6 Best Diet Plans To Lose Weight Fast

Losing weight can be difficult if you don't know where to start. With so many different diet plans and weight loss options on offer, how do you know which diet is best for you?

Many types of diets can help you lose weight, so you should choose the one that suits your lifestyle, and you can stick to it in the long term for the sustainable results you’re after.

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Paleo diet

Also known as the paleolithic diet, the caveman diet, or the hunter-gatherer diet, the paleo diet is based on the idea of eating foods that your ancestors would have been able to hunt or gather. The rule is: if a caveman did not eat a particular food, then you shouldn't either.

Research into the effects of the paleo diet has found that it typically results in weight loss. A study involving 14 participants shows that a paleo diet successfully induced weight loss, reducing both waist circumference and BMI. After the three-week study, all participants had lost an average of 2.3 kilograms¹.

The modern paleo diet consists of eating unprocessed or minimally processed foods, including²:

  • Meat

  • Seafood and oily fish

  • Fruits and vegetables

  • Leafy greens

  • Eggs

  • Some starchy vegetables, such a sweet potato

  • Healthy fats and oils, such as avocado, olive oil, and coconut oil

  • Nuts and seeds

Vegetarian diet

A vegetarian diet excludes the consumption of meat and fish while still including eggs and dairy products. This is also referred to as lacto-ovo vegetarianism, compared to a strict vegetarian diet (veganism).

Vegetarians tend to adopt this diet for cultural, environmental, or religious reasons, but it has gained increasing popularity for its weight loss benefits.

While a vegetarian diet isn't as restrictive as a vegan one, you should take care to ensure you are meeting your nutritional needs, such as consuming enough protein and vitamin B12, which are typically found in animal products.

You can replace meat with high-fiber, nutrient-dense protein alternatives like beans and tofu, which can also help you lose weight.

A vegetarian diet has been found to be just as effective for weight loss as other popular diets, like the Mediterranean diet³. The same research also shows that vegetarianism has been proven to be more effective at lowering “bad” LDL cholesterol in participants.

Vegan or plant-based diet

A vegan diet also referred to as “plant-based,” is free from all animal products – no meat, eggs, dairy, or even products such as honey and gelatine.

Veganism has increased in popularity in recent years as it is considered more environmentally friendly. Many people report looking and feeling better when making the switch to eating plant-based.

Weight loss is common when following a vegan diet, as you tend to burn more calories than you consume. This is because plant-based foods, including fruits, vegetables, and legumes, are rich in fiber which keeps you feeling full and satiated while being lower in calories than meat and dairy products.

A 2020 review looked at the impact on weight and BMI of eating a plant-based vegan diet. The majority of the studies compared the effects of a low-fat diet to an omnivorous diet. All studies showed that participants lost weight when following a plant-based diet.

Researchers concluded that vegan or plant-based diets may help with weight management, especially for those who are overweight.⁴

Ketogenic diet

The ketogenic, or “keto” diet, minimizes carbohydrate intake while increasing fat intake with the aim of getting your body to use fat as fuel.

If you are following a keto diet, you will typically consume 55-60% of your daily calories from fat while eating no more than 50 grams of carbs daily.

After several days of limiting carbs, your body tends to enter a state of ketosis, where your body produces ketones that it uses for energy instead of glucose from carbohydrates.

The keto diet can have beneficial metabolic effects, even if only followed for a short period. Nutritional ketosis has been shown to improve several metabolic markers, including weight loss, improved insulin resistance, and increased satiety.⁵

Mediterranean diet

The Mediterranean diet is often regarded as one of the healthiest diets you can follow. It consists of eating whole grains, fruits, and vegetables, legumes, nuts and seeds, lean meats like chicken and fish, olive oil, and other healthy fats.

While dairy products and red meat are also included, they are generally consumed in low amounts.

Research has found that people who follow a Mediterranean diet lose weight and have lower risk factors for common cardiovascular diseases. A review of five studies comparing the Mediterranean diet to other popular diets in overweight or obese participants found that those who followed the Mediterranean diet for a year lost between 9 and 22 pounds.⁶ The results were similar to those who followed a low-carb diet.

Intermittent fasting

Intermittent fasting (IF) refers to any eating style that includes alternating periods of eating and fasting. Common ways to structure IF include 16:8 or 18:6, where you fast for 16 or 18 hours a day (often overnight and until around midday) and have an eating window of eight or six hours a day. There are a range of other IF plans which restrict eating periods at other times of the day or week.

Compared with other diets, IF does not restrict the number of calories or the type of foods you consume. It just controls the times when you eat. This means you can combine IF with any other diet.

Intermittent fasting has been shown to produce substantial weight loss results. A recent review found IF to effectively induce approximately the same amount of weight loss as with traditional diets that have strict calorie restrictions.

Along with weight loss, the review also found that IF can improve other markers of cardiovascular health.⁷

The lowdown

While there are many different diets to choose from, you can lose weight by following any diet if you lower your daily calorie intake and increase your energy output (such as through exercise).

If you are looking to lose weight, it is important to follow a diet you enjoy so that you can commit to it long-term for sustainable weight loss.

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