By Dennis Thompson
HealthDay Reporter

THURSDAY, Dec. 30, 2021 (HealthDay News) -- Folks who are determined to shed some pounds in the New Year  face a bewildering array of fad diets and quickie weight-loss schemes.

Those weighing eating patterns and diet plans such as intermittent fasting, the Keto diet, the Whole 30 Program and the Mediterranean diet would do well to keep two primary facts in mind, nutrition experts told HealthDay Now.

First, the diet that's right for you depends in large part on what you like to eat and what will fit best into your personal lifestyle.

"What works best for people is what you will stick with, what is comfortable for you. So, if you're seeking to change your diet, you first have to know yourself and to do things you will stick with," said Dr. Lawrence Cheskin, chair of nutrition and food studies at George Mason University in Fairfax, Va. "It's useless to do any of these diets if you're going to do them for a week and then go back to business as usual."

Second, any diet or eating pattern will help you lose weight only if you're ingesting fewer calories than you're burning day in and day out. A good weight-loss diet will include all of the nutrients that you need to maintain health, but limit your calories.

"Anytime we reduce caloric intake we're going to see weight loss," said Caroline Susie, a registered dietitian in Dallas and a spokeswoman for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

Two of the eating patterns with the most science behind them -- intermittent fasting and the Mediterranean diet -- weren't initially intended as a means of weight loss, the experts pointed out.

Fasting has ancient origins

Intermittent fasting requires that people only eat during specific hours of the day, or drastically limit their calorie intake on certain days of the week.

"Intermittent fasting is really having a moment. What's funny is this diet has been around forever. In fact, many religions for many years have practiced intermittent fasting," Susie said. "As old and as historic value as this diet has, it's really having its 15 minutes of fame now."