It is the Part-3 and the final follow-up post of my ongoing series of posts on “Diet plans you must know” in which I am collating information on a few lesser-known diet plans.
By now, you must have already read the Part-1 and Part-2 of this series.
I also covered useful information supplemented with research statistics and data on weight loss programs and weight loss plateau in one of my earlier posts. You might find it intriguing.
#20 Mayo Clinic Diet
The Mayo Clinic website displays using a pyramid to illustrate foods and quantities to eat while on the diet.
Fruits, vegetables, and exercise are at the bottom of the pyramid, followed by carbs, proteins, fats, and sweets. It encourages limiting the portion sizes and planning your meals around the food pyramid. The two phases in the diet are –
- “Lose it!” – This phase extends to the first two weeks and kickstarts the weight loss.
- “Live it!” – This phase is followed for life.
The “Lose it!” phase focuses on 15 habits, of which 5 you should break, 5 to be formed and 5 that may optimize your results.
The Mayo Clinic Diet encourages exercise in combination with a healthy diet which may aid weight loss. Even research studies show that exercising with a low-calorie diet can help in weight loss. Also, eating high fibre in your diet may boost weight loss by lowering hunger.
#21 Mediterranean Diet
The Mediterranean Diet plan is based on eating the traditional cuisine of countries around the Mediterranean Sea. There is no fixed menu for this diet because there are many countries around the Mediterranean Sea, but it is mostly high in vegetables, fruits, whole-grains, nuts, and olive oil.
You need to altogether avoid poultry, eggs, cheese, artificially sweetened beverages, processed meat, refined oils, and other highly processed foods.
You can take yoghurt in moderate quantities and red meat very rarely.
Water should be taken in plenty, and the diet also includes red wine in moderate quantity (1 glass per day).
You should not eat more than 3 meals per day, but if you feel hungry, you can have some snacks such as nuts, greek yoghurt, apple slices with almond butter.
Numerous studies show that this diet can cause weight loss and help in preventing major health problems like heart attacks, strokes, diabetes, and even premature death.
#22 DASH (Dietary Approach to Stop Hypertension)
DASH is a simple dietary approach. As the name suggests, it serves people with high blood pressure. It prescribes to eat more fruits, vegetables, whole-grain foods, fish, poultry, nuts, and low-fat dairy foods while cutting on high cholesterol, trans and saturated fats foods.
DASH diet plan also limits sodium, sweets, sugary drinks, and red meat. It suggests the following be taken in several servings given for each daily.
- Grains: 7-8 servings.
- Vegetables: 4-5 servings.
- Fruits: 4-5 servings.
- Low-Fat Dairy: 2-3 servings.
- Meat, Poultry, and Fish: 0-2 servings.
- Nuts and Seeds: 4-5 servings.
- Fats and Oils: 2-3 servings.
- Sweets: less than five servings per week.
A more detailed guide to the DASH diet foods can be read here. Research studies have shown that people on the DASH diet lowered their blood pressure in 2 weeks.
The DASH diet allows variation in food intake, hence making it less tedious and extreme.
It also emphasizes on limiting sodium intake by using sodium-free spices, using flavourings, cooking rice or pasta without salt or buying low sodium foods.
#23 Eat Clean Diet
The ‘Eat Clean Diet‘ series by Tosca Reno says you only have to ‘eat clean’ to get a lean and healthy body. Eat clean here means eating foods like- lean protein, carbs, fresh fruits, and vegetables six times a day with lots of water and exercise.
The author also claims that dedicating yourself to the clean eating lifestyle will help you lose 3 pounds a week. However, its benefits are beyond weight loss. You’ll be healthy and have more energy. Eyes will look bright and alert. Your teeth and gums will be more robust, and your skin will glow.
This plan helps improve health as it promotes a balanced diet that focuses on whole grains, fruits, vegetables, fats, and proteins. It also encourages you to control portion sizes and doesn’t ban any food groups.
However, on the flip side, it also suggests some supplements and medical treatments not recommended by some experts.
#24 Fat Smash Diet
The Fat Smash Diet plan is authored by Ian K. Smith, MD, who is the President’s Council on Fitness, Sports & Nutrition and is the author of popular diet books such as Shred Revolutionary Diet and The 4-Day Diet.
