3 Most Popular Diet Programs Out There

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Girl Eating Fruits and Vegetables

The word “diet” is derived from the medieval Latin word “dieta” and old French word “diete” meaning an everyday food allowance.

There are thousands of nutritional plans out there to follow. While some are for losing weight, others are for gaining muscle mass, lowering cholesterol levels, having a healthy body and mind, and much more.

Outlined below are three most popular programs these days followed by millions of people.

Diet #1 – Dukan

beef jerky in glass jar

This program is basically a high-protein, low-carb diet. There is absolutely no limit to the amount of food you want to eat, provided that you follow its rules religiously.

There are four main phases this nutritional plan is based on:

During the initial phase, you are strictly on a lean protein diet, which is derived from a comprehensive list of about 72 protein-rich, low-fat foods such as turkey, eggs, chicken, fat-free dairy, fish, and more.

This normally lasts for about five days to achieve rapid weight loss. Carbohydrates are entirely off limits during this period except for oat bran in small amounts. Moreover, you are not supposed to eat fat or vegetables during the phase one.

Pay attention: During the next three phases of Dukan diet, you can gradually start using some vegetables, fruits, and carbs. You will slowly work your way to all foods. The primary goal of this diet plan is to lose at least 2lb of your weight per week.

5 Pros

  1. You should not clog your arteries as you will consume mostly lean protein.
  2. You will lose weight in no time, which is pretty motivating.
  3. It is very perceptive and strict fat loss plan.
  4. You don’t have to count calories throughout the dieting period.
  5. Apart from keeping your meals low fat, high protein and low salt, you can eat as much as you want during the first two weeks.

3 Cons

  1. You might experience vitamin and mineral deficiency during the first phase of the diet plan.
  2. You might also feel a headache, mood swings, fatigue, flu-like symptoms, bad breath, tiredness, dry mouth, insomnia, dizziness, and nausea because of low intake of carbohydrates.
  3. Another common problem faced by people who follow Dukan diet is frequent constipation.

My verdict: This diet may be good for a short-term weight loss. However, it is not very healthy from a long-term perspective as your body functions are based on energy from carbohydrates and starch.

Diet #2 – Atkins

meal from shrimps

The Atkins is also a high-protein, low-carb weight loss program. You start your dieting with a low-carbohydrate diet made especially for quick weight loss.

The plan might last two weeks or more, depending on how much weight you want to lose. People who follow Atkins program are strictly on low carb food items such as:

Eggs, cheese, meat, seafood, butter, vegetables, oils, and much more.

Unlike the previously discussed Dukan diet, Atkins lets you eat as much fat as you want and some vegetables like cucumber, iceberg lettuce, and peppers during the initial stage. The weight loss is more gradual during the next three phases, and consistent exercise is highly recommended.

Pay attention: More carbs are added to your diet gradually. The primary goal of this plan is to help people lose at least 15 pounds in two weeks.

2 Pros

  1. It allows you to lose weight pretty quickly.
  2. The plan encourages you to cut out alcohol and processed carbohydrates.

3 Cons

  1. Early side effects of this diet plan include tiredness, dry mouth, bad breath, nausea, constipation, and dizziness.
  2. The lack of fruit and considerably excessive intake of saturated fats might affect your heart badly.
  3. The lack of dairy products, vegetables, and carbohydrates with high intake of protein can lead to kidney and bone problems.

Final verdict: Atkins, like Dukan, recommends eating too much of protein. This can be connected to various health issues from a long-term perspective.

Diet #3 – Cambridge

woman with detoxing smoothie

The Cambridge diet is normally based on purchasing and eating a variety of meal-substitute products with an intention of quick weight loss. Did you know there are about six highly efficient, flexible programs, ranging from approximately 415 to 1,500 calories per day?

The program you will choose will depend on your weight loss goals. Soups, bards, shakes, and porridges might be used as the sole source of your nutrition.

Keep in mind: You can take these things in combination with some low-calorie meals. While following this program, you will receive support and advice on exercise and healthy eating from an adviser. How convenient is that?

2 Pros

  1. A majority of people on extremely low-calorie diets find it very easy to lose weight dramatically.
  2. Since the meal substitutes are nutritionally reasonable and well-balanced, you are likely to get all the minerals and vitamins your body needs from real food.

