Five Diet Plans That Actually Work

Check out the most effective diets according to health experts at U.S. News.

It’s all-too-easy to put on a few pounds around Thanksgiving and Christmas—but when you don’t manage to drop the weight, you may find yourself becoming dangerously overweight and at risk for problems like diabetes and heart disease. Regular exercise is essential for getting back in shape, but shaking up your meal plan can help, too. U.S. News’ health experts ranked the top diets according to their effectiveness: If you’re ready to make a change, here are some strategies to try.

1. DASH Diet - This little-known diet plan was developed by the National Institutes of Health as a way to fight high blood pressure, but it turns out that it works just as well to promote healthy weight loss in those with normal blood pressure, too. The plan is focused around fruits, vegetables, whole grains, fish, and lean meats, with less salt and sugar than the average American diet. Learn more here [PDF].

2. Mediterranean Diet - Going Greek with a Mediterranean-inspired diet, rich in fish, fruits, veggies, olive oil, and whole grains, can help prevent cancer and cardiovascular diseases. Learn more here.

3. TLC Diet - Give your heart a little TLC by switching to the government-endorsed Therapeutic Lifestyle Changes Diet (TLC), which focuses on a diet low in saturated fats like butter and salami. Learn more here.

4. Weight Watchers Diet - True, Weight Watchers is a commercial diet program, but unlike most others, it actually works, thanks to its common sense “points” system and its emphasis on group support and accountability. Learn more here.

5. Mayo Clinic Diet - The world-renowned hospital’s diet plan focuses on encouraging lasting weight loss with a two-stage plan: “Lose It!” and “Live It!” The diet focuses on common-sense eating strategies, with a meal plan heavy on fruits, veggies, and whole grains. Learn more here.

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