I’ve said it many times before and I’ll say it again; there is a lot of crap circulating the Internet about how to lose weight, tone up, and finally get that elusive beach bod…the only problem is that the better part of this information is all lies or veiled advertisements. In order to sift through all of the dieting industry’s claims and half-truths, U.S. News found the best and worst diets of 2015 in their fifth annual “Best Diets” report.
It’s easy to see why this type of report would be helpful for those who are looking to lose weight but don’t know where to start. After all, there are full books, pages of testimonials, and thousands of dollars of advertising that can go into promoting a diet that might not actually work, or just might not be right for you. U.S. News gathered a panel of experts, including nutritionists and specialists in heart health, obesity, psychology, and weight loss in order to vigorously research and review 35 popular diets. The panel evaluated each diet in seven categories; long-term weight loss, short-term weight loss, how easy it is to follow, nutritional completeness, overall safety, and ability to prevent and manage diabetes and heart disease.
The overall winner was the government-endorsed Dietary Approach to Stop Hypertension Diet (DASH), which was developed to combat high-blood pressure. The diet works by emphasizing all of the food that you’ve always known are good for you, like fruits, veggies, whole grains and lean proteins, as well as cutting back on sweets, red meats, and salt. The second runner up was National Institute of Health’s Therapeutic Lifestyle Changes (TLC) diet, which involves cutting back sharply on fat and cholesterol. The best weight-loss diets were Weight Watchers and the HMR diet, which uses meal replacements and increases your fruit and vegetable intake.
The worst two diets were tied for a two out of five start ranking. The Dukan Diet is reminiscent of the Atkin’s diet with it’s protein- and rule-heavy structure, as well as its claim that followers will lose 10 pounds in the first week. The diet was described as “idiotic” by a panel member, and was given a low score due to its restrictive nature as well as lack of evidence that it system actually works. The Paleo Diet tied for last place because the panel claimed that the diet was hard to follow, and there is no proof that the diet encourages weight loss, prevents diabetes or heart disease, or is even safe for users.
The lesson here is to be careful when you chose what eating regimes to follow. It’s easy to believe carefully structured claims and “success stories,” but if you’re going to dedicate time and effort into following a diet, wouldn’t you rather follow one that actually is actually healthy and productive? And hey, diets also might not be your thing, and there's nothing wrong with that either. For U.S. News’ full ranking of 2015 diets, click here.