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Weight Watchers is our top choice of all the popular diet programs available today. With their focus on low-fat balanced nutrition, exercise, and education, Weight Watchers provides a healthier, long term approach to weight loss than almost any other program you can find.

The Weight Watchers program assigns a value to each food choice based on protein, fiber, fat, and carbohydrates. You are given a daily PointsPlus target, which you use along with the PointsPlus food values to make sure you're eating the right amount for weight loss.

With this approach, anyone can customize the weight loss plan to fit their needs - even nursing mothers, vegetarians and those that frequently dine out. For those on the go, Weight Watchers offers mobile tools and apps, so you are in control anytime anywhere. From breakfast to desserts, Weight Watchers has a wealth of recipes and meal ideas that fit into your diet plan.

You can choose between four convenient options to learn how to lose weight and keep it off:

  • Essentials This program gives you everything you need to follow the PointsPlus program completely online. You can follow the program, step-by-step with interactive tools, recipes, daily tips, and much more. Weight Watchers Essentials will help you manage your food and weight with digital tools and mobile apps to help you stay motivated and informed. You'll even receive recipes and customized meal ideas to take the guesswork out of your meal preparation. Along with their supportive online community, Essentials is a great way to get started with the Weight Watchers.
  • Personal Coaching This option gives you everything in the Essentials program, with the added benefit of 1-on-1 personal coaching. You are assigned a Weight Watchers trained professional, who will help you set up an action plan designed to help you achieve your weight loss goal. You can connect with your coach by phone or by email as often as you need, and you'll receive reminder texts designed to help you stay on track with your weight loss plan.
  • Meeting + Essentials Here you get everything that's in the Essentials program, with the added power of in-person coaching and support. Meeting with a group of like-minded weight loss enthusiasts can be powerful motivation for you to stay on course. You get to see and feel the inspiration and support of a live community.
  • Total Access Weight Watcher's most powerful option, you enjoy all the support they offer to help meet your weight loss goals.

Since Weight Watchers concentrates on your long-term weight loss success, these programs give you a much better to reach your desired weight and maintain it into the future.

Weight Watchers has helped millions of people lose weight for over 50 years. They continue to evolve their programs in order to fit the needs of today's dieters. With these constant innovations, Weight Watchers is easy to fit into any lifestyle and teaches you how to make lasting choices that will create better long term results. An excellent program with a history of success, combined with a first-rate website, earns Weight Watchers our highest rating.

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Paleo is one of the most popular diets on the market right now. It has gained a lot of attention over the last few years because of its extremely healthy focus on the type of food you intake. The foods eaten on the Paleo diet are anything but new, really this meal plan is how humans ate 2.5 million years ago prior to the Agricultural Revolution and even more recently the refined sugars and processed foods that take up so much space on the grocery store shelves and just add inches to your body. The basics of the plan are you eat fruits, veggies, fish, meats, certain fats, nuts and seeds. You avoid grains (breads, pasta, rice, etc), beans, soy, dairy, certain vegetable oils and refined sugar from your diet.

One of the challenges of the Paleo diet is coming up with meal plans and recipes that follow the somewhat strict diet. PaleoPlan has taken the guesswork out of it for you. The goal of PaleoPlan is to make eating and living Paleo as easy and affordable as possible for you. They offer Paleo Meal Plans, Grocery Shopping Lists, ebooks, Paleo fit (a fitness guide to help with the weight loss as you eat the Paleo way) and private Paleo coaching.

PaleoPlan costs $9.99 a month with a 6 month ($49) and a 12-month ($89) package option that save you money in the long run. To add PaleoFit to your package it will cost you $5 more a month for a total of $15 a month. There is also a 14-day Free Trial offered. There is a money-back guarantee and you can cancel at any time.

We believe PaleoPlan is one of the best diets and healthy living options we reviewed. The only reason it did not receive our highest rating is due to the strictness of the diet and less accountability than the higher ranked diets. Someone has to be extremely committed to stick with and see results from this diet. More than a diet, it is a lifestyle change that some people are not willing to commit to. Experts say that PaleoPlan is great for weight loss as well as improving ones overall health.

