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A desire to lose weight is a common motivation to change dietary habits, as is a desire to maintain an existing weight. Many weight loss diets are considered by some to entail varying degrees of health risk, and some are not widely considered to be effective. This is especially true of "crash" or "fad" diets.

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Low-calorie diets

Body for Life: A calorie-control diet, promoted as part of the 12-week Body for Life program.

Cookie diet: A calorie control diet in which low-fat cookies are eaten to quell hunger, often in place of a meal.

Hacker's diet: A calorie-control diet from The Hacker's Diet by John Walker. The book suggests that the key to reaching and maintaining the desired weight is understanding and carefully monitoring calories consumed and used.

Nutrisystems Diet: The dietary element of the weight-loss plan from Nutrisystem, Inc. Nutrisystem distributes low-calorie meals, with specific ratios of fats, proteins and carbohydrates.

Weight Watchers diet: Foods are assigned points values; dieters can eat any food with a points value provided they stay within their daily points limit.

Very low calorie diets

A very low calorie diet is when one consumes fewer than 800 calories per day. Such diets are normally followed under the supervision of a doctor.  Zero-calorie diets are also included. 

Breatharian diet: A diet in which no food is consumed, based on the belief that food is not necessary for human subsistence.

Low-carbohydrate diets

Atkins Diet: A low-carbohydrate diet, populised by nutritionist Robert Atkins in the late-20th and early-21st centuries. Proponents argue that this approach is a more successful way of losing weight than low-calorie diets; critics argue that a low-carb approach poses increased health risks.

Dukan Diet: A multi-step diet based on high protein and limited carbohydrate consumption. It starts with two steps intended to facilitate short term weight loss, followed by two steps intended to consolidate these losses and return to a more balanced long-term diet.

The South Beach Diet

Stillman diet

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