- Losing weight is high on almost everyone’s list of New Year’s resolutions in this country. According to Angela Haupt, assistant managing editor of health at U.S. News & World Report, weight loss experts ranked the top 10 diets based on the following criteria:
- Short-term weight loss, the likelihood of meaningful weight loss in the first year
- Long term weight loss, the likelihood of meaningful weight loss for two or more years
- Diabetes prevention or maintenance of healthy blood sugar levels
- Promotion of cardiovascular health
- Ease of following the diet
- Nutritional completeness
- Health risks stemming from the diet, such as malnutrition or rapid loss
Based upon these criteria, the top 10 diets are as follows:
#1 and #2 - DASH diet and Mediterranean Diet (tied for first).
- The DASH diet focuses on vegetables, whole grains, and low fat dairy.
- The Mediterranean diet emphasizes similar foods to the DASH diet, but encourages the consumption of healthy fats, such as olive or vegetable oils, and allows for some alcohol.
#3 - Flexitarian Diet: Also called “flexible vegetarian,” this diet focuses mainly on plant based foods, but allows smaller amount of meat as part of a healthy diet.
#4 - Weight Watchers: This is the most popular commercial diet. The program assigns every food and beverage a SmartPoints value and each person is allowed to eat a certain number of “SmartPoints” a day.
#5 - Jenny Craig: This program is based on delivered, prepackaged meals according to your weight and condition.
#6 and #7 - Flat Belly and Nutritarian Diets (tied for sixth place)
- Flat Belly Diet: This plan focuses on monounsaturated fats from olive oil, nuts, and other plant foods. The authors claim that monounsaturated fats can destroy belly fat while promoting fullness.
- Nutritarian Diet: The 6-week plan is based on foods high in nutrients (fruits, vegetables, legumes and whole grains) and low in calories to promote fullness. Meat and dairy not allowed for at least 6 weeks.
#8 - Whole 30: This 30-day diet plan promotes non-processed whole foods and avoidance of grains, legumes, dairy, sugar, and alcohol to reduce inflammation in the body .
#9 and #10 -Aka Keto Diet or Ketogenic Diet – This diet is similar to the Paleo or Atkins diets. It is a high-fat, moderate protein, low-carb diet to put the body in a natural fat-burning metabolic state called ketosis.
It appears that diets that promote fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean protein and oils are the highest ranked diets. Ketogenic or 30-day diets are trendy now, but because of their restrictive nature, make people feel deprived and therefore, are not sustainable.