U.S. News ranks best diets for 2012
January 4th, 2012
01:15 PM ET

U.S. News ranks best diets for 2012

The beginning of the year is when many people vow to lose weight, and it's also when U.S. News & World Report releases their annual Best Diet rankings, which is based on information from scientific journals, government reports and various health and nutrition experts nationwide.

There are several categories for the top spot.  No. 1 on the Best Diets Overall list (out of 25 contenders) for 2012 is the DASH - Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension - diet.

The publication ranks Weight Watchers. as the No. 1 "Easiest Diet to Follow." The best diet for diabetics is the Biggest Loser Diet and No. 1 in "Best Heart-Healthy Diets" is the Ornish diet, according to U.S. News & World Report.

"All of these programs have common denominators," said Marjorie Nolan, spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, who is not involved in the magazines rankings.  "They all have a level of accountability worked into them, where they have a certain support system and different options," she said. "They generally all promote writing your food down, healthy amounts of exercise and they're all really convenient."

Some other honorable mentions various categories of  the U.S. News & World Report rankings include the TLC Diet, the Mayo Clinic Diet, and the Mediterranean Diet.

Nolan says diets that are easy follow and spell out what you eat, make it easier to stick to them in the long run, consequently leading to long-term benefits.  "Our lives are so busy, people just don't spend much time making really conscious choices around everything that they eat," Nolan added.

It's those choices that make a huge difference in any successful weight loss program, according to that Dr. Vincent Bufalino, cardiologist and spokesperson for the American Heart Association.

"It's what you're consuming that drives the biggest success," he said. "If you can reduce calories and the composition of what you're eating, then you're likely to be successful."

Bufalino suggests tackling weight loss in pieces. If you lose 10 pounds, then set a new goal in June or July.  If you fall off the wagon, get refocused because the payoff of maintaining a healthy weight is great.

"High blood pressure, diabetes, high cholesterol, sedentary lifestyle - all four of those are tied to your weight," he said. "We know that weight loss in each of those categories gives us benefit."

When lifestyle factors are controlled, heart disease risk can be lowered. For someone who already has heart disease, maintaining a healthy lifestyle is critical.

Bufalino and Nolan agree that to successfully lose weight, one should focus about 70% diet and 30% exercise.

The type of diet that worked for your best friend may not be the same one that works for you, Nolan says.  She suggests first identifying your weak areas and what will work for your lifestyle.  Then be patient.  She says two important rules for any diet plan: plan ahead and write it down.

"Allow yourself to take it slow." Bufalino said. "People want their weight loss really quickly and that's not the reality."

soundoff (99 Responses)
  1. portland tony

    Through out history, until the latter part of the 20th century, mankind, with few exceptions has been on the verge of starvation. The wealthy ate reasonably well, but the working class barely got by. Point is, why not ask the citizens of Somalia or Sudan what their secret diet is. The one that keeps them lean and trim? Bottom line : To lose weight, don't eat so damn much.

    January 4, 2012 at 13:33 | Report abuse | Reply
    • ericjw

      it may be because they don't have access to food. they don't eat much because there isn't anything for them to eat. and this is what you want us to follow???

      January 4, 2012 at 14:38 | Report abuse |
    • Letsrock

      Eating a lot is part of the problem , the other problem are people can't afford to eat properly.Consider the fact that a liter of soda that is full of sugar is $.99 a bag of potatoe chips in and around that price. Also consider the fact that people have mutipule jobs and don't have enough time or resources to feed their child properly , it is always faster and easier to serve the comfy food. My point is that eating is part of the problem , Living conditions are the main problems to over weight.

      January 4, 2012 at 15:14 | Report abuse |
    • Abby

      Letsrock, Soda has zero nutritional value. If people can't afford to eat properly, they need to be skipping the soda! Drink water! Spend that $1.50 on a pound and a half of apples or bananas instead if they want a "sweet fix".!

