All about diets - which one should you choose?

Are you ready to lose weight but feel overwhelmed by all of the diets available? Find out about different diets and how to choose the right one.

Are you ready to lose weight and get healthy but feel completely overwhelmed by the amount of diet options out there? We’ll teach you all about different diets provided by Lifesum and which one you should choose. Hint: it depends on your personal preferences and shouldn’t make you feel deprived.  

How to choose the best diet for you

Discovering the best diet should be based on your lifestyle and food preferences. We’ll walk through each diet discussing the details of macronutrient balance, foods that are included, and what to consider before giving it a go.

Mediterranean diet

  • Carbohydrates: 40 E%
  • Protein: 20 E%
  • Fat: 40 E% 

The Mediterranean diet includes lots of healthy fats (olive oil, nuts, seeds), fish, colorful vegetables, legumes (beans and lentils), and whole grains. It has been observed to help promote heart health and lengthen life expectancy in addition to helping manage weight (1).

What to consider 

  • Focusing on healthy fats can help decrease inflammation and improve brain and heart health (2). 

  • This diet doesn’t focus on cutting calories or food groups but strongly encourages less processed foods and meat. 

  • May not be ideal if your goal is to lose significant amounts of weight, very quickly. 

Keto easy

  • Carbohydrates: 100 g (net carbs)
  • Protein: 15 E%
  • Fat: The remaining energy

The ketogenic easy diet is a milder approach to the standard or strict keto diet (more to come), focusing on stocking-up on high fat foods such as cheese, meat, poultry, fish, avocado, and full-fat dairy. The diet will include high fiber carbs like vegetables, healthy fat, and a good amount of protein. 

What to consider 

  • Evidence that lowering carbohydrates in the diet are effective and safe in the short-term (3). 

  • This diet creates the need to track what you eat which can be done with the help of the Lifesum app

Keto medium

  • Carbohydrates: 50 g (net carbs)
  • Protein: 15%
  • Fat: The remaining energy

The goal of the ketogenic diet is to switch what your body uses as fuel. Carbohydrates are the main source of energy, in their absence, your body will use fat for energy (3). In order for your body to turn into this state, known as ketosis, you need to eat less than 50 g of carbohydrates (net carbs) per day. 

The keto medium is an excellent transition into the keto lifestyle. You’ll replace carbs with fatty foods. The focus will be on fats such as olive oil, canola oil, butter, and cheese, with decreased amounts of carbs such as potatoes, bread, root vegetables and pasta. It’s similar to the Ketogenic Strict plan but with more room for fiber rich carbohydrates such as vegetables.

What to consider 

  • A good transition into a low-carb lifestyle. 

  • When initially starting the diet, you may feel tired, have cravings, possible nausea and headaches, in what’s called the keto flu (4).

Keto strict

  • Carbohydrates: 20 g (net carbs)
  • Protein: 15%
  • Fat: The remaining energy

On the Keto Strict plan the intake of carbohydrates is even lower, with a limit of 20 grams per day. The idea behind a strict keto diet is to, in a couple of days, put your body into the state of ketosis. The meals will include lots of fats such as oil, full-fat cheese, salmon and butter. While the intake of food rich in carbohydrates such as bread and pasta, fruit, and vegetables with a higher carb count (carrots, pumpkin, beets) are limited. While many vegetables are too rich in carbs for this diet, it is important to choose the intake of carbs wisely in order to get all the dietary fiber, vitamins and minerals you need.

What to consider 

  • This is a good plan if you work well with strict rules and want quick results.
  • When initially starting the diet, you may feel tired, have cravings, and experience the keto flu (4).
  • Research is not clear about the long-term effects of the diet. It can be tricky if you’re an athlete or work out at a high level (4).

