Top 10 Weight Loss Methods Review

NOTE: This article is an excerpt from our ebook: Top Weight Loss Methods Reviewed. In the ebook, we have reviewed the different top diet plans, supplements, medical weight loss, diet pills and lifestyle changes. Click here to download the ebook now for free.

Obesity is a major problem in the world, which is one of the main reasons that the diet industry is a multi-billion dollar per year empire. A study conducted recently known as the Bogalusa Heart Study found that obesity in children is growing in rapid rates.

  • Compared with 1973 to 1974, the proportion of children 5 to 17 years of age who were obese was 5 times higher in 2008 and 2009.
  • 23.9 million children ages 2 to 19 are overweight or obese.
  • 33.0% of boys and 30.4% of girls are overweight or obese.

The picture is not much better for adults with 54.7 million adults over the age of 20 being obese, specifically, 79.9 million men and 74.8 million women.

The Consequences of
Being Overweight

Social and Psychological Effects

Oftentimes the real importance and ramifications of being overweight is misunderstood and misconstrued. For many the social consequences of being heavy are huge. For the overweight kids in schools teasing is rampant and it’s not much better for adults who are overweight in that they never truly feel accepted in the “anorexic super model” driven society.

All of these issues lead to a significant lack of confidence and very low self-esteem, which unfortunately does lead many to indulge in food as a remedy. The result is a big vicious cycle.

For some, the feelings of isolation, low self-esteem and overall feelings of not being accepted or loved because of their weight can be devastating and lead to depression and a lonely life of isolation. These feelings, unfortunately are hardly conducive to one becoming motivated to get fit and healthy, instead they often become the driving force to more unhealthy eating habits continuing the vicious cycle.

Health Risk Factors

The health risks associated with obesity are significant and some are life threatening.

According to the Department of Health and Human Services, obesity is a risk factor for:

  • Heart disease
  • Stroke
  • Diabetes
  • Various cancers
  • Gallbladder disease and gallstones
  • High Cholesterol
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Gout
  • Breathing problems, such as sleep apnea
  • Asthma

People who are overweight or obese are at a greater risk to become ill with various chronic diseases as compared to those who are at a normal weight.

Some of the less serious side effects include, fatigue, lack of energy, joint pains, knee pains and incontinence, just to name a few.

Also, those with a lot of belly fat are at a greater risk to become ill with a chronic disease because belly fat is the most dangerous fat of all.

Experts say that losing even 10 or 20 pounds can improve one’s health quite a bit.

The Diet Industry Hook
and the Overweight
Person's Dilemma

Yo-yo dieting is a term that describes someone who is constantly going on and off various diets. They lose some weight, return to normal eating and then go another diet and start the roller coaster all over again. This is just what the diet industry hopes for because one of the main stays of their success is the yo-yo dieter.

The truth is, diets and the entire diet industry is flawed, because diets don’t work, they are a temporary solution, a band aid that rarely addresses the core issues. Ultimately, the goal should be to focus on a weight loss plan that encourages permanent lifestyle changes that will result in a fit and healthy body forever.

Terms like “I’m going on a diet” or “I can’t wait to get off my diet to eat that cake” and others support the fact that diets are just temporary states for people who might lose some weight, but in the end will just go back to “regular” eating, regain the weight and then some and then look for an all new diet that “will work this time.”

Fascinating Diet Statistics

  • 68% of adult Americans are overweight or obese.
  • Americans spend $60 billion on various weight loss programs each year.
  • $95 Billion is the annual revenue of the U.S. weight-loss industry, this includes, weight loss surgeries, diet books, diet programs and diet drugs.
  • 108 million people are on diets every day.
  • On average most people try 4 to 5 diets per year.
  • The #1 New Year’s resolution for the past 4 years is to lose weight.
  • 1 hour is spent on daily exercise by those who lost at least 30 pounds and were able to keep it off for more than 5 years.
  • 220,000 people who were morbidly obese had bariatric surgery for weight loss in 2011.
  • Celebrities make anywhere from 500,000 to $3 Million for endorsements of weight loss programs.
  • Celebrities earn an average $33,000 for every pound lost in the program they endorse.
  • 1/4 of all US men are on a diet.
  • 1/3 of all US women are on a diet.
  • About 90% of all dieters will regain the weight and even more than what they started with when their diet ends.

Side Note: The more one yo-yo diets the more the body goes into hyper defense mode and begins to store fat in the anticipation of starvation, so in the long run and over a lifetime people weigh more than when they started in the first place.

Side Note: People consume an average of 150 pounds of sugar per year. Sugar causes chaos in the body, it spikes blood sugar levels causing out of control cravings, it has no nutritional value and it causes a cocaine life effect in the brain that creates a tangible high that is addictive.

Sources: Center For Disease Control Diet Statistics; National Weight Control Registry; Jo Piazza, author of “Celebrity Inc.: How Famous People Make Money; American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery.”

Permanent Weight Loss:
The Solution To The
Diet Roller Coaster

Now, keep in mind, there are “diets” out there, many of which we will discuss below that are NOT considered to be, nor do they claim to be diets, but actual lifestyle changes that address and focus on the core issues of the overweight, including, emotional, physical and psychological factors that facilitate real changes in how the overweight relate to food, and those are the best weight loss programs that bring great results for those who are willing to make changes.

How Much Food Does The Body Really Need?

It is a fact that the body only needs so much food to function, a number that is measured in calories. How much calories one needs daily depends on their body size and daily activity levels.

  • Men and women who are sedentary only need to eat about 13 calories per pound of body weight each day.
  • Those who engage in moderate physical activity can have 16 calories a pound.
  • Those who engage in vigorous daily exercise can eat 18 calories a pound.

