A List of Diets, Nutritional Guidelines and Eating Styles

There are countless different diets, nutrition guidelines, and eating styles available, each with their own set of rules, restrictions, benefits, and downfalls.

By Megan O'Connell
Edited by Tom Amitay

Published October 10, 2020.

There are countless different diets, nutrition guidelines and eating styles focused on weight loss, appetite reduction, calorie restriction, low-carb, high-fat, high-protein, weight gain, health benefits, and more.

People often choose to eat different types of foods for a variety of different reasons. Many people choose to eat in a certain way due to the health benefits thereof, however, some diets are motivated by religion or culture. Ethical and environmental reasons are the driving force behind many diets and some people may even avoid certain foods due to allergies or medical conditions. Others simply choose to eat a certain way due to their own personal preferences.

There is no one-size-fits-all approach to dieting and what works for some people, may not work for others.

Below are some of the most popular diets, each with their own set of rules, restrictions, benefits and downfalls:

  • Paleo Diet
  • South Beach Diet
  • Ketogenic Diet
  • If It Fits Your Macros Diet
  • Mediterranean Diet
  • Blood Type Diet
  • Atkins Diet
  • The Zone Diet
  • Intermittent Fasting Diet
  • Weight Watchers Diet

Some diets have been designed to treat or manage specific illnesses or chronic diseases. These include diets such as the Ketogenic diet, which was initially designed to treat epilepsy. Other medically indicated diets include Lactose-free diets for those who are lactose-intolerant or Fiber-restricted diets for those who suffer from gastrointestinal diseases.

Other diets have been developed based on philosophical approaches, ethical concerns, or for environmental reasons. Diets that fall into this category may include vegan diets, vegetarian diets, and other plant-based eating styles, as well as “caveman” diets, such as the Paleo diet.

Certain diets, such as Atkins, Banting, and Ketogenic, are based on nutritional theories, studies, and the belief that in order to achieve weight loss, the consumption of carbohydrates should be limited.

'Fad diets' are usually followed by those who would like to lose weight in a very limited amount of time and often include severe calorie restrictions. These diets are known to work in the short-term but may have devastating effects on metabolic function and health if followed for an extended period of time.