Clean eating

  • Carbohydrates: 40%
  • Protein: 25%
  • Fat: 35%

The clean eating diet is all about eating whole foods. Focus on eating the way nature intended with lots of vegetables, fruits, whole grains, lean protein (chicken, tofu, fish), and healthy fats (avocado, olive oil, olives, nuts, seeds). You’ll avoid more processed foods such as packaged foods with added sugar, salt, fat, and preservatives

What to consider 

  • Clean eating is a very healthy and well rounded way to eat. It can flex with most lifestyle and food preferences.

Scandinavian

  • Carbohydrates: 40%
  • Protein: 30%
  • Fat: 30%

This diet includes lots of fatty fish (salmon, mackerel, herring), leafy greens (cabbage, brussels sprouts, kale), whole grains, berries, and fermented foods (yogurt, kefir). During this diet, you’ll get rid of processed foods such as lunch meats, cereals, and sweets. The healthy fats and whole foods can help to increase satiety (5). 

What to consider 

  • Emphasis on whole, nutrient-rich foods, this diet promotes an overall healthy lifestyle which can help you reach your goal. 

  • Due to the increased amount of fish and berries, the cost of this diet may be higher in some regions where these foods aren’t readily available. 

High protein

The recommended macro distribution varies depending on weight. The recommended protein intake is 2 g per kg (or 1 g per lb) body weight. 

The high protein diet is a great plan to support an active lifestyle. Protein helps you build muscle and stay strong (6). This plan promotes lots of high quality protein such as chicken, eggs, fish, low-fat dairy, and beans. 

What to consider

  • Higher protein means better controlled snacking habits since protein can help you stay satisfied (7). 
  • For this diet, you’ll focus on what to eat, rather what to avoid. 
  • It’s great if you live an active lifestyle such as doing muscle building exercise on a regular basis. 

Paleo

  • Carbohydrates: 20%
  • Protein: 30%
  • Fat: 50%

The Paleo diet is based on the hunter-gatherer way of eating; focusing on foods found in the wild, with no ultra-processed foods (sugar-sweetened drinks, salty meats, and junk foods) since a diet rich in these are linked to a variety of diseases (8). The paleo diet focuses on vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, eggs, fish, seafood, meat, and plant oils. 

What to consider

  • Emphasises eating with the season, such as berries during the summer and apples during the winter. 
  • This diet does not include cereal grains such as wheat, rye, rice, and barley. 

5:2

The 5:2 fasting diet focuses on fasting two days a week and eating normally for the other five. On the fast days, you’ll eat very low calories consisting of vegetables, fruit or fish, aiming for less than 500 Calories for women, and 600 Calories for men. On the days you do eat, you can eat normally, just try to avoid sweets and junk food. 

What to consider

  • It's important to be aware of your hunger levels on the days you do eat and to be aware of overeating. 
  • When doing a fasting diet - planning is key. Plan your workouts on the normal eating days, and stick to light activities on the fasting days
  • If you have any medical conditions, blood sugar concerns, or a history of an eating disorder, this diet is not recommended. 

6:1

The 6:1 fasting diet is a bit less strict than the 5:2 plan since it’s only one day per week of fasting. It can have steady weight loss. On the fasting days, you focus on a very low calorie diet plan with foods such as fish, vegetables, and fruit, aiming for less than 500 Calories for women, and 600 Calories for men. On the other 6 days, you can eat normally but still focus on an overall healthy and varied diet. 

What to consider

  • Aim not to exercise on fasting days since this can be very tough on the body. 
  • Since you won’t be eating much on the fasting day, it's important not to schedule any social event that could cause you to break a fast. 
  • It's good to check with your medical provider before starting a diet like this. 

Ditch diet deprivation 

The goal is to find an eating pattern that doesn’t leave you feeling hungry or deprived. It should include foods that make you feel good and be something you can stick to long-term. Combining a healthy diet with more activity is the best weight to reach your goal and improve health. Check-in with your physician before starting a new diet or activity plan. 

Still not sure which diet is best for you? Take the quiz to find out! 

8 references (hide)

All of the content and media on Lifesum is created and published for information purposes only. It is not intended to be used as a substitute for medical advice or treatment. Users should always consult with a doctor or other health care professional for medical advice.

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