By Dr. Dave Hnida

(CBS4) -They rate colleges, universities, hospitals, and now diets. Just in time for America’s favorite New Year’s resolution, U.S News and World Report has released its sixth annual rankings on the best diets.

U.S News used a panel of independent physicians, nutritionists, and other health professionals to rank 38 eating plans, and there was no conflict of interest among panelists. In other words, it’s a nice, clean set of rankings.

And what makes the list stand out is that there seems to be a diet, or eating plan, for everyone. The categories range from best overall diet, best at conquering cravings, the most rapid at dropping pounds, easiest to follow and so forth.You name what you need, and it’s here.

The plans analyzed were analyzed and rated according to whether they are easy to follow, effective, healthy, and not monotonous.

Here’s the list of the Top 10 — some tied for the same spot on the list, so I’m going to go generally from top to bottom.

You choose what sounds best for you, and a link to more information on each of the 38 diets and categories follows, where you’ll see the tie votes, and the actual rankings, but this is a nice, rough draft.

Let the weight loss race begin:

1. The “DASH” Diet
Originally developed to lower blood pressure, it lowers weight as well. It’s pretty heavy on fruits, veggies, and low fat dairy.

2. MIND Diet
This is a combo on the DASH and a Mediterranean style diet. Pretty easy to follow.

3. TLC Diet
This one comes from the National Institutes of Health, and was originally designed to lower cholesterol. But, like the others, it drops fat cells as well.

4. The Fertility Diet
That’s right — one to help improve your chances of pregnancy. It’s a 10 step plan that’s easy to follow, and gives a go-ahead to more full fat milk and dairy. Even though it’s for ovulation, men can certainly use it, too.

5. Mayo Clinic Diet
No this is NOT that old grapefruit diet that has been floating around for years but instead a healthy, wholesome diet that is tasty and effective — and actually comes from the Mayo Clinic. Now, it works a little slower at losing pounds, but it’s a diet you can live with forever.

6. Mediterranean Diet
Tt works. Nothing more to say.

7. Weight Watchers
An oldie, but a goodie. It gets high marks for success and support.

8. Flexitarian Diet
No, it doesn’t make you a flexible gymnast, despite the unusual name, but it works well for people who want a little flexibility in their diet. It’s mainly vegetarian, with an occasional meat dish thrown in for variety. Then again, maybe the name comes from being able to bend over and touch your toes for the first time in years.

9. Volumetrics
This one emphasizes eating lots of food — but of the low volume variety. Fill up, but with lightweight foods.

10. Jenny Craig
A good one if you do well with pre-packaged lifestyle of eating.

Here you go:

Bottom line, you know that diets come and go. So does your belt size. But I’m sure you’ll find at least one plan here that will work for you. Just give it a try — your scale will love you in the morning.

Good luck!

Dr. Dave Hnida is CBS4’s Medical Editor. He blogs about the latest studies and trends in the health world. Read his latest blog entries, check out his bio or follow him on Twitter @drdavehnida


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