Popular Forms of Dieting and Which Produce the Best Results

Losing weight can be a reality with an effective strategy.
Losing weight can be a reality with an effective strategy. | Source

© All Rights Reserved

If diet is the selection of ” food and drinks considered in terms of its qualities, composition and its effects on health,” then I’ve always been on a diet. It’s one steeped in the paradigm of Chinese food habits and one that works for me. I’ve maintained my weight without having to go to extremes, eating the various categories of foods (carb, protein, fats, vegetables and fruits) in moderation. However, I do have a weakness for white rice and noodles—a weakness that I’ve been trying to change. But on the whole this diet, detailed in my hub, “Chinese Girl Shares Chinese Weight Loss Secrets” has kept my weight in check.

But a diet plan that works for one may not work for another because there are other factors that come into play. Genetics (some have pointed to the fat gene theory), slow metabolic rate, age, gender, medical condition, lifestyles and environment play a part in this weight and health balance. Keeping an ideal weight is a major concern as evidenced by the amount Americans spent annually on weight loss products, foods and services—a whopping estimated $42 billion. The last I checked, there are at least 95 diet plans out. From names like-- Cheater’s diet, Cookie diet, This is Why Your’re Fat to Skinny Bitch-- there are enough out there to tempt just about anybody who is looking for a diet plan that will work for them. How do you distinguish a fad diet from one that actually delivers? Or do diet plans even work? I’ve done some research and here’s the lowdown on some of the popular diet plans.

But first, let’s look at some of the some of the diet plans out there and how they stack against the healthy norm. According to the FDA, a healthy diet should include 60% of calories from carbohydrate, less than 30% from fat, about 10% from protein. An average of about 2,000 to 2,400 calories a day (depending on activity level and gender) is also recommended.

Some Common Diet Plans and Their Dietary Characteristics (adapted from Weighing the diet books)

Type of Diet
Examples
General Dietary Observations
Balanced nutrient,
Dash diet or diet based on
Carb: 55 to 60%
moderate-calorie approach
MyPyramid food guide
Protein: 15 to 20%
 
Jenny Craig
Fat: 20 to 30%
 
Nutri System
About 1,200 to 1,700 calories a day
 
Weight Watchers
 
 
Volumnetrics
 
 
Sonoma Diet
 
 
 
 
Very low-fat
Ornish Diet
Carb: 65%
high-carbohydrate approach
Pritikin Diet
Protein: 10 to 20%
 
 
Fat: less than 10 to 19%
 
 
Limited intake of animal protein, nuts, seeds and other fats
 
 
 
Low-carbohydrate,
Atkins New Diet Revolution
Carb: Less than 20%
high-protein,
Scarsdale Diet
Protein: 25 to 40%
high-fat approach
 
Fat: less than 55 to 65%
 
 
 
Moderate-carbohydrate,
The Zone Diet
Carb: 40 to 50%
high-protein,
Sugar Busters
Protein: 25 to 40%
moderate-fat approach
South Beach Diet
Fat: 30 to 40%
 
 
 
Very low-calorie diet
Medifast
Less than 800 cal/day
 
Optifast
 
 
 
 
Online Weight Loss
eDiets
Meal plans and online tools for helping weight loss.
 
DietWatch
 
 
The Biggest Loser Club
 

Most diet plans work on the main principle of adjusting or limiting calorie intake. As a result, most diet plans include some of these measures:

  • Eliminate or restrict certain food groups (some cited the evil of carbohydrates, some limit protein, yet others insist on eliminating fat altogether)
  • Portion control by providing prepackaged meals, snacks or even drinks
  • Alters meal patterns or content
  • Control food intake through point systems or monitoring

The recent 2011 Consumer report has come up with its top five diet plans. The report is based on a number of factors including nutrient content, weight loss (both long and short term) and dropout rates with data collected from published data. Some critics have pointed out that Jenny Craig came out tops because it was largely funded by erh...Jenny Craig. This report is by no means the ultimate guide to your selection of diet plans--always read their dieting philosophy and see if it works for you.


Jenny and Sidney Craig.
Jenny and Sidney Craig. | Source

1. Jenny Craig

Founded in 1983 in Australia by Jenny Craig and her husband, Sidney Craig, this diet plan combines nutrition, physical activity and counseling to help weight loss. The program relies rather heavily on prepackaged food and has been part of the Nestle Nutrition since 2006.

