Best Weight-Loss Diets
The best diet for losing weight is Weight Watchers, according to the experts who rated the diets below for U.S. News. Biggest Loser, Jenny Craig, and the raw food diet came in close behind. Other diets performed as well or better in enabling fast weight loss, but long-term weight loss is more important for your health.
The Engine 2 diet pulled in a slightly above-average 3.1 stars. It’s not designed as a weight-loss plan, but followers may shed pounds by filling up on nutrient-rich plant foods and cutting out animal fats, added sugars, and oils. Still, “I would not recommend it as a way to lose weight,” one expert said.
South Beach helps dieters drop pounds—fast. But our experts felt it’s less likely that they’ll actually keep the weight off long-term. We found little research indicating that the diet is sustainable or that it helps dieters maintain weight loss over the long haul.
The Therapeutic Lifestyle Changes (TLC) diet isn’t designed for weight loss. But if sensibly followed, it can produce it, experts said, because it’s a fundamentally sound approach to eating. One plus: no extreme measures such as shunning carbs or meat.
For weight loss, in the experts’ opinion, the vegetarian diet is slower off the mark than most alternatives at quick weight loss. Given time, however, it gains back ground, beating out about half the field on long-term weight loss. Although vegetarianism isn’t designed to be a weight-loss plan, building in a calorie restriction and filling the menu with healthful foods could help dieters shed some pounds.
Experts weren’t impressed with the macrobiotic diet’s ability to deliver weight loss. Its below-average rating landed it in the bottom third of the list. Experts pointed to a lack of robust clinical studies examining its weight-loss potential. They liked its ban on processed food and emphasis on healthful choices like whole grains, veggies, and bean products, however.
The Asian diet leaves something to be desired. Experts doled out lackluster scores in short-term, long-term, and overall weight loss. Indeed, the eating pattern is touted as a way to enhance overall healthfulness, not necessarily as a means to drop pounds. “Consider that genetic factors may also explain why people in Asian countries tend to weigh less than their Western counterparts,” one expert said.