America's Top 10 Healthiest Diets

An estimated 80 million Americans go on diets every year, spending more than $30 billion annually on programs and products. That’s a lot of money, a lot of advice, and a lot of emotional investment.

The Volumetrics Eating Plan
Harper Collins

Nutritionist Barbara Rolls, PhD, has tapped into a fundamental human quality: We like to feel full. This may sound obvious, but its based, in fact, on extensive work Rolls has done as director of the Laboratory for the Study of Human Ingestive Behavior at Pennsylvania State University. Rolls says youll eat better and lose weight if you focus on the energy density of foods. And her Volumetrics plan explains how low-density foods like fruits and vegetables, as well as soups and stews, fill you up without overloading you with calories.

This diet scored highest for its safe weight-loss-rate and nutritional components because its “based on sound nutrition principles and overall healthy food choices,” judge Samantha Heller says. And our panelists found the plans 150-plus recipes appealing. Another plus, judge Christine Palumbo says, is Volumetrics creative approach of showing photos of low- and high-density foods side by side—a simple way to help dieters visualize good choices.

Though exercise plays a secondary role in the Volumetrics plan, it is required. And a guide for logging 30 to 60 minutes of daily activity provides motivation. But Healths Frances Largeman-Roth wondered if some dieters would need more exercise challenges and support.

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Last Updated: December 16, 2008

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