Health Magazine has done its homework so you don’t have to. It’s estimated about 80 million Americans will go on a diet this year, and many begin with the January vow to eat less and exercise more.
No small business- programs and products generate about $30 billion every year from over-fed Americans. The caliber of weight loss books has gone from wacky to holistic encompassing the mind-body approach, essential for successful and permanent weight loss.
Health’s panel of experts narrowed down a Top Ten list from a group of more than 60 well-known diets.
- The Structure House Weight Loss Plan (Fireside)– Probably the least known plan, this Durham, North Carolina-based program is used at a residential treatment center for obese adults. There is lots of counseling here about a person’s relationship with food, which transfers to a home-based plan with tasty recipes, according to the experts.
- The Step Diet (Workman Publishing) – A pedometer is the big component to this plan. Pedometer measures steps and is also a huge motivator to encourage moving over counting calories. Also the plan encourages walking even small distances in a parking lot for example that, when combined with cutting food intake to 75 percent of what you otherwise eat, makes for a simple plan that is easy to follow.
- Weight Watchers – has been around for a long time because it works. Using group support to motivate dieters to a lower calorie, higher exercise plan receives high marks from dieters. New to Weight Watchers is the points-based Flex Plan and a second Core Plan that does not involve counting calories. The plan also has frozen meals with points counted in the grocery store.
- The EatingWell Diet (The Countryman Press) - This new diet plan from the University of Vermont where the author chairs the department of nutrition and food science, focuses on behavioral changes, including eating triggers, eating and shopping mindfully and cultivating regular exercise habits. Dieters lost about 21 pounds in six months on this calorie-counting plan, about a pound a week.
- The Volumetrics Eating Plan ( Harper Collins) – Using low-density foods such as fruits and vegetables, soups and stews to create a full feeling is the secret of this plan from Penn State University. 150 recipes are appealing says the panelists, though exercise plans a secondary role.
- The Best Life Diet (Simon & Schuster) – author Bob Greene is known for his association with Oprah Winfrey and offers realistic goals in this plan. Weekly menus and recipes are offered on a Web site along with message board support groups, allowing you to move along at your own pace. Emphasis – healthy foods in reasonable portions, means dieters shouldn’s feel deprived on this plan.
- The Solution (Collins) – Obesity is viewed as an expression of the interaction of mind, body and lifestyle in this plan. It targets the five root causes of weight problems including low energy, body shame and unbalanced eating, setting ineffective limits and weak self-nurturing skills. The healthy balance of the food groups got high marks from panelists in nutrition. The Solution Method retrains the brain in skills that lead to well being in many aspects of life.
- You: On a Diet (Free Press) – Another Oprah favorite, Dr. Mehmet C. Oz and Michael Roizen teaches about weight loss with a sense of humor. Recipes include Stuffed Whole Wheat Pizza, Grilled Peanut Shrimp with Sesame Snow Peas, accompany illustrations on exercising.
- The Sonoma Diet (Meredith Books) – The Mediterranean eating plan emphasizes fruits, vegetables, whole grains, olive oil, fish and nuts. Prepare to give up processed foods in an introductory phase. This diet teaches you portion control and eating slowly for sustained weight loss.
- The Spectrum (Ballantine) – Dr. Dean Ornish is back. Known for his vegetarian pared down diets to fight heart disease, Dr. Ornish’s newest diet takes a holistic approach to a vegetarian lifestyle including stress management and exercise and scores big with people looking for science-based weight-loss program that is “based on pleasure not pain.”
Readers can visit Web sites and sample excerpts from the books and see which one, or combination of diets, best suits your approach to life, your heredity, foods you prefer and exercise you are willing to do.
A newly released study suggests when weight-loss programs financially reward participants – while reminding them of the cash they stand to lose if they fail – a powerful incentive to lose weight is created when compared to conventional approaches. #