Woman checking weight on scale

Woman stepping on scale (© Siam - stock.adobe.com)

Are you dreading stepping on the scale? If you’re trying to lose weight, you’re not alone: 95 percent of Americans have tried to lose weight within the last five years, according to a recent poll. But instead of losing weight, nearly half of the respondents (44 percent) ended up putting on at least 20 pounds! Researchers found that overly ambitious weight loss goals were part of the low success rate, as dieters became frustrated with their slow progress and gave up. A good – and affordable – weight loss program, however, should set realistic goals, help you overcome challenges, and keep you from feeling hungry. To help you succeed, StudyFinds researched the best weight loss programs that will support your personal goals.

There are many different diets you can try to lose weight. The problem with many diets is our inability to stick to them. When you choose to make lifestyle changes, make sure you choose to changes that are sustainable according to your personality and lifestyle. The key to changing your diet is to make changes to smnall habits we perform every day. According to the American Psychological Association, “a stunning 43% of everyday actions are enacted habitually while people are thinking about something else.” For example, if you’re someone who craves sweets, an immediate cold turkey elimination of all sugars isn ‘t the best way to set yourself up for success. If you add sugar to your coffee or tend to have dessert after dinner, you can start by reducing those amounts or replacing those items with a healthier option.

Dieting should also be combined with a healthy exercise routine. Though exercise can’t compensate for a poor diet, combining both is the best option to maintain your health. A survey of 2,000 American adults found that 79% said they feel generally happier when they stick to a regular exercise routine. However, 48% also said they’re too busy from work and other obligations to exercise at all.

Let’s find out which weight loss programs actually work! StudyFinds reviewed expert recommendations across ten websites to build a list of the best weight loss programs. Our recomenndations are based on the top choices across Have any tips we may have missed? Please share them in the comments.

fork and measuring tape
(Photo by Diana Polekhina on Unsplash)

The List: Best Weight Loss Programs, According To Experts

1. WW (WeightWatchers)

WW, formerly known as Weight Watchers, is the most recommended weight loss program. It works because you can easily integrate the program into your life. “You’ll be happy to hear that it caters to everyone’s lifestyle, meaning you don’t have to give up the foods you love most while watching the scale go down,” writes Eat This, Not That.

The program is known for telling its customers that ‘no food is off limits.’ While clients follow a point system that assigns food to a certain number of points, there are plenty of ZeroPoint foods that are allowed,” CNET explains.

But WW isn’t only about shedding pounds: “WeightWatchers is also focused on inspiring healthy living and improving overall well-being. That includes taking a holistic approach to help members eat healthier and move more. A backbone of the program is support via the WW app, expert-led virtual and in-person workshops to provide practical tools and behavior-change techniques for help along the way,” says U.S. News.


Weight Watchers food
Photo by Weight Watchers

2. Noom

This program has as many recommendations as the DASH diet. However, it focuses more on weight loss and is easier to follow than DASH, which is why it ranks higher on our list. Referring to itself as “WeightWatchers for millennials,” Noom is an “app tracks your food, physical activity and helps you lose weight with no restrictive dieting,” according to CNET.

According to Women’s World, the Noom app “helps you lose weight by applying psychological principles of behavior (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, or CBT, to be exact) that gently guide you to make different decisions about what, and how, you eat. Health coaches are there to support you 24/7, answering questions and providing encouragement.” 

“Noom aims to use a holistic and psychology-based approach to help you change your food behaviors and lose weight by offering daily learning sessions and tools to help users manage diet, stress, sleep and exercise,” SI Showcase elaborates. “In a study of almost 36,000 people, 77.9 percent of users lost weight with Noom over nine months, with 22.7 percent of people losing more than 10 percent of their body weight.” 


Noom Food Categories
Noom Food Categories. (Photo by Forbes Health)

3. DASH diet

As mentioned earlier, this diet “was initially developed to prevent and treat high blood pressure. Since then, it’s been proven to be effective in also lowering blood cholesterol, making it an ideal plan for individuals with heart disease, its risk factors or a family history of heart disease,” says Good Housekeeping.