      January 4, 2012 at 16:29 | Report abuse |
    • ANNA

      The Spirit Happy Diet created for diabetics by Science researchers is now used by Science to create fast and healthy weight loss. The Specialized diabetes diet beat Weight Watchers and the Dash diet in a head to head test in Europe. The Researchers showed all weight gain is from Blood sugar even in those without diabetes

      just google SPIRIT HAPPY DIET

      January 4, 2012 at 18:28 | Report abuse |
  2. Marla Heller, MS, RD

    The DASH diet can also be very easy to follow. I wrote The DASH Diet Action Plan to make it practical for people in their real lives. With 28 days of meal plans, recipes, guidance on how to stock up the kitchen, and strategies for how to eat on the run, the book makes it easy. And the DASH diet is good for the whole family. This is the healthy way of eating that people should be doing for their whole life. The DASH diet is also recommended in the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans and by the American Heart Association. For more information, see dashdiet.org.

    Marla Heller, MS, RD
    Author of the best-selling The DASH Diet Action Plan

    January 4, 2012 at 13:33 | Report abuse | Reply
    • NyteShayde

      Diets don't work, and you know it. You should be ashamed.

      January 4, 2012 at 15:08 | Report abuse |
    • NyteShayde

      ...and looking at your "plan" you're doing nothing more than parroting the lies of the meat and dairy commission. It's a shame you spent all that time going to college only to be taught misinformation and lies developed by special interests and a corrupt gov't.

      January 4, 2012 at 15:11 | Report abuse |
    • Emm

      If the government endorses it, it must be good, right? No... it's highly profitable to keep people sick. We must return to our human genes that haven't changed in millions of years. Paleo. It was my saving grace from a whole list of illnesses, and infertility.

      January 4, 2012 at 15:49 | Report abuse |
    • Mia

      I commend you for committing your life to helping people create a healthier lifestyle, and diets do work if you actually follow the plan.

      January 4, 2012 at 17:43 | Report abuse |
    • Galina L.

      I lost more than 30 lb of weight and eliminated most of my health issues on a high-fat-low-carb diet, my mom normalized her BP without medications on the same diet, your DASH diet failed her. Forget about limiting salt and read meat.It is more healthy to stop eating sugars, all grains, limit fruits.

      January 4, 2012 at 20:58 | Report abuse |
    • Kitty

      I'm with Emm... eating primal is the way to go. I almost killed myself with a vegetarian diet, but paleo is the BEST thing I ever did in so many ways beyond weight loss that the weight loss part became trivial. Seriously, you're just wasting your time thinking you'll see long term health benefits eating any other way.

      January 4, 2012 at 23:43 | Report abuse |
    • Robert

      Yup, we just keep coming out with new diets with new names and recreating the wheel every year. Eat the way humans have always ate and you will be healthy. Follow primal, paleo, or paleo 2.0 diet. Or keep following the fad of the moment. I hear the DASH diet for rabbits recommends they stop eating greens and consume only milk and eggs. Complex carbs for humans makes as much sense.

      January 5, 2012 at 13:44 | Report abuse |
    • Stephanie

      DASH looks like nothing more than the old, outdated food pyramid. (Not saying its bad, as it emphasizes limiting salt, fat, and meat and focusing on nutrient-dense fruits veggies and whole grains.) It just isn't anything new.

      Bottom line: going on and off of fad diets will be a source of frustration, unstable energy levels, and yo-yoing weight....adopting a long term lifestyle in which you burn as many calories as you eat and get the most nutrients you can per calorie is the key.

      January 5, 2012 at 18:55 | Report abuse |
    • williams black

      The healthy diet will make your body fit.It bulid your health much stronger. So to become a healthy person you want to take a good and effective diet.

      May 14, 2012 at 05:30 | Report abuse |
  3. chuck

    The key as pointed out by portland tony is portion control. If you need to lose weight you eat less calories than you burn. If you are trying to stay the same you eat only the amount that equals what you burn in a day.
    I started 2011 at 285 pounds way over weight for my height today I am 208, I have done this by eating less of what I love, and moving my butt more and I am 64 years old. The key to weight loss and control is wanting to do it and having a plan you are willing to live by the rest of your life.

    January 4, 2012 at 13:52 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Susan

      This is how my 22 year old cousin lost weight – mainly by reducing portions, and he worked out a lot. He lost over 150 pounds and looks like a completely different person now.

      January 4, 2012 at 15:04 | Report abuse |
    • Galina L.

