Diet Roundup

by Sue Taggart

Well, it’s that time of year again—New Year Weight Loss Resolutions! Let’s face it, most of us could do with loosing a few pounds, especially after the holidays. But, if you are one of the two thirds of Americans who may need to shed more than a few pound, the good news is there’s a ton of options out there.

I have “dieted” most of my adult life, which means I have probably lost and put back on 250 pounds over the years, probably more! It would have been so much easier if I could have lost that 20 pounds once and have it stay lost. But, I’m a foodie, I “diet” so I can indulge and still fit into my favorite clothes. I’m not a binger, I just enjoy trying new foods, new restaurants, entertaining and cooking. Nevertheless, I am still on that quest to lose that illusive 20 pounds once and for all. My new diet of choice is The Dukan Diet for the simple reason that it’s more about eating than dieting—more about lifestyle than deprivation. They do have a coaching component that I haven’t tried yet, but will be checking out soon.

A recent segment on the Today Show caught my attention, Madelyn Fernstorm, Today’s diet and nutrition editor was reviewing the new diet book releases and suggested that viewers use three criteria for selecting a diet book and plan:

1. Look for health credentials – science and clinicals to support the diet

2. Choose something that’s easy to understand – too complicated and you’ll give up on it

3. Don’t go for the quick fix – you need time for it to work and be something you can sustain

That’s why I’m liking The Dukan Diet, it fits the criteria, I’ve not been hungry and there’s a lot of really good recipes. So that’s my diet book of choice, here are Madeline’s:


– The DASH Diet

–  Thinner This Year


– Shred

– AARP New American Diet


– Smart Chefs Stay Slim

– Eat to Lose, Eat to Win

– The Parisian Diet


– Train Your Brain to Get Thin

– Diet Dropouts Guide

– Never Going Back


– Mayo Clinic

– Volumetrics

Now what do consumers think? According to the February issue of Consumer Reports, 9000 readers rated 13 diet plans and tools and here are some of their findings.

An app, MyFitnessPal, which is free, did better than any single diet plan—it received a whopping 83% reader satisfaction rating. So, if you haven’t downloaded it yet, go do it!

Interestingly, men shed more pounds than women and satisfaction depended on more than just weight loss. The diets that scored the highest were the ones that helped people maintain the weight loss and make easy transitional lifestyle changes. In fact, significant weight loss was reported by almost 80% of respondents across all the plans. The plans that were reviewed included: Commercial Diets like Jenny Craig, Medifast, Nutrisystem and Weight Watchers. Do-it-Yourself Plans like: Atkins Diet, Glycemic Index Diet, Other Low Carb Diets, Mediterranean Diet, MyFitnessPal, Paleo Diet, Slim-Fast, South Beach Diet, SparkPeople

You can find the full survey at:

Basically, the take away from all this is, select a diet plan/strategy that works with your personal preferences and lifestyle. If you like a varied diet then a restrictive low-carb plan like Atkins, the Paleo Diet and initial stages of South Beach may not work for you. But for some, the restrictions are exactly what works for them. In contrast, the variety of Weight Watchers and Jenny Craig may be ideal.

Just remember, there’s no one-size fits all, and it’s going to take time, it will require work, commitment and discipline—but it will be worth it in the end!

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