This means that a moderately active 125 pound female needs 2,000 calories a day.
The average 175 pound man who also engages in moderate exercise needs 2,800 calories.

Some Perspective:

  • One 12” Subway tuna Sub has 960 calories!
  • One Whopper burger at Burger King has 730 calories!
  • One 12oz Coke has 140 calories!
  • 1 blueberry muffin has 426 calories!

The Exercise Twist

The formula to lose and maintain a healthy weight is simple:

Burn more than what you consume and your body will use its stored fat for energy.

How do you burn?

Exercise, movement, anything but just sitting all day. Sedentary people can eat a lot less food before they tip the gain scale than those who are active.

Experts recommend at least 20 minutes of some cardio activity at least 3 times per week to maintain a fit body. To lose weight it actually takes a little more than that.

While for many exercise is a four letter word, in reality it can be fun, it all depends on what you choose to do. Dance, sports, walking, hiking, swimming are all forms of cardio. You do not have to be at a gym to get exercise.

The Many Weight Loss Methods

There are many different options available to those who want to lose weight. They vary in methodology, eating plans and approaches. They are also vary in allowed foods, restricted foods and exercise practices. There are specific methods that are great for those who need to drop only a few pounds and then there are better choices for those who need to lose 100 pounds or more.

However, not all of them will work for everyone, nor do all of them facilitate long term permanent success. When it comes to weight loss the focus should always be on permanent success, which enables one to get off the yo-yo diet roller coaster.

In order to choose the right weight loss method it’s important to know all the different options available so that you can make an informed and smart decision. In reality, there is nothing more important to long term success than choosing a method that the dieter will stick with.

Please read on to learn about the many types of weight methods including, diets, natural supplements, pharmaceutical methods and medical weight loss treatment methods.

There are many different diet plans created for weight loss all with different philosophies and methods to achieve ideal weight goals. There is not one perfect plan for everyone, as previously stated, it's important to choose a plan that you can live with, if not, the diet will be abandoned and will not serve as a permanent solution.

One of the main reasons that people do not succeed with weight loss is because they cannot live with the plan they are using. This is because many of the fad diets are unrealistic and place impossible restrictions on people and so they can only be followed for short periods of time. And, when one returns to “normal eating” after the diet is over they just regain the weight and more.

When one does not learn how to eat properly and stick with it for life, which usually means a permanent lifestyle change in habits and tastes, they are doomed to continue trying one diet after another with no real solution in sight.

Here are the most popular diet plans available today, many of these are not temporary band aids or drastic quick loss plans, but are based on solid scientific reasoning with plans that are made to create permanent changes for long term success.

#1: Weight Watchers

Weight Watchers has been around for 40 years and has been named the #1 diet plan many times throughout those years.

Weight Watchers Diet
Approach and Philosophy

The philosophy of this diet is based on calorie limits, but the techniques used in weight Watchers change over time to keep in line with the latest technologies and current science.

Weight Watchers is based on tracking of food intake with points that represent calorie counts from various foods. While Weight Watchers encourages healthier choices like lean proteins, fruits and vegetables, there are no food restrictions.

This is a lifestyle change program that encourages healthy eating and learning to eat better daily for lasting results. Dieters get to eat what they want as long as they stay within their point limits, but choosing a donut, for instance, costs a lot more points than an apple. The program greatly encourages intake of healthy foods like lean meats, whole grains, veggies and fruits.

The Goal: Immediate weight loss and a permanent solution to control weight by learning to make smarter choices in foods and practicing healthy habits for the rest of life.

The Pros and Cons of the
Weight Watchers Diet Plan

The Pros

  • Weight Watchers teaches you how to eat smarter, and how what you eat helps to lose and maintain weight loss for the long term.
  • Readily available support, including, live meetings and also large membership base in online support groups.
  • A lot of tools and resources are provided to make weight loss a success. Including, various apps for Android and Apple devices to track points, find point counts for restaurant foods and much more.
  • Encourages exercise because the more active you are the more points you have in your daily count.
  • Eat what you want as long as you do not go beyond your point (calorie) limits.
  • The point system is simple, no need to look up and count calories, most all foods, including many restaurant food points are already in the database provided by Weight Watchers for easy tracking.
  • Eat from any food group: This is a great diet for vegetarians.
  • Long term and permanent weight loss. Weight Watchers offers you the chance to not only lose the extra weight, but teaches healthy eating patterns, which in turn yields a permanent solution to prevent bouncing back to your bad habits to keep the weight off.

The Cons

  • For those that choose donuts over fruit everyday miss out on the main goal of the program, which is to teach how to eat healthy for life.
  • Those that cannot choose more healthy options will suffer from nutritional deficiencies.
  • Tracking points or calories is not for everyone, so some may not stick with Weight Watchers for the long term.
  • The weekly meetings are not for everyone. However, you can choose to use Weight Watchers online, though it's not free.
  • This program does not work for everyone, some 10% of members reported no weight loss while using this program.
  • This program costs money, it’s not a lot, but for those on a budget, this may be a problem.

How Much Can You Lose
and How Long Will It Take

Weight Watchers is designed to result in 2 pounds of weight loss per week. That is how the point system is configured to limit caloric daily intake to yield 2 pounds of loss per week.

Final Verdict

Thousands of people have lost weight on Weight Watchers and kept it off. It is a healthy, stable and effective 2 pound loss per week diet program that teaches people to eat right and choose better foods while at the same time limiting caloric intake via the points system.

