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A Breakdown Of The Top 5 Diets Of 2021: Mediterranean, Paleo, Whole30, Keto, & Weight Watchers

We all put a little weight on over the colder months, thanks to the holidays. And, naturally, when the weather starts to lean closer to spring, you begin to wonder which diet or exercise regimen might work best for helping you to shed those extra pounds.

But there are so many diet plans out there — and not all of them are truly better for you. So which diet would work for your body, goals, and lifestyle?

This year, we’ve decided to do the hard work for you. We reviewed the five most popular diets based on what’s included, what’s excluded, results, and more, 

Are you ready? Let’s get started!

A Comparison Of The Most Popular Diets Of 2021

The Mediterranean Diet

Based on traditional foods people in the Mediterranean ate in the 1950s and 1960s, the Mediterranean diet focuses on eating more nutrient-rich plants, seafood, and superfoods while limiting intake of animal foods.

What you can eat:

  • Vegetables like carrots, onions, broccoli, spinach, kale, garlic, and potatoes
  • Fruits like strawberries, blueberries, apples, oranges, and grapes
  • Nuts, seeds, and legumes
  • Whole grains
  • Fish and seafood
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Poultry, eggs, cheese, and yogurt - in moderation

What to avoid:

  • Limit your intake of red meat
  • Cut out processed meat, refined grains, foods and drinks with added sugar, processed foods, and refined oils (vegetable, corn, canola, and soybean)

The results:

There isn’t a one-size-fits-all version of the Mediterranean diet. There are multiple versions you can tweak to meet your lifestyle. Because of this, it’s much easier to stick to the diet. Dieters experience the greatest weight loss while on the high-fat version of the diet, although any provide long-term health benefits.

Research has also shown this diet is effective in:

  • Reducing the risk of stroke and cardiovascular diseases
  • Boosting life expectancy
  • Lowering inflammation
  • Managing blood sugar
  • Reducing overall body mass

Helpful resources:



Also known as the Paleolithic diet, Stone Age diet, hunter-gatherer diet, and caveman diet, the paleo diet follows a menu of foods that would have been similar to what Paleolithic people might have been eating 2.5 million to 10,000 years ago.

What you can eat:

  • Lean meats, especially grass-fed and wild game
  • Fish rich in omega-3 acids, including salmon, albacore tuna, and mackeral
  • Fruits
  • Vegetables
  • Nuts and seeds

What to avoid:

  • Grains, wheat, and barley
  • Legumes, such as beans, peanuts, lentils, and peas
  • Dairy products and animal byproducts
  • Potatoes
  • Highly processed foods
  • Foods that contain salt or refined sugar

The results:

The biggest perks of the paleo diet include:

  • Greater weight loss
  • Improved glucose tolerance
  • Better blood pressure control
  • Lower triglycerides and
  • Better appetite management

However, there are risks. For example, the typical paleo diet, can cause deficiencies in calcium and vitamin D, which are critical to bone health. Further, saturated fat and protein can be consumed far above recommended levels, increasing the risk of kidney and heart disease and certain cancers. See your doctor regularly if you decide to try a new diet.

Helpful resources:


The Whole30 diet uses a whole-body approach to cleansing, eating heathy, and losing weight.

The belief is that through the elimination of craving-inducing foods such as sugar, grains, dairy, and legumes, from your diet for 30 days, you’ll reset your body and enjoy a more appropriate relationship with healthy foods. 

What you can eat:

  • Fresh fruits
  • Vegetables
  • Beef, poultry, seafood, and all other protein

What to avoid:

  • Sugar - real or artificial
  • Alcohol
  • Grains and legumes
  • Dairy
  • Baked goods, processed foods, or junk food

The results:

Because this diet doesn’t promise any specific weight loss, it’s a hard comparison to other diets, however, its push to limit highly processed foods can help educate dieters to read labels and make better choices.

That said, eliminating whole grains will reduce your consumption of fiber, vitamin E, iron, folate, magnesium, B vitamins and even some protein—all nutrients we should have in our diets.

Helpful resources:


Low carb + high fat = optimal weight loss? Maybe.

The Ketogenic diet is very similar to the 1980s Atkins diet by drastically reducing carbohydrate consumption and replacing it with fat, causing the body to go into a ketosis. Ketosis makes your body incredibly efficient at burning fat for energy.

What you can eat:

  • Low-carb green vegetables
  • Steak, ham, chicken, sausage, bacon, turkey, and red meat
  • Fatty fish, including salmon, trout, tuna, and mackerel
  • Pasteurized or omega-3 enriched eggs
  • Grass-fed butter and cream
  • Unprocessed cheddar, goat, cream, blue, or mozzarella cheese
  • Nuts, seeds, and avocados
  • Extra virgin olive oil, coconut oil, or avocado oil

What to avoid:

  • Foods with added sugar
  • Grains or starches
  • All fruit except small batches of strawberries
  • Beans and legumes
  • Root vegetables and tubers
  • Processed vegetable oils
  • Alcohol
  • Sugar-free, low-fat, or diet products

The results:

The ketones in the liver provide energy for the brain, and there are many other studies that show a low carb diet has many health benefits such as:

  • Weight loss
  • Stable insulin levels
  • Improved cholesterol
  • Lowered triglycerides
  • And much more

While there are several strong benefits of the Ketogenic diet, there are some drawbacks and risks. It’s very hard to adhere to the diet long-term, and it’s common to experience flu-like symptoms at the onset. Many people will also experience dehydration, kidney stones due to vitamin and mineral deficiencies, and gastrointestinal distress.

Staying hydrated and on top of your vitamin and mineral intake could help to decrease some of these risks.

Helpful resources:

Weight Watchers

Weight Watchers (WW) is quite possibly the oldest weight loss program in play today. After several reinventions, WW now uses a points-based system determined on age, gender, current weight, and height, that focuses not only on weight loss but building healthy habits that can last a lifetime.

What you can eat:

  • Anything and everything, so long as it is trackable and stays within your point limit

What to avoid:

  • Eating past your point limit

The results:

A few of the long-term results of WW includes:

  • Eating better
  • Moving more
  • Developing a positive mindset
  • And, of course, weight loss

With over 50 years of success stories, you’re sure to find thousands, if not millions of people who have found weight loss success on WW.

There are drawbacks to the program, however. For example, if you’re looking for a cleaner menu with less starch and additives, WW prepared meals will be a disappointment. These meals are high in sodium content, contain rice and pasta, and rely on much smaller portions to keep to the calorie/point system – which could leave some dieters hungry and out of points.

Helpful resources:

Which Diet Plan Is Right For You?

Sometimes we’ve tried it all, and are just looking for that combination that will work for us. If that sounds like you, check out Matrix Age Management’s Five Tenets in action:


Check out the plan

  • Sleep + Stress
  • Nutrition
  • Fitness + Exercise
  • Optimized Hormones
  • Supplements

Don’t let your weight weigh you down. If you’re looking for a program tailored to your specific needs, contact the professionals at Matrix Age Management and schedule an appointment with Dr. Proffer today.

Take control of your weight and life back today!


Tags: Age Management, Nutrition, Weight

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