10 Popular Weight Loss Diets Reviewed

Your lifestyle is the key to success when it comes to weight loss! This post will review the Top 10 Popular Weight Loss Diets so you can learn about each one (and the benefits!) to find the best fit for you.

This post on 10 popular weight loss diets reviewed will tell you about each diet (and the benefits!) but will also help you look toward a real lifestyle change. Your lifestyle is the key to success when it comes to weight loss!

There are so many diets out there. So many that a person looking to lead a healthy lifestyle (or reach a weight-loss goal) may not know where to begin.

From the Flexitarian diet (also known as semi-vegetarian) to the Dash diet (stands for dietary approaches to stop hypertension), who knows which way to turn? There’s so much to take in!

And that’s precisely why I wrote this post on weight loss diets reviewed. I’m ready to help you wade through the abundance of info out there, not all of which is accurate or based on research and fact.

Today, folks, we’ll dive into the world of dieting—and come up for air—because a diet is not meant to drag you down. It’s not meant to be the be-all and end-all of your food enjoyment this day going forward.

Food is meant to nurture and bring joy and I really believe that when we have healthy eating habits, we’re happier. And dieting can be that for you, a path to healthy eating as opposed to something you dread. Let’s take a look at these diets, shall we? Then you’ll have the information you need to decide on the best one for you.

Close up image of a person standing on a scale looking down at their bare feet and the scale reading.

What Are The Best Diets For Weight Loss?

You can look at this as a trick question with an easy answer. The best diets for weight loss are ones that are reasonably followed and that do not leave you starving, hangry, or weak from lack of proper nutrition.

Simply put, if you choose a sensible diet that enables you to stick to it and feel good in the meantime, it’s the best diet for weight loss. I think we’re all individuals with certain needs and abilities so there is not really any one diet that is the best.

Still, you’re going to want to choose one that doesn’t risk your health or your sanity. I do think a diet that consists of whole grains, vegetables, legumes, full-fat dairy products and lean protein sources can set you on the right path to happiness with what you can eat—and you’ll be sated and not starving either. Too much restriction doesn’t benefit you at all.

We’ll see which diets are your version of food happiness below. Because that’s key.

How To Choose The Best Diet

When choosing a diet it’s important to consider lifestyle factors. You want to pick an eating regimen or plan that you can stick to because yo-yo dieting or switching from one diet to the next won’t get you anywhere. Consider these important points:

  • Do you really need to be on a “diet”? Or will things like giving up junk food and walking more every day help you succeed rather than “being on a diet”?
  • What works best for you? Is it intermittent fasting where you work with periods of not eating and eating? Maybe something as simple as adding more veggies to your plate is the best type of diet.
  • What’s your budget? Is the diet you are considering more expensive due to the type of food you need to buy and is the grocery list restrictive?
  • Does the diet involve meal prep? This can take an afternoon of your time, yet gives you extra time throughout the week for other things. (I’m a huge fan as you might already know!)
  • Do you have health concerns to keep in mind? Check with your doctor to make sure the diet you are considering is safe for you. Diabetes, thyroid issues, low blood pressurethese can all be affected by a diet, especially if it’s a bit restricted.
Close up overhead view of Slow Cooker Chicken Parmesan made with zucchini noodles in a white bowl with a fork in place.

Are Diets Unsafe?

Diets are not unsafe. But remember, if you choose a diet that is highly restrictive (say in certain nutrients) you could compromise your health. Read the diets I’ve reviewed below and choose one that is based on complete nutrition.

I like a diet with balance, meaning one that takes into account all 3 macronutrients: protein, fat, and carbohydrates.

After reading this post you’re uncertain where to start, you can always consult a registered dietitian who will make sure you are getting the calories you need to stay healthy. You can still go on a restricted calorie diet, but getting advice tailored to you specifically is always a good thing. It’s like a form of TLC—I’m a believer in self care!

What Helps Increase Long-Term Weight Loss?

A diet that has these points will help with long-term weight loss. And the cool thing is, it doesn’t even have to be called a diet. It’s a lifestyle change—meaning it’s something you can maintain and stick to

And long term, you’ll be able to lose weight gradually and consistently as opposed to dropping a lot of weight and then hitting the dreaded plateau that goes on and on.

The following can help you:

  • Eat clean, which encompasses a lot of other long-term lifestyle changes. This then translates to long-term weight loss AND keeping the weight off.
  • Fill your plate with veggies (this goes along with clean eating).
  • Don’t frequent restaurants too often. Sure, a cheat day is good for everyone on occasion. What’s my cheat meal? Watch my video! Remember, there are great cheat meals you can prepare at home that taste like take-out. My General Tso Chicken is one!

