Obesity is a multisystem disorder associated with cardiovascular and metabolic complications. According to recent studies, it is characterized as a condition of low-grade inflammation with altered adipose tissue function and secretion of various adipokines. One of the strategies in obesity treatment is dietary intervention (DI) that could modulate cytokine levels in a favourable way. The aim of this review was to summarize the results of studies performed in the last 13 years investigating DI programmes accompanied with weight loss in relation to profile of adipokines at different level (adipose tissue mRNA, adipose tissue secretion and circulating level) and identify whether modulations of adipokines are implicated in the positive effects of DIs. The overall finding is that DIs leading to 5–10% weight loss modulate production of certain adipokines and generally induce improvement of clinical parameters, e.g. insulin sensitivity, but the amelioration of obesity complications is not coherent with the pattern of adipokine regulation, except maybe for leptin. Global analysis of the adipose tissue secretome and measurement of panels of adipokines may prove more informative than studies on individual molecules.