Dr Ian suggests giving this diet a minimum of 90-days for results to be seen. The Fat Smash Diet has four phases.
- Detox:- A 9-days Vegetarian “Detox” phase based on the produce. Meat, fish, pasta, and alcohol are forbidden.
- Foundation:- Meat, fish, pasta, and alcohol are allowed along with healthy grains and fats. You have to exercise a bit longer too.
- Construction:- Focuses on portion control and adds more variety to the diet.
- Temple:- Cover for any slip-ups during previous phases.
The only part that requires more effort is the first phase, especially for frequent non-vegetarian eaters but it only lasts for 9 days. Exercise is also recommended for at least 30 minutes of cardio and gradually increasing to weight training in the last phase of the plan.
There is no specific research on this diet, but overall it is based on healthy eating principles, which is likely to make you lose weight.
#25 Flat Belly Diet
Eat 400 calories per meal, four times a day ( Total 600 per day ), and you can lose up to 15 pounds and drop belly fat claim authors Liz Vaccariello and Cynthia Sass in just 32 days.
But there’s more to it than just limited calories. The Flat Belly Diet plan recommends not to go longer than 4 hours without eating and eating monounsaturated fats in every meal.
First, you aim at consuming 1,200 calories each day and target bloating for four days. Also, you can’t add salt to any food and avoid processed foods and carbs such as pasta, bananas and foods that can make your stomach upset, i.e. gassy such as beans, broccoli, and onions.
The diet also suggests drinking 2 litres of “Sassy Water” which is a mixture of ginger root, cucumber, lemon, and mint leaves in water.
From the fifth day, you shift to a Mediterranean-style diet with 1,600 calories per day for four weeks.
If you eat just 1,600 calories daily, chances are you will lose weight but losing 15 pounds in 32 days is a tremendous promise that needs perseverance of a higher degree.
#26 Flexitarian Diet
The Flexitarian Diet, created by dietician Dawn Jackson Blatner, allows people the benefits of a vegetarian diet in combination with animal products in moderation. The name itself states Flexi-tarian, a combination of flexible and vegetarian.
This diet has no clear-cut rules or calorie intake limitations and can be considered more of a lifestyle than a diet.
The recommended flexitarian diet consists mostly of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. Plant-based protein is preferred over animal-based.
For the Flexitarian diet, she suggests to avoid processed food, added sugar and sweets and eating the most natural form of food. However, the diet doesn’t restrict you from these completely.
Blatner also discusses incorporating a certain amount of meat with the diet in her book, The Flexitarian Diet. However, the specific recommendations in the book are optional for a flexitarian diet.
#27 Fruit Flush Diet
The Fruit Flush Diet gives your digestive system a break from overprocessed foods. It cleanses your system with low-calorie, fibre-rich fruits, and vegetables, says plan developer Jay Robb, a clinical nutritionist.
On the first day of the diet plan, you have a protein shake every 2 hours during daylight along with 8-12 ounces of water. At dinner, you take a raw salad and 3-6 ounces of lean protein or egg whites.
The next 2 days replace protein shake with fruits, i.e. about 100-calorie worth fruits every 2 hours and salad or half an avocado with one protein shake. Caffeine and alcohol are prohibited during the diet, along with sweeteners and seasonings.
Exercise is discouraged except for walking, that too casually. As the diet restricts your calorie intake to about 900-1,000 calories, you may lose weight, but the claim of losing 9-10 pounds in just 3 days by the author is questionable. Therefore, for an effective weight loss, you might need to complement the diet with more exercise.
#28 G-free or Gluten-Free Diet
Gluten is a collection of proteins found in grains like wheat, barley, corn, and rye. It has a glue-like property that gives the flour a sticky form when mixed with water.
Many people are intolerant to gluten and consuming even small quantities may cause a severe reaction called celiac disease in which the body mistakenly harms itself. It affects about 1% of the population.
The Gluten-Free Diet is ideal for those suffering from the condition, as mentioned above. However, others may also benefit from this diet as well.
To altogether avoid gluten can be challenging as most of the foods contain gluten or minute quantities may get added to it during processing. Bread and cereals also contain gluten, so what to eat?
Also, meats, fish, eggs, dairy, fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, herbs, spices, and most beverages are gluten-free. If you are not sure about a food, it is best to read the food label.
