Get the Skinny on 5 Popular Diet Plans

Learn about these diet giants and see which may be right for you.

Get the Skinny on 5 Popular Diet Plans

Whether you’re looking to shed some pounds, take control of your cholesterol or just want to feel better about your body, doctor-approved diets are a great way to get on track to a healthier you. But with hundreds of diet programs and books claiming to be the best in the business, it can be hard to know which ones are actually worth your time – and which to avoid. That’s why we’ve done most the research for you.

Click through to get a roundup of 5 popular diet plans and learn which may fit your lifestyle the best.

Weight Watchers

The skinny: This diet assigns a food “points value” based on its nutritional makeup and limits the number of daily points you can have. Weekly meetings help to keep you on track, give advice and provide an accountability system for your weight loss goals.

Why it works: It's convenient – most everything is online – and flexible, and even offers emotional support to help members stay accountable. Bonus: You’ll never go hungry. You’re allowed 3 meals a day and 2 snacks, plus weekly indulgences so you’re not deprived of your favorite foods.

Who it’s right for: Aside from pregnant women -- who are advised not to go on the diet-- this program is for anyone looking to get his or her weight under control (even Oprah’s doing it!).

Fat Substitutes: Could They Be Leading to Your Weight Gain?

They're hiding in everything from low-fat cottage cheese to protein shakes.

Fat substitutes are compounds that resemble the chemical and physical properties of certain fats and oils and are often used to replace conventional fats (butter, oil) in baking and frying. They can help bring calorie counts down.

But fat substitutes are almost like secret ingredients that hide in plain sight, says Mark Schatzker, author of the upcoming book "The End of Craving: Recovering the Lost Wisdom of Eating Well."

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