Weight loss diets come in all shapes and sizes, and many involve cutting out certain food groups.
But choosing the right diet for you can be difficult.
An expert, Lloyd Bridger, co-founder of leading online training guide provider, LDN Muscle, has ranked seven of the most popular diets exclusively for Express.co.uk.
“All diets cause weight loss by limiting your calorie intake. That’s it. There’s no magic insulin fairy or adaptive hormonal changes that make one diet superior to another, they all work by causing you to eat fewer calories than you are burning,” he explained.
“So when talking about specific diets, we want to look if they are sustainable in the long term (to help you keep weight off) and whether they are promoting a healthy mental relationship with food.”
So how does your diet rank among these popular alternatives?
Ketogenic, or ‘keto’ for short, champions the idea that by only eating fat your body will achieve a state called ketogenesis where it only burns fat for energy.
Unfortunately, for many people due to their genetics this isn’t possible, plus it doesn’t even guarantee weight loss as you have to be eating fewer calories than you are consuming.
Veganism is the biggest fashion trend right now in dieting. While it does encourage better food choices and advocacy of better animal welfare, going vegan does not ensure weight loss as you can still gain fat by eating too many calories. It can also lead to deficiencies in certain minerals and vitamins if you’re unaware of your food choices.
The idea that you only eat what your ancestors did is fundamentally flawed. If you fail to look into your genealogy for thousands of years, how do you know if they were in a region where avocados even grew?
There are many subsets of paleo which have different rules on what you can and can’t eat, as there is no overall consensus on what constitutes paleo.
It can however help to improve your choices and eat more fresh, nutrient dense foods.
Similar to the Mediterranean diet, Nordic diet puts emphasis on eating a variety of fresh foods local to Scandinavia.
Oily fish is a staple of the Nordic diet, which many of us lack, so it will help increase your omega oil intake. Plus it means you can eat dansk aebleskiver (danish donuts), right?
Rapid weight loss is unsustainable and stats show that most people who try this gain back the weight they lost within a year, and more!
There are no proven benefits to avoiding solid food, and doing this will inevitably cause decreased satiety – which means you will feel hungry all the time.
This sort of restriction leads to binge eating, which leads to feelings of failure and more restriction. It’s a vicious circle.
I don’t really know where to start with this diet, it’s terrible.
Limiting yourself to 100 foods for the rest of your life to maintain weight lost during the diet (while only eating 72 of these during the ‘phases’) – it’s completely unnecessary, nor is it realistic if you ever want to enjoy food again.
By limiting your food intake to 500 kcal for 2 days of the week, you are creating an overall weekly calorie deficit which means you will lose weight.
The 5:2 diet shows you that you can still eat a normal diet and lose weight, but fasting has been shown to hold no benefit over a small daily calorie deficit – which is more sustainable in the long term.
Lloyd Bridger is a personal trainer and co-founder of LDNM – the leading provider of downloadable fitness guides in the UK.
Nigella Lawson as recently opened up about the unconventional diet plan she used to lose weight.