PhotoConsumers hoping to shed a few pounds in the new year may be baffled by the wide array of diet products and systems. How do you select the one that’s right for you?

It largely depends on your goals and how quickly you want to reach them. Another factor may be how well you operate within a strict system. Do you need a lot of guidance, or are you better at managing a diet on your own?

There are all kinds of options, but whichever you choose, it is important to discuss it with your healthcare provider to make sure it fits your specific health needs.

U.S. News and World Report has broken down available diets into several categories and ranked them. It’s Best Diets report provides a wealth of information on more than 40 diet plans to help consumers reach their weight loss goals in a safe and healthy manner.

Best overall diet

This year, the editors rank the Mediterranean Diet as the best overall diet. That’s good news for consumers because there is no packaged food to purchase and no fees to pay; you simply take a shopping list to your neighborhood supermarket.

The Mediterranean Diet emphasizes mostly plant-based foods like fruits and vegetables, whole grains, legumes, and nuts. It uses healthy fats such as olive oil instead of butter, and research has shown that it is associated with a longer lifespan and fewer illnesses.

This diet also showed up well in other diet categories, including easiest diets to follow, best diets for healthy eating, and best diets for diabetes. The Mayo Clinic calls the Mediterranean Diet “a heart-healthy eating plan.”

Weight Watchers claimed the top spot in both the best weight-loss diet and best commercial diet categories. Jenny Craig finished second in best commercial diet while the Nutritarian Diet holds down the number three spot.

Losing it quickly

For those in a hurry to drop some weight, the rankings provide five choices; the HMR Diet was number one, followed by the Atkins Diet, the Keto Diet, the OPTAVIA Diet, and Weight Watchers.

“Losing weight quickly is incredibly motivating,” said Dr. Carol Addy, HMR’s chief medical officer. “It can help people stick with their weight-loss program longer, which is especially important if you have a lot of weight to lose.”

U.S. News compiled its rankings after consulting well-known and respected nutritionists, dietary consultants, and medical professionals who specialize in diabetes, heart disease, and weight loss.

Want to see what ConsumerAffairs readers have to say about these and other weight loss programs? Check out our weight loss guide here.

Hit your fitness goals

A weight loss program can help. Read our guide to get started.


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