Some of the most popular weight loss programs are household names by now, including the DASH diet, low carb Ketogenic diet and the plant based Mayo Clinic diet. But what sets them apart from one another?
In this post, you’ll learn how each weight loss program compares and which one could best support you in your journey to lose weight.
We’ll get into the ins and outs of the science behind these weight loss diets, so you don’t have to. The best weight loss and diet program for you could be on the list below.
When Should You Use a Weight Loss Program
Deciding when to use a weight loss program is the first key to a successful journey. Here are a few questions you can ask yourself to figure out if now is the time or not:
Have You Failed With Other Programs in the Past?
It’s a common denominator among many individuals…you’ve tried at least one program, or two and your history didn’t pan out like you hoped. Maybe you invested in a particular supplement or weight loss program that drained your bank account without draining the pounds.
Discouragement comes quickly, we know, but it’s possible you didn’t choose the right program for you. In this case, the appropriate program could be out there, with the help of a little research.
Are You Suffering from Adverse Health Effects Due to Your Weight?
It’s one of the many reasons people search for a weight loss program. Beyond struggling with your body image, it’s likely you’re here because you’re suffering from other issues related to being overweight such as a heart condition.
If this is the case, now could be the time to find a weight loss program that’s right for you.
Are You Pregnant or Breastfeeding?
As tempting as a weight loss program might be during this time, it’s not the appropriate season to take one on. While it might be obvious, your priority is the health of your baby and taking on a weight loss challenge could affect this process negatively.
We recommend waiting until these phases have passed to focus on losing weight.
7 Best Weight Loss Programs
- Best overall – Nutrisystem
- Best for seniors – Mayo Clinic Diet
- Best for women – Weight Watchers
- Best on a budget – Mediterranean Diet
- Best for heart health – DASH Diet
- Best for diabetics – TLC
- Best for men – Keto Cycle
Each weight loss program has something to offer from low fat to low carb, while a few may be more effective than others long term. Some are more strenuous and come with ill side effects, so it’s important that you choose one that’s not only successful, but sustainable and safe.
Learn more about which weight loss program may be best for you, whether you go with a low carb diet or otherwise.
The Nutrisystem diet is unique in that it consists of prepared foods that are delivered straight to your front door. That means you don’t have to worry about grocery shopping or meal prep, on top of maintaining a diet.
The diet consists of lean proteins, high fiber, carefully-chosen carbs and no artificial flavors or sweeteners. Expect plenty of fruits and vegetables here, too. It’s a balanced and practical menu to get you set up for health in years to come.
To start with, you’ll also receive probiotic shakes to help kickoff your diet and week by week things change slightly. By the third week you’re allowed a glass of wine and other treats.
Similar to the Mediterreanean diet, the Mayo diet plan leans towards a lifestyle approach long term that can help you manage your weight overtime.
It’s recommended that you commence this diet in two phases: the first being a two-week period where you adjust your habits and set goals. Then, you implement your plan for as long as it takes to lose the weight you want, at around 1 to 2 pounds per week .
The Mayo food pyramid includes vegetables and fruits as the most important of the food groups, followed by carbohydrates, proteins, fats and sweets. There’s a focus on low-calorie, nutrient-dense foods and maintaining portion sizes.
This infamous diet comes with a community support system, making it different from other options on this list. Not only do you have tracking tools, but you’re welcome to meet up with other “Weight Watchers” in your area to encourage each other and celebrate wins.
With this diet, everything is based on a points system. Each food item or ingredient is worth a certain amount of points. Your quota is calculated based on the weight you want to lose and your current statistics upon signing up.
Technically, you can eat all the foods you like but they may cost you. Instead, it’s meant to teach you how to eat a balanced diet, while paying attention to portion sizes.
The website and application are full of recipes, tips and tricks to help you along the way.
It might be one of the best diets and weight loss programs for cardiovascular health, proven to manage Type 2 diabetes and heart disease, blood sugar and blood pressure . This is due in part to the diet’s focus on things like whole grains, legumes, and healthy fats such as olive oil and nuts.
Dairy and red meats are consumed in moderation, promoting more lean protein such as chicken and fish options, instead. A hearty variety of fruits and vegetables is encouraged, as well, with few restrictions otherwise.
Because the Mediterranean diet is balanced and features accessible ingredients, this diet may be a great choice to help you lose weight long term, while building practical healthy habits that last.
5. DASH Diet
DASH stands for “dietary approaches to stop hypertension” and is suited for those with high blood pressure and other cardiovascular issues who may be overweight, according to this one study .
It’s similar to the diets above when it comes to acceptable foods, such as whole grains and plant based. However, it focuses on the former first, followed by lean proteins, vegetables and fruits.
Promoters do clarify that this diet won’t get you far unless you’re also managing your stress levels, exercising and sleeping well. All of these factors, along with healthy eating, may help lead to weight loss, especially if you want to shed weight incrementally and safely.
Because the DASH diet includes large serving amounts of carbohydrates per day, it’s not for anyone looking for a low carb option.
6. TLC Diet
Cholesterol and sodium should be monitored as well, meaning egg yolks, red meats and whole milk dairy products are to be avoided.
Beyond this, the TLC weight loss program requires a balanced diet full of fruits and vegetables, lean meats like fish and chicken, whole grains, nuts, legumes and seeds.
