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!).

Q: I end up overeating because it makes me feel better and I never really get full. I'd like to lose weight but this makes it hard. Any suggestions?

A: Being persistently hungry can cause big trouble. So can overeating for comfort/pleasure. These two behaviors, say researchers from Baylor University's Children's Nutrition Research Center, are controlled deep within your brain by serotonin-producing neurons, but operate separately from each other — one in the hypothalamus, the other in the midbrain. They both can, however, end up fueling poor nutritional choices and obesity.

Eating for Hunger

When hunger is your motive for eating, the question is: "Does your body know when you've had enough?" Well, if you are overweight, obese or have diabetes you may develop leptin resistance and your "I am full" hormone, leptin, can't do its job. The hormone's signal to your hypothalamus is dampened, and you keep eating.

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