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Nutrisystem ranks as a solid choice due to overwhelming convenience, results and the focus on nutrition and exercise. This weight management system was developed in 1972 and has a well-documented history of success. More recently, Nutrisystem was selected as the official weight loss plan for the TV series "The Swan". The basis of the diet is to provide an easy to follow and convenient diet program using prepackaged, calorie controlled meals. With over 100 different meal choices,variety is not an issue.

We liked that the food is created using carb-conscious selections, with the appropriate portions of protein, fiber and fat. The program also provides online and phone counseling support at no extra charge. Counselors are personable, helpful and supportive. The taste of the food has mixed results but many liked several of the entries available.

At what rate can you anticipate losing those extra pounds? While numerous success stories exist with exciting information we found that 1-3 pounds each week was typical. A reason for the significant results is that portion control is a big piece of the education Nutrisystem provides. The prepackaged meals get you eating and looking smaller. Furthermore, Nutrisystem is committed to health in a broader fashion, providing education on exercise, stress reduction and methods of visualizing success in hopes of better long-term weight management.

As with Medifast, at first the cost of the program seems high. But the plan includes the prepackaged meals delivered to your home; we found that you actually save money when compared with the cost of the other weight loss plans in our review.

For its track record of success, convenience, and overall healthy approach, Nutrisystem earns high marks.

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The South Beach online diet plan controls hunger and makes good health sense. The South Beach online tool, created to assist in managing your weight loss, did a great job of providing everything needed to successfully start and follow the diet. The online tool is a great helper; with it you can track your weight loss, find recipes, plan meals, conveniently make a grocery list, and ask questions of the cardiologist that created the diet. The online version even allows members to communicate with each other and share experiences and ideas.

Like other low-carb plans, South Beach is geared toward improving cholesterol and insulin levels. But unlike other low-carb or no-carb diets, South Beach allows a well-balanced diet of fruit, whole grains, nuts, and vegetables. Some say the diet is a lower-fat, better nutritionally sound plan than that of Atkins.

The plan is made up of three phases. In the initial induction phase, 8-13 pounds of weight loss can be anticipated. In subsequent phases, this settles down to an average of 1-2 pounds per week. Some feel the induction phase, consisting mainly of lean meats and specific vegetables, is too restrictive to maintain. With South Beach you're not counting carbs; instead, you learn which carbs are better choices. This information is conveniently provided through the online service. The diet is geared toward eating healthy fat, and bans the unhealthy choices. Education for long term success gets a plus!

Another important characteristic of South Beach is the approach to keep off the extra pounds. Long term studies of the success of this diet are not yet available, but its focus on teaching weight management is a big positive. This stress on education, combined with the plan effectiveness, sets South Beach above many other diets that allow you to walk away with nothing learned.

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The premise of the diet is to assign a number system to foods to identify the effect on blood sugar. Higher valued foods are digested quickly and create a quick rise in insulin levels where as lower numbered foods take longer to process and are absorbed slower keeping the dieter feeling fuller longer. Keeping the insulin levels steady also reduces the production of foods turning to fat. While the diet is recommend for diabetics and heart patients it's considered healthy for all patients.

This two step diet includes a weight loss phase which is more restrictive than many diets and then a maintenance phase that allows for more variety. During the weight loss phase you can anticipate losing one to two pounds per week. For those on the go, eating out is more of a challenge than some of the other diets reviewed.

While stricter than many diets, the on-line e-Diets system allows for you to easily follow the plan and successfully stay on each phase.

Exercise is not required to be successful with the Glycemic Diet but will improve your results. Overall, the e-Diets online service makes this a manageable plan to follow. You'll learn to eat foods that are healthy for heart patients and diabetics alike. Several people have reported feeling more energy as a result of a reduction in eating refined sugars. If you're able to plan your meals and maintain your food choices on line you may find this as a good healthy alternative diet.

