USA TODAY - With dozens of diet books coming out every year, it's hard to figure which one would be right for you. But nutrition experts say people who are successful at weight loss often have a plan that fits their lifestyle and that they are motivated to stick with.
Some people like to diet alone; others like social support. It's best to follow something that you can stick with for a lifetime.
To help you pick a plan that works for you, take our quiz, developed with the help of Judith Rodriguez, the author of The Diet Selector, chairwoman of the Department of Nutrition and Dietetics at the University of North Florida and a past president of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.
1. Want some support when losing weight?
Consider Weight Watchers or a website such as sparkpeople.com. Or you could enlist the help of a registered dietitian in private practice.
2. Need a plan with lots of advice on how to feed kids well?
Consider MyPlate for Moms, How to Feed Yourself & Your Family Better by Elizabeth Ward or The Moms' Guide to Meal Makeovers: Improving the Way Your Family Eats, One Meal at a Time! by Janice Newell Bissex and Liz Weiss. Another option: Trim Kids by Melinda Sothern and others.
3. Enjoy fish and meat more than bread or pasta?
Consider Secrets of Good Carb/Low Carb Living by Sandra Woodruff or The South Beach Diet by Arthur Agatston.
4. Want a plan that works for the whole family but can also help you lose weight and help you improve your high blood pressure?
Try The DASH Diet Weight Loss Solution by Marla Heller. The plan includes lots of fruits and vegetables, a healthy habit builder for family members.
5. Dislike cooking or find it difficult to prepare meals?
Use commercially prepared meals until you can develop some quick cooking techniques. Consider Nutrisystem or the Jenny Craig program - or simply use some of the low-calorie dinners in the frozen-food section of your supermarket. You may want to alternate your low-calorie frozen lunches with salads with low-calorie dressings and your snacks with commercial weight-loss shakes or bars.
6. Want a program that provides occasional treats?
A plan that offers lots of flexibility might be best for you. Try the Mayo Clinic Diet, which is based on the Mayo Healthy Weight Pyramid and emphasizes healthy foods and regular physical activity but does not eliminate foods, or you should consider S.A.S.S. Yourself Slim by Cynthia Sass. The book has a chapter devoted to dark chocolate, including its health benefits, while it helps you stay away from cookies and chips. Another option: A Mediterranean diet, which is outlined in The Complete Idiot's Guide to the Mediterranean Diet by Kimberly Tessmer and Stephanie Green.
7. Enjoy preparing and eating savory, filling salads, soups and stews?
Try The Ultimate Volumetrics Diet by Barbara Rolls, which is based on research related to weight loss and satiety or Comfort Food Fix: Feel-Good Favorites Made Healthy by Ellie Krieger.
8. Want some dieting tips that come with inspiration along with recipes and menus?
Look at The Joy Fit Club: Cookbook, Diet Plan & Inspiration by Joy Bauer.
You can get information and evaluation of weight-loss plans on the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics' website, eatright.org, or get ideas for family-friendly approaches through the Let's Move initiative, letsmove.gov.
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