Atkins. (Induction phase). Under 20 grams of carbs per day for 2 weeks. Eat high-fat, high-protein, with low-carb vegetables like leafy greens. This kick-starts the weight loss.
Comment: This diet claims that you can eat as much protein and fat as you want on the first phase. And that eating low carb will naturally put you in ketosis. In my opinion, this will not work. Instead, you should get into ketosis first by fasting, and then start the diet. And limit the total calories consumed to below TDEE. I think it is deceptive the way it is described.
Dukan. (Attack phase). Eat unlimited lean meat, cottage cheese and eggs. Supplement with 1.5 teaspoons of oat bran. The phase can last up to 7 days.
Comment: I think you need to eat more fat to get into ketosis. Also I think you should limit the total calories, although it takes a lot of lean meat to meet the calories requirements.
South Beach Diet (Phase 1). I would call this a medium protein, medium fat, medium carb diet. It only allows certain kinds of lean meat, (for example, no beef jerky or bacon), and it discourages saturated fat, so it allows only low fat cheese. It does not limit carbs, but allows only some, (for example, no potatoes). It does have recommended serving sizes, but allows for more food if needed. Phase 1 lasts 14 days.
Comment: This seems kind of like the Dukan diet, with its emphasis on lean meat, although it allows more veggies on phase 1, and doesn't require the oat bran.
Banting by Prof. Tim Noakes. This is a high-fat, medium protein, low carb diet. It is lower protein than Atkins. Excludes fruit. Foods are divided into the Green List (proteins and fat, all you can eat), Orange List (fruits and some vegetables, limit the amount you eat to 50g per day), and Red List (high carb foods like bread and potatoes, totally avoid). It doesn't have phases.
Comment: I still think you have to look at calories, and I don't see bread and potatoes as that harmful in limited quantities.
Harcombe (Phase 1). Eat unlimited amounts of meat, fish, some vegetables, and some grains. Avoid cheese and try to limit saturated fat. Last up to 5 days.
Comment: Similar to above. I don't see the need to avoid saturated fat. 5 days isn't long enough to do anything.
Paleo. It is high in fat, moderate in protein and low in carbs. Says to eat "good amounts" of animal protein. Recommends coconut oil, butter and olive oil. Allows some fruits and nuts. Excludes all grains and dairy, except for butter and cream. It doesn't have phases, it is a lifestyle.
Comment: The whole premise of the diet is faulty, since this is not what paleolithic man ate. It is not bad, although I don't see the need to totally avoid bread and cheese, especially on later phases, which this doesn't have.
Maker's Diet (Phase 1). Certain kinds of organic meat, fish, poultry, eggs. No mention of amount to eat. The only dairy allowed is goat and sheep cheese, and goat milk yogurt. No bread or grains. Lasts two weeks.
Comment: It seems like this is primarily spiritual. I find it kind of weird that it limits the food to organic, which are more expensive.
Eat Fat Get Thin. This is a 21 day plan of only high-quality fat, 4 to 6 ounces of protein for each meal, and non-starchy vegetables. Encourages vegetables with a lot of fiber, like broccoli, asparagus, and green beans.
Comment: Sounds good, although lighten up on the veggies, dude.
Conclusion: All of these are low carb diets and should result in weight loss, if the quantities eaten are limited. I see minor problems with all of them, but we have a clear winner.
The Eat Fat Get Thin diet by Dr. Mark Hyman is the clear winner of the ones that I reviewed. I like the time-frame (21 days is the perfect amount for a diet), and I like the fact that it limits protein. I also like the Daniel Plan diet, which is similar. I may try one of these two sometime.