4 Cons

  1. Like the other two programs, Cambridge diet can also cause bad breath, dizziness, dry mouth, insomnia, nausea, tiredness, and constipation from eliminating nutritional fiber and complex carbohydrates.
  2. The hardest part of any plan is stick to it wholeheartedly.
  3. Giving up those delicious meals is not easy, and swamping them for a shake or snack bar is even more boring and isolating.
  4. You need to have a great determination to follow this diet plan.

Final verdict: I do not like this diet at all as such extremely low-calorie plan is very hard to follow and can not be sustained over a long-term period. The milder versions providing slower results may be better for you.

However, I do not recommend any diet that does not contain a lot of fiber and complex carbohydrates in your daily meal plan.

Hello, I hope you find here all the best info that will help you lose weight and feel healthy and fit. My pen name is Christine and I want to make this site a great resource for those that want to get fit. Please, keep in mind that this website is for informational purposes only and that you always need to consult your decisions with your doctor.
  • Fatima

    What I like best about the Atkins diet plan is the simplicity with which the program is explained. I can actually understand it – its not all complicated. I took the diet plan to my doctors office. He was delighted that I am on this particular diet — perfect for my pre-diabetes condition. Thanks for sharing this info:)

  • Christina Hopkins

    I feel like so many diets these days are so similar. I feel like the Durkan diet is Dr. Maxwell Stillman’s “The Doctor’s Quick Weight Loss Diet” combined with the Atkins diet. I am a hard believer that you can eat whatever you want, as long as its organic and you have portion control.

  • Rachel Stewart

    I have lost 25 pounds on the Dukan Diet in just 38 days. Yes, it is very hard but it does work. The biggest struggle for me was this winter. I live in Maryland, unfortunately due to snow days, I was in kitchen baking with my daughters way too much! So needless to say, I had quite a few cheat days.

  • Dorm Chick

    What are some tips for someone that loves carbs? I am on day 3 of the Dukan Diet and all that I can think of is chips, fries, ice cream and pizza. I am in my second year of college and I cannot get rid of the Freshman 45 (yes, instead of 15lbs I gained 45lbs). But, I have lost 4 lbs already.

  • Gale

    My favorite all time diet is The Atkins diet. Most of the time I maintain my weight, but if I have a special event I always go on the atkins diet. Its very effective and I always get the results that I want.

  • Zeke

    I’m not strictly Atkins, but I don’t really crave a lot of carbs and so I just cut back a little more to keep my weight at bay. It’s been getting harder though. I want to lose more weight, but I don’t have many carbs left in my diet other than fruit juices and the occasional two pieces of bread in a sandwich!

  • James

    I have tried all three and have found that the Dukan and Atkins works best. Although I have had friends who had to go to their doctors because with the first one, they felt like they had the flu and with second one, they felt like they had a kidney infection for the first few weeks. I guess if you are a determined person, you can withstand the initial period of hell to lose body mass because you know that you will feel better without it after all.

  • matt n.

    No vegetables with that first one? That doesn’t seem healthy at all to me. And the Atkins thing is just as bad, all of the fat that you are allowed to consume on it is ridiculous.

  • efpierce

    So with the Cambridge diet you will lose weight and look great, but you will be sick and have bad breathe? No thanks to that. I usually avoid the fad diets and stick with a healthy diet that works for me. 🙂

  • Sthe

    i have heard of Cambridge diet, i just didn’t know cons of it, ouch i don’t like the sound of it at all, now in my opinion, diet shouldn’t couse all those things mentioned, healthy diet should include all bodies need, by eliminating fiber and carbs, its a no, no for me i prefer to have various choice in my meals, small portion and lot of fluid, i think with SkinnyWithfiber, pill form of a diet is even beter

  • Ann Mitchell

    Hmmm, I’ve never heard of the Dukan diet. I wonder if it is similar to the South Beach Diet? Thank you for posting the pros and cons of each of these. Usually you only hear about the pros to something, especially diets.

    • Hi Ann, I have never heard of this diet you have mentioned. However, this inspired me to add it to this list of diets reviewing their advantages and disadvantages. Thank you for this inspiration and for your visit at this page!

  • Ray

    I did the Atkins diet for awhile. I did lose weight initially, but it did eventually come back. It also wasn’t healthy. I watched my cholesterol jump up from all the fat and such I was eating. I’ve also used meal supplement products in the past as well. Nothing has been the “Magic Diet”.

    • Hi Ray. I like your last point. There is nothing like a magic diet or pill that will allow us to eat anything we want and still lose weight. However, each and every one of us should realize that if there would be something like that, then we would not be able to learn control ourselves and appreciate the huge effort behind the natural weight loss process.