  • Dieters are assigned a calorie level (ranging from 1,200 to 2,300 calories a day) after evaluation.
  • Dieters are shown how to follow that level by using a combination of Jenny Craig's prepackaged foods and grocery-store foods.
  • Diet focused on complex carbohydrates, healthful unsaturated fats and lean proteins
  • The idea is to think of foods in terms of food groups (protein, carb, vegetables, fruits, diary, et) instead of individual calories.

Slim fast relies heavily on snack, bars, shakes and frozen entrees.
Slim fast relies heavily on snack, bars, shakes and frozen entrees. | Source

2. Slim Fast

Slim Fast is a convenience diet based on the use of shakes, bars, snacks and packaged meals to help weight loss. As of late 2009, the diet plan has been modified with a simple catchy 3-2-1 plan, denoting three 100-calorie snacks, two 200-calorie meal replacements (such as shakes or meal bars) and one balanced meal (about 500 calories).

  • Eat one balanced meal a day
  • Slim-fast products such as shakes, bars, soups, frozen entrees are used to replace other meals.
  • Exercise at least 30 minutes a day.
  • Website offers all kinds of tips from how to prepare for a marathon to connecting with other slim-fast dieters for support.

Weight Watchers Tips to Lose Weight.

Even though weight watchers have these "weight loss" mantras to live by, I believe these tips will work for anyone who is interested in healthy eating/living as well.
Even though weight watchers have these "weight loss" mantras to live by, I believe these tips will work for anyone who is interested in healthy eating/living as well. | Source

3. Weight Watchers

You may see Jennifer Hudson smiling at you and flaunting her new slimmer figure on the weight watchers website. Her face is presently synonymous with the weight loss plan. Originally founded in 1963 by Brooklyn homemaker, Jean Nidetch, it is now an international company with offices in over 30 countries. Using scientific research as their basis, the plan promises to boost weight loss with smarter food choices, healthier eating habits and regular exercise.

  • Use weigh-ins, weekly meetings and point system to keep track. The newer Points Plus system emphasized the need to choose power foods (foods rich in protein and fiber).
  • Flexibility to eat any foods (provided they add up the daily target number of points).
  • Occasional indulgences allowed.
  • Adopt a holistic approach which serves to modify food behavior, encourage exercise and provide group support.
  • Promises weight loss up to 2 lbs a week.

The strict stipulation of 40% carb, 30% protein, 30% fat is believed to help reduce inflammation, the contributing factor to weight gain.
The strict stipulation of 40% carb, 30% protein, 30% fat is believed to help reduce inflammation, the contributing factor to weight gain. | Source

4. The Zone Diet

Author and creator of the Zone diet, Barry Sears, PhD, contends that the precise combination of protein and carbohydrates can put you in a metabolic “zone” to help facilitate fat loss and keep hunger at bay. He advocates a diet consisting of 30% protein, 30% fat and 40% carbohydrates to boost metabolism and reduce risks of heart disease, high blood pressure and diabetes.

  • No calorie counting
  • Dieters are encouraged to maintain an ideal ratio of protein to carb at each meal.
  • Each daily plan is divided into 3 daily “zone-friendly” meals and 2 “zone-friendly” snacks.
  • Small amount of protein used at every meal, approximately the size of your palm.
  • Moderate amount (twice the amount of protein size) of favored carbohydrates such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans and lentils are encouraged.

You know this diet is not for you if you can't give up avocadoes and nuts.
You know this diet is not for you if you can't give up avocados and nuts. | Source

5. Ornish Diet

When cardiologist Dean Ornish started the diet program to help patients reverse heart disease, he had no idea it would eventually become a weight loss diet plan. He believes that it is not how much you eat that matters, rather, what you eat—hence the catch phrase “Eat more, weigh less.”

  • No need to count calories
  • Eat lots of vegetables, bean, legumes, fruits, whole grains.
  • Moderate amount of no-fat to low-fat dairy products, egg whites and frozen dinners.
  • Foods to be avoided: meats of all kinds (however, if you must eat, very little), all fats, oils, nuts, seeds, avocados, refined carbohydrates such as white rice, white flour and sugar.

Which Weight Loss Plan Work for You?

  • Atkins
  • Biggest Loser
  • Cabbage Soup
  • Hallelujah Diet
  • Jenny Craig
  • Medifast
  • Nutrisystem
  • Ornish
  • South Beach
  • 3 Day Diet
  • Weight Watchers
  • The Zone Diet
  • Free online plan such as Myfitnesspal or Sparkpeople
  • My own personal diet-and-exercise regimen
  • Others
See results without voting

That’s the consumer report list. You may not agree with the findings. With so many diet plans on the market, it boils down to a matter of personal preferences and what you know will work for you. Research shows that it really doesn’t matter what diet you’re on as long as you are able to stick to the diet and make lifestyle and dietary changes that facilitate weight loss.

