For the third year in a row, U.S. News has come out with ratings on 29 of the leading diets in the U.S. Although most Americans seek out diets in order to lose weight, that’s not the main focus of the ratings, which deal primarily with overall healthy eating to avoid or combat heart disease, diabetes and hypertension rather than weight loss alone.
U.S. News placed the diets into categories such as Best Weight Loss Diets; Best Diabetes Diets; Best Diets for Healthy Eating; Best Plant-Based Diets and Easiest Diets to Follow; and then rated them according to their individual strengths and weaknesses.
The Best Overall Diet honor went to the DASH diet, a fairly obscure government-sponsored eating plan designed for people with high blood pressure (hence the name DASH, which stands for Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension). The plan emphasizes real foods such as fruits and vegetables, whole grains and lean protein, and limits red meat and added fats and sugars. Although the DASH diet is not designed specifically for weight loss, experts state that it is indeed possible to achieve and maintain a healthy weight when following the plan.
The Best Diet for Weight Loss was awarded for the second year in a row to Weight Watchers, which was also deemed to be the easiest commercial diet plan to follow. Like the DASH diet, Weight Watchers encourages members to consume lots of fiber-rich, filling fruits and veggies, whole grains and lean proteins in lieu of more processed foods.
The most highly rated diets were alike in that they focus not on speedy weight loss per se but on an overall balanced eating lifestyle for health and longevity.
Truth be known, that’s going to be the bane of folks looking for the newest, the best, the fastest way to lose extra pounds. It’s what we all look for at the beginning of the year, isn’t it: a quick fix to the never-ending problem of too much food.
I’m on board with U.S. News and their rankings. They state that dieting to lose weight is very difficult and that most weight loss plans don’t work.
Why do almost all diets fail? This is not a difficult answer: because diets are a temporary solution to a long-term problem. In order to get your weight and your health in line, you’re going to have to make life-long changes in the way you eat. Any one of the most highly rated diets in this report will get you there, but you are the one who will have to make the choices and do the work.
Going on a “diet” between January and March and then heading straight for the candies in your Easter basket isn’t going to cut it.
Do me a favor: don’t kill the messenger.