1. Weight Watchers
Creator: Jean Nidetch
Basic concept: Utilizing a point system, dieters select foods that adhere to his/her particular daily “Winning Points” value. Each food has a point value. Dieters record the number of points they eat at each meal on a pre-printed food journal pamphlet. Dieters may attend a weekly support meeting and receive counseling, health education and fellowship.
2. Lose Twenty- One Pounds in Twenty-One Days
Creator: Roni DeLuz
Basic concept: This diet is based on three concepts: rest, reduce, and rebuild. Dieters choose between a two-day weekend plan, a seven-day plan, or the full 21-day plan, all having a drinking requirement of every two hours. The idea is to cleanse the body by drinking liquids every two hours. Dieters can choose from a number of options including water, homemade soups, fruit/vegetable juices and antioxidant drinks.
3. Cabbage Soup Diet
Basic concept: The Cabbage Soup Diet plan promises a 10-pound weight loss in one week. Dieters are encouraged to follow the plan for one week at a time. The basic concept is an unlimited consumption of cabbage soup. Other specific foods that must be eaten include, fruit, vegetables, skim milk, and meat. Dieters are also advised to drink a lot of water and avoid alcohol consumption.
4. Five Day Miracle Diet
Creator: Adele Puhn
Basic concept: The philosophy of this diet is to curb cravings by managing blood sugar levels. Managing blood sugar levels will help control appetite and cravings. Dieters typically eat a serving of protein and vegetables at each meal, and are required to eat a crunchy snack two hours after.
Creator: S. Daniel Abraham
Basic concept: This is a meal replacement liquid diet program. There are five types of Slim-Fast products available: Original, Optima, Low carb, High protein, and Easy-to-Digest.
6. Atkins Diet
Creator: Dr. Robert Atkins
Basic concept: This diet involves restriction of carbohydrates and the unlimited consumption of protein, with little regard to dietary fat. The goal is to force the body to burn fat through ketosis. Ketosis begins when insulin levels are low. Ketosis involves lipolysis (the breakdown of fat during digestion), in which some of the lipid stores in fat cells are transferred to the blood for fuel.
7. Alli Program
Basic concept: Alli is an over-the-counter drug that binds itself to gastric and pancreatic lipases, which helps block the absorption of consumed fat. Twenty percent of consumed fat may be excreted from the body. Alli is not an appetite suppressant.
8. Cambridge Diet
Creator: Dr. Alan Howard
Basic concept: This is a meal replacement liquid diet program. This diet program involves drinking 3 servings of a Cambridge Diet formula each day with or without food. The three servings provide protein, carbohydrates, fat, fiber and the daily-requirement of vitamins and minerals.
9. Biggest Loser Diet
Creator: The Biggest Loser, NBC
Basic concept: This is a low-calorie diet based on the Biggest Loser pyramid of 4-3-2-1 (four servings of fruits and vegetables; three servings of lean protein; two servings of whole grains; and one “extra”). Whole fruits and vegetables are preferred over juices or dried fruits. Foods should be eaten raw or prepared simply, without extra fats.
10. Jenny Craig
Creator: Jenny Craig
Basic concept: This diet program promotes its prepackaged frozen meals. Nutritionally, they reflect the 2005 Federal guidelines and USDA food pyramid, and contain 50% to 60% carbohydrate, 20% to 25% protein, and 20% to 25% fat. Clients can supplement meals with fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and reduced-fat dairy products. Non-starchy vegetables may be consumed in unlimited amounts.
11. LA Weight Loss
Creator: Harold Katz
Basic concept: Non-diet philosophy. This program teaches food in moderation. The diet plan is customized to include appropriate portions of proteins, vegetables, fruits, starches, fats, dairy and LA Lites. LA Lites are soy-protein bars.
Creator: Harold Katz
Basic concept: Dieters may choose from 120 entrees and desserts that are designed to be well balanced in protein, fat, and “good” carbohydrates. This diet is made up of the traditional food breakdown of 55% carbohydrates, 25% protein, and 20% fat. Dieters are asked to supplement the plan with 6 servings of fruits and vegetables each day. This is a five meal–a-day food plan. The food is delivered by a parcel delivery service.
Creator: William Vitale
Basic concept: This diet involves low calorie, high protein meal replacements eaten every 2-3 hours, six times a day. The most popular version (1000 calories) comprises 5 meal replacements and one “real” meal containing a lean protein, vegetables and salad. Medifast claims to be a low-fat, low-carb, low-calorie diet plan that allows the typical dieter to remain healthy while losing weight.
Creator: Novartis Medical Nutrition Corporation
Basic concept: This program is commonly offered as a 26-week plan, including 12 weeks or more of complete meal replacement, up to 6 weeks of transition to solid food, concluding with a regular diet to be maintained thereafter, and features up to 20 weeks of nutritional and behavioral counseling. To participate in Optifast, you must first complete a preliminary medical exam.
15. Mediterranean Diet
Creator: Dr. Walter Willett
Basic concept: There are many Mediterranean diets. The primary concept of each is a high consumption of fruits, vegetables, bread, cereals, potatoes, beans, nuts and seeds. Olive oil is an important monounsaturated fat source. Dairy products, fish and poultry are consumed in low amounts, and little to no red meat is consumed.
16. 3-Day Solution
Creator: Laura Mellin
Basic concept: This plan is based on the 1-2-3 eating system. It is made up of 40 percent carbohydrates, 30 percent protein and 30 percent fat. The program provides recipes, menus, and suggestions for restaurant substitutions. This is a short term, 4-6 pound weight loss program.
17. The Zone
Creator: Barry Sears
Basic concept: This diet centers on a “40:30:30″ ratio of calories obtained daily from carbohydrates, proteins, and fats, respectively. It is considered to be a low-carb diet. Sears says, “Eat as much protein as the palm of your hand, as much nonstarchy raw vegetables as you can stand for the vitamins, enough carbohydrates to maintain mental clarity because the brain runs on glucose, and enough monounsaturated oils to keep feelings of hunger away.”
18. South Beach Diet
Creator: Arthur Agatston and Marie Almon
Basic concept: The South Beach Diet is relatively simple in principle. It replaces “bad carbs” with “good carbs” and “bad fats” with “good fats.” The South Beach diet bans unhealthy fats but strongly promotes healthy ones. Dieters are not required to count carbohydrate calories. The diet basically focuses on foods with a low glycemic index. The diet discourages the consumption of trans-fats and saturated fats. It embraces fats derived from lean meats, nuts and fish, because of the omega 3 fatty acids contained within them.