What Is the Best Diet for Me? A Comprehensive Guide To Choosing the Right Diet for Your Body

What Is the Best Diet for Me? A Comprehensive Guide To Choosing the Right Diet for Your Body

Search for the word “diet,” and you’ll be amazed by what comes up. There is something for every taste and every need. Culture can make you feel like going on a diet is the solution for everything. Weight loss? Go on a diet. Tired? Go on a diet. Health issues? Change your diet. With such a vast pool to choose from, it’s natural to ask yourself—what is the best diet for me?

Should I choose the trendy one everyone’s talking about? Or the one my best friend used to lose weight? If it worked for them, it should work for me, right? Wrong. Choosing the right diet for your body requires a lot of considerations.

Your lifestyle, allergies, health conditions, and the medication you take all play an important role. Let’s not forget about the costs, the availability of the foods allowed, and potential nutritional imbalances. Confused? Keep reading. We’ll explain everything you need to know to choose the best diet for your body.

Understanding the different diets

There is no shortage of diets to choose from, and they all come with pros and cons. Some have studies backing them up, but some run on anecdotal evidence. Keep reading to learn about some of the most popular diets.

1. The Mediterranean diet

The Mediterranean diet is one of the most studied diets you’ll find. Its health benefits—better heart health, lower risk of type 2 diabetes, lowered inflammation—are proven by extensive medical studies.

Based on the foods eaten in countries next to the Mediterranean Sea, it is a varied diet and doesn’t restrict your calories. Its lack of guidelines and the fact that it allows red wine can be seen as cons by some. Plus, fresh foods may be harder to find if you don’t live close to the Mediterranean. Overall, though, it is a healthy and easy diet.

2. Keto

The keto diet was created for people with epilepsy, and most of the surrounding studies are about people with this condition.

It is a difficult diet to stick to, as you’ll be eating at least 60% of your calories from fats. It can help balance blood sugar and may even reduce inflammation. But, long-term can cause more harm than good. It is certainly not a diet for everyone, so carefully analyze its pros and cons carefully before embarking on it.

3. Paleo

Also known as the cavemen or the carnivore diet, Paleo is based on the foods our Paleolithic ancestors used to eat. That means you’ll need to say no to grains, potatoes, legumes, anything processed, and most alcohol. In short, anything the Paleolithic people didn’t have access to should be off your plate.

In theory, it is a healthy diet, as it encourages the consumption of fruits and vegetables along with meat. It does remove a lot of foods that can be very healthy, such as whole grains. Plus, the high meat and fat content may not be the best for everyone. It is less extreme than keto, but you’ll need to consider whether its pros surpass the cons.

4. Intermittent fasting

Fasting has gained much popularity in recent years. The best-known version is the 16:8 one. You can eat whatever you want during an 8-hour window and fast during the other 16. Since you’re asleep about 8 of those 16 hours, you’ll be truly fasting for 8. Depending on your body's needs, you can shorten or extend the fasting window.

It is relatively easy for most people and can help with certain health conditions. But the lack of guidelines for the eating window can set some people up for failure. After all, nothing is telling you that you can’t eat junk food or overeat. If you want to try it, you might want to think about how you’ll approach that period so that you don’t cause yourself more trouble than good.

5. Vegan

For many, being vegan is more than a diet—it is a lifestyle. But more and more people are trying it for health reasons and even for weight loss. Being vegan can be a very healthy choice if done right.

It does need careful planning. For instance, if you go for meat replacements, you could be eating a very unhealthy diet, as these foods are often filled with additives. It is also easy to undereat when you first go vegan, which could make you feel like it’s not sustainable for you. Make sure you’re well-informed before trying this diet.

6. Gluten-free

Until recently, gluten-free diets were reserved for those with celiac disease and wheat allergies. Lately, more and more people are going gluten-free for the health benefits. Are these benefits real? Some of them are. Plus, removing gluten will mean you remove a lot of pre-packaged foods, pastries, and more, which can help you lose weight and even balance blood sugar.

