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      September 28, 2020

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  6. Atkins
  7. Meal Plan Map
  8. Whole 30
  9. Medifast

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Atkins vs Whole 30

Best Popular Diets

To help you find the Best Popular Diets, TopConsumerReviews.com provides you with an in-depth comparison of Atkins and Whole 30.

To see ALL of our reviews for the Best Popular Diets, please Click Here

What's the best Popular Diet? For those who'd like to drop a few pounds or maybe even shed 100 or more, there's no shortage of services promising to make that dream a reality. Are there any diets that actually work?

The good news is yes, there are many weight loss programs with a solid track record of helping people redefine their relationships with food, learning what and how much to eat, and making changes that aren't just a temporary low number on the scale. But as you've probably noticed, every popular diet seems to have a different approach to shedding unwanted pounds.

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Best Reviews

2020

Popular Diet Reviews

3 stars
Atkins

ATKINS

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Cost:

All plans and tools are FREE

Meal kits, bars, shakes and treats available for purchase

Atkins is one of several popular diets that focus on reducing carb intake (along with paleo, Keto, and several others). This approach was created in 1963 by Dr. Robert Atkins, a cardiologist who observed that restricting carbohydrates helped with weight loss while not leaving his patients always hungry for more food. So, this approach has been around for decades and continues to be a plan that people often try when looking to lose weight.

Ideal for those who:

  • Already know they need/want to control their sugar/carbs intake (diabetics)
  • Want a choice between plans for those who need to lose 40+ pounds, less than 40 pounds, or maintain their current weight
  • Want access to free plans and tools

Not ideal for those who:

  • Like eating fresh fruit on a regular basis
  • Aren't willing to cut back on sugar/carbs
  • Want direct coaching from health/fitness professionals

The Atkins site offers a lot of helpful tools - at absolutely no cost. That makes this popular diet a great choice for people who want to change their eating habits in a low-carb way but don't want to pay for an expensive membership-based plan. On the site, you'll find these tools and more:

  • Mobile app: track your food on the go
  • Carb counter
  • Meal plans and shopping lists: with a quick-start option for people who don't like to cook and a standard option that combines homemade recipes and Atkins products
  • Trackers: record your exercise, body measurements, and weight
  • Discussion boards and groups: connect with other people eating the Atkins way, get strategies and tips for success, and ask questions

On the Atkins site, you'll also find plans that are specific to your weight loss goals. Atkins 20 is for people who have more than 40 pounds to lose or for those who are prediabetic or diabetic. The 20 means that you are limited to 20 grams of carbohydrates per day. During the first phase of this plan, you'll only be allowed to eat "foundation vegetables" (no starchy ones), healthy fats like avocado, proteins and most cheeses, along with nuts and seeds. As you progress through the program, you'll gradually add in foods like Greek yogurt, berries and melon, legumes, and tomato juice.

As you might guess, the Atkins 40 plan is for people who have less than 40 pounds to lose, are pregnant or breastfeeding, or who want to have a wider range of foods to choose from. That 40 also means that you're aiming for 40 grams of net carbs each day.

Finally, if you want the widest variety of food choices and are looking to maintain your current weight, you would select the Atkins 100 diet plan. This gives you 100 carbs per day. While it's still recommended that you choose foods from the "acceptable" list and avoid/limit sugar and refined carbs, this plan doesn't have any foods that are truly off-limits.

One way to simplify this plan is by purchasing Atkins products. You can get entire meal kits, frozen foods and meals, shakes and bars, and even treats that all fit within the approved carb ranges required by the Atkins diet. You can often find these products at your local grocery store, but the Atkins store is the easiest way to find everything they offer (except for the frozen foods!).

How does Atkins measure up when it comes to weight loss? If you're trying to break a sugar addiction, control your diabetes, or already a fan of low-carb eating, Atkins could be a good match for you. But, most people find this plan overly restrictive, especially since it cuts out most fruits and grains. People usually lose weight quickly on this plan, but have a hard time sticking to it for a long time.

On the other hand, the Atkins site offers a lot of helpful tools for free - so even if you don't follow the plan 100%, you can still use those tools to help keep an eye on your food intake and lower your overall consumption of sugar and carbs.

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3 stars
Whole 30

WHOLE 30

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Cost:

$30 for first month, $15/month thereafter

$49 for the first quarter, $36/quarter thereafter

$99 for the first year, $84/year thereafter

Whole30 is a popular diet plan that requires major changes in your eating habits. But, for those who have benefited from putting it into practice, this approach to food can be life-changing.

If you suffer from allergies and/or sensitivities but haven't quite figured out what's causing the problem, struggle with conditions with no apparent cause, or have had trouble losing weight no matter how hard you've tried, Whole30 has been effective for millions of people like you.

