At last count, from 2015 to 2018, 17.1% of Americans said they were following a specific diet, according to a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report. The most common of them all? Weight-loss diets.
So it makes sense that “Best Diet for Weight Loss” is one of several categories featured in U.S. News & World Report‘s annual best diets list, now in its 12th year. A group of 27 medical experts scoured through the details of 40 different programs and lifestyles to determine the best (and the worst) diets for weight loss. The pros just released their annual review of the top diets overall—the first-place trophy once again goes to the Mediterranean diet—which also wins in several sub-categories, including the best diet for weight loss.
Related: Why the Mediterranean Diet Is So Healthy
The 9 Best Diets for Weight Loss in 2022, According to U.S. News & World Report
To earn a slot near the top, each diet was graded on its ability to generate long-term weight loss of two years or more, as well as its short-term weight-loss impact in the first 12 months.
“Best Weight-Loss Diets was generated by combining short-term and long-term weight-loss ratings, weighting both equally,” they explain. “Some dieters want to drop pounds fast, while others, looking years ahead, are aiming for slow and steady. Equal weighting accepts both goals as worthy.”
This year, the best diets for weight loss are:
1. Tie: Flexitarian diet, WW (formerly Weight Watchers) and Volumetrics
4. Vegan diet
5. Tie: Mayo Clinic diet, Vegetarian diet, Ornish diet, Jenny Craig and Raw Food diet
Across the board, these diets tend to be low in calories, high in filling fiber and rich in fruits and vegetables.
On the flip side, the worst diets for weight loss include the GAPS diet and AIP diet (which tie for last place), the Alkaline diet that comes in at 38th out of 40 and the Dukan diet, Whole30 diet and Fertility diet (which tie for 35th). Most of these are designed with other goals in mind beyond weight loss, including reducing inflammation, boosting fertility and balancing internal pH (although research has yet to prove this is possible with food).
While these best diets for weight loss are proven to be the most effective eating styles to promote a shift on the scale, there’s no need to stick to one specific diet to lose weight in a healthy way. Fill your shopping cart with these best foods for weight loss and take note of the #1 habit you should break to lose weight, according to a dietitian. Prioritize plant-based whole foods and try to stay hydrated, and you’ll be well on your way no matter what program you pick.
Discover more about the U.S. News & World Report‘s complete best diets list.
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