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Best Diet For Losing Weight 2024: 5 Superb Healthy Meal Plans

Zaakir Shakoor

Reviewed by Dr. Drew Sutton, MD
best diet for weight loss
The best diet plans can help you maintain good health. Photo: Thanh Pham

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There are too many diet plans to choose from. The best diet plans can help you get on track for your weight loss journey and maintain good health by preventing nutrient deficiency. 

For this reason, we have discussed;

  • “What Are The Best Weight Loss Diets?”
  • “What Are The Worst Diet Plans To Lose Weight?”
  • “Why Do People Diet?” 
  • “Other Tips For Weight Loss Diet” 
  • “How To Choose A Diet To Lose Weight?”

5 Best Diets for Sustained Weight Loss

There are 5 diets that you should try to achieve your weight loss goal:

  • Mediterranean Diet 
  • Weight Watchers 
  • Eat Well Plate 
  • Mayo Clinic Diet 
  • Intermittent Fasting 

What Are The Best Weight Loss Diets?

We have highlighted 5 different best diet types in order. 

Mediterranean Diet

Mediterranean diet
The Mediterranean diet is the best possible diet to lose body weight and overall health. Photo: Oleksandra Naumenko/Shutterstock

In my opinion, The Mediterranean diet is the best possible diet to lose body weight if desired and overall health. Heart disease is much lower in Mediterranean countries, this clearly correlates with the types of foods that the population consumes.  

The reason for this is most likely that the foods that are moderate in calories, fibrous, and satiating. This can play a role in blunting insulin and binding to cholesterol for optimal heart and blood health. Furthermore, the diet may cause you to eat fewer calories throughout the day to promote weight loss or prevent weight gain. 

The food types in the Mediterranean diet involve eating nutrient-dense foods like:

  • Whole grains (whole grain bread, barley, corn, etc.)
  • Lean protein (chicken breast, fish, lean meat, etc.) 
  • Healthy fats (nuts, olive oils, seeds, etc.)
  • Vegetables (carrots, peas, green beans, etc.)
  • Fruit (apples, bananas, grapes, etc.)

Weight Watchers

This diet plan encourages not to eat processed foods, but nothing is off-limits. Weight Watchers work on a point system where each food represents a certain amount of points depending on the number of calories that it contains. The higher the caloric value of food, the higher the points it represents.

Each individual has a select number of points they must reach per day depending on their goals i.e., 1kg of weight loss per week.

This point system is essentially a simple way to track calories, which allows one to consume fewer calories than their maintenance. Therefore driving a caloric deficit. A deficit in calories can follow weight loss, as there are 3500 calories in 1lb of fat mass. 

Eat Well Plate

The eat well plate is not really intended to be a low-calorie diet, but more of a guide towards putting together a way of “healthy eating habits”. Subsequently, this could help manage weight by controlling the amount of food you consume per day.   

The eat well plate recommends at least 5 portions of fruits and vegetables per day, which makes up ⅓ of the plate. This can ensure that you are taking in the necessary micronutrients and fiber. Consuming sufficient micronutrients would ensure an effective immune system. As mentioned, fiber is important for heart and blood health, as well as digestive health. 

Another ⅓ of the plate comes from starchy carbohydrates, like potatoes, wholemeal bread, basmati rice, wholegrain pasta, etc. Carbohydrates are important for providing energy for daily activities and exercise. Once carbohydrates are ingested they are stored as glycogen within the muscles, liver, and brain to be drawn to make ATP/energy. 

The next 12% of the eat well plate comes from lean protein. We are typically looking at 2 daily portions of protein foods (2 x 140g)  like fish, chicken, lean cuts of beef, etc. Protein provides the essential amino acids for the growth and repair of muscle. 

A small 8% of dairy foods like cheese, milk, yogurts, etc. Amongst many nutrients, dairy is high in calcium and vitamin D which are crucial in maintaining healthy bones and teeth with sufficient bone mineral density. 

The smallest part of the plate (1%) belongs to oils and spreads. Oils and spreads are used to cook certain products and offer some healthy fats, which are important in maintaining hormonal balance.

Mayo Clinic Diet

This low-carb diet is similar to the Eat Well plate, but uses a pyramid of hierarchy, highlighting the most important foods at the largest part of the pyramid, which gets smaller and smaller based on the importance of the food group.

The largest part of the pyramid includes fruit, vegetables, and daily activity of ~30 minutes per day. Activity can help burn calories and maintain a healthy cardiovascular system. We have already covered why fruits and vegetables are so important. 

Moving up the pyramid, the second largest part includes carbohydrates like rice and pasta. These are stored as energy. 

Lean proteins and dairy are the next part of the pyramid, which are crucial for the growth and repair of muscles and bones. 

The next macronutrient in order of importance is dietary fat like nuts and oils. These are vital for maintaining hormonal balance. 

Last and least, are sweets. Sweets may only offer a boost psychologically as they are not really nutrient-dense or promote weight loss. 

Intermittent Fasting

Intermittent fasting is not intended to be a healthy diet, but more of an eating mode. Typically, an individual refrained from consuming foods for a period of time and then only included a small eating window. For example, fasting hours could be 6 pm -1 pm the following day. Such an eating pattern would only give you a 5-hour eating. 

So how could this help lose weight? For the most part, it can help drive a caloric deficit from not being able to consume enough food in the short eating window. However, this also poses a risk to certain nutrient deficiencies, especially if you are not being observed by a healthcare professional.

What Are The Worst Diet Plans To Lose Weight?

