Keto, vegetarian, Atkins, the Mediterranean, or the Weight Watchers diet? Which diet trend should you consider to reach any effective and sustainable weight loss goals? This is a question plaguing health-conscious individuals who want to use nutrition plans to prompt weight loss. Each diet plan promises results, yet done in different ways. The thing is, you have to be careful to pick a nutrition plan that guarantees both safe and sustainable weight loss results. This leads us back to our initial question, of all the latest diet trends, which one should you join to attain your goals?
It is not surprising that most of us are considering the latest diet trends to use for weight loss. After all, these trends are being praised left, right, and center by thousands of people claiming to have seen drastic weight loss benefits. Considering these great reviews, it is almost impossible to resist using any of the latest diet trends for weight loss. Despite this, you still have to ask yourself which diet plans are healthy and which ones actually work.
To help you make an informed decision, we will decipher the latest diet trends. We will try to lay out how each nutrition plan stacks up when it comes to weight loss and its longevity. Take a look and learn more about the best weight loss programs.
What Are The Latest Diet Trends?
There is no shortage of weight loss nutrition plans grappling for your attention. Vegan, keto, the Mediterranean diet-you name them. It is hard to determine the healthiest and best diet for weight loss, not to mention that the latest diet trends also contain fad diets.
To help you make an informed decision, we want to evaluate popular nutrition plans that promote weight loss. Our goal is to help you avoid unhealthy diets in the list of the latest diet trends. The list is as follows:
The Keto Diet
The keto diet, also known as the ketogenic diet plan, is a widely used nutrition plan for weight loss. Medical News Today acknowledges that this diet has been used for ages as a treatment for epilepsy and is still being explored for other health benefits (7).
The following nutrition plan focuses on foods with very few carbs, a variety of healthy fats, and moderate proteins (19). It aims at helping you get more calories from healthy fats instead of carbohydrates.
Read More: Types Of Keto Diet: Which Is Right For You?
Does Keto Support Weight Loss?
The answer is yes. This nutrition plan can help promote weight loss in various ways. They include:
- Boosting your metabolism. High metabolism helps with increasing the speed at which you burn calories (4). The keto diet may boost your metabolism, helping you burn more calories during physical activity and rest (19).
- Reducing your appetite. The keto diet contains foods that increase your satiety levels. When consumed, these foods reduce your hunger-stimulating hormones (19). A reduced appetite means less consumption of calories, which might help promote weight loss.
- Reducing your carb intake. Carbs are our bodies’ primary energy source (3). If their supply is reduced, our body turns to fat for fuel, promoting fat loss.
In light of this, it is safe to say that it is worth considering the keto diet for weight loss. However, you need to know that there is a lack of definitive research on its safety and effectiveness long-term. Medical News Today states that following the ketogenic diet for the long haul can increase your risk of the following (19):
- Excess protein in the blood
- Kidney stones
- Fat build-up in the liver
- Vitamin and mineral deficiencies
Also remember that, with any diet, losing weight still requires consuming fewer calories than you burn. Simply changing the food groups you eat will not make you lose weight if, at the end of the day, you are taking in the same amount of calories or more than before.
The Atkins Diet
Medical News Today ranked the Atkins diet among the most popular diet trends of 2017 (7). It is still quite popular today, given that individuals are still using it for weight loss. But what exactly is this diet?
Medicine Net defines the Atkins diet as a high-protein, high-fat, and low-carbohydrate eating plan (6). It is formulated around the theory that consuming carbs stimulates insulin production, which causes hunger, excessive eating, and weight gain (6). So, to avoid this, it limits the number of carbohydrates you consume.
Is The Atkins Diet A Healthy Weight Loss Program?
Going by the number of people using this eating plan for weight loss, you would answer yes. However, by looking at its longevity and effectiveness for weight loss, you might think twice before answering this question.
The thing is, this diet plan can support weight loss. Since it restricts your carbohydrate intake, your body turns to stored fat for energy production. Breaking down fat for energy may lead to weight loss (6).
Besides helping you manage your weight, this eating plan can also help you reap other health benefits. It can help you prevent health conditions like diabetes, metabolic syndrome, high blood pressure, and heart disease (1).
That said, this diet plan may not be the best to use to prompt weight loss down the line. A 2006 study describes this diet as unpalatable and questionable in terms of safety when used for long-term weight loss (11).
The study concurs with a Medicine Net article which also states that taste is a problem when it comes to following this diet plan long-term (6). The site also acknowledges that more research is needed to validate the Atkins diet’s safety for long-term weight loss (6).