There are some great practices that are part of this diet and that help to facilitate long term success:

  • Ability to eat foods you love and treat yourself occasionally.
  • Choices instead of restrictions.
  • Lots of moral support when you need it.
  • Permanent solution for those seeking to live a healthier lifestyle for the long run.
  • While exercise is not required, which is a con, in reality it is left up to the dieter. The more active one is, the more food they get to eat. So once again choices empower the Weight Watcher.

The cons should be considered, as well, as they may deter some:

  • Tracking is not for everyone.
  • No exercise required, exercise helps keep weight off and has many great health benefits.
  • Program costs a monthly fee when choosing the Weight Watchers Online option.

Like any other diet, Weight Watchers is not for everyone. But, it has worked for hundreds of thousands of people and definitely worth the consideration.

Key Points of Weight Watchers

Results, Testimonials and Endorsements

Weight Watchers has quite a few celebrity endorsements, the most popular and current of which is the Grammy winning recording star Jennifer Hudson, who lost more than 50 pounds and has kept it off for years. There are also quite a few member testimonials at their site.

#2: Jenny Craig Diet Plan

The Jenny Craig diet program has been around for more than twenty years. It started in Australia, and now boasts more than 640 diet centers worldwide. Jenny Craig offers individual plans for women, men, teens and seniors.

Jenny Craig Approach
and Philosophy

There are three main elements with Jenny Craig.

The Food Element: Focuses on healthy eating and calorie control. This element focuses on teaching healthy habits while eating foods you love in moderation.

The Body Element: brings exercise into a healthy lifestyle.

The Mind Element: brings psychological and emotional factors, such as, positive thinking, support and encouragement needed to continue with permanent weight loss goals.

Food Element: Pre-packaged Home Meal Delivery

Jenny Craig is a pioneer in home delivery diet food services. They offer pre-portioned, frozen meals delivered right to your door. Perfectly calorie proportioned, just heat and eat.

For most, the plan consists of 1,200 – 1,300 calories per day with 50-60% carbs, 20-25% fat and 20-25% protein.

You are allowed to eat three main meals and one snack per day. Choose from pre-planned meals, vegetarian menu, meals especially designed for adolescents, or customize your own plan. The Dining Out Guide teaches members to eat at restaurants.

Typical Daily Meal Plan:

  • Cereal for breakfast
  • Turkey or chicken burger for lunch
  • Fettuccine and chicken for dinner and a cake for desert.
  • Meals are supplemented with fresh fruits, veggies, low-fat milk, whole grains and cheeses all in controlled portions.
  • Unlimited portions of veggies with low Glycemic Index.

Body Element: Exercise

All members get a personalized activity plan that includes three kinds of activities:

Natural Activities: the day to day activities that happen naturally, like shopping, errands, walking the dog and house cleaning.

Planned Activities: include aerobics, biking, cardio and other gym related workouts.

Fun Activities include: sports or any other physical type of stuff you enjoy.

Personal Consultant: The main difference between Jenny Craig and other meal delivery services is that it’s not just based on perfectly portion controlled meals, but also adds the added element of a personal diet consultant. The consultant provides all the support one needs, such as, teaching healthy cooking once ideal weight is achieved, portion control and healthy dining out.

The Pros and Cons of Jenny Craig

The Pros

  • A personal consultant always there to help with any issues and offer support.
  • 20 years strong program with solid success rates and solid holistic approach to permanent weight loss.
  • It’s easy because meals are delivered to your door.
  • Members says food tastes good.
  • Personalized diet plan based on each individual's needs.
  • Online community for support.

The Cons

  • Many have common food allergies to soy, eggs, dairy, and nuts, all of which are regularly used in Jenny Craig meals.
  • Costs money, and not really a cheap solution to weight loss.
  • Eating different meals than your family.
  • Not good for frequent travelers because it relies primarily on pre-packaged frozen meals.
  • When target weight loss is achieved one needs to transition back to ‘normal’ meals.

Final Verdict

Jenny Craig offers all the advantages of pre-packaged diet meals and the approach of mind, body and exercise works very well. It’s a no brainer diet, meaning no counting of calories, no cooking, it’s all provided in the meals so all you do is heat and eat. Jenny Craig works and people lose weight and quite fast. It is definitely worth a further look and if you can afford it, it’s a great option.

Key Points of Jenny Craig

Results, Testimonials and Endorsements

The diet’s celebrity endorsers include Mariah Carey, Kirstie Alley, Valerie Bertinelli, Nicole Sullivan, Phylicia Rashad and Sara Rue, all of who lost various amounts of weight on Jenny Craig. There are also lots of real life member testimonials at the website as well.

#3: Nutrisystem

Nutrisystem started in the 1970’s and was quite big until the 90’s when it disappeared for about ten years, but is back full force today.

Nutrisystem has plans for men, women, seniors, diabetics and vegetarians. There is a specific plan for each category.

The meals are personalized with distinct calorie counts for individual needs.

Typical calorie counts are from 1200 to 1500 calories per day, with content ratios of 55% carbs, 25% protein and 20% fats.

The Nutrisystem Diet
Approach and Philosophy

Nutrisystem is an online program that delivers frozen meals to your door. The diet is based on the low Glycemic Index with foods that offer good carbs and correct daily calorie counts, fat and sodium to lose weight.

Food is delivered to your door with choices you make on their site. The meals are healthy with perfect portions and calorie counts.

Nutrisystem claims to pack their meals with good carbohydrates and more fiber; thus, keeping you feeling full longer.

Food choices include: pizza, pastas, burgers, enchiladas, various desserts and virtually all other foods people enjoy.

Dieters also get a list of grocery items to add to meals, such as, fresh fruit and vegetables. Dairy products can be added as well, like, low fat cheeses and non-fat milk, soy milk and soy cheese.

You should also eat correct portions of whole grains and beans like, oatmeal, kidney beans, multi-grain bread, and sweet potatoes.

