What is the Best Diet to Lose Weight?

January 22, 2020   17 Comments

What is the best diet to lose weight? After 10 years of writing, thinking, and attempting diets I wish I could give a definitive answer.

What is the Best Diet to Lose Weight?

This is such a complicated question because each of us has a long relationship with eating that starts at birth. For example, I am 50 years old so my affair with eating is now 50 years old!

We all know that long relationships are complex. For example, how I feel about yet another salad :)


It is easier to discuss the diets that are not going to help you lose weight in the long term. I have read and reviewed quite a few - check out these examples: Is the Keto Diet bad for you? and Whole 30 Review.

Many of the buzzword diets (South Beach, Zone, Paleo, Atkins…) are all based around changing your entire diet to get your metabolism to alter. The problem is because you are eating a “special” diet - your lifestyle gets interrupted and it becomes hard to stay on the diet when you ultimately want to stop eating only on the plan.

Will you lose some weight? Sure! But will you keep it off? I think these are really hard diets to sustain.

Every year, US News & World Reports puts out a list of Best Diets Overall.

I have been reading this list for years now - hoping to find the silver bullet that will help everyone drop the weight. What is so interesting to me is that two diets are always on top of the list and these aren’t fad diets.

The two at the top of the list are the Mediterranean Diet and the DASH diet. The DASH diet is an eating plan created by the US governments National Institute of Health and it is free for anyone who wants to follow it. It recommends:

  • Eating vegetables, fruits, and whole grains
  • Including fat-free or low-fat dairy products, fish, poultry, beans, nuts, and vegetable oils
  • Limiting foods that are high in saturated fat, such as fatty meats, full-fat dairy products, and tropical oils such as coconut, palm kernel, and palm oils
  • Limiting sugar-sweetened beverages and sweets.

Does any of this sound familiar?

The Mediterranean diet is also a free diet that you can read about anywhere. There is a daily emphasis on fresh vegetables and fruits, beans and lentils, whole grains, seafood more than meat and poultry, and olive oil.

DASH and the Mediterranean diet are evidence based approaches to losing weight. People who eat this way not only lose pounds but they get healthier.

Two evidence based diets that I like are Weight Watchers and The Always Hungry Diet - see New WW Changes 2020 and Always Hungry? by David Ludwig, M.D..

Both WW and Ludwig use solid scientific research to support that their approaches can help people lose weight. Will these plans help you? I don’t know.

Unfortunately, you have to figure out for yourself where your diet is going wrong and do something about it. Following a plan can be a great way to test for the issues in your food intake but, ultimately, you have to decide how you are going to eat and where to make changes.

I’m not going to advocate for any one diet because it seems to me that what works for an individual is so very personal.

I CAN tell you what has worked for me. Cutting out added sugar, drinking less alcohol, eating out less, including more beans in my diet, eating mostly whole grains, having servings of fresh fruit and vegetables every day.

Rocket science? No. Obvious? Yes. Easy? No, it took me a long time to change my habits.

What have you found to be the best diet to lose weight? Please share it with us!!

Other posts you might like:

New WW Changes for 2020

New WW Changes for 2020

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Is the Keto Diet Bad for You?

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It's not a diet, but lifestyle: intermittent fasting. Fast 16 , eat during 8. It's called 16:8. In the fasting drink lots of water and exercise. In eating eat like you mentioned above. You are giving your body a break from digestion and giving a chance to burn fat. There are lots of good resources. I like Donna Reish.

With the increased rate of fatty liver, insulin resistance it led my nursing trained roots to understand better the reasons behind all of it. The things I was taught in nursing school almost seemed like lies based on a food pyramid that was based on a study that was false. Examining things myself I’ve learned so much about the importance of keeping my blood sugar low and steady, and how things such as whole wheat can spike your blood sugar more than table sugar!!! We should not take our pancreas for granted, use it for special occasions only...because our cells get stupid and it takes more and more insulin for our cells to respond when constantly eating things that spike our blood sugar. Brain fog, body aches and pains, headaches, all sorts of bizarre things that we may not associate with our diet. I’m living my life with intermittent fasting, less cravings and not feeling 50, living a keto lifestyle with as much real food as I can eat.

I’ve been doing intermittent fasting for a few weeks, and it is not as hard as I thought it would be. Is this a lifestyle change? Meaning, do people do this forever? So different than many small meals every few hours during the day. For me, much easier for me to have one smallish meal and a larger meal during my 6 hours of eating. Thoughts?

There’s tons of really solid research behind the many many benefits of intermittent fasting. Unfortunately it hasn’t yet lead to be losing weight, but it is a much healthier way of living. There’s a great podcast from the UK that interviews a doctor from the Salk Institute who’s been doing years of research on it.

