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New year diets

10 trusted diets for your new year goals

Not all New Year diets are fads. We've hand-picked ten of our most science-backed and sustainable diets, so that you can find the right one to suit your New Year health goals, your lifestyle, and perhaps even your other New Year resolutions.

Continue reading below

Diets for your new year health goals

For many of us, a new year brings an opportunity for change. Whether your health goals are weight related, chosen to make you feel better in yourself, or focussed on helping you live a long, disease-free live, New Year diets are often the go-to strategy. Why then do so many fail within a few months?

The problem is that many New Year diets are crash diets. These are too calorie and nutrient-restrictive to be sustainable and good for us in the long term.

Yet, embarking on a New Year diet can be a hugely positive experience that improves your health in the way you need it to - not just for the beginning of the year, but the whole year round.

The longevity diet - live for longer

Far from being a fad, the longevity diet is the brainchild of Dr Longo and his scientific research into ageing. This diet is designed to slow down ageing in our bodies and help prevent disease.

It combines a mainly plant-based diet, with some fish allowed and a little flexibility for meat. The longevity diet also lays out rules for when you eat, how much, and includes a fasting-mimicking technique - a short-term form of restrictive dieting - several times a year.

Find out more here: The Longevity diet.

The DASH diet - lower your blood pressure

The DASH diet is a heart-healthy flexible eating plan that can benefit anyone, whether you are managing poor heart health or looking to protect yourself against future health issues. DASH, which stands for Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension, doesn't cut out any food groups.

Instead, it provides a guide on portion sizes, putting emphasis on colourful fruits and vegetables and limiting sugars and unhealthy fats - much like the Mediterranean diet. It also considers how salt raises your blood pressure.

Find out more here: The DASH diet.

The MIND diet - support your brain

Developed to test if what we eat can lower our chances of dementia, the MIND diet combines the DASH diet with the Mediterranean diet.

This means consuming less salt and unhealthy fats, and eating foods that are as natural as possible - not ones that have been ultra processed.

The big focus is on foods that can help prevent age-related brain decline - whole grains, fish, green leafy vegetables, nuts, berries, beans, white meat, and olive oil.

Find out more here: The MIND diet.

The Whole30 diet - reset your eating habits

The Whole30 diet is a temporary and very restrictive diet based on eliminating certain foods from your diet for a period. It’s a 30-day food elimination phase, followed by a food reintroduction phase.

During phase one, you'll only eat whole foods - foods that are natural and unprocessed - and foods that are not often linked to food intolerances and allergies.

The idea is that this detox will allow you to break bad eating habits, like sugar addiction, and identify whether your body reacts negatively when foods are reintroduced, such as food sensitivities linked to low energy or mood. Whole30 is not a weight loss diet and shouldn't be followed past the subscribed time period.

Find out more here: The Whole30 diet.

The Fast 800 diet - achieve sustainable weight loss

Combining the Mediterranean diet, intermittent fasting, and a three-phase plan, the Fast 800 diet is designed for healthy weight loss that reduces your risk of weight-related conditions like type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

The Very Fast 800 is phase one, a temporary 800-calorie-a-day to kickstart significant weight loss for those considered overweight or obese. Phase two, The New 5:2, is an adaptation of the original 5:2 diet that can be followed long-term. Phase three, known as Way of Life, is about maintaining the healthy weight you reached with phases one and/or two.

Find out more here: The Fast 800 diet.

The anti-inflammatory diet - ward off disease

Long-term inflammation, where your immune system triggers internal swelling throughout your body, can damage cells and cause serious health problems, including certain cancers and cardiovascular disease.

An anti-inflammatory diet means eating lots of foods that fight inflammation, like fruits, vegetables, oily fish, unrefined whole grains and dark chocolate. It also means limiting other foods that promote it, like the ultra-processed foods common in a Western diet.

Find out more here: The anti-inflammatory diet.

The TLC diet - lower your cholesterol

The TLC diet, which stands for Therapeutic Lifestyle Changes diet, is closer to a set of flexible guidelines rather than strict a diet with strict, complicated rules.

It was developed by the National Institutes of Health in the US to help people lower their cholesterol to healthy levels, which reduces their risk of heart disease and stroke.

The idea is to eat more healthier, less processed foods and less saturated and trans fats - like butter, processed meats, and cakes.

Find out more here: The TLC diet.

Diets for other New Year's resolutions

Diets aren't always about improving our own health. If you're joining the Vegan-for-January campaign, making environmental resolutions, or plan to try for a baby this year, we have a few diets that may support your New Year goals.

To complete Veganuary

With growing popularity each January, non-profit organisation Veganuary challenges people to follow a vegan diet for the whole month.

Their aim is to introduce meat eaters to tasty plant-based recipes that they may carry forward into the rest of the year.

Alongside environmental and ethical motives, a vegan diet can support your gut and brain, reduce your risk of cancer, and help manage certain conditions. Click below for five easy vegan food swaps that do a good job of mimicking your favourite meats.

Find out more here: 5 easy vegan swaps for Veganuary.

To look after the planet

The planetary health diet has been created by scientists to help us eat in a way that's good for both our bodies and the environment.

They believe that if enough people follow this flexible eating plan, the food supply chain will adapt and improve access to nutritious food in the parts of the world that need it.

It involves following portion size guidelines and eating mostly plant-based foods, including plenty of colourful fruit and veg.

Dairy and meat should be eaten in moderation, and you should try to limit saturated fats and refined, highly processed foods.

Find out more here: The planetary health diet.

To try for a baby

If you are planning to naturally conceive a baby this year, it's normal for this to take some time. While not everything is in our control when it comes to fertility, diet is one thing that could make a difference - for both women and men.

A fertility specialist lays out the evidence for a fertility diet, which describes a healthy, well-balanced diet filled with foods that support things like sperm health, ovulation, and your reproductive hormones.

Find out more here: The fertility diet.

These diets are backed by scientific evidence, but this doesn't mean they are each suitable and safe for everyone to try. Please see our main diet pages linked above for more information, and if in doubt, ask your GP before starting a specific diet.

Article history

The information on this page is peer reviewed by qualified clinicians.

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