What is the "easiest" diet for losing weight out there

I’ve been doing the 5:2 diet for 9 months though (5 days of normal calorie intake, 2 days of about 600 cals). It’s not that tough, but I think it really only shines as a maintenance diet. The temptation to cheat and overeat on the other 5 days is just too much so I pretty much consistently break even.

I’ve lost 20 lbs calorie counting, before I switched to 5:2. That was* tough*. I have to be extremely motivated to do that and I just don’t have that right now.

I did adkins ages ago and lost a ton of weight, then after I got sick of it, I gained more than I ever had in my life.

I am looking to lose about 30 more lbs. (going from 215 to 185, 6 foot tall man). Any recommendations?

Eat less … but you seem to indicate that’s not easy for you … eat the same amount, but eat far more fresh fruits and veggies, spices and a bit of cheese can make most anything tasty …

If you goal is to be healthier, then you need to exercise … because 215 lbs for 6’0" ain’t all that bad …

Eat less and exercise more.

Restrictive diets simply don’t work long term, as you’ve found out. Anything that you’re doing to lose 30 lbs in a set period of time that dictates what you eat is going to eventually fail. Learning about nutrition, making good choices, and being active is probably the best advice.

Yeah it’s not horrible for health, and I admit this is mainly for appearance, although from a BMI perspective I’m still overweight till I hit around 185. I know BMI isn’t the end-all-be-all of anything but it’d be nice to get there for once since I was a young’n (I didn’t have any weight problems til my late 20s).

When I lost 20 lbs I was also walking an hour a day. That gave me more calories to play with per day food-wise, but also made me famished. I’m finding that harder to do right now, but I’m gonna try.

I think you’re handsome right now … but that’s just me I guess …

Walking a mile a day is great; healthy, fun, meet women … take up backpacking as a hobby … organic gardening would help round-out your physical fitness program, and provide foods you can eat at will …

And remember, no one cares about a beer gut when one wears Armani … just saying …

Bit surprised the 5/2 isn’t working if you’re sticking with it. How large are you going on the 5 days? The 2 fast days are quite good at re-setting your expectations of hunger, portion-size etc.

Bottom line is that there’s nothing physiologically easier than for a fat man* to lose weight - we all know the equation, it’s a physical law of the universe. An there’s almost nothing psychologically harder than to actually do it. How to square that circle is the billion dollar diet industry, I guess. So it’s a question of whichever diet is the most mentally palatable for you to respond to. I like the 5/2 as there’s only a limited amount of bullshit associated with it, compared to the overwhelming bollox that accompanies food-group based diets. But if you’ve stalled on it then you’re right to look for another approach.

*Not that you’re especially fat. That’s another tip for losing weight - be fatter in the first place, it’s a lot easier!

From what I’ve seen of friends and co-workers, the easiest diet is Atkins. It seems like the weight melts away on that faster than anything else. But all those people gained it back, so I guess it’s hard to keep up with long-term.

As you get older, it will be very difficult to maintain proper weight by just modifying your food intake. You likely have two major factors working against you: a slowing metabolism and a more sedentary lifestyle. To counteract that, you should exercise for 2000-3000 calories per week, preferably at a high exertion level. That will help increase your metabolism and your biological systems will be healthier. Some people also have a natural tendency to eat healthier when exercising.

So you should probably ask yourself what your long-term goal is (or if you have one). If all you want to do is get to 185, many diets will help you get there. But then staying at 185 will take real, long-term lifestyle changes.

Honestly, I don’t know. I keep it at 2400 when I bother counting, but other days I’m just like screw it and don’t count. Especially when I’ve had marked success. Like I deserve it. I started really counting, and was shocked at some of the calories of dishes I didn’t give two thoughts about before. There is a seafood platter at my favorite restaurant that is 3K calories (!) and I can eat that easily.

I can only speak for myself:

Fear. That’s the best motivator. A letter from your doctor saying “you’re gonna die unless you do something” is a tremendous incentive.

Atkins does work. I don’t think it’s great for your body, and it’s not going to work forever, but it does work. Cut carbs from your life and do not look back.

I tell people to do these three things every day for a year, and you couldn’t be fat if you wanted to be: Eat only when you’re hungry, eat whatever you want, and walk outside at least an hour.

There’s a concept called “moral licensing” or sometimes “self licensing” where you decide that “you know what, I drive a Prius, so I’m doing good for the environment, I can use this Styrofoam cup without guilt” or maybe “I didn’t eat at all yesterday, so I’m at a good calorie defecit, I can afford to eat this cake today.” These are very human behaviors. I’ve heard it said that “humans aren’t rational creatures, we’re rationalizing creatures.” You need to learn your triggers, tighten your mental belt and don’t give yourself excuses. Keep a bigger picture in mind and do your best to surround yourself with people who make good choices so you can get the monkey-see-monkey-do aspect of human nature to work for you instead of against you.

Best of luck to you.


I skip breakfast and try to delay lunch for an hour or two. This sets my appetite for the rest of the day to “low”.

Note that there is also the idea that the longer gap you have between meals (e.g., dinner and breakfast/lunch) the more fat gets burned. Exercise during the later part of that gap supposedly helps more than at other times.

