Top 20 Diets


Some people do not take the time to investigate the myriad of diet plans available at their disposal. You have so many options, and it’s vital to your success that you consider each one and select a plan that meets your personal needs and isn’t just the most commonly adopted strategy.

Forty-one diets have been ranked according to U.S. News & World Report. Rankings are determined based on a panel of health experts who analyzed their effectiveness for weight loss as well as their healthy attributes.

We’re going to cover the top 20 in this report with an overview. Read the introduction to each one and determine if it’s a plan that might be suitable for your lifestyle and personal preferences.

1 – Mediterranean Diet

If you’re looking for a weight loss plan that has also been deemed one of the most effective heart-healthy diets, you might want to consider the Mediterranean diet.  This particular plan encompasses the standard eating style of the countries surrounding the Mediterranean Sea.

Because of the diet’s emphasis on a wide variety of fruits and vegetables, along with healthy fats, it’s one strategy that will effortlessly assist you in shedding stubborn pounds. The nutrients included in this diet plan contribute to an overall more robust cardiovascular system.

Both fish and poultry are widely accepted in the Mediterranean diet. Red meat is allowed, just not used as often. Instead of using salt and butter to flavor your food, you’ll use natural herbs and spices along with healthy oil. You can even drink red wine on this plan.

The Mediterranean diet has been ranked the number one diet for weight loss and health in the year 2019. You can include grains in your meal plan, but they should be whole grains for optimal health.  Dairy products are also allowed, but you want to swap out the high-fat options with low fat and skim milk.

2 – DASH Diet

One of the problems with being overweight is that as time goes on, you may experience high blood pressure. There’s a diet that’s ranked high by health care experts, that will help you lose weight and better manage your blood pressure readings.

The diet is called the DASH diet. The emphasis is on eating low sodium foods and increasing foods that are high in magnesium, potassium, and calcium –  which all assist you in the process of lowering your blood pressure. There are two versions of the DASH diet, depending on how much or how little you need to reduce your sodium content.

Regardless of which one you’re on, you will be able to eat a variety of fruits and vegetables along with fish, poultry, and skim dairy products.  The main thing you’ll have to watch when preparing your meals is the amount of sodium included in them. 

People today consume a far more considerable amount of sodium than they need, which is contributing to high blood pressure.  Like the Mediterranean diet, you are allowed to eat red meat, just in smaller amounts.

Because alcohol can contribute to high blood pressure, you are encouraged to limit your consumption. Aim for approximately 2,000 calories per day and learn to flavor your foods with natural herbs and spices instead of salt.

3 – The Flexitarian Diet

If you’re contemplating a vegetarian diet, but you’re unsure of your ability or desire to go completely meat-free, then you may want to try the flexitarian plan. A flexitarian diet is a strategy of eating primarily plant-based meals while continuing to enjoy meat and other products from animals (such as dairy) from time to time.

Because your diet will be mostly fruits and vegetables, your weight-loss will be more natural to obtain, and the nutrients that you consume will be higher in value. In addition to the fruits and vegetables you eat, you can also work whole grains and beans into your plan.

The goal of your meals is to eliminate as many processed foods as possible, and that includes sugar. This plan will help you shed pounds while lowering your blood pressure and stopping or reversing heart disease if that’s been an issue for you.

Many people who are trying to lose weight also possess a desire to help the environment choose the Flexitarian plan because of its ability to preserve resources. Before starting this diet, you’ll want to have lab work done to ensure that you’re not low on any nutrients that meat and other animal products would provide for you. If so, you may need a supplement.

4 – The MIND Diet

With obesity comes many different health problems. They range from high blood pressure and heart disease to functions of your brain, such as dementia. The MIND Diet is one that will not only help you lose weight but also deliver the nutrients required to boost your brain health.

If you’ve ever heard of the DASH diet or the Mediterranean diet, the MIND diet is a combination of the two. These are two of the healthiest diet plans on the market, and when combined, with a few simple tweaks, the impact on brain health is substantial.