Still confused? Don’t be. Here are some successful weight loss strategies, whether you’re planning on using a diet plan or doing it on your own:

  • Personalize Your own Weight-loss Plan

The way your body loses weight is a highly individualized matter—the plan that works for your friend may not work for you. Pick one that you know you can live with since diet is not a bus that you can get on and off at various points of your life—think of it as a life-long commitment to healthier eating and lifestyle habits. Choose foods you like or can learn to like, instead of trying to be a food martyr. Many people have found success by just following their own diet-and-exercise regimen.

  • Set Realistic Achievable Goals

Losing 20 pounds a week, just in time to dazzle in the summer swimsuit may conjure pictures of before-and-after amazement but you may also be setting yourself up for failure. Instead, set realistic goals—the ideal way is to lose one to two pounds a week. In the book, “Personal Nutrition,” authors Marie A. Boyle and Sara Long advocate the “10-calorie” rule to help you lose one to two pounds of fat a week. Simply multiply your weight with 10 pounds and keep your diet within or under that count. For example, if you weigh 170 pounds, plan your daily diet to fall under 1,700 calories. You will then work your way down as your weight falls with more circumspect eating habits. Gradual weight loss accompanied by healthy lifestyle changes will bring more enduring results.

Some of my weight loss strategies: Portion Control

Finding it hard to count calories or measure out exact amount of food groups? I use the plate as my guide--1/2 the plate for vegetables, 1/4 the plate designated to protein and the last 1/4 to carb (preferably whole grain). I have black rice here.
Finding it hard to count calories or measure out exact amount of food groups? I use the plate as my guide--1/2 the plate for vegetables, 1/4 the plate designated to protein and the last 1/4 to carb (preferably whole grain). I have black rice here. | Source

Eat Healthy Snacks.

Fruits make healthy snacks (think nutrients, fiber, no fat, low calorie..all characteristics of most fruits). Other healthy snacks include nuts (go easy), baked chips and low-fat dairy products.
Fruits make healthy snacks (think nutrients, fiber, no fat, low calorie..all characteristics of most fruits). Other healthy snacks include nuts (go easy), baked chips and low-fat dairy products. | Source

Include lean and smaller portion of meat

Cutting up your meat into bite-sizes helps to control portion size of meat. I often season my food with spices. Spices like onion, ginger, turmeric, cinnamon are natural fat busters.
Cutting up your meat into bite-sizes helps to control portion size of meat. I often season my food with spices. Spices like onion, ginger, turmeric, cinnamon are natural fat busters. | Source

Exercise

Move your butt..legs..parts of your body. I always have these ready...walking, hiking, jogging..they come in handy.
Move your butt..legs..parts of your body. I always have these ready...walking, hiking, jogging..they come in handy. | Source
  • Focus on Health Rather than Appearance

In this “thin- looks-better” world, the obsession with looking thin may be over-emphasized. Weight and appearance are often perceived as measures of happiness and self-worth. To counteract this negative mindset, focus on the health aspects of losing weight—weight gain is linked to a number of health risks such as hypertension, diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Maintaining an ideal weight will help to reduce health risks. Make that your focus and you'll be less flustered when the results are not as forthcoming as you want it to be.

  • Adopt Active Lifestyle

Restricting calories is one way to help weight loss, but let’s not forget the other part of the equation: exercise. According to Mayo Clinic, regular exercise in tandem with healthy eating helps to prevent weight gain and maintain weight loss. How? Exercise helps to burn off the excess calories that may otherwise be converted into fat to be stored away by the body. The more intense the exercise, the more calories you’ll burn. Exercise may also help to reduce risks of certain diseases, promote more energy and improve mood, amongst others. Strive for at least 30 minutes of exercise each day.

  • Stay Committed

Every now and then, there will be lapses and you may chide yourself for “falling” yet again or you may hit a plateau where nothing you do seems to move your scale down—in such instances, don’t be discouraged. Setbacks like these should not be viewed as failures but rather, as opportunities for you to develop strategies to help your future endeavors. Stay committed and keep at it. Success requires commitment and time.

Conclusion: Diet plans are a good way to jump start weight loss, especially for those who are overwhelmed and don't know where to begin. It's easy to get suck in by fad diet (see video below) with glowing promises to shed pounds, but they may be difficult to follow in the long haul. For enduring results, it's advisable to observe dietary intake, practice a healthy lifestyle and fitness regimen to maintain weight control. There are cases where medical intervention may be necessary to induce weight loss but that can best be determined by the doctor. It is always best to consult the doctor before embarking on any diet plan, especially if there is a preexisting health condition.

