Jan 08, 2016 1:00 AM

Author: Libby Mitchell

Every year U.S. News and World Report ranks the top diets for those wanting lose weight in the coming 12 months. But how do they come to their conclusions? “We evaluated the diets based on their potential effectiveness for both short-term and long-term weight loss, giving a higher score to those that demonstrated evidence for long-term weight loss maintenance,” says Katherine Beals, an associate professor with University of Utah Health's Division of Nutrition, who was on the panel. 

Ease of use was also a consideration for the panel as the evaluated the diets. “If a diet isn’t easy to follow people won’t stick with it, and it won’t be effective for weight loss,” says Beals.

The panel also wanted to make sure that none of the diets they recommended would put people at risk. “Above all the diets have to promote a healthy life style. A diet that leads to rapid or severe weight loss can cause nutrient deficiencies and lead to health problems or complicate existing ones like diabetes and cardiovascular disease,” says Beals.

Take a look at the top five diets recommended. 

Libby Mitchell

Libby Mitchell is the Social Media Coordinator for University of Utah Health Care. Follow her on Twitter @LibbyMitchellUT.

diet exercise weight loss wellness

Best Diets


For the sixth year in a row the DASH diet is the best overall. Dash stands for "Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension" and was designed to help people lower their blood pressure. It focuses on lowering sodium and eating healthy foods.


The focus of the MIND diet is on eating foods that may reduce the risk of neurological disorders like Alzheimer's. The diet puts foods in 10 categories like green leafy vegetables, nuts, berries, and fish. This diet is considered one of the easiest to follow.

TLC Diet

The aim of the Therapeutic Lifestyle Changes (TLC) diet is lowering cholesterol. Followers reduce their intake of saturated fats by reducing the amount of dairy and meat in their diets.

Weight Watchers

Weight Watchers is the most well known of the diets on the list. It's instructions are simple: eat healthy and exercise. It also gives followers a "smart points" plan to help track eating habits.

Mayo Clinic Diet

To start the Mayo Clinic diet you have to break five bad habits. Then you add five healthy habits. If followed correctly the Mayo Clinic Diet can lead to a loss of 6 to 10 pounds in the first two weeks.

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