We’re early in the new year, which means we’re all desperately trying to stick to our New Year's resolutions — which, for a lot of us, is to lose weight.
And since countless studies prove that we’re complete shit at sticking to sudden lifestyle shifts, a lot of people try to shed those extra pounds with crash diets, which work for a short amount of time, but then backfire big time. You know, because you can only live off 700 calories a day for so long before you snap and eat everything in sight.
That said, extreme diets are basically useless. Clinical studies even show that most people who quickly drop 10 pounds on a juice cleanse or something immediately gain the weight back when they go back to eating normally, because extreme diets mess with your metabolism, and basically condition your body to expect fewer calories.
And that, my friends, is exactly why you should be mindful about how you use weight, and follow a smart diet that actually works in the long run, and not a stupid one where you basically just stop eating and starve yourself into your goal weight.
In case you’re on the struggle bus when it comes to sticking to a diet, you’re in luck, because a panel of diet and nutrition experts ranked 40 of the best diets for U.S. News and World Report, so that anyone trying to lose weight can shed pounds in a healthy way, and not gain it all back later.
The diets were rated based on seven categories: how easy it is to follow, its ability to produce short-term results, long-term weight loss, nutritional completeness, safety, and its potential for preventing and managing diabetes and heart disease.
And since 40 is a big number, here are the top 10 best diets overall, as ranked by nutrition experts.
1. DASH Diet and Mediterranean Diet
With the criteria in mind, there was a tie for the top ranked diet: the DASH Diet, and the Mediterranean Diet. DASH stands for "Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension," because it was designed to lower hypertension, but also works for weight loss. The Mediterranean Diet does the same as well, because both regimens follow the same principle of eating lots of lean meats, fish, and vegetables, and cutting out sugar, starches, and bad carbs.
3. Flexitarian Diet
As the name suggests, the word "flexitarian" is a mix of the words "flexible" and "vegetarian," and the diet itself is when you're a vegetarian most of the time, but eat meat when you feel like it. So, basically, you're a vegetarian, but not really.
Sounds silly, but apparently it works.
4. Weight Watchers Diet
"Weight Watchers scored the highest for overall weight loss and fast weight loss, and experts said it's a smart, effective diet," U.S. News and World Report explains.
5. MIND Diet
The MIND Diet claims it prevents Alzheimer's disease with brain-healthy foods, and uses the same principles as the DASH and Mediterranean diets, and focuses "on the foods in each that specifically affect brain health."
6. TLC Diet
TLC stands for "Therapeutic Lifestyle Changes," and is a heart-healthy diet endorsed by the American Heart Association that helps reduce your risk of developing cardiovascular disease by cutting back on saturated fat and cholesterol.
7. Volumetrics Diet
Specifically created for weight loss, the Volumetrics Diet focuses on low density foods — foods that are low in calories but high in volume — to help you feel full without consuming excessive calories.
8. Mayo Clinic Diet
The Mayo Clinic Diet promises a 6 to 10-pound weight loss in two weeks, and a steady weekly weight loss of 1 to 2 pounds thereafter, by "recalibrating your eating habits, breaking bad ones and replacing them with good ones with the help of the Mayo Clinic's unique food pyramid."
9. Ornish Diet
Scientifically proven to make you "feel better, live longer, lose weight and gain health," the Ornish diet allows you to eat all the beans, legumes, fruits, grains, and vegetables as you want, and moderate amounts of nonfat dairy products, like cheese, milk, and yogurt.
10. Fertility Diet
As the name implies, the Fertility Diet helps to boost ovulation and improve fertility, but that part doesn't exactly apply to you. But it is a healthy regimen, where you avoid trans fats, consume more olive oil, and incorporate more vegetable proteins, such as nuts and beans.
For the complete ranking of all 40 diets, you can check out the list here.