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The exciting news about Medifast is that it's by far the quickest weight loss plan of all of our diets reviewed within this category. This diet option receives high scores for the impressive weight loss and convenience, but also low marks for the expectation to eat small prepackaged snacks for most of the day.

The company boasts average losses of up to 20 pounds in one month and an average of 2-5 pounds per week. Rapid weight loss without the hunger. What you may not know is that Medifast has been around for 25 years, has been used by over a million dieters, and is often recommended by doctors.

Medifast works by allowing the dieter to choose five prepackaged, convenient products per day, and one meal of their own consisting of lean meat or poultry, and vegetables. The five prepackaged choices include shakes, pudding, bars, drinks, oatmeal, chili, and so on. Medifast meal replacement foods are clinically proven and designed for safe rapid weight loss with all the daily nutrients required to remain healthy and energetic.

We'll also point out the usefulness of the Medifast interactive website, which provides tips for holiday success, daily food charts, and information for diabetics. This online support group allows dieters to ask questions of the experts and their peers, and to share success stories. The plan specifically takes you through the maintenance phase to ensure that the body is prepared for increased calories, and to allow for long term success.

If you are looking for a jump start, find frequent smaller meals acceptable, and don't have the patience or time for a slower weight loss regimen, then Medifast is an option to consider. For those interested in learning how to eat proper nutrition while losing weight, this is not the right plan.

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We've all seen the commercials of the latest celebrity losing weight via Jenny Craig. For those earning non-celebrity pay checks we might ask ourselves if the cost is worth the value of the food and counseling provided by this program.

What you can expect is pre-packaged foods that are either shipped to you at home or picked up at a local Jenny Craig shop. Depending on how picky you are will determine if you enjoy this food or not. Everyone of course is different and some can stomach the packaged foods and stay on plan while others have reported the opposite. The counseling involves either a quick phone call with someone or a stop in the shop for a weigh in and discussion. The counseling is 1 on 1 and lasts about 15 minutes.

Weight loss is anticipated at 1 or 2 pounds per week and several programs exists for those looking to stay on program for as short as 30 days to up to a lifetime.

Overall we thought the cost of food was expensive for the tiny portions received. The convenience of the program was excellent but the cost proved too prohibitive for us.

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For those not familiar, this well known diet is marketed as a low sugar, high fiber plan that teaches a savvy approach to ingesting carbs.

Theoretically, Atkins says our bodies burn carbohydrates first before other products; by reducing our carb intake we switch the body to burning stored fat instead of carbs. However, skeptics say that Atkins doesn't create a better fat burning body but simply allows the dieter to take in fewer calories by eating dense foods that make them feel fuller longer. The diet generally consists of meat, eggs, and some vegetables until the maintenance phase kicks in.

Studies of long term success are marginal and this diet may be too restrictive for success. Debates also rage on whether the plan is ultimately healthy for the dieter. Unlike The South Beach plan, Atkins steers clear of many fruits and nearly all grains.

For those meat lovers out there, and those wanting to focus on controlling hunger, you may find success - but the overall nutrition of the diet is in question.

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The Zone diet was created in 1995 and is now making a come back with a twist - an online diet management tool. Thank goodness, we say, that something was created to help dieters with this complex program. Not only are you restricted to certain foods, but you have to eat them at certain times of the day. How many people can fit that into their busy schedule? None of us here thought we could do so easily.

For those of you not familiar with this popular diet, the focus of the plan is to eat the right amount of protein and carbs at the right time of the day, in order to get your body into a state where you burn fat, lose weight, and control hunger - this is called "The Zone". Specifically, the diet involves a three- step program to assist with getting into that fat burning state. Furthermore, the plan preaches that increased insulin levels is the cause for storing fat. The diet's formula of 40% carbs, 30% protein and 30% fat assists in eliminating these insulin issues.

Anticipated weight loss is 1 to 1.5 pounds per week, with perhaps more for the first few weeks. The online tool explains how to eat the right balance of food, burn fat, and maintain energy levels. You'll find recipes, meal plans, and 24 hour support.

Is the plan safe? While some have questioned the overall health benefits of the program, others think it does a good job promoting healthy fats, lean meats, fruits, and vegetables. However, the daily food limit is small and might increase chances of cheating and eventual failure.