Out of all the diet and weight loss programs on this list, the low carb Keto Diet stands out with its focus on a high fat and protein intake. If you need a low carb option, the Keto Diet could be the top diet as you shouldn’t have more than around 20 to 50 grams of carbs per day.
It’s the most popular of the low carb diets on the market.
How this low carb diet program works is by forcing your body to enter a state of “ketosis”. This means that instead of using carbohydrates for energy, you train your body to use fats instead.
The low carb Ketogenic diet may be one of the useful low carb diets for weight loss, though in the long run, keep up could get quite challenging . Furthermore, for those with cardiovascular issues such as high cholesterol, it’s recommended to discuss this diet plan with your doctor first.
Best Weight Loss Programs for Women
Most women we know lead busy but fulfilling lives. With a lot on your plate, you’ll want to choose a weight loss program that’s realistic and convenient.
Our first choice for women is Weight Watchers. You’re allowed to eat whatever you want in moderation and you have a support group to rely on as well. If you’re not interested in this program, we’d recommend the Mediterreanean or Mayo diet. Both of these set you up for long term health and sustainability is appreciated.
Best Weight Loss Programs for Men
Generally speaking, men might struggle more than women when it comes to sticking with a weight loss program. This is especially the case if you don’t cook.
Something like Nutrisystem could work great for you because you can have meals delivered directly to your door. The Keto diet is another option, but mainly because you’re allowed large portions of protein, which more than likely appeals to the male population, though not always.
Best Weight Loss Programs for Couples
For couples, you have an added bonus of a support system built into your weight loss journey. In this case, most of our programs here could be accomplished together.
If you fancy food delivery, Nutrisystem offers that and it can’t be more convenient. Otherwise, an option like the Mediterreanean diet might work well, since it encourages long term lifestyle changes. With the help of a partner, anything is possible.
Best for Weight Loss Program for Vegetarians
Are you a veggie head? You have plenty of options to choose from, believe it or not.
Since the Mediterreanean diet focuses on the inclusion of plant-based proteins like legumes, grains and beans, we’d make that our top recommendation here. Chances are, you probably eat these ingredients already.
You could also go for the Mayo Clinic or TLC diet for heart health, so long as you find alternative protein sources.
Best for Weight Loss Program in the UK
Virtually any of the weight loss programs on our list are available in the UK. However, we can’t determine if Nutrisystem delivers within this region or not. Weight Watchers could be a suitable option if you’re looking for outside support beyond the diet you’ll carry out at home.
What Are the Different Types of Weight Loss Programs?
As you can see, weight loss programs come in an array of styles, with regulations running the gamut from relatively flexible to quite strict. Some of the popular options include:
Low Carb Diet
Much like it suggests, a low carb diet focuses on consuming few carbohydrates and leans more towards protein, some fruits, vegetables, nuts and dairy. Things to avoid on such a diet include beans, grains, potatoes, sugary fruits and more.
Low carb diets are popular because they’re easy to follow in terms of what’s allowed and what’s not. Many individuals have success with this type of weight loss program, even though it might be a short term solution.
Using meal replacement consists of skipping at least one meal per day. For that, you’d replace your meal with a protein bar, shake or another dietary supplement that offers the vitamins, minerals and energy you need, without the calories.
Meal replacement programs are tempting because they seem easy to manage, although they can be costly. The only downfall here is that it’s not sustainable in the long run.
Diabetes Friendly Diets
Diets for heart health and diabetes aren’t hard to come by, you just need to know what to look for in order to take care of your condition. Any diet that focuses on lean protein and healthy fats like the Mayo diet are considered diabetic-friendly. Avoid high sugar items like fruits.
Home-based Exercise Programs
Home-based exercise programs are a dime a dozen, whether you’re using YouTube or Amazon Prime. This convenient option allows you to work out in the comfort of your own home and can be a big time and energy saver.
It does take some additional discipline to make it happen but the beauty here is that you have loads to choose from and many cost a minimal amount each month. You can also pick and choose different programs as you go along, depending on what you need and desire.
What Is the Difference Between a Weight Loss Program and a Weight Loss Facility or Clinic?
The main difference here is the level of support you’ll get between them.
Most weight loss programs offer very little beyond your initial signing up and maybe a few recipes here and there. In many cases, it’s up to you to track your outcomes, meals and more. They require a significant amount of self-motivation and knowhow.
A weight loss facility or clinic is more hands-on. In this setup, you’ll receive more one-to-one support and it might include a peer group as well. With one of these businesses, though, you’ll have to fork out more money.
Our runner up goes to the Mediterranean diet. Not only is there loads of scientific evidence to back up the benefits but it’s a doable program for long term health, as well.
While it’s not appropriate for those seeking low carb options, the carbs included in this diet are complex and great for the heart. You’ll also find many healthy fats available here too.
Whether you suffer from high blood sugar levels or just need to instill some healthy habits in your life, it’s possible. Your calories per day will depend on how much you want to shed and which of the diet plans you choose.
Best in Conclusion
Our top pick goes to the Nutrisystem diet. It cuts out the stress and efforts of preparing meals you’re not acquainted with and you don’t have to plan, either. The company does it all for you, healthy, fresh meals delivered straight to your door.
If you’re looking for an appetite suppressant to boost your goals, PhenQ or Zotrim may help. Both of these contain natural ingredients, vitamins and extracts to support you.
Don’t forget to discuss your plan and program with a trusted physician. This is especially the case if you have heart disease or other preexisting conditions.