7 Types Of Weight Loss Diets - Which Is Right For You?

If you’re trying to lose weight, chances are you’re overwhelmed with the sheer number of weight loss programs out there. From cutting carbs to cutting fats to everything in between, the diet choices are plenty and new ones are being created every day.

Fitmate has a unique approach to how you can follow any diet you want without feeling like you’re completely restricted. One of the keys is to focus on foods that fill you up. Those foods usually include protein and fiber.

Up next we’re going to tell you about 7 of the most popular types of weight loss diets, how they work, and how you can find the best diet for you.

How Do You Know You Need To Lose Weight?

There are a few signs that you may need to lose weight. They can affect your mental and physical health.

Mental Health Factors

Being overweight is linked to a host of mental health conditions such as the following.

●    Depression

●    Anxiety

●    Poor self-esteem

●    Negative body image

●    Poor quality of life

Your mental health matters. If you are struggling with any of these conditions, it’s important to dig deeper to see if your weight may be playing a role.

Physical Health Factors

Being overweight can also be physically taxing, and can pose a number of everyday challenges like the following.

●    Back, hip, knee, or ankle pain

●    Joint stiffness and arthritis

●    Difficulty getting up from sitting

●    Trouble exercising

●    Frequently feeling out of breath, tired or winded

●    Trouble breathing at night (sleep apnea)

If you experience any of these physical problems, weight loss programs that help you successfully lose even 5-10 pounds can make a significant difference.

Types Of Diets For Weight Loss

With all the weight loss programs out there, deciding what the best diet for weight loss is can be challenging. Luckily there are a few signs that can tell you you’re on the right path.

Signs of an Effective Weight Loss Plan
Encourages foods that are both nutritious and satisfying.
Focuses on what to eat versus what to restrict.
Provides plenty of protein and fiber to stay full.

While keeping these things in mind, here are the top 7 types of diets for weight loss.

Paleo Weight Loss Diet

The Paleo Diet is also known as the “Paleolithic” or “Stone Age” diet. It is a way of eating that is built around the way our ancient ancestors are believed to have eaten. The diet is very limited in processed foods, as processed foods would not have existed in paleolithic times.

How Does The Paleo Diet Work?

The Paleo diet includes foods that would have only been available to hunters and gatherers. That means the period before traditional farming practices came into practice.

Paleo Foods Non-Paleo Foods
Lean proteins - chicken breast, turkey, beef, pork  Grains - bread, pasta, wheat, rye, barley
Fish and shellfish Beans and lentils
Eggs Dairy
Fruits Some vegetable oils - sunflower, soybean, corn, grapeseed, safflower
Vegetables  Tans fats
Nuts and seeds  Artifical sweeteners
   Processed foods

Pros/Cons Of Paleo For Weight Loss


●    Promotes whole foods

●    May help you lose weight

●    Supports heart health


●    Can be expensive

●    Time-intensive to follow and meal prep

●    Eliminates all grains, even those high in fiber

The Paleo diet emphasizes whole foods and discourages processed foods that don’t offer much in terms of nutrition, which makes sense. The difficulty arises with a hardcore Paleo diet that eliminates carbohydrates. That makes for a diet that is far too restrictive and cannot be followed for long.

Carbohydrates come in a variety of forms, some good and some bad. Bad carbs are refined carbs, which are also called empty carbs as they provide you with little beyond sugar and should be eliminated. However, good carbs, also called complex carbs, contain a host of nutrients as well as fiber, which keeps you full for a longer time.

Therefore a modified Paleo diet that includes complex carbs, as well as lean protein and some dairy, makes for a better option. This is the kind of diet Fitmate promotes and it is one you can easily follow and stick to.

Keto Weight Loss Diet

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Keto Weight Loss Diet

The keto diet, or “ketogenic” diet, is a high fat, low carb diet that is moderate in protein. Because it’s so high in fat, it can be very filling, which can be an effective weight-loss method.

How Does The Keto Diet Work?

The keto diet works by putting your body into a state of “ketosis,” which means that you start to burn your own stored fat for energy instead of carbs. To get into ketosis, you need to keep your carb intake very low, typically under 40 grams, and sometimes as low as under 20 grams per day.

Keto Macros

●    Fat - 70-80%

●    Protein - 10-20%

●    Carbs - 10%

This process of burning fat for fuel produces what are known as ketones in the body. Ketones can improve satiety, keeping you full and helping you lose weight quickly.