Nutrisystem Simple Steps:

  • Choose the plan and food you want.
  • Your food will be delivered to your door. No cooking, no calorie counting.
  • Stick with it and track your weight loss. You can still eat grocery-bought items, provided that they are healthy, balanced and portion-controlled.
  • The Nutrisystem Meal Planner, weight loss tracker and online community, ensures even more chances for success.

The Pros and Cons of Nutrisystem

The Pros

  • Provides a pre-made diet plan for various categories.
  • Easy to implement, no cooking, no measuring, no calorie counting, meals are delivered to your door.
  • Various choices are available in tasty meals.
  • Nutrisystem has a proven track record and works for various people.
  • Members can enjoy various grocery items that adds variety to the diet.
  • The proper combination of Glycemic Index foods stabilizes blood sugars and satisfies appetite to curb hunger.

The Cons

  • Some members complain that the food is not so tasty, this is likely due to added preservatives.
  • It's is difficult for some people to return to regular cooking and eating once target weight is reached and so weight gain is possible because dieters are not really learning the proper way to prepare healthy meals. This is made worse because of the very strict portion controls and low Glycemic level of the diet plan.
  • The program is not cheap and for those on a budget it may be a difficult endeavor.

Final Verdict

Nutrisystem is certainly convenient and it does work for people to reach their target weight. Also adding exercise makes for faster weight loss. But, the meals are processed and have preservatives and so are not as tasty as homemade cooking.

Key Points of Nutrisystem

Results, Testimonials and Endorsements

The diet has many celebrity endorsements, such as, Marie Osmond, who lost 50 pounds on Nutrisystem and has kept it off for several years. Also, Melissa Joan Hart lost 30 pounds, Jillian Michaels lost 30 pounds and Dan Marino, the NFL star lost 22 pounds. There are also plenty of regular folks with before and after pictures testifying to their weight loss on their website.

#4: The South Beach Diet

The South Beach Diet was created by Dr. Arthur Agatston, a cardiologist; and a dietitian, Marie Almon. While the diet was originally made to prevent heart disease it quickly grew in popularity for weight loss purposes in the early 2000s.

The South Beach Diet
Approach and Philosophy

The South Beach Diet focuses on eating good carbs and good fats. The medical philosophy is that it is not carbohydrates that cause out of control hunger and consequent weight gain, but the fact that they are easy to digest and so they increase blood sugar levels. Therefore, in this diet plan refined sugars and certain grains are restricted.

This diet allows eating of good carbs that are low in Glycemic Index, including, low carb vegetables and fruits, whole grains, beans and some unprocessed foods.

Trans fats and saturated fats are replaced with good fats, such as Omega-3 Fatty Acids and unsaturated fats.

The South Beach Diet 3 Phases

Phase 1:

2 weeks is taken to train the body to eliminate cravings for starch and sugar. This stabilizes blood sugar levels and jump starts weight loss. In this phase a large amount of weight loss is often seen by various people.

In Phase 1 mostly high fiber foods are eaten and any kind of lean protein and eggs.  Also, some dairy is allowed, such as, low-fat milk, yogurt and cheese. Also, healthy fats such as seeds, avocado, nuts and unsaturated oils like Olive oil and Canola oil are part of the plan in this phase as well.

Phase 2:

This is the long term phase of the plan. It combines good carbs like whole-grains and pasta, sweet potatoes and brown rice with lean proteins and some dairy as well. Some snacks, desserts and dark chocolate are allowed. In this phase is where the target goal weight is reached.

Phase 3

In this Phase the South Beach diet is part your lifestyle and it is the maintenance phase. While it’s important to stick with all the foods eaten on Phase 1 and 2 but you can also have the occasional treat.

At this phase there are no restrictions and it’s all about maintenance. Though you must remain cognizant and not return to old habits. Instead, there is a focus on South Beach way of eating as a lifestyle, and treats are only occasional indulgences.

The Pros and Cons of
The South Beach Diet

The Pros

  • Flexible in choices so dieters don't get bored.
  • The South Beach Diet allows for more foods that people love, so it’s easier to follow and stick with.
  • This is a heart healthy plan.
  • This is a lifestyle change plan so it's more feasible for permanent weight loss for life.
  • Find out what you can eat online for free or buy the book, very budget friendly.
  • Online membership offers many tools like mobile apps, nutritional counseling and support.

The Cons

  • Not everyone can eliminate starch and sugar. But, remember that South Beach offers a large variety of pre-made snacks and bars that are tasty and satisfy the sweet tooth.

Final Verdict

The South Beach Diet is one of the most successful and also one of the healthiest plans available. This is a great solution for those that can discipline themselves to eliminate bad foods like cookies, and white bread.

It’s simple to follow, has great variety and is a lifestyle changing diet. It is also heart healthy, which is a perfect solution for older people who are headed for heart disease.

No counting calories, no tracking, just eat the right foods and lose weight. It does not even require the counting of carbs or fats. Just choose the right foods from the list and you are ready to go, which is why it’s often nick named the Food Lover’s Diet.

Key Points of The South Beach Diet

Results, Testimonials and Endorsements

There are plenty of real members endorsing South Beach on their website who document big weight loss, like Jennifer K who lost 100 pounds.

#5: Medifast Diet

Medifast is a lifestyle change focused weight loss plan that includes a meal delivery service along with a nutritionist, personal shopper and a personal chef. Medifast has a 30 year history and thousands of people swear by it in reaching their target weight.

The hallmark of this diet is slow weight loss, as most medical professionals agree that losing pounds too fast is not good for health, can harm blood sugar levels and can prevent permanent lifelong results.

