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Sunday, January 22, 2017

Best Diets for Weight Loss in 2017

Making a resolution to lose a few pounds in 2017?  If so, what are the best diets to be on for those interested in dropping a few pounds?  So many weight loss diets are “bad” diets as they are fads, diets that take away food groups and take away nutrients.  Diets that don’t change your lifestyle but offer a quick solution but for many a temporary solution.  You may lose some weight but once you go “off” the diet, you gain the weight back.  US News & World Report not only ranks the best diets for overall health (last week’s blog topic) but also the Best Weight-Loss Diets.  
What makes a weight-loss diet a winner?  The experts ranking the diets looked for both short and long term weight loss results.   They noted some diets did well in the short term, people lost weight on the diet, but long-term results, not so good.  A diet really isn’t successful if you gain all the weight back that you wanted to say good bye to. 
What Weight Loss Diets were ranked the best by US News & World Report 

    1. Weight Watchers = Number 1 Diet for Weight Loss in 2017
a.       Pros:  Healthier eating.  Weight Watchers helps you learn to eat healthier and encourages exercise.  This diet doesn’t just focus on counting calories but on making healthier food choices.  In Weight Watchers, you count points, not calories.  Unlike many diets, Weight Watchers doesn’t just focus on lowering calories.  It also helps you choose healthier foods, foods with less saturated fat, less added sugar and more protein.  There is mobile App to use on your smartphone. Fitness – you count points for food and you count points for exercise.  But not just going to the gym, cleaning your house adds points, mowing the lawn, walking the dog.  Basically, get moving points.
b.       Cons – some people don’t like all the counting of points.  A student in my class said their mother was happy counting the points but their dad said he just wanted to eat when out in a restaurant and didn’t want to figure out the points for every food on his plate. 
      2.  Jenny Craig Diet = Number 2 Diet for Weight Loss in 2017 (actually a tie for second place)
a.       Pros – this program offers meals that come to you with calories already counted for you.  They also provide recipes so you can make foods that fit into their diet program.  Like Weight Watchers, Jenny Craig promotes an active lifestyle and healthier eating patterns.  Studies do show you will lose weight on this program, as long as you stay on the program.
b.       Cons – cost – you will pay for the pre-packaged food. US News & World Report notes the enrollment fee is $99 and food costs can run $15 to $23 dollars each day which equates to $450 to $690 a month.  So not a cheap way to lose weight.  You can eat out occasionally, but the program is based on Jenny Craig foods delivered to you or you make.  A male student in my class chose this diet to lose weight for a future mountain climbing trip.  He lost weight, but said he was quite hungry at times. 
      3. Volumetrics Diet = Number 2 Diet for Weight Loss in 2017  (not a typo, this diet tied with Jenny Craig for second place) 
a.       Pros – focus of this diet is foods loaded with nutrients not loaded with calories.  Thus, more fruits and vegetables which are low in calories but full of nutrients.  A nutrition professor from Penn State University is behind this diet.  She divides foods into 4 groups – not the basic four, but new groups based on energy density (or calorie density).  Nonstarchy fruits and vegetables are number one or category one.  Then comes the starchy fruits and vegetables along with grains, cereals, low -fat meats and other low-fat foods.  Junk food ends up in the 4th category – the chips, candy, cookies.  Interesting that nuts are put in the 4th category and nuts are a healthy food choice.  Cost is a pro as there are no expensive foods to buy.  You do need to buy a book to give you guidance on what to eat and cook on this diet.
b.       Cons -  You have to keep track of what food is in what category.  If you choose a higher calorie food, you might be able to eat only a portion of it to fit into your daily allotment.  Exercise is not a major focus although the diet encourages walking and increasing your daily steps to 10, You can read a lot more about each diet at the Best Weight-Loss Diets website and by going to the websites of each of the above programs.
Try a diet that works for you.  One you can follow and stay on.  One that not only results in weight loss but lifestyle changes that help you keep off any weight you do lose.  WeMD has good advice to follow:  to prevent disease and stay active for life, you do need to exercise. So be sure to add this into your new lifestyle!  (Jenny Craig Review).  

Egg, Bacon and avocado sandwiches (Courtesy of Weight Watchers)

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