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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Talking with people who have made drastic changes in their lives for the better is one of the most inspiring and humbling experiences I’ve encountered. Recognizing how difficult it is to lose 5, 10 and even 20 pounds myself, I sympathize with those who struggle with their weight. But after speaking with individuals who have lost more than 100 pounds in some cases, I am often left speechless.
In 2012 we shared the true weight loss stories of more than 20 remarkable individuals from around the world, and their combined total weight loss was 2,466 pounds! This an accomplishment we were truly humbled to be a part of. Though each person shares a uniquely inspiring story, we’ve gathered six of our favorites to give a glimpse into the truly amazing transformations we’ve witnessed on Diets in Review this year. Let’s start with the first true weight loss story I had the privilege of writing: Grace Goodman.
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This year brought us no shortage of celebrity news. Once we’ve learned who is in and out of love with who, our curiosity shifts to asking about their diet and how they get those Hollywood figures. There was plenty of juicy diet news to follow in 2012, so we’ve gathered the biggest celebrity weight loss stories of the past year.
Jennifer Lawrence for Hunger Games
Jennifer Lawrence wowed many with her portrayal of Katniss in this summer’s blockbuster flick, The Hunger Games. What also caught our eye was the actress’s stunning figure. Lawrence told reporters that she doesn’t diet, instead she stays active. Her routine that prepared her for the role of Katniss involved running and archery training with an Olympian. Lawrence even admitted that she’d be OK with looking chubby on screen if it meant she was healthy. The young star has great perspective and a healthy future in front of her.
Chaka Khan Dropped 60 Pounds
Legendary singer and performer Chaka Kahn showed off her new curves this year after dropping 60 pounds. The singer was able to drop the weight and even treat her diabetes and high blood pressure issues with the healthier weight and lifestyle. After years of substance abuse the superstar has shined once more.
Snooki’s Post-Baby Weight Loss Plans
Jersey Shore’s Snooki was all over the news this year. As the reality TV star announced her pregnancy, the world immediately began to worry that her weight issues and eating disorders would become a problem. Snooki gave birth to a healthy son and began losing weight naturally with breastfeeding. As a spokesperson for Zantrex, a weight loss supplement that ranked #18 on our 2012 Most Popular Diets list, Snooki expressed her desire to use the pill after the baby was weaned.
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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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