This is the Medifast advantage, while it may be slower than other diets, it is proven effective; and quite a few physicians accept the science of Medifast.

Furthermore, Medifast assists individuals with all forms of diabetes and hypertension to lose weight.

Medifast Diet Approach

Meals are designed with a personalized plan in mind, made for you by an expert. Based on this plan meal delivery comes to your door. The meals are high in protein and many lose as much as 20 pounds in the first 4 weeks.

Food Choices

Medifast offers more than 70 meal choices, so there is something for everyone. There are also options for kosher, vegetarian, lactose-free or low Glycemic Index menus as well.

With Medifast, you’ll receive 5 prepared meals plus 1 ‘Lean & Green Meal’ that you prepare each day.

On Medifast dieters are encouraged to eat every three hours to contain hunger and cravings.

Also, dieters need to drink a minimum of 64 ounces of beverages per day. Medifast meal replacements such as oatmeal, shakes, puddings, bars and other snacks are available.

At the beginning high-calorie vegetables are removed from the diet, those are usually starch based such as potatoes, corn, carrots, etc. Doing this will advance your weight-loss efforts. Once you lose weight, you will gradually reintroduce these vegetables to your diet.

The Pros and Cons of Medifast

The Pros

  • Foods are conveniently prepared, packaged and delivered to you.
  • Medifast is not as expensive as other meal delivery diets.
  • Offers reasonable number of food choices.
  • Lots of eating is encouraged, no hunger.
  • Medifast encourages exercises.
  • Clinically proven to lose about 2 to 5 lbs a week.
  • Recommended by most doctors.
  • Very organized plan.
  • Meal plans are flexible for all types of populations.

The Cons

  • Calorie limit is low.
  • Costs money.

Final Verdict

This is a viable diet choice for many and really does work. Since it was created by doctors it’s safe and reliable for healthy lifestyle change in losing weight and keeping it off.

Key Points of Medifast

Results, Testimonials and Endorsements

The Medifast websites dedicates a whole section to real member testimonials called Success Stories. Some of the biggest success stories include, Danny who lost 132 pounds, Kelsey who lost 80, Mary who lost 54 and Robin who lost 90 pounds and plenty more.

#6: Atkins Diet Plan

Robert Coleman Atkins, MD (October 17, 1930 – April 17, 2003) was an American physician and cardiologist who invented the Atkins Nutritional Approach back in the 80’s.

The Atkins plan is a low carb diet that is very strict in carbohydrate consumption, emphasizing protein and good fat intake, and absolutely no refined sugars or white starches.

This is a lifestyle change weight loss program and is not designed to be the typical temporary diet plan.

Atkins Diet Plan Approach

The approach is simple, by eliminating refined sugars and starches, the blood sugar is regulated, and the body is taken to a state of Ketosis, where the body starts to burn its own stored fat for energy instead of the carbs that are being ingested at each meal. The medical science is sound and diets like the South Beach and Sonoma have followed suite to create plans based on this same science.

With Atkins the blood sugar levels are stable so out of control cravings become a thing of the past.

Most of the diet is limited to various vegetables, and unlimited amounts of food from the allowed list, which includes, all meat, fish, chicken and other proteins.

Some cheese and sour cream is allowed. Nuts and berries are allowed after the initial phase.

As the dieter moves through the phases more carb rich foods are introduced back into the diet.

No bread, pasta, sugars or white starches allowed.

Exercise is optional, though those that exercise can eat a lot more carbs.

Atkins Phases

The Atkins Diet Plan consists of 4 phases that starts with an Induction Plan where absolutely no cheating is allowed, this allows the body to go into the state of Ketosis and begin to burn stored fat for energy instead of carbs eaten at meals.

Food intake is limited to allowed foods from within each phase. Eat when hungry is the motto, and eat liberally from the allowed food list.

As the dieter progresses through the phases new foods are introduced like low carb berries until one reaches their target weight goal at which point the maintenance phase is followed for life.

One of the best things about Atkins is that when one eliminates refined sugars and starchy carbs from their diet the appetite becomes well regulated and hunger is rare. Most people feel very satisfied and eat much less, even though the diet does not limit calories.

The Pros and Cons of Atkins Diet

The Pros

  • Works really well for immediate weight loss results.
  • Lifestyle change diet, not some temporary fix like other diets on the market.
  • Flexible, a lot of food choices.
  • Free online.
  • Huge online support forum.
  • Great support from Atkins pros on the website.
  • Atkins offers a huge line of very tasty snacks, shakes and treats, most dieters never miss dessert because these items taste better than the real thing! Lots of chocolate!
  • Lots of recipes online.

The Cons

  • Not good for those that cannot control their sugar and starch intake.
  • Can be unsafe for those with heart artery issues since this diet is protein intensive.

Final Verdict

Atkins is scientifically sound in its approach in restarting the body’s fat burning process by eliminating bad carbs. In fact, other diets, like the Sonoma and South Beach followed Atkins, though they allow more liberal carb intake.

One of the best aspects of this plan is that by eliminating refined sugars and starches those pesky out of control cravings for bad foods disappear, and uncontrollable hunger becomes a thing of the past.

Many have seen great success with Atkins as illustrated by the large number of members at their website that discusses their successes in weight loss.

Key Points of Atkins Diet

Results, Testimonials and Endorsements

Celebrity endorsements for Atkins include Sharon Osborne, who recently lost 35 pounds on Atkins and Courtney Thorne-Smith, one of the stars on the hit show Two and a Half Men who is a long time Atkins spokesperson and has been living the Atkins lifestyle for years and looks great!

There are also plenty of endorsements from members who discuss Atkins at the free online support forum.

