New Takes on Classic Diets

The more we learn about the science of weight loss, the more confusing is the message about dieting. Instead, try these new ways to make those classic diets healthier and more effective. 

Low-Calorie Diets

Old way: You’re a slave to miniature meals in plastic trays. Or you go off the food plan, inhale two brownies, and go hungry for the rest of the day.

New way: You don’t really have to count points or calories if you’re eating a lot of fruits and leafy greens, which help keep you feeling full.

Why it’s better: By supplementing those Minnie Mouse portions of pre-packaged beef Stroganoff with a tub of salad, dieters complain less about being hungry.

Low-Carb Diets

Old way: The pounds (at least at first) melt off like crazy, but then carb cravings eventually force dieters off the wagon-and pounds accumulate. Like crazy.

New way: We didn’t really mean you can’t have carbs, the leaders of these diets now insist. There’s more emphasis on good carbs, such as fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.

Why it’s better: Dieters on South Beach and Atkins may finally have a prayer of sticking with the program.

Low-Fat Diets

Old way: You’re allowed lots of whole grains, fruits, and vegetables, but there are tough restrictions on red meats and other fatty foods.

New way: Certain fats—the good ones, from olives, avocados and nuts—are now acceptable. Even red meat has its place on the spectrum, occasionally.

Why it’s better: You no longer feel like a rabbit dying for a burger.