Keto Foods Non-Keto Foods
 Fish and seafood  Grains
 Low-carb veggies  Starchy vegetables
 Cheese  High-sugar fruits
 Avocados  Sweetened yogurt
 Poultry  Juices
 Eggs  Honey, syrup, and other   sugars
 Nuts, seeds, and healthful oils  Chips and crackers
 Plain Greek yogurt and   cottage cheese  Baked goods including gluten-free   baked goods
 Unsweetened coffee and tea  
 Dark chocolate and cocoa   powder  

Pros And Cons Of Keto For Weight Loss


●    Fast weight loss

●    May burn belly fat

●    Improves satiety


●    Side effects possible in the beginning

●    Nutrition deficiencies possible

●    Food choices are limited

Many people experience what is known as the “keto flu” in the first few weeks on the diet. As your body adjusts to the diet, you may experience headaches, brain fog, fatigue, or nausea that typically subsides within 1-2 weeks.

The keto diet can be filling because both fat and protein are satisfying. A higher fat diet can also feel comforting and can help reduce food cravings. It also promotes high fiber foods like low-carb veggies and fruits, which are satisfying.

While being allowed to eat loads of fat on a diet may sound like fun in the beginning, this too can be restrictive. There are only so many fatty foods that you can eat before you’re going to tire of the lack of variety and quit. That’s why a Keto diet that includes a variety of complex carbs is the Fitmate recommended version.

This diet still gives you the weight loss benefits of Keto without being so restrictive that you fall off. Variety is a key component of having a diet work for you because it helps you stay interested. When you’re enjoying your meals and snacks, following your diet can become effortless.

Whole30 Weight Loss Diet

Whole30 is a 30-day elimination diet that removes certain foods that are believed to cause cravings and inflammation.

How Does Whole30 Work?

Whole30 is a 30-day weight loss program that requires you to eliminate certain foods. It is supposed to make you feel better, help you lose weight, and identify any food triggers for any indigestion or inflammation you’re experiencing.

Whole30 Foods Non-Whole30 Foods
 All vegetables and fruit  Dairy
 Fish and shellfish  Grains
 Unprocessed meats - beef, chicken, pork etc.  Sugar
 Nuts and seeds  Legumes
 Eggs  Alcohol
 Olive and coconut oil  Pasta
 Black coffee  Bread
   Processed additives like MSG   and sulfites
   Processed foods

Pros And Cons Of Whole30 For Weight Loss


●    Encourages whole foods

●    No calorie counting or measuring

●    May improve digestive symptoms


●    Restrictive

●    Challenging in social settings

●    Lacks research to support it

Even though the Whole30 diet doesn’t have much research to support its claims, many people report feeling better after following it. Whole30 can be difficult to follow due to the number of things you are not supposed to eat.

When a diet is too restrictive, your chances of following it for a long time reduce significantly. That’s why at Fitmate we believe it’s always better to modify a diet so that it keeps you full and gives you variety. This makes it more likely that you will hit your targets and meet your goals.

Your Fitmate coach can help you figure out how to adjust the diet so that it meets your lifestyle and your nutrition needs.

CICO For Weight Loss

CICO stands for “Calories In, Calories Out.” It is a weight loss diet that involves eating fewer calories than you burn to help you lose weight.

How Does CICO Work?

The CICO diet allows you to eat whatever you want as long as you burn more calories than you eat. This may sound appealing to those of you that want to lose weight but don’t want to cut out any of your favorite foods.

However, weight loss is not just a math equation of calories in vs. calories out. What you eat is as important as how much you eat and the CICO diet does not address that.

Pros/Cons Of CICO For Weight Loss


●    Doesn’t eliminate any foods

●    No major lifestyle changes

●    Requires tracking, which adds accountability


●    Calorie counting is time-consuming and difficult

●    Quality of foods not taken into account

●    May lead to nutrition deficiencies

●    Doesn’t teach healthy eating habits

While the CICO method makes sense in theory, practically it can prove difficult. Counting calories is not easy to do nor do most people want to do it. That is one of the biggest turn-offs to the CICO approach. Instead, at Fitmate we’ve modified the diet so that you can employ the concept of CICO without the difficulties associated with it.

We do that by emphasizing consuming foods that make you full. When you consume foods that make you full, you won’t overeat or get food cravings. Over time your body will get used to this natural full feeling and will let you know when you’ve consumed enough. This will ensure you only consume the calories you need and therefore you’ll be able to lose weight and maintain it.

