Four Popular Diets

Weight is a big issue with many people today, almost an obsession for some. With so many weight loss programs out there claiming to be the most effective, how can one know which one is for them? Read on to learn about four popular weight loss programs: Weight Watchers, the zone, Atkins, and the South Beach Diet and see if one may be good for you.

It’s not easy to lose weight, and for some, it may seem like an impossible task. Some try plan after plan and none of them work well for them. Since everyone is different, no diet can be a cure-all for everyone. Four popular plans today, Weight Watchers, the Zone, Atkins, and the South Beach Diet, are all different and catered to different people.

Weight Watchers

Weight watchers is based on a system of FlexPoints. This system gives every food a value in points and each person is assigned a daily number of points to achieve, based on their weight. Each person also gets 35 extra FlexPoints a week to use for anything they want, whether that just be day to day eating or a special night out.

Exercise also plays a role in this plan in the form of extra points. One can earn extra points through exercise. These points can be used to enhance weight loss by not using them, or they can exchanged for food.

Another big part of Weight Watchers is weekly meetings where one can meet others who participate in the program and get a private weigh-in. Meeting activities can now be done online for those who are not able to make it to meetings in person.

The Zone

The Zone is a plan to balance the three main groups of food one eats: carbohydrates, fat, and protein. These groups are portioned out through either the eyeball method or the block method. These two methods are just different ways to portion food because people are different in how they can judge things.

The eyeball method allows one to use their own hand to figure out portions (a palm’s amount of protein, two fistfuls of good carbohydrates and one of bad). The block method does things by grams and composing meals in three or four blocks (one big block is made up of three mini-blocks each with one group of carbohydrate, fat, and protein).

Another part is exercise — aerobic and anaerobic. Exercise goals can be attained with simple things such as walking or jogging for aerobic, and push-ups or squats for anaerobic.


The first phase of Atkins is called the induction phase, which will last for about 14 days. This phase is strict and must be adhered to exactly. The rules include: eat three normal sized meals or four or five smaller meals each day. Eat a lot of fat and protein, such as poultry, fish, eggs, and red meat. Eat no more than 20 grams of carbohydrates a day. No fruit, bread, pasta, grains, starchy vegetables, dairy products (with the exception of butter, cheese, and cream), nuts, or seeds. And one cannot eat anything that is not listed on their acceptable foods list.

Ongoing weight loss is the next step where the individual tailors things to his or her own needs. One continues to limit carbohydrates in favor of protein and fat and eat carbohydrates mainly through vegetables. In this step, one is responsible him or herself to count their carbohydrate grams. Carbohydrates continue to be added until one’s goal is reached by finding the number at which an individual will still lose and not gain.

Next comes pre-maintenance where the individual can increase their carbs more rapidly and incorporate new food they could not before. Once one gets to a point where they are no longer losing weight, stay there for a while and then try to increase your carb intake. If you gain weight, drop down again; this is where you should find your intake level.

Lastly, there is lifetime maintenance when one has lost the weight they wished to lose. This step is about not gaining back that weight again.

The South Beach Diet

The South Beach Diet is a three phase plan that claims to be neither low fat nor low carb, but claims to get a person to eat the right fat and carbs. The three phases are banishing your cravings, reintroducing carbs, and staying on the plan for life.

In the first phase, one eats regular-sized portions of protein such as meat, chicken, and fish with many vegetables, eggs, cheese, and nuts. The foods that are not allowed for the first two weeks are bread, pasta, rice, potatoes, fruit, baked goods, candy, ice cream, sugar, beer, and alcohol.

During the second phase, one can eat carbohydrates again, whichever ones they like. Of course they will be allowed in moderation, but they are all allowed if one wants them. Once your goal is reached, you can move on to the next phase.

Phase three is for the rest of one’s life and brings another change with all the weight loss, improving one’s cardiovascular system.