YONKERS, NY— If you want to lose weight and stay on track, Weight Watchers might be the program for you—that’s what the latest issue of Consumer Reports (CR) found when it tracked the nine most popular diets.
Based on the diets’ calorie counts and nutritional composition compared with U.S. dietary guidelines and an evaluation of the diets’ effectiveness with a comprehensive review of clinical research, Weight Watchers earned the highest overall rating because of its nutritionally based diet, plus weekly meetings and weigh-ins for behavioral support. CR liked that the plan didn’t exclude any food group and that its point system encourages low-fat, high-fiber meals.
Slim Fast came in second and was recommended for dieters who don’t like spending time in the kitchen. The Zone was recommended for those who want a short-term high protein diet plan The Orinish plan provided fairly large portions for low calories. Atkins was found to work well in the short term, but its nutritional deficiencies – too much fat, and too little fiber and fruits – dropped its rating.
Several other popular diets such as eDiets, Jenny Craig, South Beach and Volumetrics, were all low enough in calories to produce weight loss, but CR couldn’t rate them because large, long-term, published clinical trial data weren’t available.