By eating filling foods, you still use the calories in and calories out concept, but you also factor in the types of food you’re eating. By eating healthy and filling foods you help your body self-regulate its caloric needs so you don’t have to count calories.

Vegan Diet For Weight Loss

The vegan diet is another type of diet for weight loss that is a plant-based way of eating. It involves completely avoiding animal products.

How Does The Vegan Diet Work?

The vegan diet is 100% plant-based, and because of this is often naturally lower in calories. If done right, it can support weight loss and provide proper nutrition.

Vegan Foods Non-Vegan Foods
 Fruits and vegetables  Red meat
 Legumes  Poultry
 Nuts and seeds  Fish or shellfish
 Bread, rice, pasta  Eggs
 Dairy alternatives - e.g. soy, coconut  Cheese
 Vegetable oils  Milk and other dairy products

Pros/Cons Of Veganism For Weight Loss


●    Good for the environment

●    Encourages fruits and vegetables

●    High in fiber


●    Lacking in certain nutrients

●    Requires planning

●    May be challenging in social settings

The vegan diet has been seen in some studies to result in greater than other diets.

However, if you don’t plan, you may resort to eating a lot of high-calorie breads and pasta. They are vegan, but not the best choices for weight loss.

Instead, build your meals around high-quality vegetarian proteins like legumes and good fiber sources like fruits and vegetables. These are the naturally filling and nutritious foods that will make the diet easier to stick to.

If you’re curious about trying a vegan diet, we recommend consulting with a nutrition coach for guidance. A coach can ensure you are meeting your nutrition needs on a vegan diet, and that you are seeing weight loss results.

Atkins Weight Loss Diet

The Atkins diet is one of the original diets for weight loss. It is a high protein, low carb diet that can lead to fast weight loss. It is a 4-phase diet that starts out quite restrictive with your food choices increasing over time.

How Does The Atkins Diet Work?

The Atkins diet emphasizes the consumption of protein and fat over carbs.

Atkins Foods Non-Atkins Foods
 Meat - beef, chicken, turkey, lamb, pork  Sugary foods and drinks - soda,   juice, cake, candy, ice cream   cookies
 Fish and shellfish  Grains - wheat, rye  barley, rice
 Eggs  Trans fats - called hydrogenated,   partially hydrogenated fat 
 Low-carb vegetables - kale, spinach, broccoli,   asparagus  High-carb vegetables - carrots,   turnips (for first two weeks)
 Full-fat dairy - butter,   cheese, cream, full-fat   yogurt  Starches - potatoes and sweet   potatoes (first two weeks only)
 Nuts and seeds  Legumes (first two weeks only)
 Legumes (after first 2 weeks)  
 Healthy fats - olive oil, coconut oil, olives,   avocado  

4 Phases of Atkins

Phase 1: Induction Phase - Limit carbs to under 20 grams per day for 2 weeks. Eat high protein, high-fat foods, and low-carb veggies.

Phase 2: Balancing Phase - Slowly add in more nuts, low-carb vegetables, and a small amount of fruit. You remain in this phase until you are close to your goal weight.

Phase 3: Fine-Tuning Phase - Slowly add more carbs to your diet until weight loss slows down.

Phase 4: Maintenance Phase - You can now eat as many carbs as you desire, as long as you don’t gain weight.

Pros/Cons Of The Atkins Diet For Weight Loss


●    Focuses on fiber-rich foods

●    Satisfying plan

●    No calorie-counting involved


●    Numerous phases can be complicated to follow

●    Restricts some healthy foods

●    Possible side effects

●    Can be high in fat

The Atkins diet can be an effective weight loss diet.

If you decide to try an Atkins-style diet, we suggest choosing lean protein sources as often as possible (for example - skinless chicken breast instead of a hamburger), so that you are not overdoing it on high-calorie, fatty cuts of meat.

It’s also important to prioritize high fiber foods, such as fruits and vegetables, that are allowed on the Atkins diet to feel full on fewer calories. Both lean protein and fiber should be core features of any sustainable weight loss program.

Low Fat Weight Loss Diet

A low-fat diet was traditionally seen as the best diet for weight loss back in the ’90s. This was during the low-fat diet craze when many people realized that too many high-fat foods can cause weight gain.

How Does A Low Fat Weight Loss Diet Work?

A low-fat diet typically involves limiting your daily fat intake to less than 30% of your calories.

Foods naturally high in fat that should be limited include red meat, butter, margarine, lard, full-fat dairy, and oils. Oils such as olive oil, canola, or any other type of cooking oil should be used sparingly.