Ideal for those who:

  • Are struggling to identify allergens and want to figure out sensitivities
  • Can make a 30-day commitment
  • Enjoy meat, seafood, eggs, vegetables, and natural fats

Not ideal for those who:

  • Aren't ready to make HUGE changes to their everyday diet
  • Want a long-term plan for changing their eating habits
  • Aren't willing to give up all added sweeteners, alcohol, grains, legumes, and dairy

Whole30 is designed to change your relationship with food, increase your energy, and change your cravings over the course of 30 days (hence the "30" in the name). There are several extremely important rules you will need to follow in order to be successful on this popular diet:

  • Eat real food. In other words, the closer to the way the food is in nature, the better it is for you. (Think raw vs. stewed tomatoes, ground beef vs. hot dogs) Whole30 prioritizes meat, seafood, eggs, plenty of vegetables and natural fats, lots of herbs, spices and seasonings, and some fruit.
  • Don't eat ANY of the "forbidden" foods. The list is long, and may be too daunting for all but the most dedicated health-seekers: no added sugar (not even substitutes like stevia or xylitol), no grains, no legumes (which also means no peanut butter), no dairy (from cows, goats, or sheep), no sulfites/carrageenan/MSG, and no junk food!
  • Don't weigh yourself or take any body measurements for the whole 30 days.
  • NO cheating. Not for a special occasion, not as a "slip", nada, for the entire month. Because you may be trying to figure out which of the most commonly-allergenic foods are causing you problems, you'll reset the clock if you have bread, corn, or dairy even one time, and you'll wind up feeling like this program was a total failure.

With all of those rules and can't-eats, it's easy to understand why someone would want help in planning and preparing for a Whole30 month! That's where Real Plans comes in. Your subscription lets you choose a start date and the length of your program (minimum 30 days, of course), and how many breakfasts, lunches, and dinners you want help planning.

This service is 100% customizable, within the accepted parameters of the Whole30 program. Maybe you absolutely hate asparagus or already know you're allergic to eggs, so feel free to set those preferences right away.

After your first 30 days, Real Plans helps you work on your 10-day reintroduction: in other words, gradually bringing back in some of the no-no foods as you determine if you are sensitive to each of them.

Best of all, this system generates shopping lists based on the meals you've selected. Go to your pantry first to check off whatever you already have, too. And, if you've finally figured out which type of mustard is "Whole30 approved", you can add a photo of any specific ingredient so that you don't have to read the label over and over again. (Next level pro tip? Real Plans integrates with Instacart, so you can get all of your Whole30 ingredients delivered right to your doorstep).

Pricing for this popular diet plan is reasonable. If you're taking the cautious approach and just want to subscribe for a month, you'll pay $30 for Month 1 and $15/month for every month after that. Ready to commit for a little longer? Choose the $49 quarterly plan, which drops to $36 per quarter after the first 3 months. If you're feeling particularly gung-ho - or if you've done Whole30 in the past and know it's the right thing for you, but you just need some structure - the annual plan is the best deal at $99 for a year and $84 for every year afterwards.

In general, Whole30 is probably the only popular diet plan that can be a game-changer for people who want to identify food sensitivities by eliminating the most likely suspects. And, Real Plans is one of the best resources available for taking as much of the planning and preparation stress off the table.

But, for the average person, Whole30 is HARD. The list of things that you can't eat is long, and if we're being honest, most of us are too lazy or unmotivated to give all of them up completely for an entire month. If you stick to the plan, you might lose a bunch of weight - but that might be from not having anything you WANT to eat, not just from finding out that you've had a food sensitivity all along. For many people, Whole30 is an interesting (and difficult) experiment, but not a sustainable change for the rest of their lives.

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Continued from above

Some diet plans will tell you that you have to count every calorie, while others want you to focus on eating more whole and unprocessed foods instead of tracking what you eat. Whichever plan you select, it's important to make sure that it's a program you can realistically follow, based on your current lifestyle. For example, if you frequently travel for work, can you stick to a diet that requires you to cook with hard-to-find ingredients and a full spice cabinet on hand?

And, unless you just want to drop a dress size for an upcoming school reunion or other event, you probably want to find a plan that helps you make sustainable changes for a lifetime. It's easy to do something drastic for a week or even a month, but to avoid the yo-yo effect of fad dieting, you should be honest with yourself about what changes you are able and willing to make - and which ones just aren't the right fit for your personal needs, preferences, and goals.

As you consider the many popular diets offered today, how can you figure out which ones will be the best fit? Here are several criteria to keep in mind:

  • Cost. What will you pay for the diet plan? Is it a one-time investment, a monthly subscription, or some other pricing structure? Does it give you a good value for your money?
  • Time Required. How much effort will you need to put into following the diet? Are your meals premade and delivered, or should you expect to spend a lot of time in the kitchen?
  • Customer Feedback. What do "real people" have to say about their success (or lack of it) when following this diet plan? Most sites will show you their best-case results, but what can an average person expect in terms of weight loss and other health benefits?
  • Personalization. Just like clothes aren't truly one-size-fits-all, neither is dieting. Does the diet plan have a way to customize their recommendations for food, exercise, and more? Do you get any one-on-one input from a coach, nutritionist, or even through an online community of other people using the plan?

TopConsumerReviews.com has reviewed and ranked the best popular diets available today. We hope this information helps you find the right plan to help you smash your weight loss goals!

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