Weight Loss

Easy diets to follow

June 7, 2024

Written by Maeve Ginsberg

Medically reviewed by Rita Faycurry, RD

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Key Points

  • The best diet is one that works for you, your preferences, and your lifestyle.
  • There are plenty of vetted diet options like the DASH diet, Mediterranean diet, and the MIND diet.
  • Working with a registered dietitian is the best way to follow a diet sustainably.

Weight loss and dieting can be very confusing. With so many different popular diets out there, how do you know which is right for you? Should you try the flexitarian diet? DASH diet? MIND diet? What do those acronyms even mean, anyway?

If you're looking for easy diets to follow, the real answer is that there isn't just one – it all depends on you. The best diet is one you can follow based on your preferences, eating style, and overall lifestyle.

Let's dig into the best diets and how to find the right one for you.

Eating plan for fast results

When it comes to weight loss, a lot of people are looking for quick results. The reality is that weight loss takes time, and for it to be a sustainable process with sustainable results – that you can keep the weight off – slow and steady is usually the best way.

"Whenever people come to me for weight loss and say they've 'tried everything,' I examine their approach," says Rita Faycurry, RD. "Often I find that they've gotten into intense crash diet cycles where they severely restrict calories and cut out whole food groups, lose weight quickly, then gain it back when they can't keep up with the severe restriction. It's much healthier to do it slowly and reasonably."

It's more important to prioritize balance, flexibility, and likeability when crafting a meal plan or diet. Why? Because it makes it easier to stick to the plan, and when it's easier to be committed, you're likelier to stay committed long term.

What is an easy diet to follow?

What is the easiest diet? Everyone has their own definition of "easy." Easy could mean it works well with your lifestyle, suits your preferred style of eating, or is straightforward to follow.

There are so many different ways of eating, making healthy choices, and maintaining a healthy weight. When it comes to the "best diet", do what makes sense for your lifestyle and preferences. You've heard about the DASH diet, vegan diet, Mediterranean diet, WW, even the Mayo Clinic diet – but which is right for you?

If you want to explore more plant-based foods, a flexitarian diet could be interesting. This is a hybrid meat- and plant-based diet that emphasizes vegan and vegetarian food over omnivorous options. That could look like two out of your three daily meals being vegetarian, or five out of seven days per week being entirely plant based.

If you have type 2 diabetes, you are probably better suited to the keto diet than the average person. It is a low carb diet correlated with improved glycemic control in those with type 2 diabetes. While more research is needed to see exactly how keto might help with diabetes, it shows promising results with both blood sugar and weight loss.

Intermittent fasting could work if you naturally prefer eating only at certain times of day. If you find it easy to wait until later in the day to get, this popular diet might feel easier to you than someone who really enjoys breakfast in the morning.

"It's important to reframe an 'easy diet' as the right diet for you, your lifestyle, and your preferences," says Rita Faycurry, registered dietitian. "Trying to force something to work is more likely to backfire than working within your own reality to find what naturally flows with your life."

Sustainable weight loss diet

When determining what diet to follow, you should consider the following:

  • Diets you've tried. How well did you adhere to the rules and guidelines of the diet? What did you like or dislike about them? What worked or didn't work? How did you feel while on the diet, both physically and emotionally? What would you like to do more or less of this time?
  • Your preferences. Do you have certain food groups you really like or dislike? Do you prefer a volumetrics diet so you feel like you're still eating a lot of food? What whole grains do you like? Do you have any meal timing requirements? Do you prefer an intuitive eating approach?
  • Other considerations. Do you have a health condition, like high blood pressure, diabetes, or food allergies? Do you have a history of disordered eating? Do you have cultural or religious requirements?

The best thing you can do when trying to find the best diet for your goals is work with a registered dietitian.  Not only are they the most qualified nutrition providers out there, but they also have the wisdom you need to find the ideal diet for you. They will be able to take into account your history, conditions, and preferences to design a custom meal plan, weight loss plan, or general diet that ticks all your boxes. They'll be able to tell you if a popular diet is right for you or if you'd be better suited to a different meal plan.

With Fay, finding a qualified registered dietitian is easy. You input your health insurance and get matched with someone covered by your insurance, so you can pay as little as $0 per session. Click here to get started.

What are the best diets for your health?

