The Top Best Diet Plans

Opportunities2 There are so many diet plans out there. How do you tell them apart? Some may be controversial, some may take longer and have lesser results. Thankfully Findthebest.com has developed a great Diet Plan comparison chart that takes into account all sorts of diet plan attributes.


Here are the top 10 best diet plans according to FIndTheBest.com. Check out all available plans with their very useful and easy to use Diet Plan Comparison Chart:

Compare    Diet NameAdvertised Weight Loss (total)
Advertised amount of weight creators claim you could lose on this diet plan.
Advertised Length of Time
The amount of time the creators claim it will take to lose the advertised amount of weight if following diet plan.
Advertised Weight Loss (lbs per week)  Acceptance
How is the diet plan received in the health community? Most diet plans in our database are generally accepted, but be wary of diet plans that are controversial or have little to no scientific evidence supporting the effectiveness of the plan.
7 Day Diet 11lbs 7 days 11.00 lbs/week No scientific evidence to support effectiveness of diet plan
Cabbage Soup Diet 10lbs 7 day 10.00 lbs/week Controversial
UltraSimple Diet 10lbs 7 days 10.00 lbs/week Generally accepted
The Scarsdale Diet 20lbs 14 days 10.00 lbs/week Some scientific evidence supporting effectiveness of diet plan
Jump Start Juicer System 10lbs One week 10.00 lbs/week Generally accepted, Some scientific evidence supporting effectiveness of diet plan
3 Apple a Day Diet 4lbs 3 days 9.30 lbs/week Some scientific evidence supporting effectiveness of diet plan
Weight Loss Cure 30lbs 30 days 7.50 lbs/week Controversial
Weight Loss Grail 28lbs 28 days 7.00 lbs/week Generally accepted
New York Diet 14lbs 2 weeks 7.00 lbs/week No scientific evidence to support effectiveness of diet plan
Martha's Vineyard Detox Diet 21lbs 21 days 7.00 lbs/week No scientific evidence to support effectiveness of diet plan

Signs of Spring

A recenet breath of spring in the middle of what's been an unusually brutal winter has most of my friends and family speculating about the early arrival of the season.  For me, a harsher reality reminded me that warm weather is looming on the horizon ... the Victoria's Secret bikini catalog.  Nothing snaps me back to reality than the subtle reminder that those heavy layers will be melting off to reveal any over-indulging I've packed on in colder weather.

With a bit of renewed inspiration, I've inflated my balance ball, broken out my hand weights, and prepared myself to get down to some serious exercise and diet control.   Currently, I'm about 5 lbs over my goal weight.  Whenever I feel the scale is nudging up, I make a beeline for one of my favorite free iPhone applications, Losin' It.  This great free app tracks daily food, allows for recipes to calculate caloric/nutritional count and adjusts for exercise.  I love it, because I can almost immediately identify all my food infractions.  

I think the trick in getting back on track is being conscious of food and activity.  It sounds so simplistic, but it's so incredibly easy to lose sight of those two variables.  In the past year, I've gone through a divorce, purchased a new home, and lost my grandmother.  Being a stress induced eater, 2010 wreaked havoc on me, it's a wonder at times I didn't gain back 30+ lbs by the time the year closed.  Fortunately, I managed to keep up my martial arts training, and tried to keep my day to day eating reasonable, so the damage by the end of the year wasn't as bad as it could have been.  

Life gets in the way sometimes.  Now that the air has cleared, and I can focus on my well being as opposed to lawyers and funeral homes, I'm ready to get back on track.  A gentle nudge from Victoria's Secret gave me the inspiration to set some new goals and get myself a bikini ready body in time for the summer.  Will you be ready? 




Feeding Frenzy

Generally, I consider myself a relatively calm, level-headed person.  Well, maybe I do have the occasional rant, or rave, I'm no different than anyone else out there, right?  So how is it that during times of emotional duress, I can eat like the world is about to explode?  Emotional eating is my Achilles heel.  It springs from something deep inside me, I'd venture to even say it's a subconscious tendency.  Even worse, it manifests itself like a physiological reaction - I can feel my hand reach across my desk seeking the nearest sugar fortified food to stuff in my face.  I don't think I even taste what I eat at times like this.  It's as though I become the black hole of eating - and I can't understand how someone with such resolve and determination can repeat this pattern, but I do.  I think it comes down to one thing...

