Best and Worst Diet Plans for Weight Loss, Heart Health, and More

jhon pablo

CICO Diet The CICO — short for calories in, calories out — diet has made waves on social media for its straightforward model: Take in fewer calories than you burn, and you’ll lose weight. While research shows that’s true, there’s a lack of research on this specific diet. (45) And […]

CICO Diet

The CICO — short for calories in, calories out — diet has made waves on social media for its straightforward model: Take in fewer calories than you burn, and you’ll lose weight. While research shows that’s true, there’s a lack of research on this specific diet. (45)

And because it doesn’t specify which foods you should be eating and avoiding, it may lead to nutrition deficiencies, experts warn.

Be sure to consult your doctor before trying the CICO diet.

Learn More About the CICO Diet

The Body Reset Diet

Similar to the CICO diet, the Body Reset has gained popularity via social media, and there isn’t any definitive research that suggests the approach is safe and effective. Celebrity trainer Harley Pasternak created the plan, which is essentially a three-phase liquid diet comprised of smoothies and moderate exercise. While U.S. News notes you may lose weight on the diet, it may be tough to stick with, and isn’t safe for people with diabetes and heart disease. (46)

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The Carnivore Diet

If you like eating meat and want to lose weight, you might be tempted to try this recent extreme diet fad that proponents have made some pretty outrageous claims about. One: that eating nothing but meat can cure you of autoimmune diseases. The problem is that there’s no good research to support that notion, or any other health claim.

Indeed, omitting foods known to be good for you — fruits and veggies among them — can lead to a bunch of unwanted side effects, including constipation and potentially dangerous nutrient deficiencies, reports Popular Science. (47) Still, since you’re cutting out so many food groups, there’s a decent chance you’ll lose weight, experts say.

Regardless of any possible benefits you might see, this restrictive approach is definitely one you’ll want to ask your doc about before you even consider diving in.

Learn More About the Carnivore Diet

Boiled Egg Diet

The premise of the boiled egg diet is eating eggs every day. So, if you like eggs, this eating plan might be for you. There are many versions, according to The Boiled Egg DietThe Easy, Fast Way to Weight Loss!, by Arielle Chandler. (48) One of the most popular versions involves eating at least two to three boiled eggs per day, which is the plan that the actress Nicole Kidman reportedly used while filming Cold Mountain, according to Vogue Italia. (49)

Because you’re allowed to eat foods besides boiled eggs, this diet isn’t sustainable or sensible for long-term health and weight loss, registered dietitians say.

Learn More About the Boiled Egg Diet

Optavia Diet

The Optavia diet, formerly called MediFast, is a commercial eating plan that comes with prepackaged meals. There are three plans designed to help with weight loss or maintenance, per the Optavia website. (50) Proponents say that the Optimal 5&1 Plan can lead to a 12 lb weight loss in 12 weeks, but there is no rigorous research on the Optavia diet. (51) Also, some registered dietitians argue that the eating approach doesn’t teach people how to change their eating and lifestyle habits for the long haul.

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Lectin-Free Diet

Dr. Steven Gundry, the author of The Plant Paradox: The Hidden Dangers in “Healthy” Foods That Cause Disease and Weight Gain, popularized the lectin-free diet. Lectins are in nightshades (tomatoes, peppers), legumes, lentils, beans, seeds, and nuts. Dr. Gundry and his followers argue that lectins can increase inflammation, cause gastrointestinal issues, and contribute to weight gain. While the diet may benefit some people, experts agree research on this diet is limited, and eliminating these foods is not necessary for good health. (52)

Learn More About the Lectin-Free Diet

Candida Diet

Proponents of this diet claim that it can help eliminate extra yeast and “balance” the gut. Yet there is a lack of research on the Candida diet, and there is no proof that it can treat yeast infections or thrush, which are two conditions caused by Candida overgrowth. In fact, experts say that if any of your symptoms improve as a result of following this cleanse, it’s likely because of a simple improvement in your eating habits.

Learn More About the Candida Diet

Body Type Diet

Body type diet advocates believe that knowing your body type can help you determine the best diet and exercise plan for optimal health and weight. There are three so-called body types: ectomorphs, or lean and lanky people; mesomorphs, or those who have a muscular, hourglass frame; and endomorphs, or people who are often described as curvy or stocky. The book Just Your Type: The Ultimate Guide to Eating and Training Right for Your Body Type suggests specific eating and fitness regimens for each type. Yet the premise of eating based on your body shape or where you carry fat lacks rigorous research, so keep this major limitation in mind if you want to try the approach, and be sure to work with your healthcare team if you choose to follow it.

Learn More About the Body Type Diet

Additional reporting by Bonnie Taub-Dix, Sheryl Huggins Salomon, Katie Robinson, Jessica Migala, and Melinda Carstensen.

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