What are the best diets for weight loss?

by | Apr 29, 2022 | Last updated Apr 17, 2023

  • The best diet for weight loss isn’t a diet at all. It’s a way of eating you could happily live with for the rest of your life.
  • Look for an eating plan that’s flexible rather than restrictive, keeps you satisfied with nutrient-rich foods, and addresses the emotions behind your eating habits.
  • From the Mediterranean diet to keto, Noom’s system compliments all sorts of eating styles and can boost your weight loss success.

The best diets for weight loss are ones you can stick with long-term.

But research shows most popular diets aren’t sustainable. 

You might initially lose some weight by cutting out carbs or focusing solely on protein. But these restrictions can be difficult to maintain over time.

Here’s why:

A diet doesn’t stop you from craving your favorite foods, whether it’s pecan pie or pork gyoza. 

When you eventually give in and have that slice of pie, you feel like a failure. You want to give up. So eventually, you do. 

And whatever progress you made on that restrictive diet comes back as rebound weight.

Now for the good news: 

Sustainable weight loss is possible. 

The key to success is following an eating plan that suits your lifestyle while giving you the structure and knowledge to make healthy choices on your own.

Ready to make a lasting change?

A healthier you, wherever you are.

Our’s criteria for the healthiest diets for weight loss

One thing’s for sure:

No single diet plan works for everyone. 

At Noom, we’ve spent years helping people lose weight—and keep it off. We know the science-backed principles that do work.

When looking at the best diets for weight loss, there are a few things to consider:

  • Science has proven that you need to be in a calorie deficit to lose weight. In other words, you need to be consuming fewer calories than you burn each day.
  • You need a way to track those calories to ensure you’re maintaining a deficit.
  • Beware of overly restrictive diets that eliminate entire food groups or claim to produce significant results in a short time. You should never feel hungry or deprived.
  • Look for diets that emphasize whole foods like fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean protein, which nourish your body while keeping you satisfied.
  • Sustainable weight loss is not just about what you eat but why you eat. The best diets for weight loss help you examine your behaviors around food and how emotions and stress can impact your choices. If you don’t address those issues, any short-term results will be difficult to maintain.

How we incorporate that criteria for sustainable weight loss

At Noom Weight, we’re committed to helping people make sustainable changes for lasting weight loss. We help you put science-backed principles into practice.

We won’t tell you what you can and can’t eat or what diet to follow.

Instead, Noom gives you the tools you need to make healthy eating choices that will leave you satisfied and full. You can hit your target weight and maintain it.

Noom’s psychology-based approach includes mini-lessons, food-tracking tools, 1:1 coaching, and other techniques that help change your behaviors around food for the long term.

Based on caloric density, our system divides foods into green, yellow, and red categories. 

You’ll log your daily food intake, and our three-color system will help you identify foods that have the most nutrients and fill you up on fewer calories.

But ultimately, Noom Weight leaves the choice of what to eat up to you. 

Because of this, our customizable program complements all sorts of dietary plans, whether you follow a low fat or low carb plan, practice intermittent fasting, or want to try keto.

Now that we’ve addressed our criteria for weight loss, let’s look at five popular diets and how they stack up.

Mediterranean diet

The Mediterranean diet offers many proven health benefits such as reducing heart disease and lowering the risk of obesity. 

It’s based on the traditional foods of Mediterranean countries, including France, Italy, Spain, and Greece. The Mediterranean diet promotes nutrient-dense foods like fruits, vegetables, and whole grains; healthy fats such as olive oil, nuts, and seeds; herbs and spices; and fish and seafood. 

Enjoy chicken, eggs, dairy, and cheese in moderation, and limit red meat and processed foods.

The Mediterranean diet is a lifestyle more than a structured diet. It can lead to weight loss if you carefully monitor your calorie intake. 

As an eating plan, it’s nutritious, delicious, and easy to follow because you can eat from all food groups. As such, it’s one of the more sustainable diets out there.

DASH diet

Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension, or DASH, was developed over 20 years ago to help prevent and treat hypertension. 

This eating plan promotes fruits, vegetables, legumes, whole grains, and lean proteins while limiting foods that are high in sodium, added sugars, and saturated fat. 

The DASH diet has benefits beyond managing blood pressure, including weight loss and lowering your risk of certain cancers.

Eating DASH-friendly foods alone doesn’t guarantee weight loss. 

You still must restrict your calories to ensure you’re in a calorie deficit so you’re burning more calories than you eat. 

Overall, this eating plan incorporates a balance of nutritious, delicious foods. Its principles will lead you away from processed foods and toward a more heart-healthy diet.

Ready to make a lasting change?

A healthier you, wherever you are.

Keto diet

The ketogenic diet, also known as the keto diet, is a low-carb, high-fat diet that has been proven effective for weight loss. It shares similarities with low-carb diets like the Atkins diet and the paleo diet.

With keto, the goal is to cut your daily carb intake to reach ketosis—a metabolic state where you burn fat and ketones for energy instead of glucose. 

You need to get about 75% of your daily calories from fat—foods like meats, cheeses, and eggs, while limiting grains, sugar, and higher-carb veggies.

Eating more fat to burn more fat appeals to lots of people (hello, bacon). 

But the keto diet isn’t easy to sustain

You may find yourself getting bored with the limited food options, leading to burnout. 

And without careful tracking, you can easily consume too much fat and protein and not enough nutrient-rich foods.

The keto diet also comes with some health risks. 

While Noom isn’t keto-based, it can provide you with the tools you need to manage cravings and consume enough nutrients, so you can follow a keto diet long-term.

Intermittent fasting diets

Intermittent fasting is increasingly popular thanks to its many reported benefits, including improved cardiovascular health and weight loss. 

Rather than focusing on what to eat, intermittent fasting focuses on when you eat. 

Its simplicity is a big part of its appeal. By focusing on meal timing over food choice, you can (theoretically) eat whatever you want and still lose weight.

Many people find success with intermittent fasting; for others, it’s not so straightforward. 

Intermittent fasters can face challenges such as heightened cravings, dehydration, and making sure they’re consuming a balanced, healthy diet. 

Pairing intermittent fasting with a more structured system like Noom Weight can help you choose satisfying, nutritionally rewarding foods during non-fasting periods and avoid temptations to binge on salty, carb-heavy foods.

Plant-based diets

From vegan to vegetarian to pescetarian, plant-based diets come in many forms. 

Some exclude all animal products, while others are more flexible. 

They all share a focus on the consumption of foods whose central source is plants.

Research shows that plant-based diets can help lower blood pressure, cholesterol, and body weight, along with other benefits.

Plant-based eating works for weight loss because it lowers your calorie intake. 

Fruits and vegetables are rich in water and fiber, filling you up on fewer calories and promoting weight loss. 

That’s why Noom categorizes them as “green” and helps you make them a foundation of your diet.

To make a plant-based diet sustainable, you’ll want to ensure you’re eating enough calories, protein, and essential nutrients every day. 

Otherwise, you could undermine your overall health.

Achieve sustainable weight loss with Noom

Noom Weight’s comprehensive program will help you meet your weight loss goals and create new, sustainable habits for the long term. Sign up for your trial today.