Perhaps you’ve struggled to find a diet that works for you, despite the almost overwhelming number of choices. And research seems to yield varying results. This is important because being a healthy weight can lower your risk for chronic diseases like type 2 diabetes and many cancers.
A new study of popular diets in the Annals of Internal Medicine, completed a systematic review of controlled trials of popular diets and weight loss programs to look at their effectiveness at 12 months. These included Weight Watchers, Jenny Craig, Medifast, Atkins, SlimFast, eDiets and the LoseIt! app among others.
The authors concluded that Weight Watchers and Jenny Craig programs have the most robust evidence for people losing weight at one year when compared to doing nothing or simply getting general education about weight loss. They cited Nutrisystem as showing promise after a few months, but it lacks long-term results. These programs are all considered to be high intensity – meaning they include at least 12 individual or group counseling sessions.
We’ve written about successful weight loss strategies and the programs in this study include the research-based behaviors like choosing low calorie foods, tracking what you eat and how much you move, as well as finding some type of support, either group or individual. But studies also show that people can lose weight on a variety of diets such as low-fat or low-carb, and an important factor is finding the eating pattern that you can stick with for the rest of your life.
Bottom line: If you are trying or want to lose weight, investigate the options – consider cost, your schedule, your food preferences, how you like to get support and family preferences and environment. The right program for you is the one that you can stick with long-term and that guides you to healthy eating and fitting in physical activity.
If you want to get started today with simple daily steps, download our free 30-day planner. We also offer the New American Plate Challenge – a 12 week program designed to help you eat smarter, move more and lose weight.