Tied into eating clean is avoiding refined carbs like white flour. There are plenty of awesome substitutes that work amazingly and allow you to eat the foods you love but keep weight off long-term.

Close up view of a woman dressed in a yellow raincoat and rubber boots walking a dog in the fall forest.

With the tips mentioned above, we’ll now move on to the reviews! Diets were chosen based on popularity and studied benefits. Keep in mind that not every diet is a good fit for everyone. But out of the following 10, I hope you find one that works for you and your lifestyle goals!

1. Clean Eating Diet

I put this diet first because it’s a great way to look at the idea of dieting. It’s a sustainable way to eat in that moderation (yes, cheat days are allowed😀) and sensible choices work together for success. Add in some exercise, and this is an easy diet to follow. Learn how here. Weight loss results are positive with the clean eating diet.

Benefits: As long as you eat clean, you can even have desserts! Avoiding things like processed foods and sugars have benefits for your health by reducing the chances of cardiovascular disease and diabetes, are two examples.

Overhead view of a baked Chicken Alfredo Pizza, with a piece cut and ready to eat.

2. Intermittent Fasting

This is another favorite of mine—I’ve written lots of posts like this one: Intermittent Fasting For Women: A Complete Guide. You’ve got different ways to work out your fasting windows and eating windows, like the eat-stop-eat method and the 16/8 method, explained here and in my other intermittent fasting posts. Weight loss results are typically very successful with the IF diet.

One thing I like about IF is that I tend to enjoy a high protein shake in the middle of my eating window. I add cleanish Plant-Based Protein Powder to my fave shake or smoothie for extra nutrition. Sometimes I change it up and add cleanish Collagen Peptides to help improve my mobility, skin, nails, hair and joints. Easy peasy nutrition bonuses!

Benefits: Intermittent Fasting helps you gain control over what you are eating and prevents mindless snacking. It’s a proven weight loss eating regimen and is good for your health too. When paired with exercise, you’ll build more lean muscle mass.

3. The Zone Diet

This diet zones in on eating carbs with a low glycemic index. It also concentrates on filling your plate with 2/3rds veggies and fruit and 1/3rd protein. The fat content per plate comes with a little bit of fat only (like almonds or olive oil). Weight loss can be inconsistent but the health benefits are proven.

Benefits: Studies show this diet may improve blood sugar levels, lower inflammation, and more. This diet may help with inflammation in some people as well. 

Overhead closeup image of a sheet pan with healthy black bean nachos garnished with corn and cheese.

4. The Mediterranean Diet

This diet is popular because you can enjoy olive oil, lots of veggies, beans, and nuts. You can have meat proteins in small amounts, with fish and seafood being the top choices. Described as a heart-healthy diet, studies show this diet is a real fighter against cardiovascular disease. 

Benefits: Other benefits are lowered body mass index and inflammation. The variety and sheer colorful plates make it a palatable diet too.

5. The HCG Diet

Looking to lose 1-2 pounds a day? That is this plan’s claim to fame. But this diet is not simply done and it’s not for everyone. There are 3 phases to the diet, starting with taking HCG supplements to reduce hunger (human chorionic gonadotropin is a hormone present when a woman is pregnant and is also used in fertility treatments).

The second and third phases center on ultra-low caloric intake. 

Benefits: There are no proven benefits other than weight loss (which comes more due to extreme dieting than the hormone supplement). In fact, there may be side effects like headaches and fatigue. 

Overhead view of a strawberry and spinach salad garnished with vinaigrette and walnuts.

6. The Ultra-Low-Fat Diet

Although this method of dieting has proven to work well in obese study participants, it’s not an effective long-term solution to weight loss. This diet involves eating 80% carbs and limited animal products or fat. It’s hard to have the motivation to continue this diet because it is very restricting.

Benefits: Studies show the diet may improve a lot of health conditions like high blood pressure and diabetes. But, the consistent low-fat intake may cause problems. Fat is essential! If you want to lower blood pressure, for example, reducing stress, exercising regularly and cutting back on sodium are highly beneficial ways to do that.

7. The Atkins Diet

Yes, this diet is still around! It’s based on low carbohydrates intake. You can eat lots of protein and lots of fat. There are 4 phases, with the dieter gradually adding in healthy carbs as weight is lost in the final phases. This diet could work well in reducing belly fat and is considered a safe diet. Some find low-carb diets tough to do, but the restriction is eased as you lose weight, as mentioned.

Benefits: Along with belly fat reduction, you may see improvements in blood sugar, cholesterol readings, and blood pressure.