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Popular Diets

There are many popular diets for you to choose from when selecting how you want to lose weight. Some weight loss programs have been around for years and have developed a reliable track record of success; other diet plans have been around just a short time.

Every popular diet is unique in its approach and method to helping you lose those unwanted pounds. Some will cater to specific health conditions, and some require you to eat the food that they send you. You need to be sure to select a diet plan that fits into your lifestyle. After all, if the diet is too inconvenient and you're not fully committed to the program, you'll eventually lose interest.

You don't want to end up frustrated by wasting your time and money by choosing the wrong diet. When evaluating popular diet plans, there are some important factors you need to consider:

  • Cost.  Does the popular diet involve a one-time charge, food costs, and monthly fees?
  • Website Functionality.  What services does the popular diet website offer? Are there online diet consultants available?
  • Diet Complexity.  How difficult or time-consuming is it to follow the popular diet program?
  • Rate of Weight Loss.  Should you anticipate quick weight loss or slower results with the popular diet?
  • Weight Management.  Is the popular diet program focused on short-term results, or does it prepare you to maintain weight loss for years to come? has reviewed and ranked the best popular diets available today. We hope these reviews help you decide which popular diet is right for you!

Popular Diets In The News

A skeptical look at popular diets: How ketogenic should you go

In the fourth post in the series A Skeptical Look at Popular Diets, physician Randall Stafford examines pros and cons of a ketogenic diet. A ketogenic diet is a very low carbohydrate pattern of eating ...

Published:  Thu, 14 Feb 2019 09:40:00 GMT

What we know about diet soda's connection to heart disease, stroke, and early death

The study collected diet and health information from more than 80,000 women ... Beyond that, scientists use the best research tools they have, including longitudinal health studies with data drawn fro...

Published:  Fri, 15 Feb 2019 15:05:00 GMT

Diet drinks could increase the risk of stroke for post-menopausal women

"The American Heart Association suggests water as the best choice for a no-calorie beverage. However, for some adults, diet drinks with low calorie sweeteners may be helpful as they transition to adop...

Published:  Fri, 15 Feb 2019 11:11:00 GMT

Drinking 2 or more diet sodas a day linked to stroke, heart disease: study

While reaching for a diet soda or may seem like a healthier choice at the time ... director of the Cardiovascular Nutrition Laboratory at Tufts University said, at the time. "The best advice we can gi...

Published:  Fri, 15 Feb 2019 06:48:00 GMT

Diet soda may dramatically increase your risk of heart attack and stroke, study shows

As it turns out, diet soda might not be the best choice if you actually care about your health, as a new study warns that indulging in low-calorie beverages packed with sugar substitutes could put ...

Published:  Fri, 15 Feb 2019 10:10:00 GMT

The Best Diet for the Planet Isn't the Best for Humans

Faye Flam is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist. She has written for the Economist, the New York Times, the Washington Post, Psychology Today, Science and other publications. She has a degree in geophysics ...

Published:  Thu, 07 Feb 2019 09:01:00 GMT

The popular keto diet can help you shed weight, but it comes with some serious side effects

Following is a transcript of the video. The high-fat, low-carb ketogenic diet, or "keto" for short, has become a popular way to lose weight. And while keto is proven to help you shed the pounds, it's ...

Published:  Wed, 06 Feb 2019 03:38:00 GMT

Diet soda linked to increased stroke and heart disease risk in older women

Artificial sweeteners are commonly used in diet drinks as a replacement for sugar or high-fructose corn syrup; these beverages are popular among diabetics and individuals watching their caloric intake ...

Published:  Fri, 15 Feb 2019 13:27:00 GMT

"I Lost 120 Pounds On The Keto Diet And Got My Blood Sugar In Check'

The diet ended up being the best decision I could have made. Within a month of going keto, my joints felt better and my blood sugar returned to a normal range. I was finally able to play with my kids ...

Published:  Fri, 15 Feb 2019 07:52:00 GMT

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