If you're thinking of starting a diet, be sure to check out my beginner's guide to understanding diets!

A Beginner’s Guide to Understanding Diets

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Are you embarking on a weight loss journey or taking steps towards living a healthier lifestyle?

One of my main goals, year after year, is to live a healthier lifestyle- by adding a regular fitness routine, eating healthier, and reducing the amount of toxins that are in my life.

Some of these require more baby steps than others, but the overall goal will be worth it in the end. I should also add that living a healthier lifestyle is an ongoing goal and not one that I’d like to stop once I’ve reached it.

So I want to look for a food change, not a short-term diet solution.

For me, that begins with understanding different types of diets. 

Are you considering starting a diet? Check out my beginner's guide to understanding diets.

Why weight loss is more than just your diet

Normally, when I thought of the word diet I associated it with losing weight.

Of course, I realize that it goes beyond that and that diets for weight loss are only one type of diet out there.

If you're undertaking a weight loss journey, you may be considering various types of diets. But how do you make sense of them? Check out thise beginner's guide to understanding types of diets.

First, let me say, I love food. So, any type of diet that’s going to separate me from my food- that’s not on my list and not even in the scope of possibility. That being said, I’d also like to reduce the amount of junk food that I consume. Which, in reality, isn’t a lot. But, at the same time, I also know that I could be eating healthier if I just tried.

Second, let me add: I am not a nutritionist, not a health professional, not a medical doctor. The information contained within this post is merely for entertainment purposes and not meant to replace the advice of a certified professional.

Now that we have all of that out of the way, let’s look at those diets (and why I would probably fail them if I tried them) and please also keep in mind, that any diet that requires purchasing additional products (ex. Nutrisystem, Atkins, etc.) is not being included. If you would like a comprehensive overview of Atkins, I would invite you to take a look at this piece from Jen’s Reviews.

If you're thinking of starting a diet, be sure to check out my beginner's guide to understanding diets!

A Beginner’s Guide to Understanding Diets

Types of Diets: Restrictive

Macrobiotic Diet: Grains, most vegetables, and soups are encouraged on this diet. Food restrictions include: dairy, eggs, poultry, processed foods, refined sugars, and meats, along with tropical fruits, fruit juice, and certain vegetables like asparagus, eggplant, spinach, tomatoes, and zucchini.

Mom’s Bottom Line: I could never do this. Spinach, tomatoes, eggs, dairy, and poultry are staples in my diet and I can’t give them up right now.

Read More at WebMD

 Raw Food Diet: This diet is all about going straight to the source. Fruits, vegetables, sprouted grains, seeds, and nuts are the main source of this diet. Food restrictions: anything cooked above 118 degrees.

Mom’s Bottom Line: No, no, and no. While I have no doubt that this diet could work wonderfully for some, it wouldn’t work for me. I don’t mind the occasional fruit/veggie smoothie packed with an additional chia seed punch. But 24/7? Nope.

Read More at WebMd

Gluten Free Diet: This diet aims to help those with celiac disease or gluten intolerance and has also helped individuals with autism. Main restriction: gluten, a protein found in wheat, barley, and grain. One of the biggest problems used to be finding gluten free products, but with more and more people choosing to go gluten free or going gluten free for health reasons, the availability of products has really picked up in the past few years.

Mom’s Bottom Line: This is one that we’ve actually considered for Sweet B’s autism. I’ve read a lot about going gluten free and the health benefits for the entire family- not just the family member with autism.

Read More at Celiac.com

Vegetarian Diet: (not to be confused with Vegan). This diet does include variations such as lacto-ovo (which restricts meat, fish, and poultry) but still includes dairy and eggs. Main restrictions: meat.

Mom’s Bottom Line: I was actually a vegetarian for six months of my young life. My mom and I made the decision and we actually did pretty good with it… until we were in Los Angeles for the Final Four (women’s college basketball). It wasn’t until the drive back, we were starving and stopped at the first restaurant that we could find. Said restaurant just so happened to be a steak house. We were doomed.

Read More at US News and Reports

Vegan Diet: This diet is similar, in what it allows, to the Raw Foods diet. But you aren’t restricted to not cooking your food. The main food restrictions for this diet: meat and all animal byproducts.

Mom’s Bottom Line: I’ve had vegan snacks before and they’re pretty tasty. But I can’t go without cheese, so this diet just isn’t for me.

Read More at US News and Reports

Paleo Diet: This diet harkens back to the days of hunter/gatherers. I have quite a few friends who follow this diet and they love it. Food restrictions include: wheat, dairy, grains, legumes, and processed foods.

Mom’s Bottom Line: My love for eggs and cheese would probably keep me from this diet, but if it meant a healthier me- I just might be willing to give it a shot.

Read More at WebMD

Low Carb or Keto: A lowcarb diet is a diet that restricts carbohydrates, such as those found in sugary foods, pasta and bread. It is high in protein, fat and healthy vegetables.

Mom’s bottom line: I have tried to cut back on my carb intake. I think it’s making a difference!

Read More at Women’s Health Mag

(and yes, I realize there are diets that I’m leaving off, just wanted to touch the main few- or at least some highlights.)

Types of Diets: Non Restrictive

Clean Eating: I know someone who does this and they’re also the person responsible for introducing me to quinoa. I love the concept behind clean eating. You aren’t restricted by food groups and the foods you avoid are pretty common sense.

