Diets in Review - Find the Right Diet for You

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US News Ranks the Best Commercial Diets and the Best Diets for Weight Loss

US News Best Diets LogoU.S. News and World Report is famous (and in some cases infamous) for ranking products, institutions and services of all kinds, be it cars, colleges or diets. Yesterday, they released diet rankings in a number of categories, most notably the best commercial diets and the best diets for weight loss. They also created a list for both the best diabetic diets and the best heart-healthy diets, and a list of best overall diets.

U.S. News reports that they spent six month researching diets, and then had a panel of 22 health experts score the diet on seven different criteria. The diet was judged on its nutritional completeness, its safety, its ability to prevent or manage diabetes, its ability to prevent or manage heart disease, short-term weight loss, long-term weight loss and how easy it is to follow.

It’s little surprise to us that Weight Watchers and Jenny Craig topped both lists, as multiple studies have shown these two diets to be effective. Below are the top eight diets from the best commercial diets and the best diets for weight loss.


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The 17 Day Diet vs. The South Beach Diet

When it comes to really understanding different diets, sometimes it’s best to compare it to another popular diet. For example, The 17 Day Diet created by Dr. Mike Moreno is hugely popular right now. But in order to best understand its ins and outs, we thought we’d compare it to another popular diet- the South Beach Diet. Turns out, they have quite a bit in common!

Price

Both of these diets are fairly cost effective in that it just takes buying the book to learn how the diet works. You can buy either diet book for less than $20 on Amazon. When it comes to buying the food required in the diets, the cost is about the same, too, as both emphasize eating lots of fresh produce, lean meats, beans, nuts, dairy and whole grains (in moderation). Both programs also offer branded foods that are not required for success on these diets, but some may find convenient. South Beach offers a line of package foods, such as wraps and meal bars. There is a 17 Day Diet Meal Plan offered through the diet delivery service Bistro MD.

Accessibility

As of now, The 17 Day Diet does not have an in-depth online component (although I’d expect them to add that in the near future), but the website does offer free recipes and a caloric-needs and BMI calculator. On the other hand, the South Beach Diet has a robust online community and program costing $5 a week for your own customized meal plan; tools to track your weight, phase, and diet goals; and 24-hour online support and other online community features.


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Learning Moderation Puts an End to the Dieting Cycle

Heather is the author of Not a DIY Life, where she shares her journey of healthy living, parenting, faith and everything in between. After all, life is not a Do-It-Yourself project.

I’m not really a professional dieter, but I have struggled with my weight most of my adult life. I’ve tried several different “diets,” including a low-fat diet, Atkins, and South Beach. Even though I am losing weight currently, I am not on a diet in the same sense. I am on a journey of healthy living, and that includes learning moderation in all things.

When I was in college, I lost 50 lbs on a low-fat diet with lots of activity and exercise. During that time, I gave up bacon. Oh, how I missed bacon. But it wasn’t “low fat” so I thought that I “couldn’t” eat it. I did not eat bacon for SIX years.


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The Cost of Losing 20 Pounds

Price of Weight LossThere are many factors that go into choosing to sign up for a diet plan, and cost is one of the most carefully considered. Jeanne Lee for CBS MoneyWatch takes a look at this question from a unique perspective: the cost to lose 20 pounds. She calculates the cost per pound lost for eighth different popular weight-loss systems. Most of these diets are meal delivery services that provide balanced, portion controlled foods. On the other hand, Weight Watchers and eDiets are support-only programs provide the customer with tips, goals and meal plans, but not food. These support-based programs are far cheaper per pound lost, but some may find them hard to follow.

In the end, the diet program that’s the best investment is the one that helps you lead a healthier lifestyle and see long-term results. MoneyWatch recommends the diets with proven track records and economical fees.

Flip through this slide show to compare the costs of Medifast, In the Zone Delivery, eDiets, Bistro MD, Weight Watchers, Nurtisystem, Jenny Craig and South Beach Online.

View The Cost of Losing 20 Pounds Slideshow


Undereating Equals Undercutting Weight Loss Results

frustrated dieterFor all those who have tried to lose weight, you know that it is a constant battle. Calories in calories out, low-carb, no-carb, Atkins, South Beach Diet, the Biggest Loser Diet, and this list goes on. There are so many choices, and all we want are results. Some go to extreme measures to lose weight, and in affect, are counter productive. One of the biggest mistakes made on any diet program, believe it or not, is undereating. You may be asking yourself how is that possible? If I take in fewer calories than I eat I’ll lose more weight. Wrong idea.

That may work for maybe a week, but eventually your body will go into starvation mode. Your body will hold onto every single morsel you put into your body, you will stop losing weight, and possibly gain weight.
I have made that mistake many times. The best plan is simply to live in balance. Eat a good variety of foods, and count your calories. Now, how many calories should you be eating?
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