Provided by
US News

Best Weight-Loss Diets

Related Articles
Health Search

Drug Search

Explore and compare medications

The best diet to lose weight on is Weight Watchers, according to weight-loss experts who rated the diets below for U.S. News. The Jenny Craig diet program and the Raw Food Diet come in close behind. Some other diets outperform these for fast weight loss, but long-term weight loss is more important for your health.

#1. Weight Watchers Diet
(3.8 out of 5.0)
This popular points-counting diet helps dieters drop pounds—and keep them off. In experts' ratings, Weight Watchers bested all other ranked diets for both short-term and long-term weight loss. But that doesn't guarantee it will work for everyone. Its average rating of "moderately effective" for long-term weight loss reflects the difficulty dieters have staying on the wagon, even when using the best weight-loss diet available.

#2. (tie) Jenny Craig Diet
(3.5 out of 5.0)
As a weight-loss diet, Jenny Craig outranked nearly all of its competitors. Experts appreciated, among other aspects of the program, the value of the emotional support provided by its weekly one-on-one counseling sessions. A few experts, however, questioned whether dieters can expect to keep the weight off once they're weaned from the diet's prepackaged, portion-controlled foods. Though not factored into its ranking, Jenny Craig's cost is relatively high.

#2. (tie) Raw Food Diet
(3.5 out of 5.0)
The raw food diet can deliver both short- and long-term weight loss, experts concluded, since raw foodists typically eat fewer calories than other people. But the restrictive and labor-intensive diet certainly isn't for everyone.

#4. Volumetrics Diet
(3.4 out of 5.0)
Volumetrics helps dieters drop pounds—and keep them off. It scored well in both the short- and long-term weight loss categories, comparable to or better than many other diets. Because it focuses on satiety, or the satisfied feeling that you’ve had enough, it’s “more likely to be successful” than other diets.

#5. (tie) Slim-Fast Diet
(3.3 out of 5.0)
Slim-Fast claims dieters will drop one to two pounds a week. Experts awarded the program relatively high scores for short-term and long-term weight loss, indicating their optimism the pounds will stay off, too.

#5. (tie) Vegan Diet
(3.3 out of 5.0)
Going vegan gives you good odds of losing weight and keeping it off, according to experts. Veganism is also an effective weight-control method. But vegans must be “very committed,” as one expert put it, because forgoing all animal products can be challenging.

#7. Atkins Diet
(3.2 out of 5.0)
In keeping with its emphasis on helping dieters shed pounds fast, the Atkins program rated well for short-term weight loss but was judged by experts as less impressive over the long haul. On balance, it came out slightly ahead of the middle of the pack.

#8. (tie) DASH Diet
(3.1 out of 5.0)
With an emphasis on healthful, filling foods that don’t pack lots of calories, the government-developed Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) drew reasonably good ratings from experts, despite not having been designed as a weight-loss diet. They judged it to be about as good for short-term weight loss as for long-term weight loss.

#8. (tie) Eco-Atkins Diet
(3.1 out of 5.0)
Experts regarded Eco-Atkins as much more effective for short-term weight loss than for long-term weight loss. It “may be difficult to consistently adhere to,” one expert said, because it is largely a “do-it-yourself diet.”

#8. (tie) Mayo Clinic Diet
(3.1 out of 5.0)
Among weight-loss plans, the Mayo Clinic Diet tied with DASH and Eco-Atkins. While needed evidence is lacking, experts' ratings reflect their believe that Mayo, if followed, could deliver modest weight loss, both short- and long-term.

#11. (tie) Mediterranean Diet
(3.0 out of 5.0)
As a weight-loss plan, the Mediterranean diet didn't overwhelm the experts, but it’s not built to be one. It is up to the individual to keep watch over the scale.

#11. (tie) Ornish Diet
(3.0 out of 5.0)
Experts deemed the Ornish Spectrum plan to be OK, but not great, for people searching specifically for a weight-loss diet. Its greatest strengths lie elsewhere.

#11 (tie) South Beach Diet
(3.0 out of 5.0)
South Beach helps dieters drop pounds—fast. But our experts felt it’s less likely that they’ll actually keep the weight off long-term. We found little research indicating that the diet is sustainable or that it helps dieters maintain weight loss over the long haul.

#11. (tie) TLC Diet
(3.0 out of 5.0)
Therapeutic Lifestyle Changes (TLC) isn't designed to be a weight-loss diet. But if sensibly followed, it can produce weight loss, experts said, because it's a fundamentally sound approach to eating. One plus: It requires no extreme measures such as shunning carbs or meat.

#15. Vegetarian Diet
(2.9 out of 5.0)
For weight loss, the vegetarian diet is slower off the starting line than most alternatives. But it gains back some ground over the long haul, beating out about half the field on long-term weight loss. Although vegetarianism isn’t designed to be a weight-loss plan, building in a calorie restriction and filling the menu with healthful foods could help dieters shed some pounds.

#16. (tie) Medifast Diet
(2.7 out of 5.0)
Medifast landed near the bottom of the pack for overall weight loss. While dieters will likely drop pounds quickly on Medifast, most experts felt they’d regain the weight. The diet's relatively low ratings for long-term weight loss pulled it down in the ranking.

#16. (tie) Nutrisystem Diet
(2.7 out of 5.0)
Nutrisystem also earned better ratings for short-term weight loss than for long-term weight loss. Experts were doubtful dieters could keep off the weight once they graduate from prepackaged meals and transition to cooking on their own again.

#18. Zone Diet
(2.6 out of 5.0)
Experts weren’t convinced that the Zone diet helps keep weight off over the short or long term. While it “provides a dose of dietary discipline,” one said, portions are small, and the diet requires a lot of work, which can make adhering to it difficult.

#19. Glycemic-Index Diet
(2.5 out of 5.0)
The glycemic-index diet doesn’t have much potential as a weight-loss diet, according to experts. It premise of favoring "good" carbs over "bad" hasn’t been scientifically validated, and dieters won’t have enough guidance to drop the pounds and keep them off, they concluded.

#20. Paleo Diet
(1.9 out of 5.0)
If weight loss is the goal, the Paleo diet will likely disappoint, in the judgment of our panel of experts. While they gave it slightly higher scores for short-term weight loss than for long-term, on the whole it was the least effective for weight loss of all 20 diets they reviewed.

Follow Yahoo Health on and become a fan on

Follow @YahooHealth on