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5 Best Diets for Burning Fat (From a Nutritionist)

Isaac Robertson
Published by Isaac Robertson
Fact checked by Donald Christman, BHSc FACT CHECKED
Last updated: September 17, 2022

There’s a ton of new fad diets today that are great for burning fat.

The problem, however, rests in what diet is right for your body composition.

The truth is that, depending on your body composition, some diets will provide better results for losing weight than others.

To help you make a decision, we’ve spent hours researching the best diets for burning fat. Read on to learn more.

1. Low-Calorie Diet

stack of whole grains and a spoonful of grains, and a bag full of vegetable

A low-calorie diet focuses on a strict meal plan to reduce the amount of calories ingested.

When our caloric intake exceeds the amount of nutrition our bodies require, these extra calories are stored as fats.

By restricting the number of calories we have access to, it forces the body into burning fat for energy.

This is great for losing weight and prevents fat from accumulating in the first place.

While there isn't a one-size-fits-all meal plan, we suggest limiting your caloric intake to 2,000 - 2,500 calories a day, depending on your nutrition needs.

Additionally, you'll want to prioritize nutrition-rich foods such as vegetables, fruits, lean meats, and whole grains into your diet.

Lastly, stay away from eating refined carbs and high-fat foods like junk foods, which only work to add more pounds onto your waist.

2. Low-Fat Diet

close up image of a sliced avocado, and a tray filled with chopped fresh fish

A low-fat diet is aimed at restricting the daily intake of fats. You will want to prioritize eating good fats while staying away from bad fats to ensure your body is working at its best.

As great as it may sound, omitting fat from our diets is simply impossible.

Our bodies require a small amount of fat to function properly, and without it, important bodily processes would cease to work.

This means that the solution is not to eliminate fat completely but to be selective of what fat we eat.

Opting for healthy fats like those from avocados or coconuts is the secret to making a low-fat diet work.

Generally, a low-fat diet is based on the idea that your daily calorie intake should contain less than 30% fat.

These fats should come from some healthy choices, such as eating fish, nuts, vegetable oils, and avocados.

Related: What Are The Best Fat Burning Foods Out There?

3. Low-Carb Diet

tray with fresh chicken breast and condiments , and a stack of vegetable greens

Low-carb diets restrict the contribution of carbohydrates to your diet. Over the years, studies have examined different low-carb diets work rather well for burning fat.

“Studies have shown low-carb approaches to be superior to other dietary approaches in producing rapid weight loss for the first 6-12 months [1].”

- Robert Oh, Healthcare Researcher

According to studies, typical low-carb diets concentrate on proteins, healthy fat, and vegetables, with minimal carb intake. Recommended foods to eat include chicken breast, pork, eggs, leafy greens, fish, nuts, and seeds.

Carbs are the body’s primary source of energy. When we ingest too many carbs that exceed our body composition needs, they are converted into fats and stored for future use.

Fortunately, low-carb diets ensure that we do not exceed this limit and prevent additional fat from being deposited into the body.

It also encourages our bodies to break down fat reserves, which assists with losing weight.

4. Ketogenic Diet

spoon and bowl filled with yogurt, and eggs on a tray

A ketogenic diet is composed of a high amount of fats, moderate proteins, and a very low carbohydrate intake.

It aims to push the body into a state of ketosis, a metabolic state where the body stops using carbs and focuses on burning fat down into ketones.

These ketones are then used as fuel for our energy needs.

To push the body into a ketosis state, you'll need to limit your maximum carbohydrate intake to 20 grams a day.

Due to the nature of the diet, it is one of the most convenient ways to shed pounds even without exercising.

It is also extremely difficult to stick to and often requires medical experts to monitor progress along the way.

However, if you're looking to burn fat while lying on the couch, the keto diet just might be your golden ticket for losing weight. Recommended foods include eggs, seafood, greek yogurt, peppers, cottage cheese, avocado, and grass-fed meat.

5. High-Protein Diet

fresh cut red meat in a plate, and spinach leaves in a bowl

A high protein diet consists of large quantities of protein and only a handful of carbohydrates and fats. It encourages fat loss while still allowing the individual to retain lean muscle mass.

Recommended food includes meat, fish, dairy products, vegetables, nuts, beans, legumes, spinach, and almonds.

One key mechanism utilized by a high-protein diet is satiety.

Proteins like meat are considered foods that use a lot of energy and time to digest, which keep you feeling full for longer periods.

Additionally, since eating protein requires so much energy to digest, your body is yet again forced to seek out other energy sources to use as fuel.

As a result, eating a lot of protein may help you lose weight without losing muscle.

Other benefits of eating a high-protein diet include increased metabolism, blood pressure control, and muscle maintenance.

Other diets you can explore:

What are the Risks of Increased Fat Deposits?

Of course, we all know that fat accumulation is not healthy, but do you know exactly how unhealthy it is? A high body fat percentage is known to contribute to the development of various health issues.

Diabetes, hypertension, sleep apnea, cardiovascular disease, and osteoarthritis are just some of the problems associated with upper-body fat distribution.

Lower-body fat accumulation is connected with mechanical problems as most fat deposits are distributed around the thighs and hips.

In a way, it is possible to predict the risk of potential health complications due to upper-body fat accumulation (of course, this is not a precise method).

In general, women are at risk of complications if their waist-to-hip ratio exceeds 0.85.

On the other hand, men are at risk if this ratio exceeds 0.95. If your waist-to-hip ratio is higher than the mentioned figures, consider trying out one of the diets for burning fat we’ve discussed in this article [2].


How Many Calories Should I Consume in a Day To Lose Weight?

For losing weight, you'll want to consume 500 calories less than what you need.

The number of calories to consume a day will vary depending on the individual’s body composition. On average, a woman will need around 2,200 calories, whereas men will need 2,600 calories.

How Do I Calculate How Many Calories I Need for Losing Weight?

To calculate how many calories you need, take your current body mass and multiply it by 13 to get a rough estimate of how many calories you are eating right now.

From there, count your daily calorie intake and revise things to meet your desired goals. Studies show a deficit of 500 calories results in one pound of fat being lost per week.

Which Fat Burning Diet Are You Going to Try?

Regardless of what diet you choose, the main focus stays the same.

By watching what you eat and reducing your food intake, you’ll deprive your body of the calories it needs to maintain its fat reserves.

That results in your body utilizing those extra pounds as fuel, which helps with losing weight and slimming down.

Still, you’ll want to keep your nutrition levels up while trying out these diets to stay healthy and functional - it’s one of the prerogatives of a healthy weight loss.

Let us know which diet is your favorite.


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