Optimal Diet Strategies for Weight Loss and Weight Loss Maintenance

J Obes Metab Syndr. 2021 Mar 30;30(1):20-31. doi: 10.7570/jomes20065.


Obesity has become one of the most important public health problems worldwide, which suggests the need for evidence-based dietary strategies for weight loss and its maintenance. Weight management depends upon complex factors such as amount of food eaten, type of food eaten, and timing of meals. In this review, we identified evidence-based dietary strategies for weight management based on these three components. An energy deficit is the most important factor in weight loss. A low-calorie diet with a low fat or carbohydrate content has been recommended; however, in some cases, a very-low-calorie diet is required for a short period. Some macronutrient composition-based diets, such as the ketogenic diet or high-protein diet, could be considered in some cases, although the potential risks and long-term effectiveness remain unknown. Meal timing is also an important factor in weight management, and higher-calorie breakfasts in combination with overnight fasting may help to prevent obesity. Our review indicated that there is no single best strategy for weight management. Hence, strategies for weight loss and its maintenance should be individualized, and healthcare providers must choose the best strategy based on patient preferences.

Keywords: Carbohydrate-restricted diet; Fasting; Fat-restricted diet; High-protein diet; Mediterranean diet.

Publication types

  • Review