I'm only human.

Well, that and the fact that I'm currently living through one of the most stressful periods of the human experience after death of a loved one, divorce.  There, I said it, the "D" word.  Yes dear blog readers, as this post goes up on Wednesday morning, I'll be standing in the Bergen County Superior Court, divesting myself from a man I've associated myself with for nearly 20 years.  For those survivors of divorce out there, you have a pretty good inclination of how stressful this can be.  And for an emotional eater like myself, this is like rocket fuel.  I've had to all but chain off the kitchen cabinets with my kid's snacks and goodies.  

When faced with emotionally trying times in life, whether it's family, work or relationships, many of us reach for food.  It's something that was conditioned in me from a very young age.  Have some kielbasa and cheese ... a few cookies will make you feel better ... a scoop of ice cream?  It always came back to food as a means of comfort, when it probably should have been some tea and sympathy instead.

Here are a few tactics I've picked up here and there to deal with emotional eating.  It's all common sense stuff, but they're good reminders to keep top of mind...

  1. Learn the difference between physical and emotional hunger, which is the difference between eating to fill a physical need and eating emotionally.
  2. Eat slowly and listen to your body for clues that you're physically satisfied.
  3. Don't eat mindlessly in front of the TV.
  4. Don't deprive yourself of foods you love – just don't overdo it.
  5. Don't eat in bed or on the sofa. Eat at the kitchen table. Stop emotional eating by eating in the same place all the time.
  6. Treat your body with respect: nourish it, move it around, listen to it, and pamper it. Tune in to your body to stop emotional eating.
  7. Look for connections between the events in your day and your cravings for food. Identify the triggers that push you over the line and make you want to eat mindlessly (eg, fights with your partner or child).
  8. Deal with your triggers. If you can't cut them from your life entirely, find better ways to cope with your feelings. Eating mindlessly makes things worse.

Controlling emotional easy is not an easy proposition.  If it were, than why do so many of us struggle with it?  It defies reason so far as I'm concerned.  So many of us are educated, rational people - emotional eating is like temporary insanity.  Take it one day at a time, and learn to be more forgiving of yourself.  Remember, each day is a new opportunity.  After all, we're only human, right?


Hi-Ho Cherries!

For whatever reason, I've had a massive craving for cherries this summer.  It's a wonder my skin hasn't developed a cherry colored blush as a result.  Cherries are another fruit (of many in my own person experience) that just don't get enough play.  They're sweet, tart and tasty, and pack a really great nutritional punch.  For such a small fruit, they really are incredibly beneficial to our bodies.

Densely packed with antioxidents, I was amazed to discover all the health benefits of this fruit.  So, I ran out to grab a half pound of cherries, and sat myself down to extoll their virtues!  According to medical research cherries are one of the best multi-taskers of the fruit world.  They ease the aches and pains of arthritis and gout, as well as reduce risk factors for heart disease, diabetes and certain cancers.  Because of their high levels of melatonin, they aid in regulating the body's regular sleep patterns, aid with memory loss and ease jet lag!  (hmmmmn, I wonder if they could do all this and pick up after my kids?)

But wait, there's more!  For those of us on the weight loss track, a diet that incorporates cherries may serve to lower total body weight, and could help to reduce that pesky weight around our mid sections (yeah, that one stopped me in my tracks too!).  According to the American Heart Association, cherries reduce inflammation and cholesterol, factors directly linked to heart disease.  One to two servings of cherries daily is all it takes to reap their benefits.  And if you're looking for a way to incorporate fiber into your day, look no further.  Cherries are an excellent source of dietary fiber.  How much is a serving?

