Updated: Feb 25
Most of us are clear on what it takes to lose weight. It’s not rocket science. We need to burn more calories than we consume.
For many of us, it would be much easier to lose the weight if we had a plan or system to follow. But there are so many plans and diets out there that it can get confusing.
Decisions. Decisions. Decisions.
To make the very important diet and nutrition decision easier, I’ve done some research for you. I’ve discovered two resources that are very helpful and insightful. I’m excited to share my findings with you.
CNN columnist Sandee LaMotte compiled 35 of the decade’s most popular diets and analyzed them based upon the following criteria:
1) overall health,
2) long-term weight loss results,
3) practical implementation, and
4) protection against diabetes and heart disease.
Based on these four criteria, LaMotte briefly outlined and ranked them according to their success with 1 being the most successful and 35 being the most unsuccessful. Her list received recognition from the US News and World Report.
Here’s the list:
1. Mediterranean Diet – nutritionally sound; diverse foods and flavors; lots of grunt work; moderately pricey.
2. DASH Diet (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) – heart healthy and nutritionally sound; lots of grunt work; somewhat pricey.
3. Flexitarian Diet – flexible and lots of tasty recipes; emphasis on home cooking; might be tough if you don’t like fruits and veggies.
4. Weight Watchers – eat what you want with no food being off limits; freedom to shape your own diet; participation can be pricey, though often deemed a good value depending upon the program you select.
5. Mayo Clinic – nutritionally sound; freedom to shape your diet; lots of grunt work; somewhat pricey.
6. MIND Diet – hybrid of the Mediterranean and DASH diets; may boost brain power and reduce dementia; resources and scientific research lacking.
7. Volumetrics Diet – filling—no food is off limits; lengthy meal preparation; if you don’t like fruits, veggies and soup… forget about it!
8. TLC Diet – government-endorsed; heart healthy and scientifically supported; depends upon your dedication to reading and decoding food labels.
9. Nordic Diet – nutritionally solid and your heart will love you; consistency can be challenging; not always affordable.
10. Ornish diet – nutritionally solid and your heart will love you; includes dedicated fitness regimen; not exactly cheap.
11. Vegetarian Diet – nutritionally sound and heart healthy; difficult for meat lovers; requires creativity and dedication.
12. Fertility Diet – strictly for women; adopts gradual implementation; nutritionally safe; promotes fertility but cannot guarantee fertility or pregnancy.
13. Jenny Craig Diet – no guesswork; conveniently-delivered prepackaged meals; home and restaurant meals largely off limits; requires financial budgeting.
14. Asian Diet – diverse foods and flavors; filling; includes increased amounts of rice and noodles; moderately pricy.
15. Dr. Wells Anti-Inflammatory Diet – nutritionally sound; freedom to shape your own diet; moderately pricy; requires dedication.
16. Nutritarian Diet – focuses on health and longevity; no calorie counting; tiresome salads and overreaching health claims.
17. Vegan Diet – fiber-rich; filling; environmental health benefits; risk of various nutrient deficiencies when implemented without proper education; requires dedication.
18. Engine 2 Diet – no calorie counting; environmental health benefits; complete lifestyle overhaul; considerable meal planning and prep.
19. South Beach Diet – promotes mindful snacking; no calorie counting; restrictive at first; lots of time prepping and cooking food.
20. Biggest Loser Diet – nutritionally solid; no foods off limits; requires a lot of grunt work and dedication to exercise; somewhat pricey.
21. Glycemic-Index Diet – freedom to shape your own diet; emphasizes elimination of hunger; requires a lot of self-education.
22. Nutrisystem Diet – convenient “heat and eat” meals; no foods off limits; comeback of the “TV dinner”; eating out is limited.
23. Zone Diet – all foods welcome; frequent meals and snacks; tedious portioning and calorie counting
24. Macrobiotic Diet – emphasis on avoiding toxins that come from dairy, meat and oil; filling; lots of grunt work; somewhat pricey.
25. SlimFast Diet – convenient; no math or guesswork; shakes and meal bars could be a turn-off; lacking in variety.
26. HMR Diet – meals are delivered to you; promises quick weight loss; eating out is limited; emphasis on meal shakes.
27. Optavia Diet – nutritionally sound; no counting calories; powdered food; requires dedication and consistency.
28. Alkaline Diet – heavy on fresh produce; filling; rule-oriented; based on scientifically sound research.
29. Fast Diet – very few rules; limits dieting to two days a week; unsafe for some.
30. Paleo Diet – carnivore-approved; very low in sodium; no more grains or dairy; can be pricey.
31. Raw Food Diet – emphasis on fruits and veggies; a weight loss guarantee.
32. Atkins Diet – short-term commitment; no calorie counting or exercise required; say goodbye to grains, dairy, sugar, legumes and dairy.
33. Whole30 Diet – short-term commitment; no calorie or exercise required; say goodbye to grains, dairy, sugar, legumes and dairy; only the most committed and organized should apply.
34. Keto Diet – fatty foods embraced; can cycle in and out of the diet; strict carb limits; can feel extreme.
35. Dukan Diet – all you can eat; filling; rule heavy; may not be nutritionally sound.
Read the full article here.
In the book Eat, Drink and Be Healthy, Dr. Walter C. Willet encourages anyone who wishes to achieve weight loss and implement a diet to take ownership of their goals and “do it yourself.”
That’s right! The best way for you to achieve your weight loss goals is to take the above diets and, after studying them thoroughly, create your own—one that best fits you and your lifestyle.
Dr. Willet goes on to say, “A good diet should provide plenty of choices, relatively few restrictions and no expensive specialty foods. It should be as good for your heart, bones, brain and colon as it is for your waistline. And it should be something you can sustain for years.”
So, there you go! Take a thoughtful look at which of these diets will work best for you, and create a nutrition plan that YOU can be proud of and stick with!
YOU CAN DO IT!
I’d be happy to help you on your fitness journey. As a professional trainer, I am dedicated to having your back and providing you with the accountability and resources you need to accomplish your fitness and overall health goals. If you have any questions or would like to talk to me about personal training, you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. And don’t forget to follow B-6 Fit on Instagram and Facebook for access to more inspiration and information!