Winter is a pivotal season. It’s often a turning point for those who’ve been dragging their feet about making healthier choices, like moving more and eating healthier. That’s why, each year, U.S. News & World Report evaluates the most popular diets, and ranks them by category. The folks create a sort of hierarchy of meal plans, delineating which are best for overall health and body-fat maintenance, which are best suited for quick weight loss, and more.
For 2022, the Mediterranean diet reigned supreme (as it has for many years), ranking no.1 in the best diets overall. If you’re trying to lose weight and optimize your health, check out the top nutrition plans—including what each entails—below.
Best Diets Overall
The goal: Melt fat and avoid chronic diseases, like cancer and diabetes.
Pros: You can enjoy poultry, eggs, cheese, and yogurt in moderation; eat sweets and red meat on special occasions; and have red wine with your fruits, veggies, whole grains, beans, nuts, legumes, olive oil, and seafood. There’s a plethora of research backing up this diet.
Cons: You have to be accountable for figuring out calorie consumption to lose or maintain your weight, as well as your workouts.
The goal: The Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension eating plan does what its name suggests: helps lower high blood pressure and encourages weight loss.
Pros: It’s straightforward. Eat more fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and low-fat dairy; eat less red meat, salt, and high-calorie sweets. Plus, The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute offers free guides.
Cons: You might not lose as much weight as you would on other plans because it’s more catered to improving your health (not necessarily a bad thing).
The goal: Cut fat and live longer with optimal health.
Pros: It’s said “flexitarians” (flexible vegetarians) weigh 15 percent less than meat-eaters, live nearly 4 years longer, and can dodge heart disease, diabetes, and cancer.
Cons: If you’re hell-bent on eating beef, this might be difficult to adhere to. You’ll also be cooking a lot of your own meals.