  1. 1/2 Cup of dried cherries
  2. 1 Cup of frozen cherries
  3. 1 Cup of cherry juice
  4. 1 oz (or 2 tbsp) cherry concentrate

Before the summer's over, go red and grab some cherries while they're in season.  They're not just for pies anymore!  Here are some nutritional facts on cherries:

  • 1/2 cup Sweet Cherries provides: 46 calories, 0.7 g protein, 0.1 g fat, 9.3 g sugar, 1.5 g fiber
  • 1/2 cup Sour Cherries provides: 39 calories, 0.8 g protein, 0.2 g fat, 6.6 g sugar, 1.2 g fiber
  • 1/4 cup Dried Cherries provides: 136 calories, 1 g protein, 0 g fat, 27 g sugar, 1 g fiber, 30% DV vitamin A.
  • 1 Maraschino Cherry, canned, drained provides: 8 calories, 0 g protein, 0 g fat, 2 g sugar, 0.2 g fiber
  • 1/2 cup Ontario Red Tart Chilled and Pitted Cherries provides: 63 calories, 0.7 g protein, 0.2 g fat, 15.7 g carbohydrates, 0.8 g dietary fiber.

Skinny Girls Have it So Easy!

A few months back, my former (note the past tense) sitter and I were talking about the difficulties and frustrations with weight loss.  Now mind you, if you recall some of my earlier posts, I tipped the scales at 180 lbs right before I gave birth to my son back in 2002.  For someone with a 5'2" frame, I looked like a tick ready to explode.  My point?  I know what it's like to be overweight - been there.  The conversation continued and I offered some of my tactics and information collected during my own journey.  Then the she dropped the bomb on me ... "Well, it's easy for you, you're skinny."

Huh?  It's easy for me?  For a sugar addict that was 50 lbs above her post delivery weight, and struggled through depression and tears for about 6 years after the birth of her first child with an awful body image, this was a blow that sent me reeling.  My grandmother had a plaque in her kitchen that I memorized as a child with a great saying "Never judge a man (or woman!) until you've walked a mile in their moccasins."  It still holds true to me today.  Every person is unique and distinct with their own set of body challenges.  For me it came down to 3 specific things:

  1. Being honest with myself about the extent of my weight gain
  2. Becoming conscious of my intake versus what I would expend in any given day
  3. Realizing and acknowledging my own inherent issues when it came to food (all the behavioral stuff)

Losing weight is no easy task.  And if you think it's just a "task" you're doomed to failure.  Dropping "a few pounds for a special occasion is not going to translate into sustained loss.  It's going to come back sooner or later like a boomerang - take it from me, I've gained and lost 10 lbs repeatedly.  And it's a daily struggle for me, like it is for most people.  Operating under the misperception that your dissatisfaction with your body can be chaled up to being issued the wrong body type doesn't accomplish anything.  If you need to vent to make yourself feel better, I'll give you that.  But if you want to get down to business, make some serious progress towards a healthier life and well being, then get up and do something about your situation, it's in your hands.

For me, it was diagnosing a medical issue (my thyroid), taking a hard look at what I eat, and finding exercise and activities that I could commit myself to.  My Sensei, Craig Boone at Pace Karate in Wanaque is the person I credit with helping me to carve out the body I have today.  It's his constant pushing and challenging me that has inspired me to invest the sweat equity.  And guess what?  I looked so good at a recent music festival in my short skirt, that I was filmed by Sky TV!  Talk about a great ego trip!  I'm not suggesting that camera crews are going to beat down your doors if you get your body in order, but think of the pride in knowing that your body looks and feels it's best.  That's what keeps me going every day.


Cool & Slim

How can you keep your cool and your waistline at the same time when the summer sun cranks up the heat?  Here's a few ideas from Medicinenet to stay cool yet slim during this summer.  According to their suggestions, if you allot yourself a treat of 100-150 calories (keep an eye on those calorie counts!), you're more likely to strengthen your resistance against the higher stake goodies out there.  Here are some quick ideas to keep you cool in the summer heat...

Frozen unsweetened fruits: Blueberries, grapes, strawberries, and raspberries are great by themselves or topped with a little low-fat yogurt.

