Most diet plans claim to offer the same results, including a slim figure and better health. But which ones actually deliver?
A team of health experts has weighed in, ranking 35 diet plans on overall performance. The evaluations were based on seven categories, including nutrition, promise of short-term and long-term weight loss, and ability to fight chronic illnesses like heart disease and diabetes, according to U.S. News and World Report, which commissioned the evaluation.
Here are the experts’ top five weight-loss plans.
1. The DASH Diet. Here’s one you may not have heard of before. The DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) Diet was first developed to lower blood pressure but quickly became popular as a way to lose weight. The diet is low in salt and rich in fruits, vegetables, dairy, protein and nuts.
Who should be on it? The DASH diet is recommended for people with hypertension, or high blood pressure, or prehypertension.
2. The TLC Diet. The main aim of the Therapeutic Lifestyle Changes Diet plan is to significantly reduce saturated fat intake. It’s a low-fat diet with an emphasis on limiting the amount of meat and whole milk products consumed.
Who should be on it? Health experts recommend this diet for people who want to cut down on cholesterol.
3. The Mayo Clinic Diet. This diet comes in two parts: the “Lose it!” phase and the “Live it!” phase. During the Lose it! phase, dieters spend two weeks exercising daily and developing healthy habits. The Live it! phase is spent learning about food choices, portion control and menu planning.
Who should be on it? The Mayo Clinic Diet is for people who want to get serious about weight loss and developing healthy habits.
4. The Mediterranean Diet. Living a Mediterranean lifestyle, with an emphasis on fruits, whole grains, beans, nuts and olive oil, is the focus of the Mediterranean Diet. The menu is high on whole grains and veggies as well as seafood.
Who should be on it? This one’s best for people with a risk of diabetes.
5. Weight Watchers. One of the most recognized names in the diet industry, Weight Watchers is all about the obvious: losing weight. The program is built around a points system in which foods are given values that add up to a daily total. The diet is extremely flexible, provided you stay within the allotted point limit.
Who should be on it? People who want to take weight loss to the next level.