As many Americans resolve to lose weight and lead healthier lifestyles in the new year, U.S. News & World Report today released its Best Diets 2014, featuring rankings and information on 32 diet plans. The DASH diet wins Best Diets Overall, while Weight Watchers continues to hold the No. 1 spot for Best Weight-Loss Diets.
The Mediterranean Diet, which received attention in 2013 for boosting heart health, claimed the No. 1 spot among Plant-Based Diets and the No. 3 spot among Best Diets Overall, behind DASH and the TLC Diet. The Vegetarian (No. 11) and Vegan diets (No. 18) both fell in the middle of the pack among all diets, while the Paleo diet – the most Google-searched plan of 2013 – tied for last place with the Dukan diet.
New in 2014, U.S. News ranked three additional diets – the Acid-Alkaline Diet, the Spark Solution Diet and the Fast Diet – and added extensive profiles of two popular diets for digestive health – the Gluten-Free Diet and the Low FODMAP Diet.
“Best Diets 2014 is designed to help consumers identify a diet that suits their specific needs, whether they are trying to lose weight, control a chronic disease or achieve a healthier lifestyle overall,” said Angela Haupt, health & wellness editor for U.S. News. “We assembled top experts and developed the tools and rankings to provide a resource for the thousands of Americans struggling to maintain a healthy weight and lifestyle.”
U.S. News’ panel of health experts, including nutritionists and physicians specializing in diabetes, heart health and weight loss, scored each diet for short- and long-term weight loss, ease of compliance, safety and nutrition. Diets were ranked in eight categories, including diabetes and heart disease prevention and control, as well as easiness to follow and likelihood of weight loss. For further details on how the rankings were calculated, see the methodology.
In addition to the rankings and data, Best Diets 2014 features in-depth profiles of each diet, including how the diet works, evidence supporting or refuting its claims, a nutritional snapshot, and a close look at the food on each plan. Searchable tools allow users to identify diets that meet their individual nutritional, health and lifestyle needs and new videos highlighting personal diet success stories – from a woman who lost 90 pounds on a commercial weight loss plan, to a vegan athlete who got healthy for his kids and a new mom working to lose the baby weight – inspire consumers to take charge of their health in the new year.
U.S. News Best Diets 2014 Rankings
*See the full list of the Best Diets online
Best Diets Overall 1. DASH Diet 2. TLC Diet 3. Mediterranean Diet 3. Weight Watchers 3. Mayo Clinic Diet
Best Weight-Loss Diets 1. Weight Watchers 2. Jenny Craig 2. Biggest Loser 2. Raw Food Diet
Best Diabetes Diets 1. DASH Diet 2. Biggest Loser 3. Vegan Diet 3. Mayo Clinic Diet 3. Ornish Diet 3. Engine 2 Diet 3. Flexitarian Diet
Best Heart-Healthy Diets 1. Ornish Diet2. TLC Diet3. DASH Diet
Best Diets for Healthy Eating 1. DASH Diet2. TLC Diet3. Mediterranean Diet
Easiest Diets to Follow 1. Weight Watchers2. Jenny Craig3. Mediterranean Diet4. Flexitarian Diet
Best Commercial Diet Plans 1. Weight Watchers2. Jenny Craig3. Biggest Loser
Best Plant-Based Diets 1. Mediterranean Diet2. Flexitarian Diet3. Ornish Diet
5 weight loss myths
Myth 1: The never-count-calories-again diet. The fact is excess calories not burned-off during daily activities eventually contributes to weight-gain. It’s all about input versus output. You don’t have to “count” calories per say but to lose weight you have to burn more than you eat, period. You have to know how much you’ve burned and how much you’ve consumed (no matter the method). And, it’s a fact that most people overestimate their physical activity and underestimate their caloric intake.
Myth 2: Less meals means more weight-loss. When caloric intake is too low the body goes into starvation mode and your metabolism slows down and weight-loss stalls. You have to consistently and regularly feed your body for it to move and function. There are lots of theories out there, such as don’t eat more than three meals daily and don’t snack between meals to lose weight. But eating smaller meals and healthy snacks throughout the day prevents hunger, overeating, and keeps blood-sugar stable. To curb hunger and still get all your nutrients, load your plate with fruit, vegetables, beans and grains.
Myth 3: No carbohydrates, please! Some diets cut out all carbohydrates. However, diets are not lifestyle changes and that is what’s necessary to lose and keep excess weight off long-term. Once the diet is over and you resume eating regularly—you will regain the weight if you don’t watch your ratios (see myth #1.) More importantly, the body needs a certain amount of carbohydrates to function (especially the brain—it converts carbs into “brain-food.”) Seek out omega-3 fatty acids and complex carbs instead of highly-processed foods.
Myth 4: It’s all about willpower. The best way to prevent from falling off the wagon again—treat yourself occasionally. Do everything in moderation because finding that balance long-term is the true secret to leading a healthy, enjoyable and normal life. Never totally deprive yourself of the things you like. Simply use common sense and treat yourself at least once a month. Use your “willpower” to exercise consistently, shakeup your workout regularly, and stick to your weight-loss plans indefinitely.
Myth 5: Exercise alone is enough to lose weight. Cutting calories and adjusting what you eat is actually a more effective way to lose weight (if you’re already exercising.) Simply passing up on the brownies and cupcakes is easier than sweating it out on a treadmill for an hour. It takes only minutes to eat in excess, but a whole lot more hard work (and intensity) in the gym to burn it off. Consider the quality of your food by looking at the calorie density and nutritional values.
Press Releases / Canadajournal