Most single-ingredient and unprocessed foods are gluten-free. You can read the food labels on items you buy in the store to clarify before purchasing. Oats are also naturally gluten-free unless gluten is added to them.
#29 Gene Smart Diet
He says, our genes were not designed for today’s diets and lifestyles which causes inflammation of the body that leads to weight gain and other health problems.
Gene Smart Diet lets you choose foods that are good for your health. It focuses mainly on fruits and vegetables, whole-grains, and low-fat dairy products. It also recommends 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise at least 5 days a week or vigorous exercise of 20 minutes for at least 3 days a week.
A research study shows that men lost 13 pounds and women lost 10.5 pounds on average over the 8 weeks course, which is mostly the result of low-calorie intake.
#30 Hallelujah Diet
Authors George H. Malkmus and Peter Shockey, of the Hallelujah Diet, raw plant-based food diet claim that it may be the Holy Grail of weight loss. The Hallelujah Diet consists of natural and unprocessed (85% ) and cooked (15% )plant-based food.
Malkmus believes that meat can get trapped in our system and cause toxicity and illness. While raw foods give you nutrients, restore damaged cells, and provide long-lasting health.
Raw foods include fruits, vegetables, grains, beans, nuts, seeds, oils, fats, and dairy alternatives, whereas cooked meals include steamed vegetables, baked sweet potatoes, pasta, and beans.
As it is a vegan diet, no meat, dairy, or eggs are allowed. Also, alcohol is strictly prohibited.
Eating plant-based foods can improve your health and weight, but there is no evidence exist that this diet can cure cancer as claimed by the author.
#31 Hormone Diet Plan
The primary focus of this diet is on the hormone fluctuations that affect a person’s weight negatively. The secondary focus is on factors causing weight gain and other health effects.
The Hormone Diet is a six-week, three-step diet plan to sync your hormones and promote a healthier body.
The first phase involves a two-week “detoxification” process. The author recommends avoiding gluten-containing grains, dairy products, many oils, alcohol, along with caffeine, peanuts, sugar, artificial sweeteners, red meat, and citrus fruits.
Allowed foods include vegetables, fruits, beans, poultry, fish, soy, eggs, dairy products, nuts, and seeds. Nutritional supplements are also included.
The second phase allows some of the foods prohibited in the first phase while keeping an eye on how your body responds to them.
It also recommends avoiding foods that may affect your hormones, which include non-organic meats, coffee, raisins, dates, peanuts, and high fructose corn syrup. It allows many human-made foods that are listed in the book.
The third phase continues with a focus on your physical and mental wellness through exercise.
The Hormone Diet promotes foods that are good for your health and avoid eatables that may cause serious health effects in the long-run. It focuses on a combination of natural, healthy eating and exercise that are a great addition to any lifestyle.
#32 Instinct Diet Plan
The idea behind the Instinct Diet is that your brain has the necessary tools needed to lose weight. It is observed how your brain responds to eating and how different foods affect it.
The diet plan creator Dr Susan Roberts, a Ph.D., and Nutrition Professor at Tufts University says you don’t have to count calories but base your diet on protein, carbs, and fibre for an average person to lose about 30 pounds over 6 months on the diet.
During the first phase, i.e. the first 2 weeks, eating refined carbohydrates and drinking alcohol is not allowed. The later stages are less strict on food choices.
Similar to other diets, the Instinct Diet can help you lose weight as it is based on healthy, whole foods which are also on the glycemic index.
#33 Beverly Hills Diet
Judy claimed that, by retaining your digestive system to fruit-based diet for 35 days and sticking to the strict rules of combining carbs, fats, and protein, you could lose 10 to 15 pounds in 5 weeks and continue until you become “skinny”.
The diet is strict about what you eat and when you eat. For example, you can eat only one fruit at a time and wait for at least an hour before you eat another fruit.
There will be some “all protein” days and some days when you can eat whatever you like. This diet will help you lose weight but only due to the calorie deficit.
No evidence supports the claim of weight loss due to the combination of carbs, fats, and proteins.
#34 O2 Diet Plan
On this diet plan, you count the ORAC score, not calories. The higher the score, the better.
Eating more of ORAC scale’s top-rated foods, which include leafy vegetables, artichokes, salmon, herbs, and spices and less from the lowest, which are fried foods, baked goods, and soda is the main focus of the plan.