The Mediterranean Diet
Is The Mediterranean Diet The Healthiest Weight Loss Program?
First and foremost, it is necessary to pinpoint that this eating plan can support weight loss. A study conducted by the University of Otago indicates that people who followed the Mediterranean diet for one year lost about 2.8 kg (15).
WebMD suggests you consider using this weight loss diet plan for 6 months or permanently (13). The site acknowledges that this eating plan scores big when it comes to longevity. By looking at the study above conducted by the University of Otago, you can see that the sample followed the diet plan for 12 months. It means that this diet plan is among the healthy diets to lose weight you can follow for the long haul.
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Perhaps you have heard of or have tried using the vegan diet to lose weight. Were you able to stick to this deprivation diet for the long haul? And if you did, did you regain your weight after you stopped following this way of eating?
Well, if yes, know that you got plenty of company. Most people start this diet without evaluating how it works and if it is a safe long-term weight loss program. Down the line, they realize that this was not the best weight loss diet for them. But whose is it?
To begin with, the vegan diet entails consuming foods comprising plants only. In this eating plan, foods from all animal products are banned. This means that you cannot consume eggs, meat, or dairy products (18). Some people following this diet plan may also not eat honey. On the other hand others may as this is not banned.
Vegan Diet For Weight Loss
People following a vegan diet have been reported to have a lower body mass index (BMI) (18). Medical News Today acknowledges that the diet promotes weight loss and a lower BMI for various reasons, which are:
- Reduced fat and calorie intake. Most animal foods tend to be high in calories and fat. In a vegan diet, these foods are unacceptable. Instead, they are replaced with plant-based foods, which tend to have lower calories and fat content (18).
Skipping meat and other animal products also has other health benefits. According to WebMD, it reduces your obesity risk and chances of getting high blood pressure, heart diseases, and high cholesterol (17).
- High fiber intake. Fiber is crucial in the maintenance of healthy weight. It is responsible for controlling your blood sugars, lowering your blood cholesterol levels, and normalizing your bowel movements (9). Most of the foods in the vegan diet are high-fiber foods. They help in making you feel full for longer, thereby helping you maintain a healthy weight.
If the idea of starting a vegan diet for weight loss interests you, start by talking to a dietitian or nutritionist. It is because despite being considered healthy, following this diet plan may also come with various risks. They include:
- Nutritional deficiencies. Because you are not eating animal products, you may acquire less or none of the various nutrients. These include calcium, protein, zinc, vitamin B-12, and omega-3 fatty acids (17).All these nutrients play crucial roles in your body, and without them, you risk acquiring several health conditions.
- Unhealthful weight gain. Yes, you heard me. A vegan diet may also promote unnecessary and unhealthy weight gain. According to Medical News Today, this happens when you eat lots of processed or high-fat plant-based foods (18). The idea is to still maintain a calorie deficit for weight loss through eating low-calorie plant-based foods.
The Vegetarian Diet
The vegetarian diet is also one of the latest diet trends. It has been present for a long time, but this nutrition plan has recently acquired a craze for its link to weight loss. The vegetarian diet is similar to the vegan diet in that it is plant-based.
Note that there is a key difference when it comes to the different categories of the vegetarian diet. They are as follows (5):
- Lacto Vegetarian. In this category, you can consume milk and milk products. However, eggs, meat, and fish consumption is banned.
- Lacto-ovo vegetarian. Lacto refers to dairy, while ovo refers to eggs. You can enjoy eggs, milk, and milk products in this category. However, you must avoid meat and fish consumption.
- Semi-vegetarian. In this category, meat is occasionally included. Some semi-vegetarians may opt to eat red meat, while others may accept either fish or chicken.
- Quasi-vegetarian. In this category, both fish and poultry are included in the diet. However, red meat is not.
- Pescatarian. In this diet, you are allowed to eat plant-based foods and fish.
Given these different categories, it is advisable to sit down with your dietitian to determine the best vegetarian diet plan for you. Do not give in to the hype of a specific category without seeking professional help. If the plan cannot help you meet your goals and dietary needs at the end of the day, then it is useless.
Weight Loss On A Vegetarian Diet
A vegetarian diet should help you lose some pounds. This is the case as you are mostly consuming high-fiber plant-based foods. Plant fiber helps keep you full for longer, resulting in less snacking and fewer binge-eating episodes (5).