8. The Ketogenic Diet

This is similar to the Atkins diet in that carbs are drastically reduced. The Keto Diet encourages you to replace carbs with fat, putting your body into a state of ketosis, shifting the metabolism towards burning fat. With foods high in Omega-3 fatty acids (salmon, albacore tuna and olive oil for instance), many people find this a doable diet.

Benefits: The main benefits of this type of eating regimen are that the insulin levels and blood sugar readings are significantly reduced. The Keto Diet is known to produce rapid weight loss and may be the answer for someone who needs to lose a fair amount of weight.

Overhead view of a bowl filled with healthy sauerkraut ready to eat.

9. The Vegan Diet

Some call this a lifestyle decision (and for many it is) but it can also be undertaken for a while as a way to shed pounds. Giving up foods like eggs, dairy, and anything animal-derived (like honey and gelatin) is the main focus. A vegan diet works but that is mostly because you are taking in fewer calories.

Benefits: Heart disease, cancer, Alzheimer’s, and diabetes may be reduced in probability with the plant-based eating lifestyle. However, one must be on top of having the proper intake of all nutrients – for example, vegan protein.

10. The Paleo Diet

The Paleo Diet is somewhat flexible and there are different versions. Most have you eating fruits, veggies, nuts, protein seeds, and avoiding processed foods, grains, dairy, and sugar. Some will allow dairy (like cheese and butter).

Benefits: Significant weight loss can be seen with this diet and it’s been shown to help cholesterol and blood pressure levels, as well as reduce heart disease risk.

9 Popular Weight Loss Diets Reviewed

How Can I Lose Weight Fast?

Losing weight in a “crash diet” kind of way is never a safe option or one that is easily maintained. It makes much more sense to follow a diet like the weight loss diets reviewed below.

Sure, there are eating regimens that are pretty strict like the “cabbage soup diet” or the “grapefruit diet” but it makes much more sense reality-wise and safety-wise to follow a respected diet that takes the weight off gradually. 

Take a look at these great tips for losing weight and keeping it off:

  • Track your exercise and food intake with a diary of sorts. Seeing your progress written down is always motivational.
  • Eat mindfully. This means to enjoy every bite. I know, sometimes you gotta eat on the run, but try to sit and savor your food most of the time. It helps you avoid snacking—really!
  • Try intermittent fasting. This way of eating is something I’ve been doing for several years now. It’s an effective way to lose weight and really helped me on my journey to good health.
  • Eat lots of fiber. I’ve listed 21 high-fiber foods here! Remember, a healthy digestive system is key to weight loss and good health.
  • Eat protein. I can’t emphasize this enough. Cuz not only does protein do cool things like boosting your metabolism for weight loss, but it helps you build muscle too.
  • Try fermented foods. They aid your gut health, working together with your digestive system to kick extra weight to the curb.
9 Popular Weight Loss Diets Reviewed

Maintaining Your Healthy Lifestyle

You are now armed with tons of diet info and can make the decision as to which one may fit you best. I think the best way to approach a weight loss goal is as if it’s simply a lifestyle change. You know, something you are going to do just for you so that you feel better, have more energy, and yes, take off a few pounds. 

I often recommend my clients focus on the following:

  • Sleep! Seriously, a good night’s sleep will help you lose weight. Want to know more? Look here→ sleep info!
  • Manage stress. I know, I know—it’s everywhere and hard to shake. Start by taking a few minutes a day for yourself and eat foods that help you beat stress. Avocado and dark chocolate are both on the list!
  • Get active. I’m not saying you have to have a regular exercise program (although that’s an excellent idea) but just moving more is magic! Take a look here for info on the best time to fit in exercise.
  • Avoid hidden sugars. They are everywhere, my friends, and are major culprits to sabotaging weight loss. Read my post on hidden sugar and another one on how to quit sugar. For realz, you’ll feel amazing.

Above all, the best diet out there is one that you can maintain—one that doesn’t make you miserable. Combine it with exercise and adequate sleep and you’ll see positive changes that will keep you going!

This post contains affiliate links for products I use regularly and highly recommend.

Lacey Baier

Hey there! I’m Lacey Baier and I’d like to welcome you! I’m a healthy lifestyle influencer and the creator of this clean-eating blog and YouTube channel, as well as cleanish, my clean-eating supplement brand. My recipes have been published on Food Network, Good Morning America, FoxNews, Tastemade, Fitness Magazine, and much more. I live in Austin, Texas with my husband and four kiddos. Let’s get started!

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  4. Great review Lacey! Thanks! I’m just trying to eat healthier, without calling it a diet; that word just has never sounded good to me! Love your tips and recipes 🙂

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