At the beginning of 2015 U.S.News & World Report ranked 32 of the most popular diets in the country. They ranked the diets according to many factors including ease, nutrition, cost, quickest weight loss and long term benefits.
With so many new diets and diets with unfamiliar names on the market like the DASH Diet, Volumetrics diet and the Ornish diet it can be a challenge deciding which one is the best to choose.
ABC News reported there are 108 million dieters in this country. Dieters are spending upwards to $40 billion annually on diet books, diet supplements, diet foods, videos, weight-loss camps, and the like. There are volumes of information on dieting, some of it good and much of it not so much.
Do diets really work? In a word, yes, if the pounds came off the diet worked. The problem is people are looking for quick fixes. Far too many people return to their old eating habits once they go off their diets. Who can forget Oprah’s loss of 67 pounds and her gain of 90 pounds when she went off her diet in the 1990s?
Too many dieters have experienced additional weight gain after reaching their goal because of their “once and done” attitude. We can blame the diet or we can approach weight loss from another perspective and with a new attitude.
While it is easy to the blame the diet, the truth is, choosing a fad diet or the wrong diet for your particular needs will almost certainly lead to frustration and failure. Starvation diets and quick weight loss diets can be unhealthy. Some diets lead to excessive water loss. Water loss and weight loss are not the same thing. Fad diets, crash diets, and celebrity diets not based in fact or science are not long term solutions.
Before making your final decision on the diet that best fits your personal needs you should do two things:.
- Track your food intake for 2 weeks before deciding on a diet. This is called knowing where you’ve been before deciding where you want to be. It is surprising how many people have little or no idea of the number of calories they consume every day.
- Set realistic weight loss goals. You didn’t put the weight on overnight and you won’t lose it overnight. A weight loss of 2 to 4 pounds a week should not negatively affect your overall health.You should be consuming between 1,200 and 1,500 calories on your diet for healthy weight loss.
If you want 2016 to be the year your diet succeeds consider the following as you review the data from U.S. News & World Reports:
- Can you see yourself eating these foods for the rest of your life? Weight loss programs sending specially designed meals to your home are an easy way to start, but they can be very costly. More importantly, if you go back to your old eating habits consuming more calories than you burn once you leave the program, the pounds will return. Never forget you are looking to establish new eating habits for the rest of your life.
- Choose a diet with foods that you like. It is important to learn the differences between protein, carbohydrates and fats. You will lose weight on a diet that is heavy in protein like Atkins, however, the question is are you better off transitioning to a more balanced Mediterranean style diet after reaching your goals.
- Consider investing in a fitness watch like Fitbit so you can track your daily calories, exercise and physical activities. Our bodies were designed for work and physical activity. A lack of activity not only affects our bodies but our brains and our sense of well being. Exercise is important whether a person is dieting or not.
- Use today’s technology to help you keep track of your weight loss goals, calories and exercise. There are multiple diet apps to help you succeed. Take advantage of them.
Once you’ve achieved your weight loss goal, you should be consuming no more than 1,700 to 2,000 calories a day. Remember less is more, and the older we get the fewer calories we need to live a healthy life.
One final point. Some of these diets were designed to address specific health issues that may not apply to you. You are an individual whose likes and dislikes will impact on your choice. As you review the rankings remember just because a diet is ranked high on the list, it doesn’t mean it is right for you.