Homemade fruit and cream pops: Fill small, Dixie-style, cups or a Popsicle mold with a blend of fruit and low-fat vanilla yogurt.

Banana chips: Slice and freeze bananas, 12 slices to a bag, to enjoy a cold, creamy treat.

Chilly chocolate chips: A tablespoon of chocolate chips has about 70 calories and offers a cool, quick chocolate fix.

Cold S'mores cups: Place a graham cracker, one large marshmallow, and a few chocolate chips in a small cup and microwave for a few seconds, then freeze.

Diet-friendly floats: Mix a scoop of low-fat vanilla ice cream with diet root beer for a root beer float.

Coffee Coolers: Blend ice with coffee, cocoa, and low-calorie sweetener to taste for a 15- rather than 500-calorie coffeehouse-style cooler. 

Chicken Enchiladas with Kid Appeal

Kids can present a unique challenge when it comes to weight loss.  While it's easy to deny yourself, change what you're eating, how do you continue to feed your family while you go through your own transition?  It can be tough, especially if you have picky eaters like my two little guys!  Generally, when I look for something to cook for my kids, I know what the deal breakers are.  Here's a good compromise.  If you pick up some cooked chicken from Perdue at your supermarket, this recipe can be made really quickly and easily.  


Speedy Chicken and Cheese Enchiladas

Yield: 4 servings (serving size: 2 enchiladas, 1 tablespoon sour cream, and 1 tablespoon cilantro)


  • Cooking spray
  • 1  cup  prechopped white onion
  • 1  cup  prechopped bell pepper
  • 1  (10-ounce) can enchilada sauce (such as Old El Paso)
  • 2  cups  chopped skinless, boneless rotisserie chicken breast (about 8 ounces)
  • 1  cup  (4 ounces) preshredded, reduced-fat Mexican blend cheese, divided
  • 1/2  teaspoon  ground cumin
  • 8  (6-inch) corn tortillas
  • 1/4  cup  fat-free sour cream
  • 1/4  cup  chopped fresh cilantro


Preheat broiler.

Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add onion and pepper; sauté 2 minutes or until crisp-tender. Add enchilada sauce; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 5 minutes.

Combine chicken, 3/4 cup of cheese, and cumin, tossing well.

Wrap tortillas in paper towels; microwave at high 30 seconds or until warm. Spoon 1/4 cup chicken mixture in center of each tortilla; roll up. Place tortillas, seam sides down, in an 11 x 7-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray. Pour sauce mixture over enchiladas; broil 3 minutes or until thoroughly heated. Sprinkle remaining 1/4 cup cheese evenly over enchiladas, and broil for 1 minute or until cheese melts. Serve with sour cream and cilantro. 

Lite & Lemony Cake

My five year old is just about to graduate from Pre-K, and this is the cake I'm planning to bake for the celebration in her honor.  Another winner from Taste of home magazine.  Light and luscious, this cake has only 161 calories per serving!

Light Lemon Cake


  • 1 package (18-1/4 ounces) yellow cake mix
  • 1 package (3.4 ounces) instant lemon pudding mix
  • 1-3/4 cups water
  • 2 egg whites
  • 3/4 cup cold fat-free milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon extract
  • 1 package (1 ounce) instant sugar-free vanilla pudding mix
  • 1 carton (8 ounces) frozen reduced-fat whipped topping, thawed


In a large bowl, combine the cake mix, lemon pudding mix, water and egg whites. Beat on low spread for 30 seconds. Beat on medium for 2 minutes.

Pour into a 13-in. x 9-in. baking pan coated with cooking spray. Bake at 350° for 23-28 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool.

Meanwhile, in a large bowl, whisk the milk, pudding mix and vanilla for 2 minutes. Let stand for 2 minutes or until soft-set. Fold in whipped topping. Spread over cake. Store in the refrigerator. Yield: 20 servings.

 Nutrition Facts: 1 serving (1 piece) equals 161 calories, 4 g fat (2 g saturated fat), trace cholesterol, 289 mg sodium, 29 g carbohydrate, 1 g fiber, 2 g protein. 