      I forgot about portions, dropped most carbohydrates, even fruits, and no whole grains, of course, eat enough of protein and didn't limit fats, and manage to loose weight even though I am a 51 years old hypo-thyroidal female. Young male would loose on any diet, try it in my position.

      January 4, 2012 at 22:49 | Report abuse |
  4. Frank

    Isn't the DASH diet basically the USDA food pyramid with slightly different portions?

    January 4, 2012 at 14:03 | Report abuse | Reply
    • ericjw

      that was my thought exactly, i have hypertension and this diet did not work for me, even my doctor advised against it. BUT, it may work for others.

      January 4, 2012 at 14:41 | Report abuse |
  5. Alex

    My best diet for people...and it's free:
    1. Get your fat ass off the couch(or computer) and excercise
    2. Eat healthy food
    3. Eat in moderation

    Believe it or not it does work.

    January 4, 2012 at 14:24 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Erin

      It's sadly not as simple as this. Science is showing us that the biological systems controlling weight are incredibly complex. Your body doesn't "want" to lose weight – it tries everything in its power to maintain your weight. It's possible to exercise, eat healthy food in moderation and not loose weight.

      January 4, 2012 at 14:48 | Report abuse |
    • not a fan of diets

      Couldn't agree more. I personally subscribe to the "Eat Less. Move more." concept. I've not overweight and have never paid a dime to any of these weight-loss programs. It's all about exercise and portion control. Step away from the food buffet at Ryan's and you're going to lose weight.

      January 4, 2012 at 14:58 | Report abuse |
    • Susan

      Easier said than done for many reasons, but it is possible.

      January 4, 2012 at 15:05 | Report abuse |
    • Alex

      How could moving more and eating less not be any simpler? Are you kidding me?

      January 4, 2012 at 17:33 | Report abuse |
    • Mia

      I completely agree that it is really that simple; however, I believe that a diet plan can help motivate people and educate them on what is healthy and not healthy. I have never been overweight, but I wanted to lose a few pounds and Weight Watchers was a success for me. Now I follow the Weight Watcher system all the time to maintain.

      January 4, 2012 at 17:49 | Report abuse |
    • Alex

      I agree Mia....good point.

      January 4, 2012 at 17:50 | Report abuse |
    • Mia

      Believe it or not, there are a lot of people who really have no clue how high in calories some of the stuff they are eating is! Sad but true!

      January 4, 2012 at 17:53 | Report abuse |
  6. xinejaquette

    I recommend using Fitday.com no matter what diet you try to follow. It lets you track your calories but also your nutritional intake, exercise, goals etc. It is also free and I have used it to work out the calorie count on homemade meals. I still eat the things I enjoy and grew up with but I can manage my portions better now that I have data to work with.

    January 4, 2012 at 14:38 | Report abuse | Reply
  7. Michael

    One word ... veganism.

    January 4, 2012 at 14:54 | Report abuse | Reply
    • ericjw

      you can still gain weight being a vegan....

      January 4, 2012 at 15:00 | Report abuse |
    • Susan

      I know two vegans. One is overweight and the other is skinny and sickly looking. Neither is glowing with health.

      January 4, 2012 at 15:07 | Report abuse |
    • Leaf on the Wind

      One word - ick.

      January 4, 2012 at 15:14 | Report abuse |
    • NyteShayde

      Because they're focusing on grains and not enough fruits and vegetables. In short, they're doing it wrong.

      January 4, 2012 at 15:15 | Report abuse |
    • Emm

      Veganism is the biggest lie of human existence. And vegans die of heart attacks at the same rate as people eating SAD (standard american diet). Paleo is the answer. Cats eat meat. Dogs eat meat. Cows eat grass. Birds eat seeds/berries. Humans eat Paleo.

      January 4, 2012 at 15:46 | Report abuse |
    • Abby

      Yes, let's all eat a diet that REQUIRES supplements because it's impossible to even get all your required nutrients from the food you eat. There's a reason no society/culture has traditionally been vegan: because they would have died out if they tried. If you follow the news, there have been several stories in the past several years about vegan mother's babies dying because the mother's milk simply lacks the nutrients to support life. Vegan babies tend to be behind their vegetarian and omnivorous peers in brain development.

