6 Expert-Approved Diets Worth Trying

by Ella

When it comes to choosing the best diet, many dietitians advise against restrictive plans. The idea of “diet” as a strict no-carbs, no-cookies regime isn’t generally endorsed by nutrition experts, as these often lead to the “yo-yo diet” phenomenon where lost weight is quickly regained, sometimes with extra pounds.

Leslie Bonci, M.P.H., R.D.N., sports dietitian for the Kansas City Chiefs and co-founder of Performance365, emphasizes the importance of feeling full, satisfied, and enjoying what one eats for long-term success. She highlights the need to provide a compelling reason (“the why”) before someone commits to a new eating plan.


Our Men’s Health advisors share insights into what constitutes a ‘good’ diet and their top recommendations.


What Makes a ‘Good’ Diet?

According to Dezi Abeyta, R.D., founder of Foodtalk Nutrition, the concept of “good versus bad” diets is complex and influenced by factors like food access, education, finances, and cultural differences. A quality diet should be accessible, diverse, protein-rich, plant-forward, and consistent. It should include colorful fruits and vegetables, fiber, and omega-rich fats. Sustainability is key; if you can’t maintain the diet, it won’t work long-term. Conversely, diets needing improvement often lack nutrient-rich foods, nutritional education, and consistent protein intake, and are high in added sugars and processed foods.


1. Flexitarian Plant-Based Diet

Dezi Abeyta recommends the flexitarian plant-based diet for men aiming for performance. This “semi-vegetarian” lifestyle emphasizes plant-based foods but allows for occasional meat consumption. This diet focuses on beans, nuts, whole grains, and produce, providing micronutrients, fiber, and a balanced distribution of macronutrients that help prevent diseases like diabetes and heart disease.


2. Balance Performance Diet

Another of Abeyta’s top picks, this diet prioritizes ample protein intake (1.7 to 2.0 grams per kilogram of body weight per day), strategic caloric and macronutrient distribution, and anti-inflammatory foods to support muscle growth, sustained energy, and optimal recovery. It also emphasizes quality sleep, stress relief strategies, and a strength program with progressive overload.

3. Eating Around the World Diet

Abeyta promotes incorporating diverse cultural cuisines into your diet. This approach enhances flavor, boosts nutrient intake, reduces deficiencies, and promotes better health outcomes. Embracing global foods provides a broader array of essential nutrients, combats nutrient gaps, and fosters appreciation for global culinary traditions, improving markers like cholesterol, blood pressure, and body weight.

4. Mediterranean-Style Diet

Leslie Bonci highlights the Mediterranean-style diet for its emphasis on produce and beans, which are high in fiber and help with satiety. This diet focuses on fish over other animal proteins, eggs, olive oil, and whole grains. Protein is a side rather than the main component, but meals are hearty and satisfying, offering “the chew” and staying power.

5. Intermittent Fasting

Intermittent fasting, or time-restricted eating, involves eating within a designated time window each day. Bonci notes that this approach can be easier to follow than changing the types of foods eaten. Studies suggest it can be effective for weight loss, particularly for those prone to over-consuming at night, by eliminating excess calories without daytime deprivation.

6. Volumetrics

Volumetrics focuses on lowering the caloric content of meals by increasing their liquid content with foods like salads, soups, stews, and chilis. This diet makes meals appear larger and helps you feel fuller longer. Bonci explains that volumetrics dishes require utensils and take longer to eat, which can help with weight management. This principle can also be applied to shakes by adding veggies, ice, frozen fruit, and yogurt to increase volume without a high calorie cost.



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