What do the experts say about the various diet plans out there. Here's a list of the best diet plans for the year 2014, evaluated by a panel of health experts:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/01/07/best-diets-worst-us-news_n_4549208.html?ref=topbar


How to spot a fad diet?

Here are some websites to help weight loss:

Weight Management and Calories :

Weight management:

Free Online Weight Loss Programs:

Myfitnesspal

Sparkpeople

and if you're interested in reviews of other diet plans, check:

More weight loss plans reviews.


I hope that answers davemidtown's question:

What are your favorite forms of dieting? Which produce the best results?




More by this Author


Comments 31 comments

Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 4 years ago from United States

I didn't know the details about some of those diets. I find it best to exercise and eat small healthy meals. I have been on a couple of the other diets mentioned in years past but if you lose the weight and don't continue to follow a healthy eating plan you will gain back the weight. Rated up and very useful.


Dexter Yarbrough profile image

Dexter Yarbrough 4 years ago from United States

Hi Anglnwu! Great hub on the popular forms of dieting. About 10 years ago I used the Atkins diet and it worked for me. But I think I found the secret. I eat in moderation, exercise quite regularly and leave out the junk food. I now maintain a perfect weight!

Voted up, up and away!


Ruchira profile image

Ruchira 4 years ago from United States

Good read Angi. I am aware of most of these diet fads but, personally I feel that eating right and exercise and being on the move is the BEST regime ever!

Votedup as interesting hub :)


teaches12345 profile image

teaches12345 4 years ago

This is a really good post on dieting! I like your suggestion to treat meat as a condiment. Meat is good on occasion but should be limited to lean protein. Thanks for sharing. Voted up!


I Am Rosa profile image

I Am Rosa 4 years ago from Canada

An interesting post, however it doesn't even remotely address the issue in my Question you said this answered. I asked about getting rid of the excess skin that stays on after the weight has been lost. Thanks for thinking of me tho.

BTW - I found the Blood Type Diet worked wonders at helping me regain my health :-)


anglnwu profile image

anglnwu 4 years ago Author

Rosa, I apologize for linking the wrong hub. I agree that this is a weight loss hub and not the answer to your question. The answer to your question is:

http://hubpages.com/health/How-to-Get-Rid-of-Saggi...

I hope that addresses your question.Again, I'm terribly sorry. I'm glad, however, you came by to comment. Thanks for sharing what works for you. It's always interesting to find out what works for who.


Lady_E profile image

Lady_E 4 years ago from London, UK

This is such a lovely, educative and useful Hub. If I had the "power" I would make it Hub of the month. :)

I love that yellow list in the middle. I'm thinking of cutting it out and pasting in my kitchen. Lovely video too. I have a habit of never measuring food when cooking. I just chuck it all in. lol. I will endeavour to stop that, now that I've read this Hub.

Thanxx.


Om Paramapoonya profile image

Om Paramapoonya 4 years ago

Nice! I like your thorough explanations of these diet plans. I used to follow the blood-type diet for a while. It worked in terms of weight control. However, it was a little hard to follow because some of the foods that are considered "bad" for my blood type turn out to be the foods I like to eat! Now I just eat whatever I want but try to be careful with the portions. Also, I work out 7 days a week! That's how I have stayed under 105 lbs! :)


anglnwu profile image

anglnwu 4 years ago Author

Pamela, thanks for your comments. You're right--if we don't keep up the regimen after weight loss, the weight will come back. Appreciate your visit.


anglnwu profile image

anglnwu 4 years ago Author

Dexter, good to hear from you. Nice job on maintaining your ideal weight. Thanks for your comments.


I Am Rosa profile image

I Am Rosa 4 years ago from Canada

Thanks so much for redirecting me!


anglnwu profile image

anglnwu 4 years ago Author

Ruchira, thanks for your positive feedback. We share the same weight loss strategies- smile.


anglnwu profile image

anglnwu 4 years ago Author

Lady E, you just made my day. I would like to bestow that power to you, just so I would get the award--haha. I think those tips are very useful myself--a good reminder to keep healthy. Thanks for your encouragement, you're such a good friend.


anglnwu profile image

anglnwu 4 years ago Author

Om, nice weight for a nice lady--thanks for sharing your secret. I think that if the diet is hard to follow, it's almost a lost cause. Thanks for adding to this hub with your comments.


anglnwu profile image

anglnwu 4 years ago Author

teaches12345, i agree meat should be eaten in moderation. Lean meat is preferred. Thanks for reading and commenting.


anglnwu profile image

anglnwu 4 years ago Author

Rosa, you're totally welcome and I'm totally sorry (again). Thanks for checking back.


prasetio30 profile image

prasetio30 4 years ago from malang-indonesia

Very informative hub, my friend. I'm on diet program now. I'll combine with everything here. I agree with tips to lose weight and slim fast. Oh...God. I love everything here. You gave us detail information about diet. You have done a great job here. Rated up and pushing all buttons, except funny. Have a nice day :-)

Love and peace,


anglnwu profile image

anglnwu 4 years ago Author

Prasetio, thanks for your encouraging comments. I wish you tbe best of success in your diet program. Have a nice day too.


