You’ve been there before: On a dead-end road that leads nowhere but diet dysmorphia. You want to lose weight, you want to get healthier, and you want to slim down and tone up. Unfortunately, it’s not always as easy as simply picking a diet, and vowing to stick to it. With a plethora of fad diets and fitness experts claiming to be the best on the market, weeding through all the hype can be a difficult process, and finding the right one for you can seem like a never-ending journey. According to the U.S. News & World Report, there are some diets that work better than others, which is good news for the estimated 45 million Americans who diet each year. If you’re looking for a diet that’s earned notable success, give one of these three a try.
1. The DASH Diet
In addition to being ranked No. 1 by the U.S. News & World Report in both the Best Diets Overall and Best Diets for Healthy Eating categories, the DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) Diet is also endorsed by several reputable organizations, including the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, The American Heart Association, The 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, The 2011 AHA Treatment Guidelines for Women, and the Mayo Clinic. And the main reason behind such notable praise? The Dash Diet has been proven to lower blood pressure and is especially recommended for people with high blood pressure. The eating plan is rich in fruits and vegetables, low-fat or non-fat dairy, and whole grains; it is high in fiber, low in fat, and rich in potassium, calcium, and magnesium.
2. Weight Watchers Diet
From the company’s inception to its introduction of the Points System, the Weight Watchers Diet has been at the forefront of the industry, having landed a handful of influential celebrity sponsors, including everyone from Jessica Simpson to Oprah Winfrey. Designed for the masses, the Weight Watchers Diet ranked #1 in the Best Weight-Loss Diets, Best Commercial Diet Plans, and Easiest Diets to Follow categories. Of the diet, along with the Jenny Craig diet, study author Kimberly Gudzune, MD, MPH, assistant professor at the John Hopkins University School of Medicine, said in this Health article, “Out of all the programs we examined, only Weight Watchers and Jenny Craig achieved a significant weight loss that was sustained for 12 months in multiple studies.” The brand, which is based upon a Points System, meetings, and gradual change in lifestyle, appeals to anyone looking to lose weight in a supportive, noncompetitive community of like-minded individuals who are looking to adopt a healthier lifestyle.
3. The MIND Diet
Ranked No. 1 in the Easiest Diets to Follow category, and No. 2 in the Best Diets Overall category, the MIND Diet has garnered considerable attention due to its claims that stretch far beyond weight loss alone. The MIND Diet stands for Mediterranean-DASH Intervention for Neurodegenerative Delay, and is a combination of the DASH and Mediterranean Diets: the Mediterranean Diet was ranked #3 in the Best Diets for Healthy Eating and #1 for Best Plant-Based Diets categories. The MIND Diet focuses on leafy greens, vegetables, nuts, berries, beans, whole grains, fish, poultry, olive oil, and wine; and the diet limits red meat, butter and margarine, cheese, pastries and sweets, and fried or fast food. Want an even better reason to try this diet?
As mentioned in this Women’s Health article, a study from the Rush University Medical Center found that people who followed the MIND diet had reduced their risk of Alzheimer’s by an average of 53 percent. Kate Patton, R.D., a registered dietician with the Cleveland Clinic, further told Women’s Health, “The combination of lean protein, heart- and brain-healthy omega 3s, antioxidants, and fiber, as well as low levels of added sugar and saturated and trans fat reduces inflammation to help cut your risk of dementia.”