Top 10 Diets That Work

1851-wendys-salad.jpgEver found yourself looking for a diet, but are unsure if any of them actually work?

There are some that are better than others. There are also diets that have reliable clinical research to back them up.

  1. Weight Watchers
    Foods: Depends on which plan is chosen.
  2. Glycemic Index
    Foods: certain fruits and vegetables; whole grains such as oats, barley, and bran; basmati rice; some pasta; quinoa; chick peas; plain yogurt; and skim milk.
  3. Volumetrics
    Foods: Focus on eating foods with a higher water or air content.
  4. Keto
    This very low carb diet is difficult to follow, but has successful fat loss outcomes.
  5. Raw Food
    Foods: sushi, fruits and vegetables, nuts, seared fish and meat
  6. Sonoma Diet
    Foods: lean protein, feta cheese, almonds, bell peppers, blueberries, broccoli, grapes, olive oil, spinach, strawberries, tomatoes, whole grains and wine
  7. Jenny Craig
    Foods: cereal with skim milk, Jenny Craig-style chicken fettuccine, fruit, vegetables, Jenny Craig-style Pumpkin soup
  8. NutriSystem
    Foods: Nutrisystem-style apple-cinnamon oatmeal, cream of broccoli soup, beef tacos, whipped sweet potatoes with cheese
  9. South Beach Diet
    Foods: Phase 1: vegetables, eggs, cheese, nuts, beef, fish; Phase 2: reintroduce bread, cereal and potatoes
  10. Zone Diet
    Meals based ratio of carbohydrates (40%), fat (30%) and proteins (30%).

Packaged food programs (Jenny Craig and NutriSystem) are generally short-term solutions or fixes – they are often used by people trying to get back on track. Convenience and time-management often dictate what we can eat. This is reality.

Weight Watchers Has The Best Research Track Record

According to the Annals of Internal Medicine:

“With the exception of Weight Watchers, the evidence to support the effectiveness of major commercial weight loss programs is limited. Patients considering the use of commercial weight loss programs should realize that these programs have not been carefully studied and that they vary greatly in cost.”

So, without doubt Weight Watchers is the most studied diet, and with the most successful outcome.


Comments now closed
  1. Ellie

    How should my grandad loose weight?? Which is the best diet??

  2. Valerie

    I have tried several of these diets since the 70’s. After researching more about nutrition and health, I began following a vegan type diet. I am a Texan — I love steak, BBQ and burgers — but after research, I went cold turkey on a vegan plan. I have never looked back. I have lost weight, enjoyed eating CARBS (see Starch Solution Diet) and feel more energetic and healthy than ever. My suggestion: do your own research, learn about nutrition and stop diets that are not balanced or are harmful (see documentary Forks over Knives).

  3. siphiwe bhembe

    I am in an obese stage and big stomack and i like eating too much so i am developing some joint problems, how can i loose weight beside exercising.

    • real talk.

      there is no way to just simply loose weight without exercising. That is cheating your way out and you will never see long run results that is the most important. You need to burn more calories than you take in. That’s how you see weight loss results.

  4. SueK24

    Interesting list. I can say without a doubt that the Zone definitely works. I lost 100 pounds over two years time with the Zone and my blood labs, blood pressure and more took a huge turn for the bettter. That was 16 years ago and I’ve been following the Zone diet and lifestyle ever since.

  5. Ljbndt

    does this really work because I’ve tried so many diets and none of them work for me.

  6. rontimus

    Just some thoughts to add…

    I really wouldn’t concern yourself with the “glycemic index” as much as the “glycemic load” of a meal (this is where all the science pointing now).

    And of course it’s wonderful to eat raw and organic.

    And I should point out, just saying “bread and cereal” is totally inadequate… Obviously, not all breads are equal. Some are toxic and some are alright.

    And cereal? What do you mean by that? All boxed cereal is toxic for you, and you should completely avoid it…

    Maybe in some ways eating these “foods” can be a part of a “diet that works”, but really, at the end of the day, not all weight loss is healthy weight loss.

    Going raw and/or organic is really the only way to go that will restore your overall health,


  7. Brittani

    Weight Watchers does work I have done it , and just like I saw on other comments the only thing that sucks Is you really have to make a life change or else You will gain it all back and then some!! I have done it.. I wish there was a mental diet that would keep me on the diet then I could stay on my eating diet then maybe I would never gain it back LOL!!!

