If the number of people at my gym over the weekend was any indication, “lose weight” “get in shape,” or “get healthy” was once again a top New Year’s resolution for many people. My usually quiet Saturday afternoon   trip to the main workout room was anything but quiet on Jan. 5.

U.S. News & World Report has just released a report that may help people whose New Year’s resolution is to lose weight or eat a healthier diet. Out of 29 diet plans, the magazine ranked the Best Diets Overall. The diet that came out on top was the DASH diet, a diet that was created to prevent and lower high blood pressure by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute.

Although the diet wasn’t specifically designed for weight loss, U.S. News says weight loss is “likely, provided you follow the rules, and especially if you design your plan with a ‘calorie deficit.’” The diet simply helps you determine how many calories you should eat, guides you on where those calories should come from, and encourages you to limit salt intake.

In the best weight-loss diet category, Weight Watchers came in at the top. U.S. News praises the Weight Watchers PointsPlus program that “assigns every food a points value, based on its protein, carbohydrate, fat, fiber, calories, and how hard your body has to work to burn it off.”

The program, which has been endorsed by celebrities like Jennifer Hudson and Jessica Simpson (and non-celebrities like me), is effective for both short-term and long-term goals. The researchers also found the plan to be convenient since there are no specific foods that must be eaten and Weight Watchers provides several methods, including an iPhone app, to help track progress.

The U.S. News report is impressively thorough. Several other diets are detailed like the TLC diet (Therapeutic Lifestyle Changes), the Mayo Clinic Diet and the Mediterranean Diet. They all fared well in the report.

The diet that ended up at the bottom of the report was the Paleo Diet. All the experts ranked it low for weight loss, heart health and ease of use. The Dukan Diet, which gained popularity when Kate Middleton’s mother praised it around the time of the royal wedding last year, also ranked very low.

If you’re searching for a weight loss or healthy eating program, take a look at the U.S. News report. It has a lot of useful information.

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