Strawberry Salad Forever

Strawberry season is about to kick off with the beginning of June, so here's a recipe to take advantage of this wonderfully sweet and delicious fruit!  Taste of Home magazine has plenty of really great, low calorie recipes that are bursting with flavor.  Enjoy!

Strawberry Romaine Salad


  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup slivered almonds
  • 1 bunch romaine, torn
  • 1 small onion, halved and thinly sliced
  • 2 cups halved fresh strawberries


  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoon sour cream
  • 1 tablespoon milk
  • 2-1/4 teaspoons cider vinegar
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons poppy seeds


In a small heavy skillet over medium-low heat, cook and stir the sugar until melted and caramel in color, about 10 minutes. Stir in almonds until coated. Spread on foil to cool; break into small pieces.

In a large bowl, combine the romaine, onion and strawberries. Combine the dressing ingredients; drizzle over salad and toss to coat. Sprinkle with coated almonds. Yield: 10 servings.

Nutrition Facts: 3/4 cup equals 112 calories, 7 g fat (1 g saturated fat), 2 mg cholesterol, 35 mg sodium, 12 g carbohydrate, 2 g fiber, 2 g protein. Diabetic Exchanges: 1 vegetable, 1 fat, 1/2 starch.

Out of Sight Out of Mind

Quick, what did you eat today?  Stop for a moment, and think about all the things you ate today.  Can you honestly recollect everything that passed over your lips today?  It’s funny when I get to thinking about these things, because in general, I can barely recall what I did about 30 minutes ago without smoke coming out of my ears from deep thought.  But one of my dieting dilemmas was the eating amnesia I suffered from.  I could pack away piles of cookies, and then an hour later, I’m answering the grumble of my stomach with yet another delivery of snacks. 

One day I stopped myself after reading an article on “zombie eating” and charged myself with the task of recounting everything I ate that day.  I think it was well into the afternoon when I was inspired to formulate this list.  Once I got to really thinking about what I ate that day, I was mortified at the list I compiled.  “There’s no way I ate that much” I thought to myself.  I was doing some serious “gratuitous grazing” throughout my day.  A tray of breakfast goods would arrive for a meeting, and despite having my own breakfast prior to that, there I was, taking a few choice selections for myself.  Shortly after that, there would be leftovers out from another meeting – cookies, salads, fruit, you name it.  Of course, I’d make my way out for lunch, pick up another 1,000 calories on a sandwich and chips, pick up a bag of chips or candy as an afternoon snack and then find myself starving by the time I got home for dinner.  After finishing off my kid’s left overs and rewarding myself with a bowl of ice cream as an after dinner treat, I’d brush my teeth and proudly head off to bed with my glass of water, with 0 calories!  Yeah, like that lousy glass of water was my redemption for all my insane excessiveness

Do we really take into account all the calories we consume throughout the day?  There are some people out there who will make me feel as though I’m obsessive thinking so much about what I’m eating.  I try my best to tune them out - I worked damn hard to get where I am today, and I’m not going to blow that on “just one little bite!”  I do my best to explain to people that I’m a “sugar-holic.”  Some people fall off the wagon with a cocktail, for me, it can happen with something as simple as one Oreo.  Just the thought of that ridiculous cookie is making me drool on my keyboard as I type this, that’s how bad a trigger they are for me. 

It was the effort to think about what I ate through the course of the  day that made me realize what I was eating, and I was astonished when I saw the frequency at which I was eating.  I’ve talked about keeping food diaries in the past, and as much of a pain in the rear end as they are, they’re really worth the effort.  I keep my little “Losin It” application going on my iTouch tracking my consumption and activity, and when that scale starts to creep up in number, l can look to that log and see my infractions immediately.

If you’re really serious about losing weight, then make the effort to be honest with yourself.  When you look at what you’re eating throughout the day, and are REALLY honest about it to yourself, you may be just as shocked as I was.  “I couldn’t be eating that much” is what I always thought – but my perception was diametrically opposed to the reality of my actions.  Make a point today to stop for 5 minutes and think about what you ate.  If it’s really out of whack, you can begin to mend your ways.