      Vegetarian and omnivorous diets can be healthy. Vegan is NOT a healthy diet.

      January 4, 2012 at 16:36 | Report abuse |
    • Jack

      Then why are Cows fat?

      January 4, 2012 at 18:12 | Report abuse |
  8. Si Chhi

    From reading the methodology, it sounds like a complete popularity contest based on the viewpoints of the experts doling out the points for each category. I didn't realize it was possible to create an even more subjective ranking than the US News College Rankings (which at least gives out some points according to concrete data such as test score and acceptance rate).

    January 4, 2012 at 14:58 | Report abuse | Reply
  9. Craig D.

    I've lost 55 pounds in 12 months. Here's my strategy:

    Eliminate Soda. Drink 5 cups of green tea a day.
    Portion control.
    Walk for 20 minutes a day.
    Limit between meal snacks.

    It works. Good luck to you.

    January 4, 2012 at 15:19 | Report abuse | Reply
    • r

      Why that sounds completely SANE! And too simple for a lot of people to understand!!!!

      January 4, 2012 at 15:48 | Report abuse |
    • Jennifer

      YES -Atkins Diet (FAILED)YES -Weight Watchers (FAILED)NO -Slimb7Fast Optima DietNO -Sugar BustersNO -South Beach DietYES Calorie Restricted Diet (FAILED)YES Whole Plant Based Diet (THE WINNER)NOTE:The only diet that worked for me was a diet caelld a low-fat whole plant based diet that has been endorsed by Dr. Dean Ornish, Dr. Neal Barnard, Dr. Joel Fuhrman, Dr. John McDougall, and Professor T. Colin Campbell. Read any of these outstanding biochemists and nutrition experts for details. If you read Gina Kolata's book Rethinking Thin you will learn that over the long-term, none of the commercially popular diets worked for most people. People, even those who are highly motivated, cannot stay on these diets because they are temporary and cannot be sustained.I will answer the following questions with regard to a Whole Plant Based diet as described by Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn, Jr.1.Why did you initially choose this diet?At a dinner party, a distinguish retired physician pulled me aside and expressed concern for my health because of my excess weight. As an active triathelete, he had instant credibility. He recommended that I read Dr. Dean Ornish. I started the diet, the next day. Since that day, I moved through the authors I listed above who recommend essentially the same diet.2.What is the basic premise of this diet/eating plan?Avoid food like substances that are over processed. Avoid excess sugar, fat/oil, salt, caffeine, alcohol, refined carbohydrates, MSG, aspartame, drugs, food contaminants, food additives, dairy, eggs, and all other forms of animal protein. Instead eat the following foods:+ Leafy greens Kale, Collards High in iron, calcium, and protein.+ Legumes Peas, Beans, Lentils Bean sprouts are delicious and nutritious+ Whole Grains Brown Rice, Buckwheat, and non-gluten whole grains (not instant and overprocessed)+ Colorful Vegetables Steamed and raw+ Vitamin B12 and D as needed+ Ground Flax Seed for Omega-3 Essential Fatty Acids (avoid all other fats and oils)+ Drink pure well water avoiding municipal water supplies treated with chlorine and fluoride3. What were two positive aspects of the diet?+ This is a lifestyle change and the motivation to stay on the diet is built in. It's how good you feel.+ No calorie counting+ No feeling of deprivation+ Prevention and reversal of cardiovascular disease and diabetes. (Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn, Jr.)+ Blood work is automatically moved toward health4.Were there any downsides to the diet plan? Explain.It requires that you learn how to cook and not use some common ingredients. Eating out can be a problem, but you can find ethnic restaurants that serve healthier foods.5.Did you have success on this diet?Yes. I lost 90 pounds, regained my sense of smell, no longer have sinus infections, and have perfect blood work.6.Are you still on the diet plan?It's my new lifestyle, not a temporary diet.7.Have you maintained your weight loss?Yes. I am now moving on to portion control. I plan to eat just two meals per day. A big breakfast and an afternoon meal.8.Do you feel the diet is safe? Why or why not?It is absolutely the safest and healthiest way to eat. The authors and experts I cited above are independent of food industry interests. The diet is optimal for everyone, skinny or fat.9.Did you exercise while on the diet?I exercise aerobically five times per week for an hour at a time. I bicycle to work every day.10.Would you follow this diet plan again?It's the only diet for me. If you diet for a temporary period of time, you can be assured that the weight will rebound. You must make the diet a lifestyle choice.

