There are literally hundreds of weight loss programs out there and it is safe to say that all of them have been tried in one form or another. You will often hear various forms of success and failures with these diets.
It can be mind boggling and sometimes overwhelming deciding which diet to try. US News and World Report consulted doctors and experts in weight loss and scored the top 20 diets for weight loss. We have discussed each one below along with a couple more which are popular. Take time to go through the information below and choose the best diet for your situation. You need to evaluate your lifestyle and determine if a particular diet is best for you.
- Acai Berry Diet – The Acai Berry sparked a craze a few years ago and it has slowed down somewhat. There isn’t a specific Acai Berry Diet but people use the fruit or supplements containing the Acai Berry in their diet to lose weight. The Acai Berry is a wonderful healthy beneficial fruit harvested from the Acai palm tree in Central and South America. The fruit contains beneficial nutrients and minerals that assist in anti-inflammatory mechanisms that help arthritis. Others claim the product also helps in hunger control and satiety. The jury is still out on whether you can lose weight in the short term or long term.
- Atkins Diet – This diet is a low carb diet so foods like sweets and breads are eliminated. The diet works by eliminating carbs. Typically, your body uses carbohydrates for your body’s fuel. If you do not have carbs available, your body goes into a state of ketosis and starts burning fat for energy. The diet definitely works but you need to follow it exactly or you may even gain weight. There are 4 phases with each phase allowing more food choices to be added to your diet.
- Dash Diet – This diet was created by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI). The primary goal is to lower one’s blood pressure with the secondary goal of weight loss. This is a balanced diet that promotes eating fruits, veggies, whole grains, lean protein, and low-fat dairy and cutting sodium intake.
- Eco-Atkins Diet – This diet plan is essentially a vegetarian version of the Atkins Diet. The experts say this is good for short-term weight loss. It is a twist on the Atkins Diet by eliminating animal fats from the Atkins Diet with plant proteins and healthy plant fats. The diet uses the following ratio from the food sources: 31% (plant proteins), 43% (plant fats), and 26% (carbohydrates). This diet does work but may not be for you if you’re not a vegetarian.
- Glycemic Index Diet – This weight loss plan is similar to the Nutrisystem and Zone Diets discussed above. The plan is to obtain a listing of the glycemic index foods which are rated between 0-100. Then develop a menu based on low glycemic foods while occasionally consuming higher GI foods. Because low glycemic index foods are absorbed more slowly, they stay in your digestive tract longer. Some studies have shown these low GI foods may help control your hunger and give you a feeling of satiety. Some example of foods high on the glycemic index that should be avoided are white bread and potatoes.
- Jenny Craig – This balanced diet relies on prepackaged meals and can be expensive over the long haul. The experts liked the consultations that are provided to each member. You will lose 2 lbs. per week by following the diet. This is done by cutting calories, amounts of fat, and using the pre-packaged portions.
- Mayo Clinic Diet – This balanced nutritionally sound diet focuses on using a healthy heart food pyramid to develop 10 positive habits in your life to encourage weight loss. During this time you will also identify 5 bad habits that you can eliminate. The weight loss diet consists of 2 phases which are called “Lose It” and “Live It”. The 1st phase is about the habits and the 2nd phase is where you learn about the food choices, serving sizes, and menu planning.
- Medifast – This weight loss program is a low fat and low glycemic index diet based on the 5 & 1 plan. The theory is to create a fat burning system and to make you feel full. The 5 & 1 system allows each person to choose 5 individually portioned Medifast meals and 1 “lean & Green” meal which is based on 1 serving of lean protein and 3 servings of non-starch veggies. The meals are calorie and carbohydrate controlled and are low fat. The plan was developed by doctors and the meals average around $11 per day.
- Mediterranean Diet – The Mediterranean Diet is based on the food and drink of the countries surrounding the Mediterranean Sea. Studies have shown that people living in these countries near the Mediterranean Sea live longer and have less health issues than other people. Many weight loss programs encourage eating healthy eating from plant sources including fruits, vegetables, potatoes, and grains, beans, nuts, and seeds, and this is one of them. Olive oil is recommended replacing other bad fats and oils including margarine and butter. Only 12-16 ounces of meat per month is recommended on this diet while encouraging moderate amounts of fish and poultry.
- Nutrisystem Diet – This diet made popular by Marie Osmond is a low calorie restricted diet based on prepackaged meals delivered to your home. Each order consists of 28 meals which you can choose from on their website. One advantage of this weight loss program is you do not have to count calories, carbs, or points like other diets. The science is based on the glycemic index which measures foods glycemic index (GI). If a food breaks down quickly, it will release glucose rapidly in the bloodstream as opposed to foods low in the glycemic index. Studies have shown that a stable blood sugar is best for your body and some studies have linked high GI values to hunger and obesity. Each Nutrisystem meal costs around $3-$4.
