Weighing Them All

High protein, low carbohydrate diets are the most popular type of diets these days. Those include the Atkins diet. "I've been on the Atkins diet for a year now and I've lost 85 pounds," says Cape Girardeau resident Bob Cranmer.

The Sugarbusters diet. "I've lost 20 pounds or so," says family physician Dr. Mark Kasten. And the Zone diet. The other popular choice is going with diet pills like the appetite suppressant Metabolife.

So how do these stack up and compare? Nutrition expert and University professor Georganne Syler isn't in favor of any of them, but says Sugarbusters is probably the safest. "I think probably Sugarbusters although I don't think it has long term effects. It encourages you to eat more whole grains and fiber so there's merit to that," says Syler. She warns to stay away from Atkins, long term anyway, and she votes Metabolife the most dangerous. "I think Metabolife is dangerous. I wouldn't encourage anyone to take it. It's a drug with ephedrine in it," says Syler.

When you take a look at the Atkins diet, Sugarbusters, and the Zone you'll notice each have a book to help guide you through the diet. They each offer their own ways of helping you reduce how many calories you're taking in each day and that's where the weight loss trick comes in. "I've looked at all these books and totaled up how many calories you take in. All of these say eat a daily intake of 1200 calories. Well bingo that's the answer you're taking in less calories," says Syler.

The bottom line with the high protein diet is that, you will loose weight, but it's not permanent. " All of these promise weight loss, as a nation are we loosing weight? No as a nation we're getting fatter," says Syler.

And some nutritionists worry that cutting out lots of fruits and vegetables, means loosing out on the all important phytochemicals they contain. "If you eliminate foods that are high in phytochemicals you maybe causing cancer. Maybe I'll loose weight today, but I'll have cancer in 20 years," says nutrition expert Lori Pettet.

So what is your best bet for weight loss? Health experts say good old regular exercise and that includes both cardiovascular and strength training. Plus and eating a balanced diet where you're eating smaller more frequent meals.