Mom’s Bottom Line: This is something that I think we could definitely do, we’re already eating mostly like this anyway, just a matter of working in the rest of the aspects. Clean eating appeals to me though and it’s something I might be able to get behind.

Read More at WebMD

Flexitarian Diet: This one is not one that I know a lot about. From what I’ve read, you’re pretty much a vegetarian but if you feel the urge to have that burger or steak, you can have one occasionally.

Mom’s Bottom Line: I like this because it still allows you to indulge. For us, however, we eat too much meat and poultry to really give it up.

Read More at US News and Reports

TLC Diet: This is another diet that I don’t know a lot about. I wasn’t quite sure if I should put it here or with the restrictive diets since eating a lot of red meat is discouraged. The main goal for this diet is to lower your cholesterol levels.

Mom’s Bottom Line: I’d have to read more about this before making a decision

Read More at US News and Reports

The Mayo Clinic Diet: This diet touts itself as a weight loss and lifestyle program. While not restrictive in terms of disallowing food groups, this diet does maintain moderation.

Mom’s Bottom Line: This is another diet that I’d have to read more about before making a decision.

Read More at Mayo Clinic

There are other diets out there that weren’t covered for various reasons.


I won’t cover fad diets or diets that just don’t make sense to me. And as stated previously, I didn’t cover dieting programs such as Atkins, Nutrisystem, Jenny Craig, etc. because I just don’t have the time or resources to try those diets.

The main reason I wanted to get this post out there was a point of reference for myself and also to maybe help others. If you did find this post useful, please let me know.

Starting a diet can be a bit overwhelming. Check out my beginner's guide to understanding diets for some helpful tips.

Have you tried any of the diets listed? Are you currently dieting using another program? How is your experience going?

If you're embarking on a weight loss journey, you might have considered going on a diet. But this is where I usually run into trouble. Check out my beginner's guide to understanding diets for some insight.
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Kori

Content Creator at Kori at Home
Kori is an autistic mom who also happens to have ADHD and Anxiety. She is currently located in Albany, NY where she is raising a neurodivergent family. Her older daughter is non-speaking autistic (and also has ADHD and Anxiety) and her youngest daughter is HSP/Gifted. As an empath, HSP, and highly intuitive individual, Kori brings her own life experiences as an autistic woman combined with her adventures in momming to bring you the day-to-day of her life at home. Kori provides life coaching services for neurodivergent women (and those who identify as women) as well as Oracle card reading, Tarot card readings, and energy healing.

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Krystal
6 years ago

What a great article! I’ve never heard of some of these diets. I couldn’t do any of the super restrictive diets. I just don’t believe in the fad stuff. I could do clean eating, though.

JoAnna
6 years ago

These are great resources for someone looking in to being more health conscious. Thanks for sharing! 🙂

Linda Manns Linneman
Linda Manns Linneman
6 years ago

So many diets out there that it is hard to choose. I guess we need to do what is best for us because all bodies function differently. Thank you for sharing this great information

Robin (Masshole Mommy)
Robin (Masshole Mommy)
6 years ago

I never diet. I eat healthy all the time, so it’s just a way of life for me now. I do have my cheat days, though and live for those.

Michelle de Guzman
6 years ago

Wow! You have really covered all the “Hot” diets out there right now. I agree with you that trying to avoid processed foods and eat more fresh homemade is best.

Jenny Temcio
6 years ago

I was unaware of some of these diets. Thanks for the introduction. It’s interesting to read about.

Stacey - Travel Blogger
6 years ago

I have been hearing a lot about paleo and clean eating lately. I have been wanting to read more about them.

Kathy
Kathy
6 years ago

The only diet I see on this list that I have tried, is the vegetarian diet. I did this diet for a few months. I actually would love to go back on the diet…or try another diet maybe.

Diane /ElGeorgia
6 years ago

Wow! I must brush up on diets. I honestly did not realize that there were so many out there! I really like the variety. It seems like there is a perfect diet for everyone.

Digna D.
6 years ago

Wonderful post. Very good information. We are always dieting. We like to just say we are eating right though. Thank you for sharing.

Liz Mays
6 years ago

There are so many different ways to diet! I’ve been hearing a lot about people switching to the Paleo diet recently.

Sarah L
Sarah L
6 years ago

I don’t believe in diets. I eat lots of veggies and fish and stay mostly away from red meat. Organic is a big deal to me.

touristmeetstraveler
6 years ago

A proper diet is a must, it just gets rid of so many healthy issues you’d have later in life; which I got into it far earlier!

lisa
6 years ago

Sheesh there are a lot of diets. I personally hate the word. I prefer to eat healthy and workout to keep myself feeling good.

HilLesha
6 years ago

I’m a vegetarian, but I mostly adhere to a vegan diet. I’m hoping to fully transition into a vegan diet someday, though, especially a raw vegan diet.

Eliz Frank
Eliz Frank
6 years ago

With such an endless list of diets, no wonder people get so confused. If we ate in moderation, we’d have less need for many of these.

Nancy @ Whispered Inspirations
6 years ago

I think I’ve tried them all and what seems to work for me is clean eating and a whole lot of dedication! I need to get back on it.

myrabev
6 years ago

Thanks for sharing this mom’s bottom line interested me even more. I have not written any health goals as I am just trying to do that without thinking much about it

Debi
6 years ago

This is a great article. Lots of useful information. I try to eat fresh.

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