Some of the most well-researched diets and eating plans include intermittent fasting, plant-based diets, low-carb diets, low-fat diets, the Mediterranean diet, WW (Weight Watchers), and the DASH diet.
While all of the below diets have been shown to be effective for weight loss, the diet you choose should depend on your lifestyle and food preferences.
This ensures that you are more likely to stick to it in the long term.
Best Diet Overall
The Mediterranean Diet
When it comes to the “best” diet for most people, this one consistently ranks at the top of every list.
If you can’t afford a cruise to the Mediterranean (yet!), at least you can eat like the beautiful, long-living, and famously healthy people from the region.
The Mediterranean diet teaches you to eat like a Sardinian, one of the “blue zones” identified by researchers as having a high number of people living past 100—by eating more fish, olive oil, healthy fats, and fresh vegetables.
The point is to have not just a longer life but also a healthier and happier one, whether you’re trying to lose weight or not. (Really—research shows that you can reap the benefits of the Mediterranean diet without cutting calories.)
Best Expert-Backed Diet
The DASH diet has topped nearly every diet list for nearly a decade. Doctors particularly recommend it for people looking to lower high blood pressure, reverse diabetes, and lower their risk of heart disease.
Best Diet for People Who Can’t Choose
The Flexitarian diet
The “all meat all the time” low-carb approach or strict veganism can be great options for people who thrive on clear diet rules (and those two are actually the most popular diets out there) but these extremes are not for everyone.
If you prefer more of a moderate approach, the Flexitarian diet is the clear winner.
The “flexible vegetarian” mindset allows you a healthy balance of plant-based foods, responsibly sourced meats, and quality fats.
The best part? It’s not super restrictive, so you have plenty of nutritious food options.
There are no clear-cut rules for the Vegan/flexitarian diets, as it’s a lifestyle change rather than a diet. It encourages eating mostly fruits, vegetables, legumes, and whole grains but allows for protein and animal products in moderation, making it a popular alternative.
WW, or Weight Watchers
WW, formerly Weight Watchers, is one of the most popular weight loss programs worldwide.
While it doesn’t restrict any food groups, people on a WW plan must eat within their set daily points to reach their ideal weight.
WW allows flexibility, making it easy to follow.
This enables people with dietary restrictions, such as those with food allergies, to adhere to the plan.
Diet Program List:
#1 Mediterranean Diet
It was also named the best diet for healthy eating, best plant-based diet, best diet for diabetes and the easiest diet to follow.
Check out my post: Diet-Mediterranean
#2 (Tie) DASH Diet
The DASH Diet, which stands for dietary approaches to stop hypertension, is promoted by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute to do exactly that: stop (or prevent) hypertension, aka high blood pressure.
Check out my post: Diet-Dash
#2 (Tie) The Flexitarian Diet
“Flexitarian” is the combination of two words: flexible + vegetarian. Research study after research study concludes that one of the healthiest ways to achieve optimal health and prevent and manage disease is by eating a vegetarian diet.
Being a flexitarian is about minimizing meat without excluding it all together. It is the best of both worlds – you get the health benefits of a vegetarian diet while still being able to enjoy meaningful, soul-nourishing moments with others without dietary restrictions getting in the way.
Check out my post: Diet-Flexitarian
#4 WW (Weight Watchers) Diet
Different types of food are given a certain amount of points based on their nutritional value.
The diet requires participants to stick to a certain number of points per day or week.
The emphasis is less on calorie counting and more on consuming a healthy diet.
Check out my post: Diet-Weight Watchers Diet Plan
#5 (Tie) Mayo Clinic Diet
This will let them achieve a healthy diet without starving themselves.
The weight pyramid will guide consumers in eating the right balance of vegetables, protein, fruits, healthy fats, dairy, and a small amount of sweets.
Check out my post: Diet-Mayo Clinic
#5 (Tie) MIND Diet
The Mediterranean-DASH Intervention for Neurodegenerative Delay (MIND) diet is a mash-up of two diets: the Mediterranean diet and Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) diet.
