Ragen, the author of the blog Dances with Fat has some questions for the companies that sell diet programs. Some examples:
NutriSystem: With all this talk of the healthiest food being the least processed, why are all your foods so highly processed?
Medifast: Your calorie level is below what is used to study starvation. How is this healthy?
Slimfast: How does replacing two-thirds of a person's food with a drink that has a laxative effect and has tons of sugar bring greater health?
Weight Watchers: When your own studies show participants lose only 10 pounds, which they keep off for about two years, why don't your before-and-after pictures show a difference of 10 pounds?
Put another way: These diets are not a meaningful way to lose weight for the long term. And some of them are actually harmful. So eat healthy and don't worry about weight.
I was on Weight Watchers for a while. In the most recent round (three years ago) I lost 10 pounds. I wasn't able to keep it off for two years.