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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
With an emphasis on healthful, filling foods that don’t pack lots of calories, the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) drew reasonably good ratings from experts although it wasn’t designed as a weight-loss diet. They judged it to be about as good for short-term weight loss as for long-term weight loss.