What is a successful weight-loss diet?

Jason B. Bergman, MD
Family Medicine
There is a lot of discussion among doctors regarding the healthiest and best diets for long-term weight loss. There is no one-size-fits-all diet plan.

Some diets focus on eating just one food or are liquid-based. Others restrict meat, sugars, salt, portion size or calorie intake. Some people have been very successful with meal replacement-only diets made of soups, protein water, shakes and protein bars. More extreme diets with very limited calories may also be successful, but they require a doctor’s supervision and, sometimes, medication.

The best diet to start with is one that works with your lifestyle and is easiest to follow. Identify and cut out sugary items like soda, juice, sweets and candy. Reduce carbohydrates. Eat more healthier fats and proteins.

Keep in mind, a diet suggests a beginning and an end. But weight loss is a lifestyle change. Losing weight and keeping it off requires a lifelong commitment. Talk to your doctor about your overall health and medications you take, as these may keep you from getting to a healthier weight.
Janis Jibrin, MS, RD
Nutrition & Dietetics
There isn't one diet that works for everyone. In this video, I will explain how I'm partial to the Mediterranean diet, but I advise people to stick with a nutritious diet that works for them.
Dr. Anita Gupta
Anesthesiology
Weight gain is generally caused by a sedentary lifestyle and an overconsumption of high-calorie food. While exercise is instrumental in losing weight, a healthy, balanced diet can make all the difference. Moderating food intake and practicing “mindful” eating is possible for people who stay motivated and set goals. Starting the day off with breakfast helps with boosting metabolism and preventing binge eating throughout the day. Serving smaller portions and not eating as frequently also control food intake. Cooking food at home allows both the control of portion size and what goes into the food. It is important to eat foods low in calories, but filling at the same time. High-fiber foods take a longer time to digest and make us feel full for a longer amount of time. Examples of high-fiber foods include fruits and vegetables (berries, apples, oranges, mangos, corn, carrots, green veggies, etc.), beans (black beans, lentils, chickpeas), and whole-grains (brown rice, oatmeal, whole-grain/multigrain bread). Monosaturated fats (plant oils, avocados, nuts, seeds) and polyunsaturated fats  (corn, soybean, walnuts, salmon) should be added to the diet because they nourish the brain, heart, cells, hair, skin, and nails and can reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. Protein (beans, nuts, seeds, peas, tofu, soy products) and calcium (milk, yogurt, cheese) are also extremely important to a diet. Water is essential for many body functions and also helps with weight loss. Being active, making healthier food choices, eating smaller portions, and keeping track of progress will all contribute to a successful weight loss. 
Arthur W. Perry, MD
Plastic Surgery
Dr. Michael Roizen has analyzed various diets and lifestyles. Comparing the Ornish, Zone, Weil, Pritikin, Atkins, and a variety of other diets, he found that no "best-seller diet" resulted in successful long-term weight loss. His own RealAge diet emphasizes nutritious, low-calorie foods, but with a little healthy fat at the beginning of the meal. The foods that he recommends slow your aging process and can make you healthy.
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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.