#7: Jillian Michaels
Fitness and Weight
Loss Program

Jillian Michaels is best known as the peppy hardcore trainer on the popular television show The Biggest Loser, but, Jillian has been a fitness expert long before the show and developed an online weight loss and fitness program geared toward providing people with a long term solution to a healthy body weight.

The Jillian Michaels plan comes with a food and exercise plan that is designed with the individual in mind and meets the specific requirements of the member. Each unique diet and exercise plan depends on your weight, eating habits and level of exercise activity.

Jillian Michaels Weight
Loss Approach

“Get straight talk, no gimmicks, and all the tools and advice to help you succeed.”

Food and Fitness Parts of the Plan

The food plan involves choosing the right foods for your body type and metabolism, the program determines how many calories one needs to lose weight weekly. Then members are taught to cook healthy meals and how to eat smart for health and weight loss.

The fitness part of the plan designs a custom workout program that is customized according to weight, height and fitness levels of the person. Everything is done online, and there is support and help as needed.

The Pros and Cons of Jillian
Michaels Weight Loss Plan

The Pros

  • Since the program is custom tailored and not a one size fits all, this is a solid approach for most anyone.
  • This program teaches smarter eating habits and fitness is incorporated so it's a permanent solution and not a temporary diet.
  • The program requires setting of goals and then action steps to meet those goals.
  • Also, the program informs members if their goals are realistic or not.
  • Weekly food and fitness plans are provided.
  • Detailed information is given as to the fitness aspect, like what types of foods you need and why, and what muscles should be worked out and why.
  • No gym membership required, all workouts can be done at home.
  • Online community with support from other members.
  • Meal delivery is available if you do not want to cook the food yourself.
  • This diet and fitness plan is designed by Jillian Michaels, a well-known trainer with a reputable record.

The Cons

  • The only real con of the Jillian Michaels plan is that it costs a membership fee, but it's actually quite affordable for most anyone.
  • Not everyone wants to work out, and so some may abandon the plan early because exercise is required.

Final Verdict

This is a perfectly well rounded and most doctor recommended way to lose weight, combination of healthy foods and exercise. It’s a sound program that brings results for those that are willing to put in the work and effort and make changes in their lives.

Key Points of Jillian
Michaels Weight Loss Plan

Results, Testimonials and Endorsements

There are many real people on Jillian’s website that are raving about their success with the program. Some of these include: Kelly lost 92 pounds, Tammy lost a whopping 152 pounds and Jaimie lost 132 pounds! These are just a few of the successes found at Jillian’s site.

#8: The Sonoma Diet

The Sonoma Diet is a plan created by Connie Guttersen, based mainly on the Mediterranean diet with a few tweaks. It is often dubbed a lifestyle change instead of a diet. Actually this is another low carb program that takes from the Atkins and Sonoma diets, but tweaks it a bit.

The Wave Phases of Sonoma Diet

Wave 1

This phase is 10 days and acclimates one to the diet plan. No refined flour, fruit, sugars, oil that is not extra virgin olive oil, and hydrogenated and saturated fats are allowed.

Allowed foods: lean meats, seafood, low crab vegetables, some dairy, some nuts, black coffee and tea and all types of herbs and spices.

Calories are counted and limited in this wave as well.

Wave 2

On this wave one can add 200 to 300 calories to the Wave 1 caloric intake.

More allowed foods: fruits, fat-free yogurt, more veggies and some dark chocolates, sugar-free sweets, and wine.

Wave 3

This is the maintenance phase, once the target goal weight is reached this is where you can maintain the weight.

Allowed foods: everything from Waves 1 and 2, plus occasional butter and desserts.

The Sonoma Diet Approach

The Sonoma Diet focuses on eating certain foods, counting calories and portion control. Healthy options are provided in a list of Power Foods. These include, whole grains, bell peppers, grapes, broccoli, almonds, tomatoes, blueberries, spinach, olive oil and strawberries.

Calorie restrictions change between waves, starting low and building up. Portion is also strictly controlled, where members are using 7” plates to make sure their portions are correct.

The Pros and Cons
of The Sonoma Diet

The Pros

  • It's simple and easy to follow, just read the directions and no need to count calories just use the small plate and that takes care of calories and portions.
  • While there are restrictions they are not as big as those on other low carb diets like Atkins for example. On Sonoma Wave 2 and 3 you can have desserts, wine, and bread in moderation.
  • Whole nutritious foods are encouraged.
  • Very regulated diet with lots of structure and guidance.
  • Online program with lots of tools and support and a free personalized analysis.

The Cons

  • Calorie restrictions may make it difficult for some to follow.
  • Food restrictions may be difficult for some to follow.
  • Because of the restrictions some will abandon the diet early without losing any weight.
  • No contingency for hunger, meaning that there is no advice for what do when one is hungry.

Final Verdict

This is a good plan for those that have the discipline to be limited in calorie intake and food restrictions. If you are one that cannot live without bread or pasta, then this diet plan may not be for you.

Key Points of Sonoma Diet

Results, Testimonials and Endorsements

Plenty of real life people sharing their success stories at the Sonoma Diet website, some great success include: Suzy lost 65 pounds, Eva lost 51 pounds, Marv lost 45 pounds, Susan lost 28 pounds and there are many more success stories at the Sonoma website.

#9: Dr. Phil's Ultimate
Weight Solution Diet

Phil McGraw, PhD is a psychologist and self-improvement guru with a popular television show that had previously counseled people for more than eight years on weight loss. He uses an all-around approach of mind, body and soul with weight loss as outlined in his book, The Ultimate Weight Solution: The 7 Keys to Weight Loss Freedom.

Dr. Phil's Diet Approach

This book and diet teaches how to deal with impulse and emotional eating and choosing new habits when the urge for emotional eating comes about.