The MIND diet takes certain qualities from the other two foods and hones in on whatever would be most beneficial to assist with weight loss and brain health. Instead of allowing all fruit, there’s focus on things like strawberries and blueberries due to their ability to improve brain function.

The good news is that you won’t be stuck with a strict regimen.  The MIND Diet simply gives you a list of 10 foods they recommend you consume more of. They also teach you which foods to avoid.

You’ll want to consume more leafy green vegetables, berries, nuts, wine, and more. You’ll need to reduce your intake or altogether avoid red meat, fried foods, sugar, and other low-quality foods.

5 – WW Diet

The Weight Watchers Diet has been one of the world’s favorite weight loss plans for many years. However, one of the reasons it remained in the top 10 list is because they adjust the parameters of the diet from time to time.

The current Weight Watchers plan is called the Freestyle plan. The freestyle plan is a program that will help you lose weight and keep it off based on a points system where you have many zero point foods that are unlimited to you.

This allows the person to try to lose weight to do it with less stress and fewer complications. You get a certain number of points to spend each day on food, and you can even roll those points that are leftover on to another day.

The great thing about the current Weight Watchers plan is that it doesn’t require you to give up any of your favorite foods. You can reserve your points to indulge in those days or bank them for an end of the week splurge.

The Weight Watcher system can be done online, in person, or with personal coaching in a digital format. You get to choose whatever works best for you. Some people even choose a combination of the options, opting to attend local meetings and manage the program on the Internet.

6 – Mayo Clinic Diet

The goal of the Mayo Clinic is to promote optimal health in all ways. So the Mayo Clinic diet is a weight-loss program that is designed to overhaul your entire lifestyle for a head to toe approach.

The Mayo Clinic Diet is not a simple plan to help you shed stubborn pounds temporarily. The Mayo Diet is a nutritional program for a lifetime. You will be focusing on a change of habits in your routine, not just learning which foods to eat and which foods to avoid.

The emphasis on behavioral change is vital to make your results last.  With this plan, fruits and vegetables are available to you in unlimited amounts. You don’t have to worry about counting calories or cutting out your favorite foods.

The diet made up of two phases. The first phase lasts two weeks and will focus on eliminating bad habits and adopting good ones. The second phase will teach you how to make better nutritional choices in terms of the foods that you eat and the sizes of the portions.

This weight-loss plan also incorporates an exercise regimen. You’ll be encouraged to get plenty of physical activity so that you can maintain your weight loss even after you reach your goal.

7 – Volumetrics Diet

For many people who need to lose weight, the limitations on portion sizes are what causes them the most stress. They are used to eating large quantities of food and don’t feel like giving that up.

If this best describes how you feel about your meals, then you may want to try the Volumetrics Diet. This diet is the complete opposite of most deprivation plans. Instead of limiting portions, you are encouraged to eat large portions, as much as you want, of healthy foods.

For many people, lacking that feeling of being full is what causes them to get off the bandwagon, even when they’re succeeding with weight loss. Volumetrics will teach you the trick to limit your calories and still fill up on food that is tasty but allows you to lose weight. 

You’ll still have calorie goals to abide by, along with exercise milestones to achieve. However, the foods you will be eating will consist of lower calories so you can eat more to fuel up and keep your body sustained.

The Volumetrics Diet includes four categories of foods. There are free foods that you can eat anytime—a group for reasonable portions of things such as whole grains and beans. Then there is a limited portion category for carb-laden foods such as desserts and the last category reserved for periodic splurges of things like high fat, processed foods.

8 – The TLC Diet

The TLC (Therapeutic Lifestyle Changes) Diet is specifically for those who want a weight loss program designed for those who also suffer from or want to avoid high cholesterol problems.

It has a three-pronged approach to improve your nutrition, physical effort, and weight. Because of its ability to impact the cholesterol levels, you’ll enjoy a halt to or reversal of any heart disease indicators. 

