If you want to shed a few kilos you might be thinking about enrolling in a weight loss program to help you get to where you want to be. The good news is that US News & World Report have released its’ annual assessment of the year’s best diets that show you how to lose weight. Yes it’s USA-based, but many of the programs reviewed are available in Australia so it’s a good benchmark to use when evaluating the best bang for your weight loss bucks.
In order to assess the scores for each diet. US News established a panel made up of the country’s top nutritionists, dietary consultants and physicians specialising in diabetes, heart health and weight loss.
The diets were categorised into:
In terms of the best diets overall, the DASH and Mediterranean diets tied for first equal. The DASH diet is considered a lifelong approach to healthy eating and is low in saturated fat but high in fruits and vegetables, low-fat or non-fat dairy, lean white meats, wholegrains, nuts and beans.
As the name suggests, the Mediterranean diet is typical of the food you’ll find in many Mediterranean countries and is characterised by a high consumption of vegetables and olive oil, and a moderate consumption of protein. If you want to give it a whirl, check out this 7-day meal plan.
The study found the best commercial diets to be Weight Watchers and Jenny Craig. Weight Watchers also picked up first place for the best weight loss diet and first equal for the best fast weight loss diet. Weight Watchers works so well because no food is forbidden when you follow the plan. All you need to do is record the number of points in everything you eat (using charts and guides supplied by Weight Watchers) and make sure you don’t go over the number of points you can have in a day. Naturally you’ll use up your points pretty quickly if your diet consists of a lot of junk food but if you switch to more nutritious food you’ll use fewer points so you can eat more.
The Jenny Craig diet is a simple diet for busy people because you don’t need to think about what you’re going to eat. Until you reach the half-way point on your weight loss journey, all of your food is supplied by Jenny Craig. The food is tasty and nutritious but comes in relatively modest portion sizes, which you bulk up with vegetables. Snacks are included though, so if you can’t get through the day without something a little naughty, this could be a great diet for you.
The Volumetrics diet came in at the number 2 spot for best weight loss diet. Developed by American nutritionist Barbara Rolls, Ph.D., it’s based on the premise that you still consume the same volume of food each day, but switch to options that are lower in calories. Combine this with increasing the water and fibre in your daily food intake and you’ll loose weight. A number of Volumetrics books are available in Australia including this one from Dymocks.
The Biggest Loser diet tied in first place for fast weight loss. In the USA, you need to choose a Biggest Loser book to follow - all are heavy on success stories from past contestants of the reality TV show, and include tips for developing your menu based on a special food pyramid and suggestions for sweating out some calories.
In Australia, you can jump on the Biggest Loser Club but this is based on shake-based meal replacements for 2 meals per day so doesn’t really bear any relation to the Biggest Loser diet in the US research. The closest you’ll get to it is probably Michelle Bridges 12 Week Body Challenge, where you’ll get help and support over a 12 week period to drop weight and get healthy. Each week, members are sent:
There are plenty of options available to help you drop those extra kilos and here we’ve shown you some of the best. And, if you need a little financial assistance to gear your kitchen up for the healthy new you, we’re here to help. Take a look at our flexible mini-loans from $1K - $5K to find out how quick and easy it is to get your hands on some extra funds. Once a loan in approved, we can usually deposit the money into your bank account within a few hours - so you can head out and start shopping for your new kitchen gadgets this week!