Our Criteria for choosing the best weight loss program for women
This means that the sole purpose of the 17 day diet is to help you lose weight. Weight loss tips 10 ways to get back on your weight loss goals. The Mediterranean diet is above all a healthy and safe diet. Some like that the science of low carb eating is well presented, others say they would prefer a more casual approach and more recipes. The Dukan Diet worked for Kate Middleton and many other celebrities and it can work for you as well.
Compare Reviews for Top Weight Loss Programs
Check out our top 10 list below and follow our links to read our full in-depth review of each weight loss program, alongside which you'll find costs and features lists, user reviews and videos to help you make the right choice.
Read more about us With tracking and monitoring features, a huge variety of recipes, meal and exercise plans, workout videos, online support and consultations with professionals, it has almost all bases covered. Diet To Go combines online support with healthy, fresh, delivered meals to help you lose weight. There are three main meal plans to choose from: Traditional is simply a diverse range Jillian Michaels is now a well known name in the US, providing expert workout videos and diet tips to help you to shape up.
The website provides recipes, diet plans, workouts, tracking and measuring tools, as well as a supportive community to help keep you motivated. FitDay combines professional support from dietitians, with a variety of useful tools to help you lose weight and keep it off.
Information is key, and the online tools help to keep WeightWatchers is one of the best known weight loss programs around. Nothing is off limits, so you can still enjoy your favorite meals and snacks, even a drink of alcohol now and then, meaning This service is available in three forms: There are a plethora of resources for getting started on, or maintaining, the Atkins Diet.
In addition to the official Atkins website , with recipes, many free downloads, and a support community, there are thousands of websites built by low carb devotees with additional tips, recipes and encouragement.
It's highly rated by users, who say it's a great guide for making a dietary lifestyle change. Some like that the science of low carb eating is well presented, others say they would prefer a more casual approach and more recipes. Others point out that all of the information in the book is available on the Atkins website, free of charge. The South Beach Diet is also considered low-carb, but it's not as restrictive as Atkins in its later phases. In fact, even in the early phases of the South Beach Diet, small servings of complex, non-vegetable carbs are allowed.
South Beach earns high praise for weight loss and as an overall healthy way of eating, but gets panned for its complicated meal plans and time-consuming recipes by both users and experts.
The ingredients in its recipes can jack up your grocery bill as well. Still, it's popular for those who love to cook, or prefer meals that aren't just a hunk of meat and a vegetable or two. The book is still considered to be the best way to get information on the basic diet, but there are also many follow up books and cookbooks to supplement the original, as well as South Beach compliant recipes available around the Internet.
The official South Beach Diet website is mostly fee-based. Even its adherents quibble over whether the Paleo Diet is low carb or not. Technically, it is not in that it allows some starch-based carbs such as sweet potatoes, yams, and squash. It also allows some fruits. Some Paleo programs allow white potatoes and certain kinds of rice as well. Most Paleo programs don't allow dairy, others do. The Paleo Diet Free is not intended to be a weight loss diet, per se, but rather a way of eating that is meant to be permanent.
In many Paleo protocols, there is a strong emphasis on grass-fed or organic foods, which can be pricey and may not be readily available to some, but other programs recommend that you just purchase the highest quality of food you can afford. Exercise is strongly encouraged. You don't count calories; you just eat until you're satiated. Proponents of the Paleo diet say it's a much healthier way to eat than the standard American diet, which is often heavy on added sugars and processed foods.
Critics say it's too restrictive, banning dairy, wheat and legumes -- food groups that many nutritionists feel should be part of a healthy diet. However, as we noted earlier in this section, veganism and vegetarianism also ban entire food groups and do not come under the same cloud of criticism.
Regardless of where you stand, the fact is that the Paleo way of eating is becoming increasingly popular, as are "nutritional reset" programs based upon Paleo, such as the Primal Blueprint day Challenge hosted by Marks Daily Apple , or the Whole30 program, popularized by the New York Times bestseller, It Starts with Food: Anecdotally, many people say they feel great on the Paleo diet -- losing weight and lowering health markers such as blood pressure and cholesterol.
However, like most programs, many simply don't stick with this way of eating over the long term -- they keep lapsing and going back -- the same issue we see with all eating plans. Again, there is no formal "Paleo" diet, but there are plenty of books and online resources for anyone interested in exploring the idea. Regardless of which of these diets appeals to you, the biggest challenge for any of them is that you have to have at least some ability in the kitchen -- and for some you have to be pretty competent -- because all of them are based, at least in part, upon purchasing and preparing your own, whole foods.
That may be a challenge if food prep is not your thing or you're often pressed for time. In that case, Weight Watchers is probably the easiest program for the non-cook to follow. They not only have a complete line of prepared foods, they also have tools to give you the points values for the menus of many popular restaurants.
If you really want to make dieting as simple as possible, skip on over to our discussion of the Best Prepackaged Diet Plans for some really convenient weight loss plans. The Ultimate Volumetrics Diet: The South Beach Diet: ConsumerSearch editors personally research every product category to recommend the best choices.
Expert review sources are heavily weighted, but user reviews, especially those where durability or usability are a factor, are crucial to helping us finalize our top picks.
Like most other product review sites, ConsumerSearch is supported by a combination of commissions on the sale of the products we recommend and ads that are placed on our site by Google.