- Ornish Diet – This is more of a weight loss program than a diet. It emphasizes a spectrum of food choices. The food choices are grouped from 1-5 with Group 1 (fruits, vegetables) being the most beneficial and healthy and Group 5 (red meat, dairy products) being the least healthy foods. What matters is your overall way of eating from these food groups. You have freedom of choice so you can eat from Groups 4 & 5 one day and then eat from Groups 1 & 2 the next day.
- Paleo Diet – This diet goes back in time, way back to more than 10,000 years ago to the Paleolithic period when cavemen ate only animal proteins and plants. So you will not be eating any foods comprised of grains, sugars, and dairy products. This diet has fewer carbs than the RDA but a higher percentage of fat and protein consumption. The diet offers three levels called “entry level”, “maintenance”, and “maximal”.
- Raw Food Diet – Health experts love this diet because raw fruits and vegetables are the main staples of this diet. The advocates of the diet claim that cooking food destroys the vitamins and limits the ability to boost your immune system by eliminating food nutrients. 75% of what you consume will be plant based food. The dieter will consume far fewer calories which will cause the weight loss. This is considered a healthy, albeit restrictive diet, and many who follow this plan are vegetarians.
- Slim Fast Diet – This 1,200 calorie diet is based on cutting calories by using their portion control weight loss shakes and snack bars. A typical daily menu will consist of 2 shakes, 3 snack bars and one 500 calorie meal you prepare yourself. If you follow this regimen, expect to lose 1-2 lbs. per week.
- South Beach Diet – This low carb diet is less restrictive than the Atkins Diet and it replaces bad carbs with good carbs and bad fat with good fat. The diet consists of three phases. Phase 1 removes cravings for sugar and refined food choices. Phase 2 is designed for long term weight loss. Phase 3 is the final phase and designed for long term maintenance once you achieve your weight loss goals.
- Therapeutic Lifestyle Changes Diet – This is known as the TLC Diet and was primarily designed to lower your bad cholesterol levels. It can also help you lose weight because you will change your eating habits. The primary goal is to cut back on your saturated fat intake and increase your fiber. This will cause your LDL cholesterol to drop by as much as 10%. You start by cutting back your caloric intake and your percentage of saturated fat consumption. It is considered a low fat diet.
- Three Day Diet – This diet has been around for over 25 years and some people mistakenly refer to it as the Cleveland Clinic Diet. The Cleveland Clinic has no connection to the diet. The diet claims you will lose 10 lbs. in 3 days by following a specific diet exactly as specified. The unique combination of each food is designed to to create a metabolic response which will boost fat burning. The diet has about 1,000 calories per day and is relatively low in carbs so you may lose weight although some of it may be water weight.
- Vegan Diet – This is a totally restrictive diet going a step farther than vegetarians. Vegetarians eliminate meat, chicken, and fish while total vegans eliminate any animal products including dairy products and eggs. This is a balanced, low-fat, low cholesterol weight loss plan that is high in fiber rich foods.
- Vegetarian Diet – This meat free weight loss plan will help you lose weight by cutting back calories. The research tends to show that vegetarians eat fewer calories so they weigh less and they have a lower BMI (body mass index) than people who eat meat. You will eat lots of fiber rich vegetables and fruit on this diet.
- Volumetrics Diet – This diet is based on making you feel satisfied and not hungry. This is called satiety and is the cornerstone of this approach to weight loss program. If you utilize this diet, you will learn about low and high density foods. Low density foods have fewer calories but have higher volume which will fill you up quicker. Because you are consuming fewer calories, you will lose weight, around 1-2 lbs. weekly.
- Weight Watchers – This diet has been around for years and it garnered the top spot for weight loss from the US News and World Report rankings on weight loss. It is based on the points plus system where each food you eat is awarded points. It is a safe balanced diet. You can expect to lose 2 lbs. per week on this diet.
- Zone Diet – The Zone Diet was created by biochemist Barry Sears. The concept of this diet is similar to the glycemic index. Mr. Sears believes that high levels of insulin caused in part by consuming high glycemic foods promote inflammation and obesity. His plan is to keep your insulin and other hormones in the correct zone by eating the right proportions which is 40% carbohydrates, 30 percent protein, and 30 percent fat. Women can consume up to 1,200 daily while men can consume 1,500 per day. The diet if followed correctly will allow for a weight loss of 1-2 lbs. per week.
Carefully take a look at these weight loss programs and decide which one is right for you. Remember, that each of us is different so what works for some may not work for others. If you fail on a weight loss program, don’t be afraid to try another one in this list. Losing weight is hard but keeping that weight off may be even harder.best weight loss programs, diet plans, fast weight loss, weight loss diets, weight loss tips