As the new year begins, typically the tradition is to create New Year's resolutions to improve your life in some way over the course of the year. One very common resolution is to improve one's health or lose weight. Dieting can be an effective way to help anyone lose weight if it's the right diet for them and their lifestyle. Especially in combination with exercise, diets can put you on the right track towards better health for 2019. Here is the breakdown of several different diets so you can find the best one to help you meet your New Year's goals. 

1. Ketogenic Diet ("Keto")

The Keto diet is focused on changing your body's source of energy from carbohydrates to ketones, so this diet is based on eating very few carbs and some protein which results in the burning of fat for energy from ketones. To follow the Keto diet, focus your diet on healthy fats, proteins, and typically green vegetables. Foods to avoid include: foods high in carbohydrates, such as bread and pasta, and foods high in sugar. As usual with most diets, also try to stick to water and drinks without sweeteners.   

2. Paleolithic Diet ("Paleo/Caveman's Diet")

The paleo diet is based on the pre-modern way of living where food could be obtained through hunting and gathering. The ideology is that modern ways of farming have changed the diet of humans too rapidly and the body could not adjust fast enough, leading to obesity and diabetes. On the paleo diet, one should center their meals around fruits and vegetables, nuts and seeds, grass-fed lean meats, and fish. Foods to avoid include grains, legumes, dairy, and high processed foods. The Paleo diet can help one to feel more 'natural' and perhaps help their body to respond better to these 'caveman' foods. 

3.  Plant-Based Diet

The Plant-based diet is one I am personally interested in, and I have tried it myself. The plant-based diet is very similar to a vegan diet where the diet eliminates animal products, such as dairy, meat, and eggs, yet places emphasis on plant-foods rather than anti-animal products. For a plant based diet, the encouraged foods include: fruits, vegetables, grains, and legumes. The plant based diet (similar to veganism) limits the consumption of any meat, fish, dairy, and processed foods. It distinguishes itself from the vegan diet by focusing on unprocessed plant foods, while the vegan diet still allows processed foods as long as they don't include animal products. The plant-based diet can be really beneficial in helping one to ease away from processed foods by promoting the addition of more plant-based foods to one's diet.

4. Low-Fat diet

The low-fat diet is exactly what the name states: eating less fatty foods. This way of eating is critical when trying to lose weight, as eating foods high in fat all the time will obviously lead to weight gain. While on this diet, a person needs to read nutrition labels for the grams of fat per serving. Eating foods with low amounts of fat and in smaller portions will help promote weight loss. Additionally, on this diet focus on eating plant foods and also low-fat meats and dairy. Clearly, any food that is has high in fat should be avoid while on this diet including when making meals yourself -- the use of fat or butter to cook should be avoided. The low-fat diet focuses on limiting fat intake for direct weight loss, which can help lower cholesterol. 

5. Flexitarian Diet

The flexitarian diet stems from the style of vegan- and vegetarian-type diets but allows for some flexibility; hence the name 'flexitarian'. This diet promotes eating plant-based foods while still allowing the consumption of meat and animal products in moderation. Going flexitarian puts emphasis on eating plant-based foods like fruits, veggies, and grains before consuming animal products; however, you can eat lean meat or other animal products every once in a while. Similar to all the other diets described in this article, this diet encourages people to stay away from foods with added sugars and sweets treats.  This diet might be right for you if you're new to dieting but don't want to feel so restricted. This diet is healthy and flexible and might be the perfect thing to help you stay on top of your resolution. 

Whether you're specifically looking to diet or not, it is always good practice to eat healthier foods to keep your body and mind in optimal condition. If one of these diets seems right for you, try it out for a couple weeks and see how you feel! Even if the diet feels restrictive or doesn't seem to work, you can always find another one that might work better for you or tailor one to meet your needs. Don't give up on those New Year's resolutions just yet, its only just the beginning of February...