This causes you to eat fewer calories without thinking about it.
How it works: The Atkins diet is divided into four stages. It starts with an induction phase, during which you eat 20 grams of carbs per day for two weeks.
Other steps include gradually putting healthy foods back into your diet as you get closer to your target weight.
Weight Loss: The Atkins diet has been studied extensively and has been found to cause faster weight loss than a low-fat diet.
Other studies have noted that low carb diets are very helpful for losing weight. They are particularly successful in reducing abdominal fat, the most dangerous fat that enters itself in your abdominal cavity.
Other benefits: Many studies suggest that a low-carb diet, like the Atkins diet, can reduce many risk factors for the disease, including blood triglycerides, cholesterol, blood sugar, insulin, and blood pressure.
Compared to other weight-loss diets, low-carb diets also improve blood sugar, “good” HDL cholesterol, triglycerides, and other health markers.
Downside: As other very low carb diets do, the Atkins diet is safe and healthy for most people, but in rare cases can cause problems.
The Atkins diet is a low carb weight-reduction diet. It is effective for weight loss, but also has benefits for many other disease risk factors.
7. The HCG Diet:
The HCG diet is an extreme diet that means a rapid weight loss of 1 to 2 pounds (0.45–1 kg) per day.
Its proponents claim that it increases metabolism and fat loss without inducing hunger.
HCG (human chorionic gonadotropin) is a hormone that is present at high levels during early pregnancy.
It tells a woman’s body that it is pregnant and maintains the production of hormones that are important for fetal development. It is also used to treat fertility issues.
How it works: The diet is divided into three stages. During the first phase, you start taking HCG supplements.
During the second phase, you follow an ultra-low-calorie diet of only 500 calories per day with HCG supplement drops, pellets, injections, or sprays. The weight loss phase is scheduled for 3–6 weeks at a time.
In the third stage, you stop taking HCG and gradually increase your food intake.
Weight Loss: The HCG diet leads to weight loss, but several studies have concluded that the only reason for losing weight is the ultra-low-calorie diet – not the HCG hormone.
In addition, hCG was not found to reduce appetite.
Other benefits: Apart from weight loss, there are no documented benefits of the HCG diet.
Downside: Like most other ultra-low-calorie diets, the HCG diet can cause muscle loss, resulting in reduced calorie-burning capacity.
Such severe calorie restriction reduces your body’s number of calories. This is because your body thinks it is starving and therefore tries to conserve energy.
Furthermore, most of the HCG products on the market are scams and contain no HCG. Only injections are capable of increasing the blood levels of this hormone.
In addition, the diet has many side effects including headache, fatigue, and depression. There is also a report of a woman developing blood clots, which is caused by diet.
The FDA disapproves of this diet, characterizing it as dangerous, illegal, and fraudulent.
The HCG diet is a fast weight reduction diet. It is not based on any scientific evidence and can reduce metabolic rate and cause muscle loss, headaches, fatigue, and depression.
8. The Zone Diet:
The zone diet is a low-glycemic-loaded diet in which you limit carbs to 35–45% of daily calories and protein and fat to 30%.
It is recommended to only eat carbs with a low glycemic index (GI).
The GI of food is an estimate of how much it increases your blood sugar level after consumption.
The Zone Diet was initially developed to reduce diet-induced inflammation, reduce weight, and reduce the risk of chronic diseases.
How it works: The Zone Diet allows you to balance each meal with 1/3 protein, 2/3 colored fruits and vegetables, and a dash of fat – such as monounsaturated oils like olive oil, avocado, or almonds.
It also limits high-GI carbs such as bananas, rice, and potatoes.
Weight loss: Studies on the low-GI diet are rather inconsistent. While some say that the diet promotes weight loss and reduces hunger, others show much less weight loss than the diet.
Other benefits: The biggest benefit of this diet is the reduction of heart disease risk factors, such as lowering cholesterol and triglycerides.
One study suggests that the zone diet can improve blood sugar control, reduce waist circumference, and reduce chronic inflammation in overweight or obese individuals with 2 diabetes.
Downside: One of the few drawbacks of this diet is that it limits the consumption of certain healthy carb sources such as bananas and potatoes.
The Zone Diet is a low GI diet. Studies on its weight loss benefits are inconsistent, but diet improves many important health markers and reduces the risk of heart disease.
9. Intermittent Fasting:
Intermittent fasting cycles your body between fasting and eating periods.
Instead of restricting the foods you eat, it controls when you eat them. Thus, it can be seen more like an eating pattern than a diet.
The most popular ways of fasting intermittently are:
- 16/8 Method: Skipping breakfast and limiting your daily eating period to eight hours, then fasting for the remaining 16 hours of the day.
- Eating Method: Fast 24-hour fast once or twice a week.
- 5: 2 Diet: On two consecutive days of the week, you limit your intake to 500-600 calories. You do not restrict intake for the remaining five days.
- The Warrior Diet: Eat small amounts of raw fruits and vegetables during the day and have a big meal at night.
How it works: Irregular fasting is generally utilized for weight reduction since it prompts moderately simple calorie limitation.
This can make you eat fewer calories – as long as you don’t grow by eating too much during the eating period.
Weight reduction: Intermittent fasting is commonly fruitful for weight reduction. It has been shown to reduce 3 to 8% of weight over a 3–to 24 week period, which is much higher than most weight-loss diets.
In addition to being the cause of less muscle loss than standard calorie restriction, it can increase your metabolic rate by 3.6 to 14% in the short term.
Other benefits: Intermittent fasting can reduce markers of inflammation, cholesterol levels, blood triglycerides, and blood sugar levels.
In addition, intermittent fasting has been associated with increased levels of human growth hormone (HGH), improved insulin sensitivity, cellular repair, and altered gene expressions.
Animal studies also suggest that it may help new brain cells to grow, prolong their lifespan, and protect them from Alzheimer’s disease and cancer.
Downside: Although intermittent fasting is safe for well-nourished and healthy people, it is not suitable for everyone.
Some studies note that it is not as beneficial for women as it is for men.
In addition, some people should avoid fasting, including those who are sensitive to a fall in blood sugar levels, including pregnant women, lactating mothers, adolescents, children, and people who are malnourished, underweight, or nutritionally deficient.
Intermittent fasting cycles your body between fasting and eating. It is very effective for weight loss and has been linked to many health benefits.
There is no right weight loss diet.
Different diets work for different people, and you should choose one that suits your lifestyle and taste.
The best diet for you is the one that you can keep for a long time.