If you find something you like, you can help support us by clicking through and buying the products we pick. Best Weight Loss Programs By: Kelly Burgess on December 15, Weight Watchers is still the best choice for both short-term weight loss and long-term healthy eating, while Jenny Craig rules in the prepackaged convenience category.
But if neither of those works for you, we also review the top diet books, low carb diets, the Paleo diet and more. We even recommend less-expensive alternatives to the top commercial diets. Best Weight Loss Programs. Best weight loss program. Sign up at WeightWatchers. Best weight loss book. Best prepackaged diet plan. Sign up at JennyCraig. Cheap prepackaged diet plan.
Commercial Diet Programs You have to sign up, and they come at a cost -- some higher than others depending upon the program -- but commercial diet programs offer a lot of tools for the dieter. Diet Books Books to help you lose weight or change your eating habits are a dime a dozen -- and that's a very good thing.
Prepackaged Food Plans These are very convenient if you don't have the time, energy or ability to plan for and prepare meals. New Atkins for a New You: It Starts With Food: Air Mattresses Updated June 26, Dehumidifiers Updated June 26, Mattress Toppers Updated June 20, All-in-One Printers Updated June 20, Mattresses Updated June 19, Compare Brands About weight loss plans Weight loss program types Weight loss program users Expert reviews Related resources.
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Enjoy reading our tips and recommendations. What to look for when choosing a weight loss program? Individual foods allowed on diet Consider a diet's overall approach to food. Think about whether the foods on a given diet are things that you generally enjoy. If you hate eating your greens, you might not like a diet filled with salads; but if you have a sweet tooth, a diet that substitutes milkshakes for meals might be more up your alley.
Some diet plans ship foods straight to your door, while others require you to shop for very particular ingredients. There are also a range of price points, with some diets costing substantially more than others. Consider whether the food allowed on a particular diet will fit into your budget and be relatively easy to find at grocery stores.
Food allergies and sensitivities: Many people have food allergies or sensitivities that could make a given diet difficult or impossible to follow. Consider whether the diet plan features potentially allergenic or reactive foods, particularly if you plan to eat the same foods daily. Meal plans Factor in time, convenience, and cost when determining whether a plan's meals will work for you. Many diet plans rely on meal-replacement bars, shakes, or other snack type foods. Still others rely on frozen entrees as a major part of your diet.
Ask yourself if you are okay with a bulk of your diet relying on prepackaged snacks, shakes, or frozen meals, or if you prefer the flexibility of cooking your own meals or eating out frequently.
Think about how much time and planning goes into each weight loss program. Some people will find that meal planning and preparation takes too long to fit into their busy lifestyle, while others will have the time to commit to a more demanding plan. Figure out whether a plan is compatible with your lifestyle before committing. Some meal plans are very simple; others require more work. While it is true that less calories usually means more weight loss, some diet plans are strict and can leave you feeling hungry most of the time.
Additionally, some people need more calories because of metabolic issues or high activity levels, and low-calorie plans might be insufficient. Think about whether a diet plan will keep you full. Ask yourself how much you are willing and able to spend a month on a weight loss plan. Factor in what you get for the cost; plans that provide your meals for you will be pricier but you may save money on grocery bills in the long run. Many plans offer multiple tiers of service or options customized to your preferences.
Do you need the basics or a more comprehensive plan? You may be able to save money by opting out of the unnecessary features of more expensive plans. Community interaction It can be difficult to lose weight and maintain a healthy lifestyle if you don't have adequate social support. Think about whether you need one-on-one guidance from an expert or a supportive diet-related community to succeed on a weight loss program.
Some people prefer to go it alone or involve their friends or family rather than a forum, but others enjoy finding acceptance and encouragement from others who are using the same program. Every person has different needs when it comes to what motivates them to succeed. Think about how you have met other important goals, quit bad habits, or motivated yourself to change in the past.
Would you be more likely to succeed using social media; in-person meetings with strangers or acquaintances; or expert counseling using text messaging, phone calls or email? Think about whether you will fit in with the community and whether that matters to you personally.
Exercise and other lifestyle factors Losing weight means using more calories than you take in, but whether this is accomplished soley through dietary changes or through a combination of diet and exercise will vary according to each diet plan's requirements. Think about whether a diet plan has activity or exercise requirements, suggestions, or even the ability to track your daily exercise.
If exercise is required, are you willing and able to do it? If it is optional, will the plan motivate you? Many people struggle with weight not only because of their eating and exercise habits, but because their lifestyles are stressful or exhausting, which makes losing weight more difficult.
A plan that emphasizes quality sleep, stress control, and other tools that contribute to fat loss can help you lose the pounds and keep them off long term. Each weight loss program is different, and your personality, preferences and habits will impact whether or not a given plan will be right for you. Ask yourself whether you would find a plan's requirements enjoyable and sustainable, or if you would be miserable on it. Remember that pleasure is important for your success.
Long-term sustainability While many plans emphasize quick upfront results, maintaining fat loss is just as important as losing it.
Does this program offer a long-term maintenance plan for permanent fat loss? The program should have a specific plan in place, with specific suggestions, guidance and support. Ability to continue plan: If it does, are you realistically able to stick with this plan for the rest of your life? Think about factors like price, time requirements for meal planning and preparation, satisfaction and flexibility with your lifestyle.
Ongoing fitness and support: Does the long-term plan provide an exercise plan, strategies to navigate specific obstacles, and other tools to enhance permanent fat loss?