      July 3, 2012 at 04:59 | Report abuse |
  10. NyteShayde

    People, diets don't work. They never have, they never will. All of the information you're working from (The FDA, USDA, the meat and dairy industry, corporations like Monsanto and ConAgra) is wrong on a deadly level. They have an agenda, that agenda is to make money off you and your fruitless efforts. If it comes in a box, bag, can, or polystyrene package, don't eat it! Don't bother listening to the Food Pyramid or MyPyramid. It's BS, plain and simple. Whole...natural...foods. 95% plant based. Vegetables, fruit, whole grains, seeds, nuts. In that order. 5% animal protein, but only if you seriously can't give it up. There is OVERWHELMING peer reviewed evidence that animal protein (including milk) and animal fat causes every form of cancer this country is battling. It is the leading cause of atherosclerosis. There is plenty of evidence out there. Look it up.

    Dr. Fuhrman, Dr. Esselstyn, Dr. Ornish, Dr. Caldwell...all of them foremost experts in their fields. I switched to a high plant, low meat, low fat (not no fat, but low) and lost every ounce of excess fat with exercise in almost no time and have kept it off effortlessly. Just look into it. I'm not a conspiracy theorist, this isn't a theory. It's real. The "food" industry will do anything, say anything, to make you purchase their garbage. They don't care about your health, they care about their bottom line.

    January 4, 2012 at 15:25 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Emm

      Actually, every study that claimed meat is linked to cancer was seriously flawed, we are now finding. Like The China Study especially. The entire book was pretty much cherry-picked to present the data the author wanted. What it showed was eating meat DECREASES the incidence of cancer. There is not one study done correctly that shows meat is linked to cancer. It's the opposite. Starches, grains, sugar all fuel cancer. That wheat bread with fat free cream cheese for breakfast? Cancer city.

      January 4, 2012 at 15:43 | Report abuse |
    • Emm

      And Dr. Furhman's beloved legumes cause leaky gut syndrome (I used to follow his plan... worst years of my life)

      January 4, 2012 at 15:52 | Report abuse |
    • Terrils

      I'm not sure I can even fathom what your point is. Diets do work when people are able to stick to them. I'm living proof and I'm not the only one. It's just hard; that's why people fall off them.

      But the real point here is that you fault this story, then advocate ... exactly what the story is advocating. Vegetables and fruits, whole grains – real food.

      January 4, 2012 at 16:36 | Report abuse |
  11. portland tony

    @ ericjd..........My facetious point was that so much advice is given to us on how to diet and lose weight, when simplistically, the answer is to eat less. In addition, one of the causes for our tendency to overeat may lie hidden in our innate desire to survive. A tendency leftover from the beginning of time when food meant life.

    January 4, 2012 at 15:32 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Emm

      The only reason why humans overeat is because the carbs have become so processed and wheat is so addictive that our tastebuds just can't handle it. It's designed to make us want more. Go Paleo. It solves EVERYTHING.

      January 4, 2012 at 15:39 | Report abuse |
    • r

      I totally agree with Emm.

      January 4, 2012 at 15:47 | Report abuse |
  12. Emm

    Why are there so many different diets for humans? Would anyone ever argue that cats and dogs eat meat, cows eat grass, birds eat seeds and berries? Humans eat Paleo. And when a human eats Paleo they cannot be obese or have inflammatory diseases. Me and thousands of other people are testimonies to the truth. Humans eat Paleo. It's 'The Human Diet', and that's all the body needs.

    January 4, 2012 at 15:38 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Terrils

      What exactly is a "paleo"? Can I get them canned and frozen?

      Also ... I'm not entirely persuaded I want to go to a diet that people lived off of when the life expectancy was 30 or so years. Guess what – we aren't cavemen any more, and we live longer.

