Popular diets showdown produces a surprising winner: Jennifer Hudson belts JennyCraig
Even if you threw out your calendar, you'd know it's a new year because Jennifer Hudson, Valerie Bertinelli, Jason Alexander, Sara Rue and more are all over your TV, telling you they have the secret to losing weight in 2011.
With so many choices and so much conflicting advice, it's tempting to call the whole thing off and order Star Pizza. What works and what doesn't?
Based on attrition and weight loss over six and 12 months, the most effective diet studied was Volumetrics, as pioneered by nutritionist Dr. Barbara J. Rolls. The theory behind it? Eating foods like soups and vegetables that fill you up with their high water content. (Other versions encourage drinking copious amounts of water before meals or throughout the day.) Those studied lost almost 20 pounds over six months with a BMI decrease of 2.9 over the course of a year.
The next most effective diet is a traditional low-fat diet, with users losing approximately 13 pounds in six months, and not far behind was the Mediterranean diet (which encourages getting fats from fruits, nuts, beans and olive oil with little meat) which had an average loss of 10 pounds over six months and a year but also some of the lowest attrition rates at two and four percent, meaning it was a regimen more users could stick to.
In the battle of the high-profile diet companies, the winner was Weight Watchers, which was third-best overall. Weight Watchers clients lost an average of 11 pounds over a year, less than No. 7 Jenny Craig clients' 15 pounds loss, but the Weight Watchers attrition rate was only 17 percent, compared to a staggering 93 percent for Jenny Craig.
The worst diet, according to TDB? The Zone Diet, which claims to balance the proportion of carbs, fats and protein. Users lost a measly 3.5 pounds over a year.
Not on the list? Beyoncé's cayenne pepper and lemon water diet. Which is probably for the best.