It is an expensive diet and can be very limiting, especially if you want to avoid contamination on top of gluten-containing foods. Plus, removing whole wheat puts you at risk for nutritional deficiencies. If you don’t have a gluten intolerance, consider the pros and cons before trying it.

So…what is the best diet for me?

The diets we explored are just some of the ones you’ll find out there. You can find many more, but they’re usually variations of the more popular ones we discussed here. Some of them are low carb, low fat, high protein, raw foods, Atkins, the DASH diet, and Weight Watchers.

Whether you want to select one of the best-known ones or try something new, you can use a few criteria to evaluate them.

  • Food variety. Unless you struggle with health issues, choosing a diet that gives you as much variety as possible is the best. Restrictive diets might yield better results at first, but they're hard to stick to, may not be as healthy, and you’ll often gain weight when you reintroduce other foods.
  • Caloric intake. If weight loss is your main goal, going for something low in calories will be tempting. But if you eat too little for your body, you won’t be able to sustain the diet for long and will probably gain the weight back when you increase the calories again.
  • Guidelines (or lack of). Some people enjoy diets that come with clear guidelines. Others prefer having an outline while still being free to choose when and how much they eat.
  • Health conditions that they may worsen. The wrong diet can worsen your health, so research before starting a new one.

8 factors to consider when choosing your diet

Besides looking at the diets themselves, there are some factors you need to consider. The most important one: you. No diet is one-size-fits-all. It doesn’t matter that it worked for everyone you know. It might not work for you. So before you do anything else, assess where you’re at.

  1. Why do you want to go on a diet? What is your motivation? Try to be more specific than “weight loss.” On top of being a guidance point for choosing a diet plan, this will also be your long-term motivator.
  2. Do you have any health conditions? If yes, are there any foods that impact it positively or negatively? You never want to select a diet that could worsen a health condition. Not even short term, nor so that you can fit into that outfit for that one party.
  3. Are you prone to vitamin and mineral deficiencies? Sure, you can always supplement. But getting nutrients from your diet is best. And if you know you have or are prone to deficiencies, it’s even more reason to select a diet that won’t worsen your problem.
  4. Do you have a history of eating disorders? Approaching dieting after an eating disorder can be very challenging and risky. Don’t try an overly restrictive diet. Intermittent fasting is also a no for most people in this situation. Talk to a professional who can guide you on your journey if you are in doubt.
  5. Do you have budget restrictions? Some diets will be more expensive than others. Gluten-free and keto are the best examples. But the Mediterranean diet may also be challenging in certain seasons, depending on where you live.
  6. What’s the food availability like where you are? For instance, can you easily get fresh produce, or would that be difficult in certain seasons? Select a diet that allows you to eat in season as much as possible.
  7. What do you like to eat? Too often, we launch on diets, giving up everything we love and embracing foods we hate. Maybe you need to cut down on the chicken nuggets, but it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t love the food you eat. Choose a diet that can be enjoyable.

What is your activity level? Don’t think only of the workouts you do. Perhaps you do physical labor at work. Maybe you care for your children, running and playing with them all day. How active you are can have a say in what diets are feasible and which aren’t, and of course, in how much you’ll need to eat.

Key takeaways

There are numerous diets to choose from. Something that can be both a blessing and a curse. You’ll inevitably find yourself wondering, “How do I know what is the best diet for me?” To find the answers, you’ll need to look at each diet’s pros and cons carefully.

Most importantly, you should consider yourself. What your goals are, what you like to eat, how active you are, and any health conditions or other restrictions you may have.

When in doubt, a registered dietitian can help you navigate the complex worlds of diets to select the best one for your body.

Health/Medical Disclaimer

This blog post does not provide health or medical advice. This blog post is for informational and educational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional health or medical advice. Before taking any actions based upon such information, we encourage you to consult with the appropriate medical and healthcare professionals. We do not provide any kind of health or medical advice. The use or reliance of any information contained on this blog is solely at your own risk.














































7th Aug 2023 Written by Laura Vegh. Edited by Brandee Nichols, retired Registered Nurse.

Recent Posts