      January 4, 2012 at 16:39 | Report abuse |
    • Abby

      Terrils, Don't knock something unless you've actually researched it. If I had the dedication, I would go Paleo. I'm hovering more along the lines of WAPF-leaning-towards-primal eating philosophy. (No way I could completely give up dairy, I adore cheese.)

      January 4, 2012 at 17:04 | Report abuse |
  13. r

    Oh, puhleez. Cut out the crappy white flour pastas, bread, rice, etc. Limit sugar and salt. Eat more vegets and grains and seafood. Exercise. Stick to clear alcohol, like vodka. Live long and prosper.

    January 4, 2012 at 15:47 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Craig D.

      Amen Brother. or Sister.

      January 4, 2012 at 20:50 | Report abuse |
  14. Matt

    as a 24 year old 135 lbs 5' 5" man, I'm not over weight, but I enjoy these articles because there is more to nutrition than just losing weight, which they make very clear if you read the article.

    January 4, 2012 at 15:49 | Report abuse | Reply
  15. ANNA

    The Spirit Happy Diet created for diabetics by Science researchers is now used by Science to create fast and healthy weight loss. The Specialized diabetes diet beat Weight Watchers and the Dash diet in a head to head test in Europe. The Researchers showed all weight gain is from Blood sugar even in those without diabetes

    to see just google SPIRIT HAPPY DIET

    January 4, 2012 at 18:29 | Report abuse | Reply
    • aaskdlfjasldf

      Spirit happy diet? That is spam. It is a religion seeking popularity.

      September 19, 2012 at 23:10 | Report abuse |
  16. sarah S

    why do people need diet plans? eating right isn't hard or that expensive. fresh fruits and veggies are cheap. and you'd have to be an idiot not to know that eating a lot of fruits and veggies and not drinking soda or eating fast food will help you lose weight and be healthier. my mother in law always talks about being healthier and losing weight but she refuses to give up fast food and cook at home. no wonder she has a doctors appointment every week.

    January 4, 2012 at 18:53 | Report abuse | Reply
    • abbyful

      A lot of it has to do with how brainwashed Americans are. We have essentially been taught that we're too stupid to figure out what to eat on our own, that the government or health organizations need to tell us how to eat a healthy diet. And we've been told throughout the years that 'fake' foods are healthier, such as the push for everyone to use margarine instead of butter, yet now we know margarine has trans-fats and butter is actually better, but a lot of people have missed that memo and avoid butter in favor of the margarine they think is healthier. Also, what we've been told to eat (high-carb, low-fat diet based on grains) isn't based on health, it's based on business/politics and feeding the masses cheaply.

      Before I actually did my own reading on nutrition, I was sucked into that mindset. I ate tons of whole grains, chose low-fat versions of everything, etc. I've never had a problem with my weight (I'm actually in the underweight category according to my BMI), but when I switched my diet to minimal grain intake, full-fat dairy products, grass-fed beef, etc., all the things that are supposedly "bad", my cholesterol and triglyceride numbers improved. They were never "bad", but they moved further into the "good/excellent" range.

      January 6, 2012 at 10:18 | Report abuse |
  17. zoe

    Shut it..shut your fat american mouths.

    January 4, 2012 at 21:16 | Report abuse | Reply
  18. keith

    Paleo is better than SAD (Std. American Diet), but still not the best diet. Balance is what makes a diet great and easy to continue as a lifestyle. If you balance the portions of each food carefully so that you get all daily recommended vitamins, minerals, essential fatty acids and fats in their proper proportions. The problem with the way most people practice paleo is there is still no portion control. Paleo followers often eat many of the right foods, but are still vitamin deficient because they don't balance their food proportions. Good health isn't easy and can't be found by luck.

    January 4, 2012 at 22:22 | Report abuse | Reply
  19. Kari

    "diet" as a word has totally been morphed in the American language. A diet is simple what you eat. We are all on a diet. Trying to label diets in a box just sets people up to fail in something that shouldn't be pass/fail. Michael pollen has it right. Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.

    January 4, 2012 at 22:26 | Report abuse | Reply
  20. arianna

    Portion control is the key to losing weight. But the problem with most diets is that you suddenly and drastically cut the number of calories you eat. You end up hungry all of the time, plus your metabolism slows down because your body thinks it's starving and tries to conserve energy. That makes it much harder to succeed. Instead, it's easier to make small, gradual changes over time. Research has shown that you won't even notice a change of 100 to 200 calories day to day. You can do this by gradually using smaller and smaller plates, either on your own, or with a program like the DishDiet.

