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.


Weight Watchers

(3.8 out of 5.0)

Weight Watchers recipes | Weight Watchers reviews

This popular points-counting diet helps dieters drop pounds and keep them off. In experts’ ratings, Weight Watchers bested all other ranked diets for both short-term and long-term weight loss. That doesn’t guarantee it will work for everyone, of course. Its average rating of “moderately effective” for long-term weight loss reflects the difficulty dieters have in staying on the wagon, even when using the best weight-loss diet available.

How the Weight Watchers Diet works


Biggest Loser Diet

(3.5 out of 5.0)

Biggest Loser Diet recipes | Biggest Loser Diet reviews

This plan, built around healthy food and regular exercise, ranked behind only Weight Watchers in the overall weight-loss category. The experts agreed that calorie restriction and physical activity should work for dieters. They rated Biggest Loser a very effective way to keep weight off for the short-term, and concluded that it works moderately well over the long term.

How the Biggest Loser Diet works


Jenny Craig

(3.5 out of 5.0)

Jenny Craig recipes | Jenny Craig reviews

As a weight-loss diet, Jenny Craig outranked nearly all of its competitors. Experts appreciated, among other aspects of the program, the value of the emotional support provided by its weekly one-on-one counseling sessions. A few experts, however, questioned whether dieters can expect to keep the weight off once they’re weaned from the diet’s prepackaged, portion-controlled foods. Though not factored into its ranking, Jenny Craig’s cost is relatively high.

How the Jenny Craig Diet works


Raw Food Diet

(3.5 out of 5.0)

Raw Food Diet recipes | Raw Food Diet reviews

The diet can deliver both short- and long-term weight loss, experts concluded, since raw foodists typically eat fewer calories than most other people. But such a restrictive, labor-intensive diet certainly isn’t for everyone.

How the Raw Food Diet works



(3.4 out of 5.0)

Volumetrics recipes | Volumetrics reviews

Volumetrics helps dieters drop pounds—and keep them off. It scored well in both the short- and long-term weight loss categories, comparable to or better than many other diets. Because it focuses on satiety, or the satisfied feeling that you’ve had enough, it’s more likely than other diets are to succeed.

How the Volumetrics Diet works



(3.3 out of 5.0)

Atkins recipes | Atkins reviews

In keeping with its emphasis on helping dieters shed pounds fast, the Atkins program rated well for short-term weight loss but was judged by experts as less impressive over the long haul. On balance, it came out slightly ahead of the middle of the pack.

How the Atkins Diet works


Flexitarian Diet

(3.3 out of 5.0)

Flexitarian Diet recipes | Flexitarian Diet reviews

There’s a good chance that if you follow the Flexitarian diet, you’ll lose weight and keep it off. Experts gave the plan respectable scores for both short-term and long-term weight loss, and research suggests that semi-vegetarians weigh less than carnivores. By consuming mostly plant-based foods, such as fruits, veggies, and whole grains, you’ll likely consume fewer calories, which leads to lower weight.

How the Flexitarian Diet works



(3.3 out of 5.0)

Slim-Fast recipes | Slim-Fast reviews

Slim-Fast claims dieters will drop one to two pounds a week. Experts awarded the program relatively high scores both for short-term and long-term weight loss, indicating optimism that the pounds will indeed come off and stay off.

How the Slim-Fast Diet works


Spark Solution Diet

(3.3 out of 5.0)

Spark Solution Diet recipes | Spark Solution Diet reviews

Follow the Spark Solution, and there’s a good chance you’ll shed pounds. The plan emphasizes a winning weight-loss combination of exercise and healthy, reduced-calorie eating. So while one panelist said, “I don’t see the novelty here,” the tried-and-true formula landed the Spark Solution toward the top of the pack for weight loss. Some panelists were concerned, however, if dieters could continue dropping weight after the first two weeks of meal plans, at which point they’re more or less on their own.

How the Spark Solution Diet works


Vegan Diet

(3.3 out of 5.0)

Vegan Diet recipes | Vegan Diet reviews

Going vegan gives you good odds of losing weight and keeping it off, according to experts. Veganism is also an effective weight-control method. But vegans must be “very committed,” as one expert put it, because forgoing all animal products can be challenging.

How the Vegan Diet works

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Best Diets Rankings

Best Diets Overall
Diets ranked by across-the-board effectiveness.

Best Diabetes Diets
Diets that can prevent diabetes or help diabetics.

Best Heart-Healthy Diets
Diets that lower cholesterol, blood pressure or triglycerides.

Best Diets for Healthy Eating
Diets ranked by how safe and nutritionally complete they are.

Best Commercial Diet Plans
Brand-name diets ranked by overall effectiveness.

Easiest Diets to Follow
Diets ranked on whether they're a snap to stick to.

Best Plant-Based Diets
Plant-based diets ranked by overall effectiveness.

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