You’ll be choosing low cholesterol foods (93% of your calories) that have good fats, not bad ones. Your total cholesterol for the day will be under 200 mg. And you’ll naturally get plenty of fiber in the foods on this plan. 

The TLC Diet will teach you to make solid choices for lean, healthy proteins that are both animal and plant-based. You’ll discover which fruits and vegetables contribute to your overall cholesterol numbers in the best way possible and help you shed weight. 

You’ll be able to enjoy complex carbs such as fruit, beans, whole grains, and vegetables. You’ll want to implement healthy habits with the new food choices, such as smaller portions and eating at a wise pace. You’ll also be encouraged to get half an hour of exercise daily.

9 – Nordic Diet

There’s one diet that doesn’t have a specific goal of weight loss, but because it’s the incredible nutritional value, shedding pounds is a natural side effect. It’s called the Nordic Diet, and it’s gaining in popularity.

This diet contributes to better cholesterol readings, assists with glucose and insulin levels, and helps prevent or manage heart disease, diabetes, and inflammation for those who need it.

The Nordic diet is rooted in environmentally friendly concepts, so you’ll be eating a plant-based diet for the most part instead of animal products that use more resources from the planet.

If you follow the Nordic diet, you’ll be relying on lots of fruits and vegetables and fewer processed foods. You can still have whole grains made from complex carbs and lean meat periodically. Try to get more fatty fish in your diet several days a week, though.

When it comes to healthy fats, many diets tell you to use olive oil, but on the Nordic menu, you’ll choose canola oil instead. You can also have legumes, nuts and seeds, and root vegetables, which some plans don’t allow.

10 – Ornish Diet

If you’re tired of deprivation diets, then the Ornish Diet by Dean Ornish might be what works best for you. He doesn’t just take deprivation off the table, but he emphasizes physical activity and stress management as a way to take care of your weight loss and health needs.

In terms of nutrition, it’s simple – foods are in select categories 1 through 5, and if you stick closer to the group 1 list of foods, you’ll enjoy more benefits than if you overdo it on group 5 foods.

Some of the foods in group five include processed foods and alcohol. But even then, you can enjoy it in moderation sometimes. Diets aren’t doable is the central concept of the Ornish plan.

You can go all the way with this diet or be more moderate about it. It all depends on how fast you want to achieve your goals. Regardless of which level you choose, you’re encouraged to shop for fresh foods that are in season and preferably organic.

11 – Fertility Diet

Some diets have dual benefits. Weight loss is something that occurs whenever people eat nutritionally sound foods and portion sizes. But there can be other benefits as well. Many women struggling to get pregnant are told by their doctor to lose weight to help the situation.

The Fertility diet is one plan that can help with both. The concept is that you improve various aspects of your meal plans, such as healthy fats and whole grains, to lose weight, and contribute to fertility levels.

The plan includes a 10-part focus on changing your diet to eliminate problems that interfere with your goals, such as polycystic ovary syndrome. You can do all one at once or implement one at a time.

You’ll be doing things like selecting the right kinds of carbs, avoiding trans fat, loading up on vegetable proteins (think nuts and legumes), using healthy fats for cooking with, improving your iron intake, drinking more water, and more.

12 – Jenny Craig Diet

The Jenny Craig diet has been one of the top choices by consumers for years. You can go in person to meet with your coordinator or choose to do it online from the comfort of your own home and have meals delivered to you.

First, you’ll meet with a consultant who will help you evaluate your goals and make a plan for achieving them. Next, you’ll choose which foods you want, which include breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks, and desserts.

With prepackaged meals, you will also have the choice to include your fresh fruits and vegetables, as well as some dairy options. The great thing about this is that you have the support you need to cross the finish line.

You also don’t have to work overtime trying to develop complicated meal plans with just the right macros. All of that will be done for you, so you are free from the everyday stress that so many diet plans place on you.