    January 4, 2012 at 23:35 | Report abuse | Reply
  21. Caroline

    a) Eat real food, nothing fake.

    b) Ignore any dietary advice which came out in the last 100 years.

    January 5, 2012 at 04:47 | Report abuse | Reply
  22. WWRRD

    Best diet for 2012 is just to eat the right amount of calories. It's that simple. The problem isn't so much what americans are eating, it is how much.

    By how much , I am referring to caloric intake, not food by volume. Americans in general need to eat more less calorie dense foods. And first and foremost,.lay off the sugary drinks. They are packed with calories and no nutritional value.

    January 5, 2012 at 07:33 | Report abuse | Reply
  23. GBfromOhio

    My diet was pretty decent, and I exercise regularly, but I decided to take it up a notch, cut back on simple carbohydrates (no bread, pizza, pasta) and eat a lot of veggies, leafy greens, nuts, fruit, drink on water, green tea and whey protein shakes and lost 15 pounds in six weeks (was not really trying to lose weight, trying to increase energy level, weight loss was a pleasant surprise). It's a lifestyle you adopt, not a "diet". I'm a vegetarian (NOT vegan) based on ethical reason, but I do not chastise anyone who eats meat, I realize man is an omnivore.

    January 5, 2012 at 10:08 | Report abuse | Reply
  24. CB from Wisconsin

    I went low carb because I found out I am insulin resistant (PCOS). I compared my lipid results before and after being on the low carb regime for only 15 days and could not believe the results. All levels decreased dramatically except HDL, which increased to a more healthy level. I also began to have a noticeable lift in my energy level. After seeing the results and losing weight (still in the process), I can't help but believe for myself, that cutting out most carbs (anything white) and eating good protein is definitely the way I need to go about "dieting". I guess I can't speak for everyone – just sharing my story.

    January 5, 2012 at 13:31 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Patricia

      Ahhh attack of the meohcpronis!! I thought Valerie's one was going to eat her! Then off to boot camp Really good interview. Good product placement (showing off Rich's muscly bicep). Said alot of things we've been made aware of but Rich's right you have to want it. Gyms don't work for me I need my butt kicked. Does Rich do sessions in Australia ?

      April 14, 2012 at 14:59 | Report abuse |
  25. Low carb saved my life

    Was obese 2 years ago. Went low carb at the advice of a friend. My doc told me its a bad idea. I have lost over 150lbs and improved every bio marker of health. Minimal exercise, maybe once a week. It's funny that farmers feed their cattle a high carb diet to fatten them up, yet experts tell us to eat high carb low fat. Don't be a sucker.

    January 5, 2012 at 19:43 | Report abuse | Reply
  26. ksmahoney

    The thing that all these diets have in common is ease of use and accountability. There has actually been perr-reviewed research demonstrating that commercial weight loss programs like weight watchers are more effective than a doctor prescribed diet simply because they include accountability. All the more reason to find a weight-loss partner this January!

    January 6, 2012 at 15:07 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Neha

      A blonde is teibrrly overweight, so her doctor put her on a diet. I want you to eat regularly for 2 days, then skip a day, and repeat this procedure for 2 weeks. The next time I see you, you'll have lost at least 5 pounds. When the blonde returned, she shocked the doctor by losing nearly 40 pounds. Why, that's amazing! the doctor said, Did you follow my instructions? The blonde nodded I'll tell you though, I thought I was going to drop dead that 3rd day. From hunger, you mean? , asked the doctor. No, from skipping.

      April 14, 2012 at 14:58 | Report abuse |
  27. SugarBoy

    Good discussion everyone. I just want to point out that the way this study is being reported on CNN is not really accurate to the results posted on USN. CNN is stating the Ornish diet is #1 for diabetic intervention, while the study shows a tie between the Dash and Big Loser diets. Maybe it's not a big deal, but unless you read the actual reports you don't really have the accurate information.