Psychologically speaking (which is what this is really about): Distraction. Always have things to do to keep from grazing and stuff like that. TV doesn’t cut it. Get lost in something that requires a lot of mental concentration.

Ditto on “bargaining” or whatever you want to call it. The “If I skimp on this now I can have that later.” thing is the BEST way to NOT diet. Only think in the now. Better yet, don’t think about eating at all.

I can’t speak for whether this would work on a scrawny sticklike 215lb person, but I’ve lost close to a hundred pounds on this:

  1. Don’t purchase snacks or junk food. Ever. No cheating.
  2. Make some sort of vague effort to have your meals be semi-healthy and not gigantic.
  3. Exercise for an hour a day. Preferably in an entertaining way or while distracted by something like watching TV.

Obviously this presumes that you’re acquiring the bulk of your food yourself.

It’s hard to stare at junk food/snacks and not eat it. It’s considerably easier to resist the temptation to acquire it in the first place, because then you only have to restrain yourself until you leave the store or walk away from the vending machine. Do not cheat at all, ever - if you give yourself an inch you’ll take a mile.

I’ll note that a positive side effect of my diet is that if I should go to a birthday or work party or something I can still have cake and such - my diet only effects what I buy, so I can still participate in special events without having to ‘cheat’ (which opens the psychological door to constant cheating). This of course only works because such special event are relatively rare.

I likewise have seen several people do Atkins. As you said, they always seem to gain the weight right back once they stopped.

Another issue with Atkins, at least to me, is that it seems to promote unhealthy ways of thinking about eating. One of my friends once stated to me that he could “eat a pound of bacon for breakfast and wash it down with a stick of butter”. And this is a guy who had high blood pressure!

I have heard good things about intermittent fasting. During those two days, just don’t eat at all.

In theory not eating at all is an “easier” decision to make than counting out 600 calories or making the decision of which 600 calories to eat.

I haven’t personally done it, so I cannot vouch for it.

The person I’m supporting for weight loss surgery had to be on a practically 0 carb diet because it shrinks your liver, so it gets it out of the way for the bariatric surgery. She actually lost a lot of weight on the almost-0 carb diet. It wasn’t balanced, though, and she had to take vitamins. She couldn’t eat fruit on the diet. She lost so much weight on it, though, that she was in danger of losing her approval for the surgery. They told her to add a few carbs like potatoes, and to eat a lot of cheese to keep up her calorie intake. So really, it wasn’t a diet sustainable in the long term, but it is probably modifiable so that someone who was not as overweight as she was, and just needs to lose, say, 40 pounds, not close to 200 (which is where she started-- it’s more like 150 now), could lose weight on it and keep it off.

My brother has struggled with his weight, and for him, the “trick” is not to snack between meals. He eats as much as he wants for meals, including seconds, and has dessert at dinner, but he never eats anything outside of his three meals a day except coffee with artificial sweetener, or diet drinks like Crystal Light. He isn’t skinny, but he keeps his BMI in healthy levels for his age, and he looks good. He also keeps his blood pressure under control. When he let his weight get up a little a few years ago, his blood pressure started to go up, and he got worried, because our father had HBP, and was on medication starting in his late 30s until he died. By keeping his weight down, and avoiding salt, he has stayed off HBP medication. I know salt is not considered as bad as it once was, but for my brother, it seems to make a difference.

I have been on a low fat diet for over 25 years. I like it because it allows me to eat a greater quantity (mass) of food.

I also eschew many foods. I don’t eat the following, for example:

  • anything breaded, fried, deep fried, or “greasy”
  • deserts (cake, pie, ice cream, donuts, pastries, donuts, etc.)
  • candy
  • most sauces, dressings, and syrups, including salad dressing, mayonnaise, sour cream, and gravy
  • red meat
  • processed meat
  • cheese
  • butter, lard
  • stir fry
  • pizza
  • peanut butter
  • fruit juice and sugary sodas
  • bread
  • noodles

It works for me.

That is a boatload (sorry) of calories for a seafood meal. Is it fried, and comes with a mountain of french fries? Because seafood (broiled) should be a dieter’s best friend.

Everyone has different pain points. I’d be miserable on a diet with no red meat and no cheese or butter.

I did the following and lost 19kg (about 42 pounds) and 3 inches off my waistline in 4 months:

  1. Identified the worst parts of my diet, easy in my case - chocolate, cookies and Coca Cola, and eliminated them except for the occasional treat. Other than that I didn’t really make any conscious changes to the types of food I ate.

  2. Became much stricter in sticking to set meal times.

  3. Adjusted my meal sizes so I felt satisfied after a meal, but would begin to feel hungry an hour before my next meal.

  4. Weighed myself every day before breakfast but, crucially, did not concern myself about daily fluctuations which are quite normal. I used an app on my phone to record my progress and found the graphing function extremely useful in seeing the overall trend emerge from the noise.

None of the above was a dramatic shift in my lifestyle and I never once found myself calorie counting. My main worry was how, when I reached my target weight, I was going to tail off sensibly. As it turned out my body seemed to find its own equilibrium and I have kept off almost all of the weight for nearly four years. My BMI indicated I was moderately overweight and am now comfortably in the healthy weight range and honestly feel physically so much better for it.