You are encouraged to choose lower-fat foods like lean chicken or fish, low-fat dairy, or part-skim cheese.

Pros/Cons Of A Low Fat Diet


●    Naturally lower in calories

●    Can cause short-term weight loss


●    May restrict healthy fats

●    Risk for nutrition deficiencies

●    Can lead to hunger

If you choose to try the low-fat route, it’s important to include filling foods with every meal so you’re not left feeling hungry.

If you replace your fat intake with satisfying lean proteins and fiber, you’ll be set up for success. A few examples of good protein are fish, egg whites, and ground turkey. Good fiber examples include leafy greens, broccoli, and berries.

Choosing The Right Diet For Your Needs

Choosing the best diet for weight loss may not always feel like an easy feat. But finding the right diet that helps you lose weight and gives you other benefits like lasting energy and better sleep is a matter of combining the best features of each diet above.

Start by focusing on what most of these diets have in common, which is an emphasis on nutritious and filling foods. The best foods are those high in protein and fiber along with some healthy fats.[6]  Combining the best of all diet recommendations allows you to enjoy a more well-rounded a nutritious diet than any one specific one would.  

You can enjoy a variety of complex carbs rather than the strict limits that come with hardcore Keto or Paleo. You also can enjoy moderate fats, unlike the low-fat diet. In addition to all of that, when you eat healthy in general, you get the privilege of enjoying treats that are pretty much a no-go on most diets. The reason you can do that is that when you eat filling foods that contain protein and fiber, you end up with a calorie deficit. That calorie deficit allows you to enjoy treats while still losing weight.

When you’re eating all of these filling foods your body also tends to self-regulate so you don’t have to count every calorie that goes into your body like on the CICO diet. Of course, creating new habits like focusing on fiber and protein-rich foods isn’t easy. However, in the long run, the new habit will become second nature and in turn, will provide you with a sustainable diet that will not only help you lose weight but also sustain it.

To find your perfect diet, take the Fitmate Quiz to match you with a health coach who can support you and help you choose what’s best for you. With the right guidance, support, and a focus on high-quality foods, you’ll be on your way to successful weight loss in no time.


What Percent of Weight Loss is Diet?

Approximately 80% of weight loss is a result of your diet choices. While this percentage is an estimate, the biggest driver of weight loss is indeed your diet.

How Do You Make a Diet Plan for Weight Loss?

A diet plan for weight loss requires setting a schedule for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, as well as healthy snacks when desired.

A weight-loss diet plan should include a balance of healthy foods that are both low in calories and filling, which makes it easy to lose weight. Your Fitmate coach can help create a diet plan for you based on your preferences, goals, and lifestyle.

How Do You Maintain Weight Loss After A Diet?

To maintain weight loss, you have to remain consistent with the healthy habits that led you to lose weight in the first place. This may include meal planning and preparing healthy meals, continuing to exercise, and managing any stress or barriers that try to get in your way.

It can also be helpful after losing weight to mix your routine up a bit. When you reach a lower weight, your calorie needs typically decrease. That may mean you need to reduce your calories, however, the good news is that if you eat filling foods, your body will naturally adjust to this lower caloric need. Since your body will know how much you need to eat, you won’t have to count your calories to maintain your weight.

How Do You Stick to a Diet for Weight Loss?

The most important factor is that the diet is sustainable. If you feel restricted, hungry, or just don’t like what you’re eating, chances are it will be hard to stick to.

Choosing a sustainable diet that emphasizes good protein and fiber sources is the best thing you can do to stick to your diet. These foods are filling and satisfying, which reduces cravings and makes staying within your daily calories a breeze.

The Fitmate diet approach to nutrition is all about prioritizing these filling foods and limiting food and drinks that aren’t filling - such as soda, juice, and processed foods.

Take Your Fitmate quiz now to get a custom weight loss plan that suits your needs and lifestyle.

Get support from an online weight loss coach anytime, anywhere

If you’re trying to lose weight, chances are you’re overwhelmed with the sheer number of weight loss programs out there. From cutting carbs to cutting fats to everything in between, the diet choices are plenty and new ones are being created every day. However, just because there are so many choices doesn’t mean it’s easy to find the perfect one for you. A big reason why many people struggle to lose weight and keep it off is that they find their diet too difficult to follow. It may be too restrictive, require too much of your time, or may just leave you feeling hungry. For most people, the best diet is the kind that they don’t have to worry too much about and one that’ll keep them full. While many diets today do come with restrictions, there is a way to get around them.

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