Star ratings reflect scores of 1 to 5 assigned to the Abs diet in eight categories by nutritionists, specialists in diabetes and heart disease, and other diet experts on a ratings panel assembled by U.S. News. (See our Best Diets methodology.) Overall, experts were lukewarm on the diet, giving it a below-average score of 3 stars. They weren’t particularly impressed by how easy it is to follow, its ability to deliver weight loss or its effectiveness for diabetes or heart disease. One expert objected to the diet’s name as “misleading, as there is no guarantee of perfect abs.” Below, ratings in all categories and how the experts’ opinions broke down.
Short-Term Weight Loss
Abs dieters will probably shed significant pounds during the first year. The plan earned just over 3 out of 5 stars, though experts craved more research into its effectiveness as a weight-loss regimen. Some panelists were extremely skeptical of its claim that dieters can drop up to 12 pounds of belly fat in two weeks, which one described as “beyond physiological possibility.”
Long-Term Weight Loss
The experts were not confident that the Abs diet can yield long-term weight loss. Their scores averaged just over 2 stars, suggesting doubt that dieters will be able to keep pounds off beyond two years. “The plan doesn’t build any life skills for eating well and remaining active over time,” said one expert.
Easy to Follow
Earning 2.6 stars, the Abs diet came in at the average mark in this category. Abs diet books and an official website provide ample resources and recipes. On the downside, a rigid eating schedule and special food requirements could prove tedious.
Because it conforms to most of the federal government’s 2010 Dietary Guidelines, the Abs diet pulled in a respectable rating of 3.4 out of 5 stars. The diet emphasizes “sound nutrition principles,” one expert noted. Still, followers may come up short on potassium, and the company recommends a multivitamin as insurance.
The Abs diet clocked its highest score in any category—3.5 stars—for safety, yet those marks still placed the diet below the average ranking of 3.7 stars in this category. In any case, malnourishment, excessively rapid weight loss, and other serious health risks aren’t major concerns. But as with any diet, your doctor should be consulted before you start the plan—especially if you have a health condition.
When it comes to diabetes control and prevention, our experts gave the Abs diet a 2.7-star rating, slightly below the group average of 3 stars. Still, if it helps followers to drop pounds and keep them off, the diet will likely help reduce diabetes risk or help better manage the condition.
For Heart Health
In terms of heart health, the average score for all of the diets was 3.2 stars, so the Abs diet’s score of 2.7 stars placed it in the lower third. Still, it’s heavy on fruits, veggies, and whole grains, and light on saturated and trans fat, which could help keep heart disease at bay.
Last updated by Angela Haupt | January 02, 2013
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