If you look "diet" up in the dictionary, it says diet is what you eat so I've come to the conclusion that trying to stick with a specific eating plan isn't necessarily for me. :-)
I've tried a ton of different eating patterns, ranging from Slimfast to Mediterranean - all in the past 13 yrs because I didn't ever have to worry about my weight before that.
It's really hard for me to stick with any diet because of the way my husband eats and reacts to any kind of structured eating plan I try. I think the Mediterranean would be easy for me to stay with if it was just up to me because I love fish and I like trying various veggie dishes, using a variety of spices, etc. My problem is that even cooking fish makes my husband sick to his stomach, so the only time I eat it is when we go out. He also doesn't eat much in the way of veggies and dislikes most spices. That means that we either end up cooking 2 separate meals, which is a real pain. I'm not placing blame - it is what it is.
I've heard that Whole 30 is good, but know people who have tried it and no one I know has ever been able to stick with it for any length of time. Same for some other diet plans. I hope you do well with it.
If I try to eliminate certain foods, I end up feeling deprived and eventually, stop any type of plan I may have started and may even end up "binging" on things I've denied myself. I've come to the conclusion that trying to limit portions and exercise works best for me, along with trying to add in more of the veggies I like so I won't eat so much of the more unhealthy things.
Like Barb, I have only come lately to watching what I eat. My husband has been on a diet his whole life (and at 5'9" and 165 pounds, it's clear it works for him to do so -- he had a really fat upbringing and a lot of bad food habits to fight). But I had slim parents (and probably also benefited from growing up with their Mediterranean-style eating patterns), which meant I could indulge in a fattening snack every now and then and never see a change on the scales.
But alas, no more. I am sure the culprit is sweets. I can eat fats and never see a bad result, but these days one sneaked sweet and I'm a pound heavier the next morning. The added weight is all at my waistline, a classic "sugar tummy." I don't look fat overall, but it's there, hiding in looser shirts. Too bad I don't look fat overall, it might help my resolve to dump the bad habits.
Regarding a desirable diet: we're generally Mediterranean and healthful when it comes to meals. Always veggies and a protein, almost never a dessert. Lots of homemade soups, lots of salads. But I keep random snacks around for my son (age 13 and can eat anything). That said, even cookies or candy aren't that much of an issue for me, I mostly can take them or leave them alone. My downfall is Dr. Pepper. I've been able to cut out the D.P. habit sometimes (and it does result in a smaller waist when I do). But in these days of Covid and comfort food, I drink one almost every day. I kid myself that since I cut it in half with sparkling water, everything is OK, but it isn't. It's a truism in the dieting world that if you stop drinking sugared sodas and do nothing else, you'll automatically lose ten pounds in a year. You could prove it by me, but that hasn't been enough to motivate me to stop.
D.P. combines two habit-forming ingredients (sugar and caffeine) and maybe as a result, I find breaking away almost as hard as quitting drinking is said to be for an alcoholic. Just like an alcoholic, I behave badly: I try not to drink it in front of my son, I justify it as not hurting me that much, I wait until the family isn't home to pour myself one, I'm embarrassed for my husband to see me buying it, I overlook how much I consume. I hope it doesn't sound like I think this is funny or cute -- even if it's only about sugared pop, it's how people behave who have an addiction. I don't want the fat waist; I obviously just haven't found the resolve to get rid of the habit by sheer force of determination.
For me, then, "diet" is not so much particular foods, but getting out from under a bad habit.
Honestly, to me all diets are fads. The only diet that was tried and true for me you can eat ANYTHING on. It's the calorie restriction diet. At the end of the day, it does not matter WHAT you are eating, just basic science of calories in and calories out. The calculation is different for everyone, but 1,200 had me losing 1 lb a week
Best diet for me was intermediate fasting it's helps me a lot in stopping my craving for sugar or fast food and i lose almost 8 kg in a 2 month and i am feeling happy about that.
Thanks and have a nice & healthy life.