US News Health recently had health experts ranked the top 20 weight loss diets. You can see the story here.
Weight Watchers was number one. Jenny Craig number two, Raw Food number three. Atkins was number seven. The Paleo Diet number TWENTY.
Ok, now I know conventional wisdom runs deep but if you want to know how misguided our experts are, check out below each diet where it asks “Did this diet work for you?”
Only 3 had more Yes than No. Weight Watchers at 648 to 444. The dreaded Atkins at 504 to 218. And the Paleo Diet at 1323 to 33 (this is a bit skewed after some encouraged voting from the Paleo online community).
Where did other popular diets rank and how successful are they according to voters?
2. Jenny Craig – 59 (yes) to 281 (no)
3. Raw Food – 23 to 181
5. Slim Fast – 53 to 474
6. Vegan – 51 to 324
11. Mediterranean – 59 to 216
11. South Beach – 165 to 267
15. Vegetarian – 45 to 340
16. Nutrisystem – 98 to 285
18. Zone – 70 to 207
So with the exception of Weight Watchers, the “experts” seem to like diets that the general public are not successful on. Just another example of why you have to be careful when you take their advice. As someone who has spent 10 years helping people try to lose weight, I would say these voting results seem very reflective of what I see in the real world. Additionally, my personal experience is that Weight Watchers is mildly successful at best, while Atkins and the Paleo Diet work very well.
Also worth noting that the Paleo Diet, which promotes simply eating traditional whole foods, was ranked last with a score of 1.9 out of 5. Ok… that makes plenty of sense.
All things being equal, just make sure you take a critical look at anything presented by the media, government or “health experts” because you never quite know what you are going to get.