The pantry is completely cleaned out with all junk foods removed and replaced with healthy nutritional foods that have less calories and an emphasis on foods that cannot be eaten quickly that take time to prepare and time to eat. This, Dr. Phil says, this is the key to avoiding over eating and impulse grabs such as seen with chips and candy, which in turn avoids overeating and impulse eating.

Exercise is required in the Dr. Phil diet plan. He believes there is no way to lose weight, get healthy and keep it off for life without it.

Support is also a critical factor, without which most people will fail. Surround yourself with like-minded people who are also healthy or on their way to being so. This is uplifting and facilitates long term success.

The Dr. Phil diet emphasizes a lifestyle change, and the importance of resetting the body’s metabolism. To not only lose weight, but to also keep it off.

The book also provides many case studies, self-tests and charts that make this diet really action based, and journaling is encouraged to handle the emotional aspects of bad food habits and food addiction.

What You Can Eat?

This diet emphasizes the eating of what Dr. Phil calls High-Response Cost, High-Yield Foods. These are foods that take work and effort to make, those that take time to eat and have no convenience aspect. So, no chips, frozen dinners or cookies allowed.

The High Yield foods are those that are very nutritious, they come in the forms of good carbs, fats, protein, fiber and vitamins and minerals.

High-yield foods come in the form of color vegetables as well as fruits and various lean proteins: red, purple, orange, yellow and green vegetables, whole grains, eggs, lean meats and poultry, legumes, tofu, non-fat milk products and herbal teas.

Reduction of starchy vegetables like corn is advised. Fats and oils are limited to about 2 tablespoons per day.

Snacking is limited to vegetables and fruits or low fat yogurt.

Meal planning is emphasized, as well as, portion control. Eating slowly and allowing the brain to register satiation is a big element of the Dr. Phil diet.

The Pros and Cons
of Dr. Phil's Diet

The Pros

  • Lifestyle changing diet plan, not a temporary diet.
  • Sound science behind it.
  • All around program that encompasses the emotional and physical aspects of healthy eating.
  • Written and designed by a reputable expert with years of experience.
  • Well-structured with hands on strategies that will help those with really bad habits take control of their life.
  • Easy to manage because the steps are outlined in detail.
  • Addresses emotional eating, which is the main problem for many obese people.

The Cons

  • One must find their own support system.
  • One must read the book and follow directions without a live voice telling them what to do.
  • Strict food restrictions and calorie control may not make it feasible for everyone.
  • Lots of food preparation and cooking required, depending on one’s schedule this may be a difficulty.

Final Verdict

Overall this plan is a winner. There is nothing there that one cannot do to lose weight and get healthy for the long term and stay that way on a permanent basis. Everything in this diet encompasses a lifestyle change approach, which, is the best way to take off the weight and keep it off on a permanent basis.

Key Points of Dr. Phil's Diet

#10: Scarsdale Diet

Dr. Herman Tarnower created the Scarsdale medical diet, named after the town in New York where he had his practice, in the 1970’s. This is a strict portion and calorie control diet that provides a strict meal plan that follows a pattern in two week intervals.

Expected weight loss in this period is to be between 7-15 pounds. This is a very popular diet that has been around for more than 35 years.

The Scarsdale Approach

This diet takes places in patches, where one phase is followed by a different one for two weeks at a time.

Follow the Scarsdale Medical Diet (SMD) with a strict specific menu plan for two weeks.

Then one switches to the Keep Trim Eating plan for another two weeks. At this stage one plans their own menus for two weeks, and uses a list of additional foods that allows for more calories.

Then one goes back to the SMD stage for another two weeks and follows the specific menu plan.

The cycle is repeated until one reaches their target weight goal.

The Lifetime Keep-Slim Program is then used for lifetime maintenance.

Typical Day: The Scarsdale SMD 2 Week Phase

For those foods without a portion listed you can eat as much as you need, but do not get overstuffed, just satisfied.

Daily calorie limited is 850 – 1000 a day. Between mean snacks are limited to: carrots, celery, and low sodium vegetable broth.

Scarsdale provides the recipe for the protein bread eaten daily on this diet.

½ grapefruit
One slice of protein bread, dry
Black coffee or tea, no sugar

Various lunch meats
Water/black coffee/diet soda/tea, no sugar

Any kind of fish or shellfish
Any green salad and vegetables
One slice protein bread toasted, dry
Water/black coffee/diet soda/tea, no sugar

The Pros and Cons
of Scarsdale Diet

The Pros

  • Rapid weight loss.
  • Medically sound and nutritious.
  • Easy to follow with complete menus provided.

The Cons

  • Strict calorie and portion controls make it difficult for some.
  • Rather drastic with very low calorie intake.
  • No exercise required.
  • No support system, you have to find your own.
  • Not many will follow through with so little food and variety and will likely abandon the diet early on.

Final Verdict

Scarsdale diet is a difficult one to follow, the very low calorie two week sessions are not for everyone. Overall, this diet is great for those who are disciplined and can follow a strict eating regimen.

Buy The Scarsdale Diet Book From Amazon

Choosing the Best
Diet for You

There can be quite a few reasons that drive people to lose weight.

Some maybe preparing for an event like a wedding and want to drop a few pounds. Others might want to fit into the old jeans. Some may just be a few pounds overweight and would like to get more fit. But, for a large part of the overweight population choosing to lose weight can be a life or death decision.

There are many health risks associated with obesity, those include: Type 2 Diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure and more.

There are also various conditions that plague the obese that are not life threatening, but are annoying and need to be dealt with, these include, but are not limited to: aches in joints, incontinence, fatigue, indigestion, heartburn and lack of energy.