I don't diet ever1 it's a lifestyle BUT I was 5'5" at 145-150 lbs.Been struggling for years with losing 10 extra pounds.Ate right (so I thought) mostly vegetables, good leafy salads, no sodas or alcohol,paid extra for the good bread and added beans to help satisfy me. I loved 7 grain or steel oatmeal for breakfast and whenever I didn't want to cook. However, my bloodwork was always off. I had osteopenia and borderline diabetes but I watched what I ate and walked 12,000 steps a day??!! then I really buckled down, cut my calories by logging my food, no sweets and my numbers got worse and my potassium was high. Saw an endocrinologist. I finally consulted a nutritionist on a friend's advice. She looked at my skin and said I need to stop eating carbs. She explained physiology and how intermittent eating helps burn fat when lowering calories fail. I don't eat root vegetables, no beans, no pasta, rice or potatoes or grains!! My skin has cleared and I have lost the 10 pounds I've wanted to!! It isn't Keto (I call it low carb keto)I do eat pizza and ice cream but I don't have the cravings I used to so I now eat smaller portions. I don't eat past 7 pm and don't eat before 8 am. I eat at parties and enjoy eating again just careful what I eat. Just changing to intermittent eating will make a difference! Try it.

Having tried many diets over 30+ years I finally lost over 40 lbs. easily, consistently, albeit slowly (1.5 years) by intermittent fasting - 16:8 (there is a website Brad Pilon). It was very easy to do. Stop eating after your last meal of the day which for me was 7 pm and don't eat until 16 hours later which was 11:00 am. In the 8 hours in between eat what you want. It is self-limiting because you find that you just cannot eat that much within 8 hours. I didn't change anything else - no crazy exercise routine, no counting anything.

I follow the Trim Healthy Mama eating plan, not a diet, it's a lifestyle. Focusing on separating fuels (fat/carbs), having one main fuel for each meal or snack and keeping things low glycemic. No food group is excluded (other than sugar, white flour, processed foods, etc.) It's worked wonderfully for me and lots of other people! I definitely recommend looking into it!

After yrs of not losing below a certain # of lbs. I gave up sugar,alcohol, flour and desserts. I also didn't eat in between meals. I did allow 2-3 Tablespoons of nuts,eg.peanuts, almonds, walnuts, cashews. for after dinner. Drank lots of water. Lost 11 lbs. That was 2 yrs ago. My diet lasted 6 weeks. I eat the things that I gave up in moderation. A few glasses of wine a week. Gained back 4 lbs. My stomach shrank. I have more energy and my clothes fit better.

Went down 2 sizes, which shocked me. You just have to make up your mind to find and follow a new way and portion size way to eat. Good luck to all of you trying to lose some weight.

The best diet is the one you can stay with for life. I've tried just about everything (e.g., keto, WW, Whole30 etc). The only diet I've been able to stick with long term is WW. I'm currently doing the WW Green plan, which is working so much better for me than the Freestyle/Blue plan. I have not tried their Purple plan, but don't think it would work with my lifestyle. Does it take commitment? Yes. But until you commit as a lifestyle, any diet becomes a yo-yo diet.

What is the best diet? The one you will follow for the rest of your life. Period. No fads.

Find what works for you and know that to maintain the weight you've lost, you will have to continue the way you are eating and moving.

Science has repeatedly shown that what makes and keeps a person healthy is good eating habits and not necessarily the food itself. Is slow eating a diet? Is eating until you are 80% full a diet? No. But they are habits which if followed can easily drop 5 pounds in all studies that we have seen. So habit based nutrition is really the way to go. The details of how much protein etc. are the next level of details if people have these two habits nailed.

Hema, AGREE 100%

I feel like I have struggled with the same 5 lbs for years! I don't eat meat or seafood so get most of my protein from beans and legumes and also a lot of fruit and vegetables. My down fall is cheese and sugar. I struggle with giving those up. Right now I am limiting my intake of those two things and making an effort to make my 3x a week workout class. As a 50 something it does not fall off the way it used to either but I keep my eye on the end goal anyway!

I have seen & know a dear friend who lost well over 40lbs. very easily for the first time on KETO however soon as she got off it came faster than any other diet she was ever on. this was @ a hair salon where everyone was going KETO. many fell away,in my opinion MEDERTERANIAN DIET is the best, used

with WW. everyone seems to keep going back to one of the WW

& the MED. is still being called the healthiest.

success to all no matter what you use

keep the amounts in check. have a Blessed & Healthy Day


That makes a lot of sense to me. 5 lbs can be a goal. Think how heavy a bag of potatoes that weight are. Habits play such an important role as You point out. Thanks.

Don't give up. We all can do it if we keep trying. You could say to yourself "I am allergic to cheese ".

5 lbs can be hard to lose.

Good luck.

In reading all of the comments, I would have to agree that each one of us, based on our conditions, etc., must find what works - and it will not be the same for everyone. I have been working to heal my relationship with food, so things like intermittent fasting would not be the healthiest for me. I've been sticking with WW (more or less!) and so far that has worked for me. No foods are restricted and that seems to help. Also, been learning to eat in response to my hunger levels and not my moods - more challenging, but also very helpful.

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