Comparison of Diet Programs

Overview

Most people know there are countless diets out there. Ask 10 people what diet worked for them and you will get 10 different answers. Finding a diet that works for you is as simple as looking at the facts. Do you like to snack or do you prefer three meals a day? Do you like flexibility or having someone telling you exactly what to eat? Choose the diet that you can adopt into your lifestyle so you set yourself up for success.

Weight Watchers

The Weight Watchers website provides detailed information on their programs. The Momentum Program assigns members an allotted number of “points” for the day. Members are allowed to eat whatever foods they want as long as they do not go over their maximum points. Weight Watchers is popular with people who like the support of others in their weight loss mission. Members can choose to go to meetings or participate in Weight Watchers online. Weight loss is tracked through weekly weigh-ins. Membership is free once your goal weight is achieved and as long as it is maintained.

The Zone Diet

The Zone Diet’s foundation is balancing calories—40 percent from carbohydrates, 30 percent from protein and 30 percent from fat. Participants are encouraged to eat three meals and two snacks daily. According to the Zone Diet website, by doing this, insulin levels are stabilized for optimal health. Several books are available with Zone appropriate recipes. Foods can also be ordered directly from the website, or purchased at the grocery store to stay within the guidelines of the diet.

Low-Fat Diet

This is perhaps one of the most common approaches to weight loss. According to the Centers for Disease Control, a low-fat diet is exactly that, a diet where foods that are lower in fat are chosen above those that are high in fat. Fruits and vegetables are emphasized. Protein often comes in the form of white meat poultry, fish or soy. Following a low-fat diet allows you to eat a larger volume of food for fewer calories than a high-fat diet.

The South Beach Diet

The South Beach diet’s website describes its three phases. Phase 1 is the most restrictive phase. Carbohydrates are almost entirely eliminated. Phase 2 adds back whole grains, fruits and starchy vegetables. Phase 3 is the final phase for once you have reached your goal. This phase has more flexibility and includes many foods. The South Beach diet provides several recipes on its website or in the book. Products can also be purchased on the website or in your grocery store.

The Raw Food Diet

According to a study published in the Journal of Nutrition, the raw food diet focuses on foods that are uncooked, unheated, unprocessed, organic when possible and plant-based. Food is never to be heated over 116 degrees. Protein is provided from beans, nuts, grains and the protein naturally found in fruits and vegetables. While several variations of this diet can be found, no animal products are eaten in most varieties of the raw foods diet.

About this Author

Jenifer Headley, RD started writing in 2005. Her work first appeared in “Orange Coast,” a popular Orange County, Calif. magazine. Headley earned her Bachelors of Science in dietetics from the University of Rhode Island. She has been practicing as a registered dietitian since 2003.