Ingenira profile image

Ingenira 4 years ago

Wow, a very comprehensive and informative hub indeed. Excellent research work done, angInwu !

I have tried only one diet plan called TRA that worked for me. And I agreed with your conclusion that it is a healthy lifestyle that we have to address, and self-discipline is vital to successful weight management.

Rated up. :)


jojokaya profile image

jojokaya 4 years ago from USA

very informative hub. I have the same weakness, I love noodles too. Rated up ..


thumbi7 profile image

thumbi7 4 years ago from India

An interesting read!

I was not aware of some of these methods of dieting

Thanks for the introduction:)


drpastorcarlotta profile image

drpastorcarlotta 4 years ago from BREAKOUT MINISTRIES, INC. KC

GREAT information on dieting. Thank you! I will share this with my husband. Voted-Up!


anglnwu profile image

anglnwu 4 years ago Author

Ingenira, good to hear from you. I haven't heard of TRA. Thanks for your encouraging comment and I think we're on the same page when it comes to weight loss in the long run. Have a nice day.

jojokaya, yes, we're on the same page too. We love noodles too much to give up. Hopefully, there's hope for us. Thanks for dropping by to comment.


anglnwu profile image

anglnwu 4 years ago Author

thumbi, thanks for reading and commenting.

drpastorcarlotta, always good to see you. Glad you find the information useful. Take care.


Talk N Share profile image

Talk N Share 4 years ago

I've been checking out some hubs other than my own and I'm just sick. I've been told I cannot publish any hub with a link to my health blog, nor can I mention anything I do for health if it is remotely mentioned in my blog - yet each blog out here that I've checked are things I would never be allowed to publish under their rules as I understand them- and this one is the worst offender. How on earth do you get away with it???


anglnwu profile image

anglnwu 4 years ago Author

Hi Talk N Share, if you checked, I have no link to any of my own blog. All that's contained in this hub is lots of hours of research and I 'm just presenting the facts, with no personal interest in promoting anything to benefit me. So, as to how I manage to get away with it? I'm not trying to get away with anything ...I write and that's all I do.


Talk N Share profile image

Talk N Share 4 years ago

Thank you for your kind response. It doesn't appear to me like everything is your own original words and pictures, but if you took all those, then you've been much busier than I am! If that is true, then the only question I'm left with is why they allow you more than two pictures, which I understand is the most they will let you publish. Anyway, your article is a great idea and much needed in the health community. I haven't taken time to read it yet, so don't know if I agree with it all, but it appears you are providing a great service. ;)


Talk N Share profile image

Talk N Share 4 years ago

OK- I read it and it is wonderful that you took time to lay out these many plans, since there has to be a great many people wondering about some of them. I have family members who have done several of them and in each case, if they reached their goal, they weren't able to maintain it. I've been studying and trying diets for more than 35 years and know that even though all these diets work for a few in the long term, most of them don't. It is important to discover how each of our bodies work best and what constitutes healthy foods. Many so called healthy foods are far from it. If what you are about to eat contains sugar, processed flour, processed oils- canola being the worst, then don't eat it. Just changing the brands of some foods you like may be what your body needs. My motto is-- If God made it I will eat it. If man messed with it, I probably won't. Now I'm not counting or measuring the things I eat and don't get hungry unless my body needs something-- wish I'd found my secret to success many years ago and raised my kids that way!


anglnwu profile image

anglnwu 4 years ago Author

Thanks, for checking back and adding to this hub with your observations.


Archa Ghodge profile image

Archa Ghodge 3 years ago from India

Great hub and will definitely useful to many...

Yoga and exercise are can also be considered for losing the extra fat.


anglnwu profile image

anglnwu 3 years ago Author

Archa Ghodge, I agree yoga and exercise are definitely good means of weight control. Thanks for dropping by to comment.

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No HTML is allowed in comments, but URLs will be hyperlinked. Comments are not for promoting your articles or other sites.


    Click to Rate This Article
    working