Everyone seems to be on a diet, and no two people choose the same one. Picking a diet is hard, although there is some great help available. A recent research paper took a scientific look at the popular diets and rated them, based on total pounds lost. Did your diet make the grade?
It is impractical to have a single research study collect enough volunteers to directly measure the effectiveness of the most popular diets. There are just too many diets and too few volunteers. Instead, a team of doctors from across Canada and the United States studied existing research papers that each studied one or two diets, and compared their results. Since every diet study compared weight loss enjoyed by their dieters to weight loss without a diet, these studies could be statistically compared.
The diets were categorized by type, low carb, low fat, or moderate/macronutrient. The weight loss averages after six months of dieting and one year of dieting were collected from each research paper. Surprisingly, the winners in the 6 month contest were different from the 12 month winners.
After 6 months, people on an Atkins diet enjoyed the most weight loss, an average of 22.3 pounds. Atkins lead the field, followed by Volumetrics, Ornish, Zone, Weight Watchers, Rosemary Conley and Jenny Craig (with a still-respectable 12.7 pounds lost).
After 12 months the field shifts a bit. The winner is the Ornish diet, at 14.4 pounds lost. It is followed by Jenny Craig, Rosemary Conley, Atkins (dropping to 14.0 pounds lost), volumetrics, Zone and Weight Watchers (at 13.0 pounds lost).
What does this tell us? Your diet should be chosen based on your own personal preferences and habits, because most of the popular ones will do fine. It is also interesting to note that a hefty weight loss in the first six months doesn't necessarily mean that you are going to keep that weight off.
So consider your likes and dislikes, find yourself a diet buddy and pick out the sensible diet that's exactly right for you!