  8. Diana

    Hi Natasha, I was wondering if you are still on this diet. (The website doesn’t display dates) If so how is it going? Did you have a lot to lose? I am on my 3rd day today and I have already lost 2 lbs. I have a total goal of 45 lbs. I am excited about it. I thought that I would be starving but I am not. My fruit day was a breeze. Please give me any feedback. goodluck.

  9. sdfg

    it really isn’t about losing weight. I’m an athelete and to other people i don’t look what i weigh. You shouldn’t look at the scale but the fat you feel or see. It you have a chunk of fat on your stomach then concentrate on abs, and eating better. Never compare how much you weigh with oher people. Everyone has a different body type and build. Just concentrate on eating better and doing as much physical work as possible.

  10. shamika

    hiii pls tell me how to loose weight quickly

  11. Sally

    follow my diet, i swear it works.

  12. Sally

    this diet works EXTREMELY WELL (it works good by itself) if you follow this exercising plan
    Run for about fifteen-twenty minutes, it doesnt seem like much but once your on that treadmill, trust me. also aim for about 1.5-2 miles, thats the speed you want to be going.
    after that lift light weights (5-10 pounds) for about five minutes, do this slowly.
    then finish with a short ab workout program, this should last for 8 CONTINUOUS MINUTES, you can make it up or find a video.

    do this exercise every other day,
    YOU CAN DO IT!!:)

  13. Sally

    i am fifteen years old and have lost about five pounds a week with this diet. The thing about it, its very strict, but if you can do it for one day, I GUARANTEE you can do it for a week, i guarantee it.

    Breakfast: small cup of fruit (any fruit, a little less than half a cup)
    Lunch: a small salad, (about two cups of lettuce) with dressing that is one calorie per spray(these have very low fat) you have an option of putting : carrots, or cranberrys in your salad
    dinner: small servings of whatever your mom makes (if your a kid at home)
    if your an adult probably a small serving of fish, a side of non salted brocoli, and maybe some fruit.
    **** to keep yourself from crashing, if you feel as if your REALLY craving something, first drink water, the craving will not be as bearing, then have a very very very small size of what your craving.

    Example, if your craving something carby, have a small slice of bread or something.

    also, some easy tips. drink ice water a couple times a day, ice cold water. this burn calories and you get to do nothing but drink it:) it burns calories because the water is so cold, and your body is trying to keep its core temperature, so it burns calories to keep itself warm.

    RESULTS G-U-A-R-U-A-N-T-E-E-D!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • laura

      that sounds SUPER unhealthy; especially for a growing teenager. You need 1500-2000 calories a day and what you are describing is starving yourself. Of course you lose weight, you are depriving your muscles of what they need, and your body of basic nutrients. Also you need water but it does not burn calories like you say. You need to do more research before you ask other people to follow you.

  14. Kayls

    I am a teenager and I was wondering what is the best way for me 2 lose weight without going anerexic in the process?

    Which diet is better?




  16. Dr. J

    Find a nutritionist and/or certified personal trainer to work with your daughter.

  17. perla

    My dauhter is in her late teen years.Shes overweight and i cant seem to find a diet that is both healthy and has great results.Bypass is something i dont have in mind and would rather stay with healthy eating.We’ve tried everything and mostly nothing works!!!! Is there anyhting else we could do?

  18. cendy

    ya i’ve been tryin to diet to i execrise mostly every day but it just doesn’t work for me oh well i just have to keep trin

  19. alex

    haaa. i have been trying to diet for months and nothing works. All i can do to stay as skinnyish as i am is to work out. Eventually you get used to it and it becomes fun i just turn up my music and ha im working out for about an hour and more. Hahaa, but i need to lose more weight and not eating is just tooooooooo hard espically when my friends are eating around me. So help me lose weight.!!

  20. Stephaney Thomas

    I am very upset. I have been looking through different websites to loose weight. I found a story that is verbatim (word for word)the same as on another website( with a totally different name and different pictures as Only her name is Grace Connell. It even uses the same ages and names for the kids. I think this is a scam to get people to by your products…

  21. Magic

    The key to lossing weight is just simply working out. i go to the gym at least 5 days a week. i change my routine weekly. tward the begining it was hard, and i had no motivation. but after about 14 days ( 2 weeks) i feel more motivated, and used to it. plus the results are amazing. when i crave something, i usually allow myself to eat in, but in a small amount. i try to eat a small breakfast, larger lunch, and then whatever at dinner, but early. at night i drink water. i go to the gym at night time, usually around 1130pm. this plan has worked for me.

