The general idea of all weight loss programs is the same: giving people a structured plan to help them lose weight. Of course, the weight loss programs can vary considerably depending on the one you are following. These programs will teach you the concepts you need to follow and the lifestyle you need to maintain in order to achieve your optimal weight and other fitness goals.
Many of these programs also come with dieticians you can consult for weight loss and healthy eating advice. Others will include professional trainers you can speak to as well to cover the fitness aspect of your weight loss program.
How Do Weight Loss Programs Work?
Basic weight loss programs come with a general diet plan. This tells you which foods are healthy and which foods to avoid. This is helpful if you are just looking for a basic guideline and have the willpower to stick to it on your own.
A little more involved weight loss program may offer more specific diet plans. This could be a detailed menu for you to follow. This is easier for people who don’t know or don’t want to make a menu for themselves. Even more detailed weight loss plans will give you a workout program to follow. This can help promote further calorie burn and help you achieve your weight loss goals faster.
Another type of weight loss program comes in the form of ready-made meals. These are the easiest ones to follow since all the work is done for you. Menus are created, ingredients are shopped for, and meals are even completely prepared for you. All you have to do is just heat and eat. It's the easiest way to lose weight and stick to a diet.
What Types of Diets Help You Lose Weight?
Weight loss programs have been studied intensely, and those studies have shown that these programs can and do help people lose weight. This is because a lot of research has gone into designing the programs for optimal results.
The best diet plans are designed by doctors, dieticians, and experts in the field of nutritional science. A good diet plan might focus on calorie count, ingredients, or portion control, and sometimes incorporate all three into a single diet.
Nutrisystem, for example, offers customized diet plans that focus on portion control and eating habits. Noom, another successful diet plan, blends calorie counting, fitness tracking, and personal coaching. Some weight loss plans may focus on specific diets like keto and gluten-free meals, while others may take an ingredient-based approach and offer organic or plant-based foods as a route to getting in shape.
How to Choose a Weight Loss Program
From medical diets to clean-eating programs and portion controlling, there are myriad types of weight loss plans out there. The best diet to lose weight is the one that works for you: for your body, your lifestyle, and your weight loss goals.
For example, if you need help with discipline, you may want to opt for a program that offers personal coaching, motivational resources, and diet tracking. If you have a medical condition such as diabetes, it’s best to find a program like Diet to Go, which offers medically-based plans designed explicitly for those with health issues. Other factors to consider are cost, convenience, and availability.
And last but not least, there’s taste. Just because you’re trying to lose weight doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy your food. Today’s best diet plans enlist professional chefs to create delicious entrees. Before you settle on a weight loss plan, peruse the menus online and make sure the entrees appeal to your tastes.
How to Lose Weight When You’re Staying at Home
Sheltering in place adds another element of difficulty to losing weight. We’re forced to spend all day within arm’s reach of our refrigerators and snack drawers, and we have less distractions that may keep our minds off of eating.
If you can’t seem to stop snacking while at home, it might be a good idea to simply replace your snacks with healthier alternatives. This is the approach Nutrisystem takes. It understands that eating is not only necessary but a comfort, and instead of forcing us to avoid food, Nutrisystem designs its weight loss plans around eating frequently but eating healthier. The plans are structured around 6 small meals a day, supplemented by healthy snacks that ensure even though you may be snacking, you’re snacking on healthy, low-calories, portion-controlled meals and snacks.
How easy a weight loss program is to follow at home really depends on the structure and style of the plan. A program that gives you the basic guidelines will be harder to follow since you need to do all the work. On the other hand, there are generally fewer restrictions on these types of programs. So, it might be easier for you to maintain in the long-run. Ready-made meal programs are the easiest to follow. Plus, the ones that come with plenty of options help keep boredom at bay, so you want to find a weight loss program that works best for you and gives you the type of variety you can live with.
5 Weight Loss Tips from a Healthy Living Expert
Losing weight and keeping it off isn’t easy—but you already knew that. It can be frustrating and full of pitfalls. What we really want is a weight loss plan that can help us reach our goals and live a happy, healthy life.
We spoke to Paul Martin, one of the wellness mavens at Full Plate Living, a non-profit organization with a mission to “encourage, educate, support and inspire anyone who desires to live a healthier lifestyle.” We asked Paul for his take on the best ways to live a healthy lifestyle, and here are his top 5 tips.
Tip #1 - Be the tortoise, not the hare
A manageable diet helps you lose weight at a steady pace and provides you with the tools to maintain that weight loss. According to Martin, a responsible, sustainable amount of weight to lose is about 1 to 2 pounds a week.
The key to any diet is for people to “enjoy what they’re eating and not feel deprived.” Martin adds that “Pretty much all diets work in the short run. The ones that fail in the long term aren't sustainable–most often people don't like the food, or don't like feeling restricted.” By changing bad habits and focusing on long-term healthy living, you can not only achieve your weight loss goals, but maintain them.
Tip #2 - Don’t rely solely on the gym
We hate to break it to you, but while fitness is all the rage these days, “what you lift on your fork is way more important than what you lift in the gym,” according to Martin. We’re not suggesting you ditch the gym all together—fitness and strength are important for a healthy life—just don’t expect to stuff your face and then sweat it all off in the gym.
Tip #3 - Enjoy the occasional meal out, responsibly
Martin suggests that eating out—which is often the bane of dieters—can still be enjoyed, even while dieting. “Eating out is hard for weight loss. But in today's world you can't eliminate it. In most restaurants it's actually possible to order filling meals that won't set you back from your weight loss goals.”
That said, if you are eating out, you might want to avoid the happy hour drink specials. Martin reminds us, “Liquid calories are very sneaky. If you drink them you have to plan it as part of your meal.”
Tip #4 - Start cooking at home
While eating out can be fun—and all but impossible to avoid in today’s world—learning how to cook your own meals, with or without a meal plan or home meal kit, can bring great benefits to your health and happiness.
“Learning to make your own weight loss friendly meals is an incredible investment in yourself. It's worth it for the long run,” Martin says. Cooking at home helps you keep track of nutritional information and stay on track with healthy eating.
Tip #5 - Definitely talk to your doctor
Before you embark on a new weight loss regimen, Martin—and Top10.com—stress that you speak to your doctor first, just to make sure that there aren’t any health issues that you need to take into account.