It has four phases, 1st that lasts 4 days to “cleanse” you by taking fewer calories and drinking more water and green tea.
The 2nd lasts 2 weeks with controlled portion size and eating lots of fruits and veggies.
The 3rd also lasts for 2 weeks and adds an indulgence per week.
The 4th is similar to the 3rd phase and one more indulgence per week and one more fruit with a high-ORAC score per day.
Phases 1 and 2 restrict alcohol, whereas phases 3 and 4 allow it in moderate quantities.
The claims of this plan of slowing the ageing process are not proven. However, the diet is packed with many healthy fruits and veggies which restrict calories and will help you lose weight.
#35 Detox Diets
The Detox or Detoxification diets claim to cleanse your blood and remove harmful toxins from your body. Many detox diets exist that claim to be effective. These are usually short-term diets specifically designed to remove harmful toxins.
Any detox diet usually involves a fasting period, a strict fruit/vegetable-based diet, and water, lots of it.
A few detox diets also prescribe some herbs, teas, and supplements and may also include medications for colon cleansing.
A detox diet claims to rest your organs by fasting, stimulate your liver and promote the elimination of toxins through faeces, urine, and sweat and provide healthy nutrients to your body.
These diets are mostly recommended to people with exposure to toxic chemicals through the environment or diet such as heavy metals, synthetic compounds, and such others.
Detox diets are also said to help people with health problems like obesity, digestive issues, inflammation, allergies, and chronic fatigue.
#36 UltraMetabolism Diet
The idea is a part of a new field called “nutrigenomics”. The diet focuses on eating whole, unprocessed foods mainly, which include nuts, beans, vegetables, fruits, fish, and many more.
Hyman claims that eating certain foods, like those containing Omega 3 fatty acids, can affect your genes, increase your metabolism, help burn fat and help to process food efficiently so that it does not get stored in the body as fat.
The diet also recommends supplements and maintaining healthy metabolism through exercise and stress reduction.
Experts think, by ridding your diet from processed foods and shifting to healthy ones, you’ll probably lose the extra weight as long as you are on a calorie deficit. However, this diet may not work on all, as everyone has a different lifestyle.
#37 Zone Diet Plan
It is all about eating protein, carbs, and fat in a specific ratio to reduce inflammation and other health benefits. The ratio of nutrients in the diet should be 40% carbs, 30% proteins, and 30% fat.
It also specifies that carbs should be low on the glycemic index, protein should be lean and fat should be mostly monounsaturated.
- Protein:- Lean beef, pork, lamb, skinless chicken and turkey breast, fish, egg whites, low-fat milk, and yoghurt.
- Fat:- Avocados, nuts, peanut butter, oils(canola oil, sesame oil, peanut, and olive oil).
- Carbs:- Fruits (apples, oranges, berries, plums and others), vegetables (cucumbers, peppers, spinach, tomatoes, mushrooms. Chickpeas and others), grains (oatmeal and barley).
The foods such as high-sugar fruits, vegetables, refined and processed carbs, artificially sweetened foods, beverages, i.e., coffee, and tea are not recommended.
The Zone Diet does not restrict any food choices. It also recommends against unfavourable food choices like processed food and added sugar.
This diet is similar to the Mediterranean Diet, which is claimed as the best diet plan for long-term health.
#38 ‘What Color is Your Diet’ Plan
The author David Heber, MD, says that Americans don’t eat enough fruits and vegetables in their diet. That’s why he created a category system of colours that makes it easier to fill the nutrient gaps.
David Heber suggests that eating enough fruits and vegetables will help improve your overall health and lose weight.
The Color diet is divided into seven colour categories, and you will eat one serving a day.
- Red: Lycopene-rich tomatoes, grapefruit, watermelon.
- Red/Purple: Anthocyanin-rich grapes, berries, prunes, red apples.
- Orange: Alpha-carotene rich and beta-carotene-rich carrots, mangoes, apricots, cantaloupe, winter squash.
- Orange/Yellow: Carotenoid and Vitamin-C-rich oranges, tangerines, peaches, papaya.
- Yellow/Green: Lutein and zeaxanthin-rich Spinach, collard, mustard, corn, peas, avocado, honeydew melon.
