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What Is the Best Diet?

Consumer Reports: Volumetrics Is the Best Diet Plan; Best Life Diet Is Top Book

Exercise: 'A Tough Sell'

First-ranked diet-book author Bob Greene is less vexed by Consumer Reports' mild criticism of his work. The article says that dieters "might be discouraged when they don't lose weight in phase one" of the diet.

"People might very well be discouraged at first. That is why I spend most of my time motivating people and getting them away from their addiction to scales," Greene says. "Exercise is a tough sell. But we humans were meant to move, from a weight loss standpoint as well as from a health standpoint. "

Exercise alone isn't enough, Greene says, unless you are getting at least a full hour of strenuous exercise every day.

"Most of the population won't devote that amount of time to exercise, so they have to watch their food intake," he says. "But if you are consistent with moderate exercise, you place a ceiling on your weight gain. Then you earn your result: the level at which you set your calories."

CR's Metcalf warns that no diet can work miracles. Some people lose 30 pounds or more on any of the diets. But most people will get much more modest results.

"None of these diets, even the highest rated, created a lot of weight loss -- 10 pounds at best," she says But people shouldn't be disappointed. Small weight losses can have big health effects."

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