  22. shannon

    come on it is all a math thing. calories in vs calories out. it really is that simple. i have lost 35 lbs. you don’t need to waste your money on gimmicks. just make good choices.

  23. qurray

    hey i have been going to the gyme for a month now for 2hours each day. i have a problem deciding what to not eat. i was thinking cereals in the morning after a glass of water chicken rice caserol and dinner maybe a glass of milk will it help me shade the 20 extra pounds i have on me by the way am female and 20 yrs old. any suggestions!

  24. olga

    Great diets

  25. Arnold Gizuzzi

    Screw you Jenny…you may seem luscious…but your diet blows-no not like that! I gained 12 pounds below the waist.

  26. Jazz


  27. RB

    “I’ve been on that diet for 3 days…it works.” What??? That really cracks me up! You need to eat right for life. Find out how your body works.Read “Protein Power” by Dr.’s Mark and Mary Eades. No more overweight,no more cholesterol problem,no more diabetes,no more heartburn,no more $700 a month prescriptions. I have personally seen it work over and over again. Eat like mankind was meant to eat.

  28. Vicki L

    Also try to drink a whey protein drink at night it will fill you up and the protein is good for your weight loss regime. During the day I also drink a whey protein drink and one right after my workout. Fitness instructors and body builders will tell you they would not reach their goals and keep them without supplementation of protein drinks. You need to drink your weight in milligrams to get the right amount of protein for proper weight management and also don’t forget to drink plenty of water.

  29. Vicki L

    Also try to drink a whey protein drink at night it will fill you up and the protein is good for your weight loss regime. During the day I also drink a whey protein drink and one right after my workout. Fitness instructors and body builders will tell you they would not reach their goals and keep them without supplementation of protein drinks. You need to drink your weight in milligrams to get the right amount of protein for proper weight management and also don’t forget to drink plenty of water.

  30. Natasha Conn

    Mischa, the diet actually works!!!I’ve been on it for 3 days and lost 2lbs. It also allowed me to up my water intake to 64oz a day where before it was almost non existent-this is the only diet that seems to work for me-I’ll update you after my 11day cycle

  31. Mischa

    When searching for on line Weight Watchers BEWARE of http://www.Fatloss4Idiots. The meal plans are intolerable! Like eating fruit all day except one meat w/bread lettuce and tomato optional sandwich? Non sense rotation plan of carbs vs protein. You don’t get to see what you are in for before paying. Buyers BEWARE. I think it is an overpriced scam!

  32. stacey

    ok i tried the old change ur eating habits and live healthily and i did the whole work out athing and im pleased to say i lost 20lbs!……..thers a but coming…………..after loosing that 20lbs i still have an extra 25lbs to loose and no matter how much or how little i eat or how much or little i work out i am stuck at the same weight….its been like this for 6 weeks now…please can someone help me????

  33. Emily

    I’ve only tried one of the diets listed (WW) and it did work for me but not for long. Maybe it just wasn’t the right time for me or something. Right now I’m doing the Spark People program and it’s working wonderfully for me. What is so great about this diet compared to many of those listed? You don’t have to buy a darn thing that you normally wouldn’t buy. No book to learn about the diet, no special pre-packaged foods and no membership fees. At this point I can’t say enough wonderful things about Spark People!

  34. frances

    The glycemic index makes you read ingredient lists. That alone will make one put a few hundred daily empty calories in the trash. The trick is to never add them back.

  35. Nathan

    I think that where Weight Watchers has it right (not the new Core Program) is that you can eat anything. You can have very small amounts of ‘crap’ food, or choose to eat healthy and eat more of the healthy foods. It steers you toward eating healthy without really saying “You can never have fried chicken again” or “No more wine for you”, etc. Because honestly, it DOES have to be a lifestyle change, and I can never say I will never have my favorite foods and beverages again.

    I just try to find healthier substitutes, and only have the ‘bad’ stuff on occasion…after all, I can’t watch the game without having a few beers and a few buffalo wings ( 🙂 or substitute ‘buffalo chicken breast strips’) every once in a while!

    Eventually you learn to like the healthier foods, though they can be more expensive. I love salads but I have learned to pile on the greens and cut back on the full fat, regular delicious dressings. Actually, I find that less dressing on a salad tastes better than a salad smothered in ranch. On the same size salad, 100 calories of full fat ranch tastes better than 100 calories of FF ranch to me. I try to choose dressings that even though they are full fat, are made of olive oil to be a bit more healthy.