The Mediterranean diet was created to encourage heart health, and the DASH diet is designed to control high blood pressure.
Researchers discovered that individuals who followed the MIND diet reduced their risk of memory loss or developing Alzheimer’s by as much as 53 percent.
Check out my post: Diet-Mind
#7 TLC Diet
The TLC (Therapeutic Lifestyle Changes) diet was created by the National Institute of Health’s National Cholesterol Education Program with the goal of cutting cholesterol as part of a heart-healthy eating regimen.
It calls for eating plenty of veggies, fruits, breads, cereals and pasta and lean meats.
Check out my post: Diet-TLC
#8 (Tie) The New Nordic Diet
Like the more famous Mediterranean diet, it’s not really about weight loss.
Instead, it’s a delicious way to eat healthy.
Check out my post: The New Nordic Diet
#8 (Tie) Vegetarian Diet
People often adopt a vegetarian diet for religious or personal reasons, as well as ethical issues, such as animal rights.
Others decide to become vegetarian for environmental reasons, as livestock production increases greenhouse gas emissions, contributes to climate change and requires large amounts of water, energy and natural resources.
Check out my post: Diet-Vegitarian
#10 Jenny Craig Diet
The program delivers prepackaged, low-calorie meals and offers one-on-one support from a consultant.
The goal is to remove the guesswork about what to eat and thus make weight loss simple.
Check out my post: Diet-Jenny Craig
#11 Asian Diet
Iron is also provided through certain vegetables, such as dark leafy greens. Calcium is obtained from soy products, nuts, seeds, and green leafy vegetables.
Check out my post: Diet-Asian
#15 (Tie) Dr. Weil’s Anti-Inflammatory Diet
The Anti-Inflammatory Diet is not a diet in the popular sense – it is not intended as a weight-loss program (although people can and do lose weight on it), nor is the Anti-Inflammatory Diet an eating plan to stay on for a limited period of time.
Rather, it is a way of selecting and preparing anti-inflammatory foods based on scientific knowledge of how they can help your body maintain optimum health.
Along with influencing inflammation, this natural anti-inflammatory diet will provide steady energy and ample vitamins, minerals, essential fatty acids dietary fiber, and protective phytonutrients.
Check out my post: Diet-Dr. Weil’s Anti-Inflammatory
#15 (Tie) Nutritarian Diet
You also quit meat and dairy for at least 6 weeks, and eat more whole fruits, vegetables, beans and other legumes, and whole grains.
Check out my post: Diet-Nutritarian
#17 Vegan Diet
Whole-food vegan diet: A diet based on a wide variety of whole plant foods such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, nuts and seeds.
Raw-food vegan diet: A vegan diet based on raw fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds or plant foods cooked at temperatures below 118°F (48°C).
Check out my post: Diet-Vegan
#18 (Tie) The Engine 2 Diet
The Engine 2 Diet, which was created by firefighter, former professional athlete and medical scion Rip Esselstyne, is a low-fat, “plant strong” plan that aims to prevent or even reverse diseases that are linked to the Standard American Diet: heart disease, diabetes, Alzheimer’s and cancer.
Engine 2 Diet followers can also expect to increase lean muscle mass, sharpen their minds and energize their bodies.
Check out my post: Diet-The Engine 2
#18 (Tie) South Beach Diet
It’s a lower-carb diet that has been credited with producing rapid weight loss without hunger, all while promoting heart health.
The South Beach Diet is a lower-carb diet that emphasizes lean meats, unsaturated fats and low-glycemic-index carbs.
It was created by cardiologist Dr. Arthur Agatston.
Check out my post: Diet-South Beach
#20 (Tie) The GOLO Diet Program
Check out my post: Diet-GOLO
#20 (Tie) Nutrisystem Diet
Overall, the foods and meal plans focus on: A variety of nutrients.
About half your calories come from carbs, 25% from protein, and 25% from fat.
Check out my post: Diet-Nutrisystem
This information is provided for informational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for the advice provided by your physician or other healthcare professional. You should not use the information on this web site for diagnosing or treating a health problem or disease, or prescribing any medication or other treatment.