- Green: Sulforaphane, isothiocyanate, and indoles-rich broccoli, Brussels sprouts, kale, bok choy.
- White/Green: Flavonoid-rich garlic, onion, celery, peas, white wine, chives.
The colour diet replaces processed foods, fatty meat and trans fats with fruits and vegetables that are good for your health.
There is no evident research on different colour foods affecting health. However, studies support the addition of healthy fruits and vegetables that will promote weight loss, and provide lots of vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients.
#39 Wheat Belly Diet
Cardiologist William Davis, MD, observed the effects of eating wheat-based food in breakfast that made him sluggish but felt energetic when he had eggs for breakfast that led him to switch to a wheat-free diet which he also recommended to his patients suffering from obesity and diabetes.
He gave his patients a list of foods low on the glycemic index. After 3 months, they lost a significant amount of weight, and their blood sugar levels got reduced. It inspired him to write his best-selling book Wheat Belly.
In his diet, all wheat-based foods are not permitted, including bread, pasta, cereal, doughnuts and such others.
High-fructose corn syrup, salt, sucrose, rice, potatoes, fruit juice, legumes and others are avoided too.
The main constituents of William’s diet include vegetables, less sugary fruits, raw nuts, plant-based oils, full-fat cheese, ground flaxseed.
Small quantities of yoghurt, cottage cheese, milk, butter, olives, avocados, raw seeds and soy-based foods like tofu, tempeh, miso and others are recommended.
You are likely to lose weight from healthy foods in your diet, however, probably not because of avoiding gluten only. No scientific research indicates that the cause of weight gain is only gluten-rich foods.
#40 The Cinch Diet Plan
The Cinch Diet has been created by Cynthia Sass, who is also the co-author of the best-selling diet book “Flat Belly Diet.” She discusses it in her book “Cinch!: Conquer Cravings, Drop Pounds, and Lose Inches”.
The Cinch is a 30-day diet plan designed to fight overeating by eating high-nutrient foods that makes you feel full and satisfied.
Cinch starts with a “5-day Fast Forward Plan” that focuses on eating five foods-spinach, almonds, raspberries, eggs, and yoghurt for 5 days in different combinations to reduce your appetite as they are low in calories but high in nutrients.
The purpose of the Cinch diet is detoxification of your body from unhealthy foods. Sass claims that you can lose up to eight pounds in these five days.
As the Cinch is based on mostly fruits, vegetables, whole-grains, plant-based fats, and portion control, you are likely to lose weight soon following this diet plan.
The compulsory chocolate snack every day can be seen as a standout point which is questioned by many, but for some people, it may satisfy their sweet tooth at the price of a few calories as compared to other sweets.
#41 Big Breakfast Diet
Daniela Jukobowicz, MD, claims that while trying to lose weight or keeping it off, the time of eating certain foods also matters.
Daniela, who is an endocrinologist, says that hormones that control your appetite, energy, and metabolism vary with time.
The Big Breakfast plan dictates how much protein, carbs, fats, and sugar is to be taken within 15 mins of waking up every morning. It controls the junk food cravings to boost your metabolism.
The plan emphasizes on bigger breakfast and small lunch and dinner.
For breakfast, it recommends seven servings of protein, two of carbs and fat each, and one for sweets that can be jelly beans, doughnut, or cake.
The lunch and dinner are low in protein than breakfast, and no sweets are allowed but may include fruits and vegetables.
Alcohol is permitted only after a month on diet and that too not often. Daniela also suggests low-sugar vodka or whisky over beer or wine.
In research that Dr Jakubowicz conducted, she found that eating a big breakfast helped her overweight patients suffering from metabolic syndrome to lose weight and belly fat. She also found it to be better than the conventional 1400 calorie diet.
Well, these 22 diets formed the third and the final part of a total of 41 diet plans that I thought of collating for you.
If you haven’t read the other diet plans that I covered in Part-1 and Part-2 of this series of posts, please read about them in my previous posts “Diet Plans You Must Know- Part 1” and “Diet Plans You Must Know- Part 2.”
You might also find information on weight loss programs and weight loss plateau useful and valuable that I collated in one of my earlier posts.
It’s massive learning for me too. I am enjoying it! Hope, you will appreciate the effort!
If you find the information in this post of some value, please provide further motivation to me by clicking the like button, sharing the post on your social media and providing your comments below.