Since 2011, US News and World Report has been releasing an annual list of the best diets and this year is no different. That goes for the rankings, not just the perpetuity of the list. It seems the analysis by US News done in 2012 matches identically to the “new” list they released for this year as the top spots in each category are exactly the same as they were last year. While four new diets were added to the top rankings in each category overall, the top two diets for each category remained the same. It certainly speaks to the longevity and consistency of the diets they review.
They look at only 29 diets in eight categories (with the addition of plant-based diets this year) and work with an expert panel of nearly two dozen leaders in the industry, including David Katz, MD, Robert Kushner, MD, and Lisa Sasson, RD. As well, they “mine” medical journals, government research, and other sources to create not only in-depth profiles for each diet but to accurately rank each diet.
According to their announcement, “Every diet received robust scrutiny, and we converted the experts’ ratings to scores and stars from 5 (highest) to 1 (lowest) to construct eight sets of Best Diets rankings.” This year, those rankings are as follows:
Best Overall Diet
1. DASH Diet
2. TLC Diet
Best Weight Loss
1. Weight Watchers
2. Biggest Loser
2. Jenny Craig
2. Raw Foods Diet
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Consumer Reports just released their top diets of 2012. They reached out to 9,000 of their subscribers to get honest, real-life feedback about some of the most popular diets on the market. This comes a couple of weeks after we compiled our fifth annual Most Popular Diets of the Year list, featuring 25 brands and products that our readers favored most in 2012. There are some strong similarities and also some big differences between the two lists.
When it comes to commercial diets, Weight Watchers ranks number one on both lists. It seems, according to the Consumer Reports feedback, that users like that there’s no specific food that has to be purchased, it’s just a matter of counting those PointsPlus values. Another diet high on both of our lists is Medifast. Those who replied to the Consumer Reports survey (of 9,000 readers) noted that they lost the most weight with Medifast than with any of the other diets. A few of the big names were ranked lower in the report; for instance, Nutrisystem, which ranked six on our list, and Jenny Craig, which did not rank for us, were not seen as fan favorites in this survey. It seems many are not big fans of the foods in these programs.
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With a new year comes tons of resolutions. Most people vow to lose weight with lots of exercising, but they forget to change their diet to accommodate their workouts. While a healthy diet can help shed pounds effectively, eating healthy doesn’t mean you have to deprive yourself. A healthy diet should leave you feeling energized and stabilize your mood, not to mention satisfied. With thousands of diets out on the market we recommend choosing from one of the four diets: low-fat diet, low-carb diet, low-sodium diet, and high-fiber diet.
When you combine the primary principles of each of these very basic diet ideals, you get a pretty well-rounded healthful approach to eating that can be summarized as “Paleo-ish,” according to Biggest Loser dietitian Cheryl Forberg, RD. Since you are eating no grains (low carb), no dairy (lower fat), nothing processed (no added sodium), and unlimited fruits and vegetables (high fiber) it becomes strikingly similar to the Paleo, or caveman, diet.
Bonnie Taub-Dix, author of Read It Before You Eat It and nutrition expert in New York, also commented on how all four diets could work well together if one chooses to eat a low-fat, low-carb, low-sodium, and high-fiber diet.
“We have a diabetes epidemic and a high-fiber and low-carb diet can help control blood sugar levels. There is a large percentage of people with diabetes who should keep an eye on sodium and fat intake because eating a low-fat and -sodium diet can control heart disease and blood pressure.”
Learn more about each of these diets and see how one or some might suit your health and weight loss goals.
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For the fifth year we’re excited to announce our Most Popular Diets of 2012 list! And it’s a good one!
While Weight Watchers gave up the number one position in 2011 for the first time in our history, they reclaimed the top spot this year earning them the title of Most Popular Diet of 2012. As they are weeks away from celebrating their 50th anniversary, they announced Weight Watchers 360 to help people establish healthy, lasting habits right at the new year.
In a sort of diet tag, 17 Day Diet moved to number two, a more than respectable position for a series of weight loss books that has been hard at work since its debut in late 2010. This year 17 Day Diet expanded its value to its loyal followers with the publication of a cookbook and an anti-aging plan. One of only two brands that makes multiple appearances on the list, 17 Day Diet’s Meal Plan, facilitated by Bistro MD, landed at number 24 (down from number 3 in 2011).
For the first time in our list’s five-year history, acai doesn’t show up. It seems the heyday for this diet pill has run its course, but hasn’t taken the entire supplement industry down with it. Dr. Oz’s hyped promotion of raspberry ketones landed it at number 19 on the list, no doubt stealing a lot of thunder from acai.
Jillian Michaels is the only other brand that makes multiple appearances on our list, as she does every year. Her nearly five-year-old workout DVD 30 Day Shred took position 8, an improvement over last year’s number 10 ranking. Right after that is her Detox and Cleanse product, and anchoring the list at number 20, down from number 4 in 2011, is her Jillian Michaels Online subscription program. Her exit from both Biggest Loser and The Doctors in the past 18 months may have caused a slight decline, but her popularity is rarely wavering. In fact, America’s Toughest Trainer returns to NBC’s Biggest Loser for season 14 in January. We expect to see her on the list again next year.
CLICK HERE to view the Most Popular Diets of 2012
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Melanie Thomassian, RD may appear to be your average dietitian, but dig a little deeper and you’ll quickly discover she’s not. Since graduating from University of Ulster in Northern Ireland in 2005 she’s worked in dietetic clinics and even launched a successful website, Dietriffic.com in 2007 where she publishes articles on obtaining and maintaining optimal health.
But her latest project has her traveling in a slightly different direction. It’s called The Big Fat Cure - an online diet, fitness and lifestyle overhaul program that goes against much of the advice she formerly dished out as a by-the-books dietitian.
Getting to that place wasn’t a quick or easy journey and it’s certainly not the path she expected to go down. But when her husband approached her several years ago with a weight problem of his own, things took a drastic turn. Not only was Melanie baffled at how her own husband had grown overweight, but she was conflicted when he asked her to design a weight loss program that would help him lose the weight quick – not the 1-2 pounds per week typically promised in a traditional diet program.
Despite her hesitations, Melanie devised a plan for her husband that fitted his requests. As a result he lost nearly 16 pounds and 6.5 inches from his waist in just five weeks. Shocked at his quick success, she went on to conduct more research, even looking back on interactions she’d had with former clients who had struggled to lose weight for good.
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