DASH diet

DASH stands for "Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension." It focuses on creating a heart-healthy eating style for life. It prioritizes fruits, vegetables, and whole grains and also includes fat-free or low-fat meat, fish, beans, dairy products, and nuts. It limit food groups high in saturated fats (like fatty meats and certain oils) and added sugar. The DASH diet is good for high blood pressure because it also reduces sodium intake.

MIND diet

MIND stands for "Mediterranean-DASH Intervention for Neurodegenerative Delay." It is a combination of the DASH and Mediterranean diets designed to slow the progression or development of Alzheimer’s disease, which is a neurodegenerative condition. The MIND diet focuses on 10 specific foods with health benefits. It states that, per week, you should consume:

  • Six or more servings of green, leafy vegetables
  • One serving of non-starchy vegetables
  • Five or more servings of nuts
  • Other foods to focus on include berries, beans, olive oil, whole grains, fish, and poultry

The MIND diet shows promising results in an initial study but more research is needed to further verify and understand how it helps with neurodegeneration.

Mediterranean diet

The Mediterranean diet is one of the most extensively researched and supported diets out there. It is a heart-healthy diet that is not designed to be restrictive or short-term but rather a presents a set of guidelines to follow for lifelong health.

These guidelines are tied to historical eating styles of the Mediterranean region. The diet has been associated with low rates of chronic diseases and high adult life expectancy. It is also associated with improved cardiovascular risk factors and may also have potential benefits for obesity, cancer, type 2 diabetes, and cognitive decline.

The diet prioritizes plant-based foods that are seasonally fresh and seasonally crown. Olive oil is the primary source of fat. Dairy is moderately consumed while fish, poultry, and red meat are consumed in low amounts. Red wine is also consumed in low to moderate amounts with meals. Guidelines encourage minimal added sugar.

Mayo Clinic diet

The purpose of the Mayo Clinic Diet is to help you lose excess weight and find a healthy way of eating that you can sustain for a lifetime.

It focuses on changing your daily routine by adding and breaking habits that can affect your weight. The premise is that you can find small habits to help lose weight, like moving your body for 30 minutes a day, prioritizing fruits and vegetables, getting adequate sleep, and more.

The Mayo Clinic diet is made up of two phases. The first phase is called Lose it!, where you learn how to add five healthy habits, break five unhealthy habits. and adopt another five "bonus" healthy habits. This phase can help you see some quick results with weight loss, which can help create a sense of momentum, while arming you with tools to carry you into the second phase, Live It!

Live It! is a lifelong approach to health. In this phase, you learn more about food choices, portion sizes, meal planning, physical activity, and sticking to healthy habits.

Credit: Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research
Credit: Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research

Find a weight loss dietitian

If you want to lose weight and/or try to find the best diet for you, working with a registered dietitian is the best way to accomplish your goals.

When you use Fay, you match with a registered dietitian covered by your health insurance who will talk you through the best diets, give you a custom meal plan, and support you every step of the way as you progress towards your goals.

Click here to get started with Fay today.

The views expressed by authors and contributors of such content are not endorsed or approved by Fay and are intended for informational purposes only. The content is reviewed by Fay only to confirm educational value and audience interest. You are encouraged to discuss any questions that you may have about your health with a healthcare provider.

  • MDPI Nutrients - Low-Carb and Ketogenic Diets in Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes
  • National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute - DASH Eating Plan
  • Alzheimer’s Research & Therapy - MIND diet and the risk of dementia: a population-based study
  • Journal of Internal Medicine - The Mediterranean diet and health: a comprehensive overview
  • Mayo Clinic - The Mayo Clinic Diet: A weight-loss program for life

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Maeve Ginsberg

Written by Maeve Ginsberg

Maeve Ginsberg is a health and wellness writer with a personal passion for fitness. As an ACE Certified Personal Trainer and former powerlifter, she loves combining her interests in health with her writing. Maeve has a Bachelor’s degree from Northwestern University. 

Rita Faycurry, RD

Medically Reviewed by Rita Faycurry, RD

Rita Faycurry, RD is a board-certified Registered Dietitian Nutritionist specializing in clinical nutrition for chronic conditions. Her approach to health is centered around the idea that the mind and body are intimately connected, and that true healing requires an evidence-based and integrative approach that addresses the root cause of disease. In her books and articles, Rita offers practical tips and insights on how to care for your body, mind, and spirit to achieve optimal health and wellness.