    The frozen food plans help in that they teach healthy portion sizes, but they can be loaded with sodium even though they don’t taste like it (and then I add salt!) and can also actually be too small for me. 280 calories is a little low for a meal for me, so I usually have a frozen meal with something else, such as a yogurt or a small salad. And that is actually a lot of food!

    One thing that I MUST try to convince everyone of is to eat at the kitchen table!!!!!! I was amazed that a 280 calorie healthy choice meal at a table with no distractions was more filling than a half of a pizza wile watching tv! Seriously! When you actually realize that you are eating and totally focus on your meal, it seems to me that you feel much more satisfied than when you are eating while concentrating on other things. I had heard this idea before, but was so surprised that it was 100% true.

    Basically, the diet that has worked best for me is eat less calories than I burn (2,000 calorie diet for me to lose weight) while trying to maximize taste and satisfaction. I eat many of the same foods, but less of them with increased fruit and veg, and actually feel like I am eating more than I used to. And all the while losing a safe, healthy 2 lbs a week!

  36. Spectra

    I think the Weight Watchers program is a really decent lifestyle plan, if you use it properly. I use their system as a general guideline for how I eat now, just not as strictly. It’s also just like any other diet in the sense that if you go back to eating crap like you used to after you’ve lost the weight, you will indeed gain it back.

  37. Sarah

    Ken—if you are hungry at night, try to increase your daily water intake. I drink at least 64 ounces of water and find that if I am bored (which is when I eat the most)I try to drink more water to fill up my craving. At times I get sick of water, so I use a crystal light or lipton ice tea mix to add flavor without the calories.

    Another thing you might want to try is a glass of warm milk at night. When you go to sleep, it will actually increase your metabolism while you sleep.

  38. Ken

    I guess I should have mentioned, I am about 10 pounds overweight. I workout like a crazy person but still can’t loose that last 10 pounds around my middle.

  39. Ken

    Why do I seem to crave food mostly at night? I seem to have an uncontrollable urge to eat right before I go to bed.

  40. Isabel C.

    Maybe all this diets work.
    Ok, everybody can lose weight with this diets. That’s ok.

    After losing weight we come back to… sandwich, icecream etc.

    Lose weight is nothing if we aren’t change our life style.
    This mean eat healthier and exercise.

  41. Quig

    BTW the magazine “Real Simple” has an article on how thin people do it. i.e. live their daily lives and stay slim. There were some good ideas. This is the April issue.

  42. Quig

    Like many here, I’ll bet, I’ve been on some of those diets and lost weight. Losing weight is not the problem, for me, I need a plan that gives me a way to live after the nasty weight has come off. No more diets where, yes, you can lose weight but you gain the pounds back with some of their friends along. WW is a great organization and I lost 50 lbs. but gained it all back then some. Now I want to be on the proverbial “live it” as opposed to a diet.

  43. lois

    from sinda & lois … update… 3-16-06..

    well my sis & i decided to have our staples tooken out today… we just felt it nessacary…. we went to conway at dr martienz office…. with all respect he is a great doctor… it just didnt seem to be working for us at our 2 wks… anyway not sure of the lady tat we told we wanted our staples out, but she wasn’t very happy with us, she left the room & we could hear her telling the others whom ever we wanted staples removed, but tats not all was said as my sis said .. i cant hear well so i unable to hear what was being said behind closed doors i could hear tat someone was talkin tats all, but sis said tat gal was not happy with us at all… but it was our money & we didnt feel we were losing it ,,, we just tried something then decided we wanted them out as tat is our privlage… i feel tat she was upset with us … sry ! but we have rights & choices as a person… my sis did say the other gal told the lady tat we could hear her ! maybe she needs some side chair manners, i dont know , but maybe she just woke up on wrong side tis morining, i dont know but we are sry if we inconveince you ! even though we did have appts …. ! somethings work for one they may not work for another, so tat how we felt tat the ear stapling wasnt working for us… thank u dr martinez for your kindness & trying to help us !

  44. Seattlejo

    Huh interesting that its the “Sonoma diet” not the “California Wine Diet” I wonder what their requirements for a working diet were.

  45. Jim Jones

    I would have to take it a step further, and put optimum health above weight loss.

    Sure, it’s psychologically satisfying to see the scale move, but what’s it all for? What is weight loss without health?

    Over the past 6 months of heavy weight training, I have yet to lose a single pound on the scale, but my pants are back to my high school size, and I can run upstairs to the bathroom without huffing and puffing.