13 – Vegetarian Diet

Many men and women are moving to a plant-based diet that removes animal flesh but maintains some animal products such as eggs and dairy. A vegetarian diet is focused on fruits, vegetables, and legumes, and can contribute to a nice amount of weight loss.

In addition to shedding pounds, you’ll naturally enjoy some of the other qualities of this diet, such as added nutrients. To fully excel at it, try to get a rainbow of colors in your menus, such as purple eggplants, red peppers, yellow squash, and orange sweet potatoes.

A vegetarian diet can help reduce heart disease and diabetes. Of course, if you have diabetes, you’ll need to be careful about the fruit intake and some carbs such as potatoes and corn if you’re eating those as your vegetables.

You can have grains on this diet, but try to consume whole grains. Some people adopt a vegetarian diet but then rely on highly processed, sugar-laden foods, and that’s not the best way to lose weight or contribute to your overall health.

14 – Asian Diet

If you want a diet that doesn’t starve you, where you’ll get to enjoy that filling sensation while still being healthy, then you might want to choose the Asian Diet. The Asian Diet is a comprehensive list of many diets influenced by Asian eating habits.

You eat based on an Asian food pyramid, which means you get to develop your specific meal plans using plenty of whole grains like rice and noodles for a base, with added vegetables and fish frequently.

You can also enjoy ample amounts of nuts, legumes, and fruit. You’ll want to up your intake of water and tea, and you can have a moderate amount of alcohol, too. Try to stick to having poultry products less often, such as once a week, and red meat even less – approximately once per month.

This diet requires plenty of physical activity, too. In terms of food, try to flavor it with natural herbs and spices instead of salt and sugar. The biggest drawback to this diet is that there aren’t many formidable resources to guide you completely, only general guidelines.

15 – Dr. Weil’s Anti-Inflammatory Diet

When inflammation is rampant in the body, it not only makes it difficult to lose weight, but it serves as an attack on many other parts of your body, too. So if you suffer from inflammation or to prevent it from happening to you, you may want to select Dr. Weil’s Anti Inflammatory Diet to serve your needs.

Dr. Weil recommends that you increase your fruit and vegetable intake so that carbs are contributing almost half of your daily calories. The other percentages are from fat and protein.

You’ll be using fresh produce and avoiding processed foods and sugary sweets as well. For fats, of course, you’ll want to seek out the right kind, like fatty omega-3 fish and extra virgin olive oil.

You can have whole grains, nuts, and legumes daily, and he advises you to supplement your body with the right mix of vitamins and minerals to ensure a healthy dose of everything you need.

16 – Flat Belly Diet

Some people have trouble spots they want to hone in on with a weight loss diet, and the belly is often the most significant target point. The Flat Belly Diet promises to help you shed fat in your abdominal area.

Oddly enough, you’ll be eating fat to shed fat! However, you have to make sure you’re consuming healthy fat. That means using no trans fat, but monounsaturated fat instead. You can find that in olive oil and some nuts, for example.

The Flat Belly Diet will have you eating 1,600 calories spread throughout four meals per day, with no more than a four-hour window between meals. Make sure those fats are in every meal that you eat.

There are phases to the diet, too. You’ll eliminate bloating by getting rid of salt in your diet and lowering your calorie consumption to 1,200 for the first week. Your food choices will have you avoiding foods that cause gas like broccoli or beans.

You’ll be consuming a lot of water with your meals and in between, and you can flavor the water with mint leaves, cucumber, or some other ingredients. After this phase, the meal plan switches to the 1,600 calories a day option with mostly Mediterranean-type foods.

17 – Nutritarian Diet

Weight loss is an admirable goal, but increased life expectancy is even better. That’s what the Nutritarian Diet aims to secure for you. The anti-aging aspects of this diet make it beneficial for men and women of every age.

The Nutritarian Diet is a vegan diet, based solely on plants and grains with zero animal products included. Low in fat and sodium and touts as a gluten-free option for those who want that.

