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Which diet is best for you?

Which diet really works for most people?

Whichever one helps them lose weight, says Nancy Metcalf, senior program editor at the consumer website Consumer Reports Health.

But Consumer Reports, using results from published clinical trials, has concluded that the Jenny Craig diet program easily surpasses all others in success rates.

The Jenny Craig diet combines counseling with a portion-controlled regimen of premade foods supplemented by home-cooked side dishes. In a 332-person, two-year study of the program published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, 92 percent of participants stuck with the diet for two years and shaved off an average 8 percent of their weight.

But Metcalf is quick to point out that Jenny Craig might not be ideal for everyone. For one, it relies in large part on consuming prepackaged meals, which is not for everyone, she said.

The current guides show Jenny Craig with an overall score of 85 points, based on adherence to nutritional guidelines and the result of published randomized clinical studies.

Second was Slim-Fast with an overall score of 83, third was Weight Watchers, 57; fourth, the Zone diet, 54; fifth, the Ornish diet, 48; and sixth, the Atkins diet, 48.

Metcalf said today's most successful diets emphasize consumption of calories that are most filling, such as protein followed by high-fiber grains, fruits and vegetables. "The big-name diets are putting this principle to work to help dieters shed pounds with fewer hunger pangs," she said.

—Orange County Register

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