Ketogenic Diet

ketogenic diet
The ketogenic diet is a high-fat and low-carb diet. Photo: Shutterstock

I would not follow the keto diet myself and I will tell you why. Essentially, keto is a high-fat and low-carb diet.[1] The diet consists of ~80% dietary fats, 15% protein, and 5% carbs. Vegetables contain carbs and you would consume some vegetables for their fiber content.  

Within ~2 weeks of keto, your body will make a transition in energy substrates and begin to use fatty acids as energy. In the meantime you could expect to become more tired and low on energy, this is definitely not desired in my opinion. 

Note that this does not mean that you will start to lose more body fat unless you are able to drive a caloric deficit. 

The initial weight loss would come from glycogen and water, but then the body will give up body fat if a caloric deficit is achieved. 

It is highly likely that you will begin to lose weight from body fat. It would only make sense to eliminate entire food groups and their calories.

Extreme Low-Calorie Diets (Fast Weight Loss Diet)  

In my opinion, this is amongst the worst diets for losing weight unless you are extremely overweight and unhealthy. Low-calorie and low-carb diets tend to cause an extreme caloric deficit, which can cause you to lose a lot of muscle mass, thereby hindering health. As we know muscle mass is crucial for mobility and a healthy metabolism. 

Not to mention, these types of diets are not sustainable and often rebound when you revert to normal food diets. 

Typically, you would limit calories to around 500-600 per day from eating specific powder mixes, bars, and cookies depending on the diet provider.

Acid Alkaline Diet

This is amongst many fad diets. This diet has the idea that some foods are acidic and when consumed in high ratios compared to alkaline[2] foods it can be harmful to health. This idea is not very well supported and it does not really help you lose weight. So unfortunately it is one of the worst diets for purpose. 

Baby Food Diet

The baby food diet has to be the least appealing idea in my opinion. You are basically just eating baby foods, which are just normal foods that have been broken down and packaged differently. 

They may help you lose weight from the lack of food and calories but could cause many nutrient deficiencies i.e., protein. The baby food jars only contain around 20-100 calories and are very low in protein for a fully grown adult who needs around 80-100g per day. 

Certainly amongst the worst diets in my opinion.    

Why Do People Diet?

People generally diet to lose weight or maintain healthy habits. Some diet to look and feel stronger. Others diet just to catch the latest trends, following their favorite celebrities or social circle. 

Other Tips To Support Health Benefits Of Weight Loss Diets 

Other than the diet itself, there are 3 other variables that influence net calorie intake and weight loss.

Exercise Activity 

The idea of a losing weight diet is to limit the amount of calories you consume. Exercise can burn calories to lose weight. You could lose around 200-800 calories per hour of exercise.  

You can try a variety of exercise types like:

  • Low-medium intensity cardio  (brisk walking, jogging, running, cycling, etc.)
  • HIIT training (Sprinting, Sprint rowing, sprint cross training, car pushes, etc.)
  • Resistance training (barbell back squat, barbell deadlift, barbell bench press, etc.) 

Non-Exercise Activity-Induced Thermogenesis 

Non-exercise activity-induced thermogenesis, abbreviated as NEAT is all of the non-exercise-related activities that you do on a daily basis. This can burn hundreds to thousands of additional calories. 

NEAT-based activities could include:

  • Hoovering the house 
  • Hand washing the dishing 
  • Mowing the lawn 
  • Chewing low-calorie gum 
  • Light walking

Thermic Effect Of Food  

Each macronutrient uses energy/calories to digest, absorb, and metabolize. Protein takes ~30% of its own calories, carbs take ~8% and fat takes ~2-3%. If your diet allows, you could eat foods with higher protein to maximize total energy expenditure and weight loss. 

How To Choose A Diet To Lose Weight And Maintain Healthy Habits?

The diet that you choose really depends on personal preference and what suits you. For example, if you enjoy eating carbs then a keto diet is probably not for you, or if you do not want to feel tired and drained all the time very low-calorie diet is probably not the best pick. 

Personally, I go for a Mediterranean-style diet as it allows me to eat a variety of food and get sufficient nutrients. 


Diets are typically taken for healthy weight loss and/or health. Some diets are better than others in my opinion. In order we have highlighted 9 of the best to worst diets that you can choose from. The diet you choose will depend on your personal preference.

Remember diet/calorie intake is only one variable towards weight loss. We should also consider; Exercise expenditure, NEAT, and TEF.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) 

What are the best diets for health?

I would say diets #1 #3 #4 are on our list. These diets are well-balanced and may prevent any nutrient deficiencies.

Why does the ketogenic diet make you lose weight so fast?

As you are eliminating most of the carbohydrate consumption, your body will deplete glycogen stores and the water that it holds. This can cause 6-7lb of losing weight within a few days.

The diet that has the least nutritious foods?

It is likely that you would not get enough nutrients while observing the baby food diet. The food serving is too small for an adult.

+ 2 Sources

EHproject has strict sourcing guidelines and relies on peer-reviewed studies, academic research institutions, and medical associations. We work mostly with peer-reviewed studies to ensure accurate information. We avoid using tertiary references. You can learn more about how we ensure our content is accurate and current by reading our editorial policy.

  1. Masood, W., Pavan Annamaraju and Uppaluri, K.R. (2022). Ketogenic Diet. [online] Nih.gov. Available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK499830/.
  2. Schwalfenberg, G.K. (2012). The Alkaline Diet: Is There Evidence That an Alkaline pH Diet Benefits Health? Journal of Environmental and Public Health, [online] 2012(727630), pp.1–7. doi:https://doi.org/10.1155/2012/727630


Zack Shakoor Kayani was born and raised in the South East of England/London. Zack has attained a bolus of knowledge regarding biosciences through academia and his career experiences. In terms of his educational background, he has… See More