“On the DASH diet, you use a chart to estimate your daily calorie needs, which are then used to figure out how many servings from each food group you should have,” writes Forbes. Per the Forbes Health Advisory Board member, “you may find it harder to eat out with the reduced sodium […] and cooking without adding salt may be more challenging as well, but adding in spices and herbs can make this diet even healthier.” 

“You will certainly improve your health with this diet, and if you restrict calories while following DASH’s heart-healthy rules, you can lose weight and lower your blood pressure,” claims Prevention. “A recent study of obese older adults found that those who followed the DASH diet lost weight and decreased body fat, along with many other health benefits.”

DASH chart
(Photo by University of Arkansas)

4. Mediterranean Diet

This diet is the top pick of four experts – Healthline, Good Housekeeping, Prevention, and Forbes. “This style of eating is one of the most balanced and sustainable you can follow, filled with the ideal mix of foods for good overall health, longstanding energy and disease prevention,” states Good Housekeeping.

“Inspired by the traditional eating patterns of southern Italy and Greece, the Mediterranean diet is deemed ‘the gold standard in preventive medicine,’ due to its ‘harmonic combination’ of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties, according to a review of studies,” writes Forbes. “Rich in fresh fruit, vegetables, legumes, whole grains and fish, this diet yields health benefits, including increased life expectancy, reduced risk of chronic disease and improved quality of life.”

Although it isn’t specifically designed for weight loss, many studies have demonstrated that following the Mediterranean diet could lead to weight loss,” notes Healthline. And Prevention adds that “a recent British study found that for people who had lost large amounts of weight, those who consumed a Mediterranean-style diet were twice as likely to keep it off.”

Mediterranean diet
(© fascinadora – stock.adobe.com)

5. Therapeutic Lifestyle Changes (TLC) diet

With competition from the Mediterranean-DASH Intervention for Neurodegenerative Delay (MIND) diet, the Mayo Clinic diet, and a general flexitarian diet, the TLC Diet got the remaining spot on our list due to its U.S. News ranking for best weight loss diet and because its closest competitor, the flexitarian diet (eating little meat, essentially), was a little too vague for a weight loss program. 

According to the U.S. News ranking, “Mayo Clinic Diet and TLC diet tied for third place [for best weight loss diets, after WW and DASH]. The Mayo Clinic Diet focuses on fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. It helps people improve their eating habits. The TLC diet (Therapeutic Lifestyle Changes) focuses on vegetables, fruit, lean protein, and reducing cholesterol levels” says WebMD.

The TLC diet limits foods high in fat and dietary cholesterol and encourages foods high in soluble fiber, a type of fiber that dissolves in water,” explains Healthline. “Additionally, the diet recommends aiming for at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise daily.” TLC was also the easiest diet to follow for U.S. News, together with the flexitarian diet, and the most family-friendly diet, tying with the flexitarian and the Mediterranean diet.  

Healthy diet, vegetables, salad
TLC Diet

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Note: This article was not paid for nor sponsored. StudyFinds is not connected to nor partnered with any of the brands mentioned and receives no compensation for its recommendations. This post may contain affiliate links. 

About Clio Rourke

I'm a freelance writer with experience in advertising and public relations.

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  1. Lisa D Lane says:

    Betr Health is an amazing program that has changed the way I look at food and helped me loose 45 lbs and maintain my weight without feeling hungry, deprived over over doing it in the gym.

  2. Shaun says:

    Wish the people that source these diets could be held responsible for killing people. People have been doing these crappy diets for 50 years and the world’s just getting fatter and fatter. Eliminate the carbs and watch your health get 100% better.

    1. Dawn Payne says:


  3. Sherri Lee says:

    I am struggling with my weight and I need help with my weight. What are the best foods diets for weight loss? I drink lots of water and I am doing this Atkins diet and I don’t think it’s working for me. Please tell me what foods diets are better for me. I’m an African American black woman who is 5 foot 2 and I weighed 175 pounds. I would go up and down and I don’t like it either. So please help me.