For most of us, starting a brand new year always feels like a welcomed, fresh start. That's especially true when you have certain fitness, diet, wellness, or weight-loss goals in mind. Sometimes, the most challenging part is taking that very first step and deciding on which is the best weight-loss diet for you, because sustainability is key. We're here to make things much more seamless and share the 2024 edition of U.S. News & World Report's Best Diets rankings, specifically, the top five weight-loss diets of 2024. This way, you know exactly what to test out for your weight-loss goals this year.
Gretel Schueller, the managing editor of Health at U.S. News, tells us, "When it comes to weight loss specifically, experts agree that slow and steady wins this race. Losing weight at a healthy, steady pace—about one to two pounds per week is best. Losing weight too quickly can cause you to lose muscle and lower your metabolism. It can also set you up for nutrient deficiencies and other health issues. Scaling back portion sizes, eating on a regular schedule, swapping in nutrient-dense food options over fatty and sugary processed foods, and getting plenty of sleep and exercise are all good strategies for healthy and long-lasting weight loss."
Keep reading to learn all about the top five weight-loss diets of 2024. And when you're finished, be sure to check out The #1 Diet of 2024 Was Just Revealed.
WeightWatchers received the number one slot for the best weight-loss diets of 2024, according to U.S. News. This diet goes off of a "Points" system that accounts for fiber, protein, added sugar, and saturated fat versus unsaturated fat content in food. By following WeightWatchers, you need to stick to your allotted Points every day and week.
"For [the weight-loss] category, WeightWatchers is number one. Like many of the top-ranking diets we've discussed, WeightWatchers doesn't restrict food," Schueller explains. "It also has an important component that's helpful for any successful weight loss diet: support. In addition to in-person meetings and optional one-on-one consultants, the plan offers an online community, an interactive app, and plenty of other resources. Programs like WW that offer emotional support and group meetings lead to higher compliance than do-it-yourself dieting."
Next up, we have the Mediterranean diet, which was also dubbed the best diet overall of 2024. "It's the 7th year in a row that [the Mediterranean diet] scored the top overall spot," Schueller tells us. "The Mediterranean diet is really more a lifestyle approach than a diet, which is why it has such staying power. There are no complicated rules to remember or hard-to-track ingredients."
What should you shop for on the MedDiet? Choose minimally processed, whole foods—think healthy fats, plant-based items (like fresh fruits and veggies), whole grains, poultry, fish, nuts, olive oil, and certain dairy products. You can also enjoy wine moderately.
"The tenets of the Mediterranean diet are an emphasis on whole foods daily," says Schueller. "Vegetables, fruits, beans, legumes, whole grains, and some healthy fats like nuts and olive oil should form the foundation of every meal. At least two times a week, add seafood. Finally, allow for a moderate amount of dairy, eggs and poultry each week. Treat red meat and sweets as an occasional treat, and you're set for life."
The third best weight-loss diet of 2024 is volumetrics. This eating regimen shines a spotlight on low-calorie foods that are packed with nutrients, like veggies, fruits, low-fat dairy, and whole grains. According to U.S. News, foods that are lower in calories typically contain more water, which adds more "volume" to the food and helps fill you up. (Some examples of these items include non-starchy veggies, fruits, and broth-based soups.)
Volumetrics is also all about cutting back on "high-calorie density foods," such as foods that have a high content of added sugar and unhealthy fats.
The Mayo Clinic diet is a 12-week program that aims to help you establish lasting healthy habits. You can achieve your goal weight and still enjoy delicious food whether you're dining out or whipping up a home-cooked meal. This eating regimen doesn't require you to keep track of calories or points, either. Rather, it teaches you how to be a smart eater and has a food pyramid—that prioritizes veggies, fruits, and whole grains—to make meal planning easy.
Last but not least, let's chat about the DASH diet—aka, Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension, which is supported by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. This eating program is all about eating plenty of veggies, fruits, whole grains, low-fat dairy, and lean protein, and cutting back on foods that contain added sugar and have a high saturated fat content, like full-fat dairy foods and fatty meats. The DASH diet aims to provide you with all of your nutritional needs while lowering your chances of developing heart disease.