it’s a three-way tie for diets 7, 6, and 5!
The next three diets scored equally well, but they each have pros and cons so we’ll explain each of them and let them share the spot for fifth place!
5. Volumetrics Diet
The Volumetrics diet is focused on weight loss and claims to help folks lose one to two pounds a week. The idea is that since people generally eat the same amount of food each day in terms of number of grams consumed, they can lose weight by choosing foods with fewer calories per gram (like carrot sticks over a chocolate bar, for example).
The big pro of the Volumetrics Diet is that it focuses on fighting hunger with filling, low-density foods. Food is broken into four categories: very low-, low-, medium-, and high-density. Participants aren’t given strict guidelines but try to replace medium- and high-density foods with low- and very low-desnity foods.
5. TLC Diet
This diet has the best name! The plan is all about slashing cholesterol levels to improve cardiovascular health. “TLC” stands for Therapeutic Lifestyle Changes, but these lifestyle changes also translate into Tender Loving Care for your life and health.
The plan focuses on seriously cutting fat, (especially of the saturated variety), limiting cholesterol intake, and adding more fiber. The diet starts off by reducing saturated fat to less than seven percent of daily calories and reducing dietary cholesterol to no more than 200 milligrams (that’s the amount in just two ounces of choose). The diet is flexible but includes lots of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, low- and nonfat dairy products, fish, and skinless poultry.
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5. MIND Diet
The MIND Diet, as you may have guessed, focuses on brain health and aims to lower risk of cognitive decline. It combines elements of the DASH and Mediterranean diets (which we’ll discuss later). Preliminary research showed that the diet could lower risk for Alzheimer’s by about 35 percent, and possibly more for those who followed the diet strictly.
Every day participants will consume at least three servings of whole grains, a salad, another vegetable, and a glass of wine (the wine is not mandatory, but a small amount of alcohol seems to be better for brain health). The plan calls for: nuts most days, half a cup of beans every other day, poultry twice a week, berries twice a week, fish at least once a week, and olive oil for cooking. The MIND diet is more prescriptive than some of the others, which is great for those who like a definite plan.
4. Weight Watchers
There’s a reason that Weight Watchers has been around forever—the plan works! It’s designed to help people lose weight and get focused on healthier living. It uses a SmartPoints system, and every food and drink has a point value. The plan includes in-person or online meetings that provide vital support and encouragement from people who are experts in weight management.
People on the Weight Watchers program may eat whatever they like so long as they stay within their daily allotment of points, which is assigned based on goals, weight, age, gender, and height. The points system is easy to use and Weight Watchers has extensive resources for finding the point values of food in grocery stores, at restaurants, and in recipes. The drawback to the program is that it’s a little pricier. Plans start at about $20 a month plus a starter fee.