To succeed on this diet, you’ll be consuming nutrient-dense fruits and vegetables and avoiding processed foods. There are no limits to some foods, such as vegetables without starch, but others have restrictions, like beans limits to one cup per day.

They do recommend some vitamins and supplements that you might be missing out on from a lack of animal products. With the high amount of fiber you’ll be getting, paired with the lower calorie consumption, you should lose weight and feel great fast.

18 – Spark Solution Diet

You may have heard of the site, but did you know they have a diet of their own? The Spark Solution Diet is one that reduces your caloric intake to a healthy level to speed up your metabolism.

You are encouraged to implement a fitness regimen along with your diet plan. The Spark Solution Diet is one where you eat 1,500 calories, where your macros are higher on carbs and fat with some protein added into the mix. 

They focus on teaching you how to swap out unhealthy meals for healthier ones. For example, they will show you how to eat a certain amount of a healthy nut instead of munching on potato chips.

Perfect for someone who wants to focus on the nutritional aspect of losing weight. It may be harder for you to eat out at fast-food restaurants and table restaurants. 

You also have to make sure that you are counting calories and tallying up your carbs, fat, and protein intake. The book will help guide you through the first two weeks of the plan, and you can download a calculator that enables you to track the diet for your nutritional guidelines.

19 – The Engine 2 Diet

If you’d like to be on a plant-based diet that will not only help you lose weight but address various health conditions, then you may want to try the Engine 2 Diet, which was created by a firefighter.

The Engine 2 Diet is a plan that not only helps you shed pounds, but delivers more energy, less brain fog, and just enough toned muscle. The concept of this diet plan is similar to a vegan diet.

However, you have to rely on whole, fresh produce and eliminate refined grains and prepackaged diet foods. A natural diet to follow because there are no calories to count. 

But you will be doing a lot of shopping for fresh produce and meal prep. The diet plan has two levels of intensity. On the first level, the fire cadet plan, you can start gradually eliminating animal products from your meals, along with vegetable oil, over 28 days.

If you want to skip this process, you can choose to be a firefighter level and go ahead and eliminate it from the very beginning. It’s not only vegan – you need to check to make sure the foods you’re eating have less than 2 ½ grams of fat for every 100 calories.

20 – Eco-Atkins Diet

Everyone has heard of Atkins, but there’s an eco-friendly version of the diet that many prefer to follow. On the Eco-Atkins Diet, you get about 43% of your caloric intake from plant fats, 31% from plant protein, and 25% from carbs.

You’ll want to limit your animal product and pursue a diet of healthy fats instead of trans fats. Focus on making swaps like olive oil in place of margarine, for example. When it comes to your carb intake, you don’t want highly processed carbs.

Try to get them from fruits and vegetables along with whole grains – not from things like white rice, bread, and potatoes. Many people prefer this plan over traditional Atkins because the carb allowance isn’t as strict.

So it depends on how much you want animal products in your diet. If you rely heavily on them, then you may want to choose the regular Atkins plan. If you’re okay with swapping out meat for things like vegetarian burgers and hot dogs, then this may work very well for you!

The best thing you can do for your health is to choose one of the plans that not only support your health needs but also cater to your personal preferences. If you know you’re going to struggle to go meat-free, then don’t set yourself up for failure like that by choosing a meat-free diet.

Instead, look at all of the options that are open to you and consider what you deem to be the pros and cons of each plan. Then, educate yourself about it in-depth and make a strategic plan to implement the diet armed with newfound knowledge and the right tools to support you in your journey.

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Newly middle-aged wife of 1, Mom of 3, Grandma of 2. A professional blogger who has lived in 3 places since losing her home to a house fire in October 2018 with her husband. Becky appreciates being self-employed which has allowed her to work from 'anywhere'. Life is better when you can laugh. Becky looks forward to the upcoming new year. It will be fun to see what 2020 holds.