If you’re trying to lose weight and have been struggling to find a diet that works for you, you are definitely not alone. Weight loss is hard, and it’s very individual. While one diet may work for one person, it may not work for another. Weight loss success also happens due to lifestyle changes as well and successful and long-term weight loss really requires a holistic approach. However, diet tends to be the most challenging aspect as there are so many fad diets and mixed messages out there about what to eat and what not to eat.
Let’s take a look at five popular weight-loss diets and look at some of the benefits so you can decide if one of these dietary/lifestyle approaches to weight loss would work for you.
#1 The Ketogenic Diet: The ketogenic diet is one of the most popular and the most talked about diet trends today. It’s been rising in popularity over the last few years, and it’s not going anywhere. The keto diet takes a very low-carb approach to promote weight loss with lots of healthy fats and moderate amounts of protein. People turn to the keto diet to help with weight loss as your body starts to burn fat for fuel instead of glucose. The keto diet has proven to be quite successful for many people who are trying to lose weight, and with a healthy whole foods-based approach to a keto diet, it can turn into a healthy lifestyle vs. a fad diet.
So, what do you eat on a keto diet? This diet includes a ton of healthy fats from avocados to coconut, wild-caught salmon, nuts, seeds, full-fat dairy, and yes, even bacon. It’s best to stick to the highest quality possible with all of your food choices. So, choose organic nitrate-free bacon, and organic produce if possible. Sugar, artificial sweeteners, and starchy carbohydrate-rich foods are not a part of the keto diet.
#2 The Paleo Diet: The Paleo Diet has been around for quite some time now, and lots of people find it not only beneficial for weight loss, but for reducing inflammation as well. When you follow a Paleo diet, you avoid sugar, dairy, soy, gluten, and grains, and really focus on whole foods.
On the Paleo diet, you will eat a lot of fruit, veggies, high-quality meat and fish, eggs, nuts, and seeds. It’s a diet surrounded around the idea that our bodies were designed to eat as hunters and gatherers did, and when we do that, our bodies can recognize the foods, and thus not trigger an inflammatory response. Many people lose weight, reduce inflammation, and also reduce chronic gastrointestinal issues due to the reduction in inflammation from removing the inflammatory food sources from your diet.
#3 Whole30 Diet: The Whole30 Diet has been pretty popular over the last few years, and many people are starting this diet as a way to reset their body, promote weight loss, and reduce the amount of toxic foods they consume. The diet is 30 days, but many people find that they carry on healthier eating habits long-term after they see just how amazing healthy eating makes them feel. On a Whole30 diet, you will be eating whole foods, eliminating processed and artificial sugar, staying away from sugar, grains, soy, dairy, and alcohol.
#4 The Mediterranean Diet: The Mediterranean Diet has found its way on the list of the best diets of the year for many years now. People love the approach to this diet, and the health benefits are pretty amazing. A Mediterranean Diet is based on the cuisine of the countries that border the Mediterranean Sea and focuses on fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans, nuts, seeds, and olive oil. It’s a bit more flexible than some of the other diets on this list because it does allow for moderate portions of dairy and enjoying a glass of red wine when enjoying your meal with friends and family. (1) Many people like this approach to healthy eating as it’s realistic, allows for a little more flexibility in food choices and may make healthier eating feel a bit more doable and overall less intimidating.
#5 Plant-Based Diet: A plant-based diet is another great option to help reduce inflammation and thus help your body naturally shed excess weight. When you follow a plant-based diet and eliminate things like dairy and meat, you may find that your inflammatory load gets under control, and your gut health may improve which are two key parts to weight loss success.
If you do follow a plant-based diet, just be sure to stay away from as many packaged and processed foods as possible and customize it to what works for you! While some people who follow a plant-based diet decide to commit to vegan eating 100% of the time, others will be ok with eating eggs, and mostly plant-based. Do what makes you feel the best, and just stick to as many clean and nutrient-dense foods as you can.
Successful weight loss is such an individual journey as everyone is going to respond to dietary and lifestyle changes differently. While these five diets are different, they all focus on whole and nutrient-dense food consumption. So, no matter what diet you choose or maybe following, a good rule of thumb is to consume more foods without a food label like fruits, vegetables, and poultry, and fewer foods that come in a box.
Rebecca Jacobs N.C is a Certified Holistic Nutrition Consultant, specializing in digestive and women’s health. She doesn’t believe in dieting but rather making lifestyle changes, and believes that healthy eating must be delicious. Rebecca is also a recipe developer and creates healthier alternatives to traditionally unhealthy foods.