Popular Weight Loss Diets

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Popular weight loss diets have gained significant attention over the years as people look for ways to shed unwanted weight. There are various types of diets, but some of the most popular ones include low-carb, low-fat, and plant-based diets. Each of these diets has its unique characteristics, and the choice of diet mainly depends on individual preferences, goals, and health status.

Low calorie diets

Low-carb diets, such as the Atkins and ketogenic diets, involve reducing carbohydrate intake while increasing protein and fat consumption. The rationale behind this approach is that carbohydrates are converted into glucose, which triggers insulin production and fat storage. By reducing carbohydrate intake, the body is forced to burn stored fat for energy, leading to weight loss. Studies have shown that low-carb diets are effective in promoting weight loss, improving blood sugar control, and reducing cardiovascular risk factors (1).

Low fat diets

On the other hand, low-fat diets involve reducing fat intake while increasing carbohydrate consumption. The idea behind this approach is that fat is more calorie-dense than carbohydrates, and reducing fat intake leads to a lower overall calorie intake, resulting in weight loss. Examples of low-fat diets include the Ornish diet and Pritikin diets. Studies have shown that low-fat diets are effective in promoting weight loss and reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease (2).

Plant based diets

Plant-based diets, such as vegetarian and vegan diets, focus on consuming foods derived from plants, such as fruits, vegetables, grains, and legumes, while avoiding animal products. These diets are typically low in saturated fat and high in fiber and phytonutrients, which are beneficial to health. Studies have shown that plant-based diets are effective in promoting weight loss, improving blood sugar control, and reducing the risk of chronic diseases such as cancer, cardiovascular disease, and diabetes (3).

Ketogenic diet

Another popular weight loss diet is the ketogenic diet, which is a high-fat, low-carbohydrate diet that has gained significant popularity in recent years. The goal of the ketogenic diet is to induce a state of ketosis, where the body burns fat for energy instead of carbohydrates. While there is some evidence to suggest that the ketogenic diet may be effective for short-term weight loss, there are also potential risks and drawbacks, including the possibility of nutrient deficiencies, gastrointestinal issues, and difficulty adhering to the diet long-term.

Mediterranean diet

Another popular diet is the Mediterranean diet, which is based on the traditional dietary patterns of countries bordering the Mediterranean Sea. This diet emphasizes whole foods such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, nuts, and seeds, as well as healthy fats such as olive oil and fish. Research suggests that the Mediterranean diet may be effective for weight loss and reducing the risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease and diabetes.


It is important to note that while there is evidence to suggest that certain diets may be effective for weight loss, the most important factor in weight loss is creating a calorie deficit, which can be achieved through a variety of dietary patterns. It is also important to consider individual needs, preferences, and medical history when choosing a weight loss diet. In addition to the potential benefits and risks of different weight loss diets, it is also important to consider the sustainability and long-term adherence to a diet. Many people struggle with maintaining weight loss over time, and it is often difficult to stick to a restrictive diet long-term. Therefore, it may be more beneficial to focus on creating sustainable lifestyle changes, such as incorporating more whole foods, increasing physical activity, and practicing mindful eating habits. There is no one-size-fits-all approach to weight loss, and it is important to consider individual needs and preferences when choosing a weight loss diet. It is also important to consult with a healthcare provider or registered dietitian before making any significant dietary changes to ensure safety and effectiveness.


  1. Johnstone AM. Fasting--the ultimate diet?. Obes Rev. 2007 Mar;8(2):211-22. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-789X.2006.00266.x. PMID: 17316258.
  2. Atkins RC, Westman EC. The 2002 National Academy of Sciences report on dietary reference intakes: implications for low-carbohydrate diets. J Am Coll Nutr. 2004 Apr;23(2):141-5. doi: 10.1080/07315724.2004.10719335. PMID: 15047680.
  3. Gardner CD, Kiazand A, Alhassan S, Kim S, Stafford RS, Balise RR, Kraemer HC, King AC. Comparison of the Atkins, Zone, Ornish, and LEARN diets for change in weight and related risk factors among overweight premenopausal women: the A TO Z Weight Loss Study: a randomized trial. JAMA. 2007 Mar 7;297(9):969-77. doi: 10.1001/jama.297.9.969. PMID: 17341711.
  4. Shick SM, Wing RR, Klem ML, McGuire MT, Hill JO, Seagle H. Persons successful at long-term weight loss and maintenance continue to consume a low-energy, low-fat diet. J Am Diet Assoc. 1998 Apr;98(4):408-13. doi: 10.1016/s0002-8223(98)00093-5. PMID: 9550162.
  5. Mauvais-Jarvis F. Estrogen and androgen receptors: regulators of fuel homeostasis and emerging targets for diabetes and obesity. Trends Endocrinol Metab. 2011 Oct;22(10):24-33. doi: 10.1016/j.tem.2011.06.007. Epub 2011 Jul 28. PMID: 21803095.
  6. Ornish D, Scherwitz LW, Billings JH, Brown SE, Gould KL, Merritt TA, Sparler S, Armstrong WT, Ports TA, Kirkeeide RL, Hogeboom C, Brand RJ. Intensive lifestyle changes for reversal of coronary heart disease. JAMA. 1998 Dec 16;280(23):2001-7. doi: 10.1001/jama.280.23.2001. PMID: 9863851.
  7. American Heart Association. Low-Fat, Low-Cholesterol Diet. https://www.heart.org/en/healthy-living/healthy-eating/eat-smart/fats/low-fat-low-cholesterol-diet. Accessed 08 Mar 2023.
  8. Turner-McGrievy GM, Davidson CR, Wingard EE, Wilcox S, Frongillo EA. Comparative effectiveness of plant-based diets for weight loss: a randomized controlled trial of five different diets. Nutrition. 2015 Feb;31(2):350-8. doi: 10.1016/j.nut.2014.09.002. Epub 2014 Sep 18. PMID: 25620799.
  9. Sacks FM, Bray GA, Carey VJ, Smith SR, Ryan DH, Anton SD, McManus K, Champagne CM, Bishop LM, Laranjo N, Leboff MS, Rood JC, de Jonge L, Greenway FL, Loria CM, Obarzanek E, Williamson DA. Comparison of weight-loss diets with different compositions of fat, protein, and carbohydrates.

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