    January 6, 2012 at 15:27 | Report abuse | Reply
  28. bill

    Pork rinds are the answer

    January 7, 2012 at 01:48 | Report abuse | Reply
  29. larry5

    The Paleo diet worked for me. I don't want any of these modern health problems like diabetes, high blood pressure osteoporosis, high cholesterol and others that started showing up when people started on the agrarian life style. After 3 months on the diet I was off all my pills.

    January 8, 2012 at 07:53 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Michelle

      I absolutely agree on all tips, but it's aliecpelsy important to find help! It's very hard to find the motivation AND determination to bring you to your goal in your weight loss journey. It is so much easier, when you have someone guiding you every step of the way, someone you should be accountable to and someone that can tell you that it's ok, if you fall off the horse. We sometimes tend to think that it's the end of the diet, if we do cheat, but one thing I learned through my health coach, Belinda, is that it sets you back a few days and you CAN get right back to it. You owe it to yourself to finally get healthy and live the life you've always wanted. Stop procrastinating and make the first step!

      April 14, 2012 at 13:18 | Report abuse |
  30. Charlotte

    What this article doesn't quite succeed in pointing out (although it's the logical extension) is that programs like Weight Watchers are successful because over the long haul they cause you to change your habits – not just when and where you eat, but what you reach for. I lost about 70 lbs on WW a few years ago and it has been very easy keeping it off because I am no longer in the habit of going for cookies or nuts when I feel like eating; the first thing I think of is grapes, raw carrots, maybe wasabi peas if I want crunch. I don't even WANT the sweets any more. I think this is the success. I no longer obsessively track everything that goes into my mouth but I also know that it is not any different from what I was eating while I was "dieting" so it's been easy. It's about habits as much as anything else.

    January 8, 2012 at 11:33 | Report abuse | Reply
  31. Ray Schilling, MD

    Dr. Bray from the Pennington Biomedical Research Center, Baton Rouge, Louisiana published a study on Jan. 4, 2012 that involved 25 healthy individuals aged 18 to 35 (16 males, 9 females). They were given a diet in excess of almost 1000 calories per day, but the protein content differed significantly. They were given either 5%, 15% or 25% of protein and after 8 weeks (and at baseline) their body composition was measured by dual x-ray absorptiometry (=DEXA scan). The low protein group (5%) gained more fat than muscle, while the normal protein group and the high protein group gained more muscle mass despite the high calorie content in all groups. The authors concluded that a calorie restriction program for losing weight is best achieved by eating a high (or at least normal) protein diet, low in fat and rich in colorful fruits and vegetables (complex carbohydrates). Avoid sugar and starchy foods (high density carbs). Read more about this study on my web site:
    Ray Schilling, MD

    January 18, 2012 at 17:26 | Report abuse | Reply
  32. Samuel Bogale Calgary Alberta

    Interesting – good to know – when their are so many diets to choose from out there!

    January 19, 2012 at 14:46 | Report abuse | Reply
  33. HCG Diet For Weight loss

    It is good to know about different types of diet we can take. Thank you for this interesting share.


    January 21, 2012 at 04:36 | Report abuse | Reply
  34. Rob

    One thing i didnt see mentioned was our blood type,this makes a huge difference and is why some diets work for some and not for others,i believe that we are plant based eaters first, and should have lean meat a few times a week for optimal health.
    I have recently given up meat for the slaughtering, and the planet.

    February 14, 2012 at 16:15 | Report abuse | Reply
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  40. penny

    One of the major factors causing obesity today is processed foods. I lost 63 pounds with the detox diet. Most of us now get the majority of our food from cardboard boxes and plastic containers. Which means we are getting way too much highly processed foods, stuff stripped of the natural ingredients that keep us lean and healthy, and pumped full of unnatural ingredients that make us fat and tired. It is about detoxing and replacing processed foods with real food and you will lose weight and be healthier.

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    July 1, 2012 at 22:59 | Report abuse | Reply
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  42. pahllancy

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  45. Juan Diskin

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    August 6, 2012 at 04:43 | Report abuse | Reply
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  49. Jacqueline King

    Try my new book, "Too Busy to Diet" to be printed in early 2013. Great ideas for eating healthy with a busy lifestyle.

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Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.