The most popular New Years resolution is to lose weight. With the countless diet options available, it can be difficult to sift through the ineffective trends and find diets that actually work. To help make your search a little easier, here are three popular diets and the facts behind them:

Juice Cleanse

Many people swear by juice cleanses as a way to detox or create the perfect spring break body. The idea is to spend about three days drinking nothing but fruit or vegetable juices. However, this is not a safe or effective way to lose weight. Juice cleanses usually restrict calories to under 1,000 per day—well below the recommended value. Juice cleanses are also high in sugar and low in fat, protein, and nutrients. The drastic reduction in calories may slow down your metabolism and hinder weight loss. If you do see the number on the scale decrease, it is likely due to muscle atrophy. The amount of fat on your body will stay the same and may skyrocket once you complete the cleanse. This trend is tempting because it seems like a quick fix, but it may make you gain weight and encounter health problems.


Photo by Anna Hsu


Paleo Diet

The premise of this diet is to eat like the cavemen and consume mostly meat, vegetables, fruits and nuts. Based on the calorie content of the food you are allowed to eat, you may naturally create a calorie deficit and therefore lose weight over time, and this diet provides essential nutrients. There are a couple of cons to it, though. Any plan that cuts out entire food groups—dairy and grains in this case—is nearly impossible to stick with and can result in weight gain upon quitting the diet. Additionally, weight loss comes from calorie deficits, and since this diet does not restrict the amount you eat, it is possible to not lose weight. This diet is relatively nutritionally sound, but there are better options if long-term health and weight loss are your goals.


Photo by Eugene Ang


This diet was designed to lower blood pressure and cholesterol, but can be utilized by anyone trying to eat healthier and lose weight. Luckily, it is pretty easy to follow. The plan emphasizes eating whole grains, lean proteins, low-fat dairy, fruit and vegetables. It recommends avoiding processed foods and excessive sugar and salt. Essentially, this diet urges you to make healthy choices. You get all the essential nutrients in this diet, and by cutting out processed foods, you will likely find yourself consuming fewer calories and therefore losing weight. If your goal is to find a diet that you can maintain on a long-term basis that will leave you healthier and slimmer, this may be the perfect choice.


Photo by Emma Delaney