According to a study published in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition, , a vegetarian diet is more effective in weight loss than a conventional diet (12). The vegetarian nutrition plan also resulted in loss of intramuscular and subfascial fat (14).
Subfascial fat is the fat lining the muscles, and intramuscular muscle is the fat stored inside your muscles (14). Losing your intramuscular fat helps with increasing your mobility and muscle strength (14). This means that you can follow a vegetarian diet for both weight loss and muscle gain. However, this is only after getting a go-ahead from your dietitian.
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The Weight Watchers Diet
The Weight Watchers diet is a nutrition plan with millions of members from everywhere around the globe (16). These high numbers may help in explaining its popularity. The diet program promotes weight loss by focusing on various aspects. These entail the diet, of course, physical activity, and support network (7).
The support network is crucial for any weight watcher. It would help if you had a network of friends to help you continue healthy practices, especially after you stop following an eating plan. Such support holds you accountable, thereby minimizing your chances of gaining back all the weight you had shed.
You can join this diet program by either attending the physical meetings or joining online. Whatever the case, the fact remains that you will have access to the support you need. Medical News Today states that the Weight Watchers Diet is effective for weight loss (16).
According to their research, this diet program is a safe weight loss program (16). You can, therefore, consider using this dietary practice to lose weight. However, these plans should only be considered after having discussions with both your doctor and dietitian.
What Is The Best Diet To Lose Weight?
Perhaps this knowledge has left you rethinking about the diet plan to use to prompt weight loss. This is reasonable. All these latest diet trends can indeed help you lose weight. The difference is in their effectiveness and longevity. Here are some aspects you must consider to help determine the best weight loss diet from this list:
Sometimes, weight loss might not be what you need. You might only have a little bit of fat, which tends to pose various health problems if you start a weight loss diet plan. Such health issues include (2):
- Increased osteoporosis risk
- Reduced muscle mass and strength
- Reduced ability to fight infections
- Issues regulating your body temperature
Losing weight is often vital to prevent health conditions such as obesity and type 2 diabetes (2). However, you must consider your health status before jumping into any other weight loss diet plan. You may find that some plans may encourage the consumption of various foods that trigger your existing health conditions. Always discuss any diet changes with your doctor and/or dietitian who can help you determine which diets are best for you personally.
Your Daily Calorie Intake
Although your goal is to burn extra calories, you still have to make sure that you consume enough calories. If not, you may risk becoming ill or losing muscle and lean tissue (2). Such effects may make you drop out of a dietary program without even achieving your weight loss target.
The Bottom Line
The latest diet trends will have you confused about what weight loss program to choose. They are numerous and range from the vegan diet, Mediterranean, Weight Watchers, vegetarian, keto, and Atkins diet.
You need to sit down with a professional to determine the most suitable weight loss diet plan for you. Otherwise, you risk getting ill or jeopardizing your health by not doing enough research before implementing an eating plan.
This article is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional advice or help and should not be relied on for decision-making. Any action you take upon the information presented in this article is strictly at your own risk and responsibility!
- Atkins diet: What is it, and should I try it? (2020, medicalnewstoday.com)
- How can I lose weight? (2018, medicalnewstoday.com)
- How many carbs should you eat for weight loss? (2018, medicalnewstoday.com)
- How to increase your metabolism (2018, medicalnewstoday.com)
- Is A Vegetarian Diet For Me? (2007, webmd.com)
- Medical Definition of Atkins Diet (2018, medicinenet.com)
- Nine most popular diets rated by experts 2017 (2017, medicalnewstoday.com)
- Our guide to the Mediterranean diet (2019, medicalnewstoday.com)
- Slide show: Guide to a high-fiber diet (2020, mayoclinic.org)
- Slide show: The Mediterranean diet (2019, mayoclinic.org)
- The Atkin’s diet controversy (2006, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
- The Effect of a Vegetarian vs Conventional Hypocaloric Diabetic Diet on Thigh Adipose Tissue Distribution in Subjects with Type 2 Diabetes: A Randomized Study (2017, tandfonline.com)
- The Mediterranean Diet (2021, webmd.com)
- Vegetarian diet more effective for weight loss and metabolism (2017, medicalnewstoday.com)
- Weight loss and health improvements with Mediterranean, fasting, & Paleo diets (2020, sciencedaily.com)
- Weight Watchers: What does it involve? (2017, medicalnewstoday.com)
- What Is a Vegan Diet? (2019, webmd.com)
- What to know about vegan diets (2020, medicalnewstoday.com)
- Why is the keto diet good for you? (2020, medicalnewstoday.com)