Whatever your personal reason maybe, deciding to lose weight can be an exciting time, until of course, after a few days or weeks, when the diet gets boring, or the feelings of deprivation and hunger become overwhelming.

At this point the diet becomes a chore, it’s no longer appealing and you wind up slowly or sometimes quickly returning to old habits and regaining what you lost.

Often people gain back more than what they lost because of the way the body reacts to roller coaster dieting.

Having a success plan and using certain strategies to help you succeed and stick with the plan is key, and the most important factor is to make sure and choose the right diet plan before you start.

The probability of success for any weight loss plan is greatly depends on the choice of the diet itself. After all, how many of us can be happy with a plan that is full of food we hate.

Since there are so many plans available, many of which were mentioned in this publication, it is really critical for you to do some evaluation and choose the right one.

Characteristics of the
Best Diet Plan

The best diet plan is one that can easily fit into your lifestyle and be something you can follow without undue hardships.

For example, if the diet plan calls for lots of cooking and preparation and you work 2 jobs this is not realistic at all. You will become overwhelmed and abandon it sooner rather than later.

You must make sure that the stipulations of the diet, the time, effort and foods allowed are in line with your personal lifestyle, situation and tastes. Choose wisely and do not set up failure before you even begin.

Considerations When
Choosing a Diet

Here are some questions that those who want to lose weight should ask themselves.

  • How much food preparation is required?
  • Is there counting or tracking of any kind?
  • Will I stick with tracking?
  • Does it fit with my life and work schedule?
  • Are there success stories and documentation of its effectiveness?
  • Is purchasing special products required?
  • How many pounds do I need to lose?
  • Does it cost money?
  • What are the food restrictions?
  • Can I live with the food restrictions?
  • What are the allowed foods, and do I like them?
  • Are there recipes available to make the eating plan easier?
  • Is there an online support community? Or any support?
  • Are the allowed foods acceptable and ones I like?
  • What about my family? i.e. having to cook separate meals?
  • Is eating out doable and supported on the diet?
  • How much time needs to be dedicated to the diet?
  • Is the diet in line with medications I am taking?
  • Is it okay with my doctor?
  • Does it conflict with any medical conditions I have?
  • Have I tried it before and it failed? If so, why?
  • Is this diet a temporary band aid or will it teach me to eat right and therefore keep the weight off?
  • What are the exercise requirements and do they fit in my schedule?
  • Am I willing to exercise?

It’s important to cover all the above bases if you want to succeed. The diet needs to be user friendly and fit in within your parameters in order for you to stick with it.

Consider the Food
Restrictions Seriously

The food restrictions are one of the most important considerations. For example, someone who knows themselves enough to know that they can’t live without pasta should not choose the Atkins plan. Why? Because within a few days or weeks they will get frustrated, eat pasta and blow the whole plan. What sense does that make?

In fact, this type of self-defeating behavior often causes self-esteem issues as one can easily feel like a failure and this deters from future success in getting fit.

But, keep in mind that if you are overweight your eating habits are flawed. So, no matter what diet you choose you will have to be disciplined and give up something, whether that means giving it up all together, or just lowering portions or times that the item is eaten.

But, there is a big difference between not having it at all, like pasta on Atkins, and Weight Watchers where there are no food restrictions, but instead portion controls.

Consider the Costs of Weight
Loss Methods Being Considered

Billions are spent on weight loss in the United States each year.

And while some people do not track their spending, a lot do. Just because a diet costs money it does not mean it’s better than many of the free plans or low cost ones that come in forms of books. But, they tend to be more structured and offer support, which is essential for many to succeed.

You can get a sensible diet and workout regimen from your doctor, online, from a qualified nutritionist or from an inexpensive book and this will cost a lot less, or be free altogether.

It’s important to weigh the pros and cons of both free and paid plans and choose wisely so there is no undue financial hardship.

Fee Based Diets Pros and Cons

The Pros

  • One on one support options are available.
  • Online communities exist that offer support.
  • Paid diets are usually very structured and great for those that do not know anything about proper eating and fitness.
  • Most are scientifically sound and provide correct portion and calorie control, as well as the right foods to lose weight.
  • The successful ones work, and have solid reputations.
  • Food delivery is available, which makes it easier to follow.
  • Many paid programs do not involve tracking and counting, which is nice for those that hate to do it, or have little time.
  • Many people cherish things they paid for, as opposed to those they got for free. When you pay for a plan it might be a big incentive to stick with it.

The Cons

  • Paid programs can cost a lot along with the cost of food.
  • Supplemental fresh grocery items need to be purchased along with the prepackaged meals, such as that with Nutrisystem and Jenny Craig.
  • Usually the program is prepaid for at least a month and if you quit you lose money.
  • For those on a budget they are not feasible.
  • Many paid programs include food delivery, which has its drawbacks in that dieters do not really learn how to shop for, measure, track prepare and cook the proper foods to maintain and manage weight on a permanent basis.


Gather your motivation, goals and strategies and choose wisely. Stop thinking of it as dieting, and consider real sustainable changes that you can live with for life.

Even if you start small, like choosing an apple instead of a donut for a snack and sticking with that on a regular basis.

In the end the choice is yours. Choose a plan you can follow and one that won’t be a constant struggle. Consider the fact that the most important aspect of the diet is to not think of it as temporary, think of it a lifestyle change that can bring you permanent and lasting results for life.

By the way, if you haven’t yet, I encourage you to download a copy of the complete ebook – Top Weight Loss Methods Review – Includes: Diet Plans, Supplements, Medical Weight Loss, Diet Pills and Lifestyle Changes. Click here to download the ebook now for free.

To your success in whatever plan you choose!

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