The Best Weight Loss Plans of 2020 - Take Control

Sarah PritzkerBySarah PritzkerJan. 05, 2020

Let’s face it, an embarrassingly small percentage of the population is at their optimal weight these days. Fortunately, health, fitness, and weight loss are becoming more of a focus as researchers are finding the importance of taking care of our bodies and our health. This awareness has given flight to a wellspring of useful apps, including fitness planners, weight loss programs, and health and wellness trackers.

These tools are empowering people to take control of their health in a whole new way. Now, anyone can know with the tap of their phones how many calories they’ve eaten so far today, how many calories they’ve burned doing their normal daily routine, what type of exercises would promote their general fitness goals, what their optimal weight is, and how to achieve a healthier, balanced lifestyle all on their own.

As with any trend that is born, an abundance of options overwhelms the bright-eyed fitness seeker. Which fitness tools do you need to succeed? What weight loss programs are legitimate? And how much is this going to cost you anyway? If you're asking these questions, you're not alone. Here are some of the most commonly asked questions and answers about health and fitness, along with recommendations for the best weight loss plans online in 2020.

Convenience, no cooking/counting calories
Personalized dietary counseling, maintainable
Fast weight loss
Keto dieters, easy healthy meals
Convenient, portion-controlled
Health-friendly, specialty diets
Green eating, super healthy, ready-made
Slow and steady, maintainable weight loss
Nutrition-centered eating
Healthy, convenient prepared meals
Starting at $8.10per day
$59/month$199/year
Appx $23 per day
From $10.36 per day
From $8.57 per meal
From $9.80 per meal
From $9.99 per meal
Free
From $11 per meal
From $8.99 per meal
Up to 13 lbs, 7 inches in first month
None
Up to 16 lbs in first 4 weeks
Up to 7 lbs in first 7 days
None
None
None
6-10 lbs in the first 2 weeks
None
None
Online, phone weight loss counselors, articles
Group support, personal coach SMS
Personal consultant, centers
The PALM online magazine, dietary counselors
Certified health coaches
Online and personal coaches, dieticians, fitness
None
Volumes of online informationa and resources
Certified nutrition coaching
None
$100 refer a friend special
14-day free trial
Join free and get 15 free meals
Free shakes+free FedEx, $50 off
10% off first order
25% off+free shipping
$80 off+free shipping
None
N/A
$60 off first order
160+ dishes
None
100+ dishes
101+ dishes
4 menus, rotating dishes
150+ dishes
5 menus
Prepare your own meals
3 menus, dozens of dishes changed weekly
30+ dishes
My Daily 3 fitness program, fitness app
Motivation, calorie counter, step counter, facts
Tailored workout program
Online exercises
None
Online fitness tips
None
Workout suggestions and resources
None
None

A Closer Look at the Best Weight Loss Plans

  • 1

    Nutrisystem

    Highly personalized weight loss plans
    Nutrisystem
    • Best forConvenience, no cooking/counting calories
    • PricingStarting at $8.10per day
    • Weight lossUp to 13 lbs, 7 inches in first month

    Nutrisystem is the weight loss program for people who like to eat! That's because the diet plan lets you eat 6 small meals a day. Eating constantly throughout the day keeps your body in fat-burning mode all the time, so you're not hungry, and you are burning calories. Nice!

    What makes Nutrisystem a great system for reaching your optimal weight is the fact that it prepares nutritious, healthy, and balanced meals for you. Half the battle of weight loss is in food prep. Nutrisystem takes that hassle off your shoulders by preparing all your meals and snacks for you. This program offers a delectable selection of meals and snacks, including everything from succulent chicken and broccoli in a savory cheese sauce to a mouth-watering s'mores pie that you’ll be licking your fingers after eating.

    Nutrisystem also works so well because it tailors your meal plans to fit your body, weight loss goals, and dietary preferences. You won’t have to suffer with too few calories, restrictions that don’t work for you, or foods you don’t like. Nutrisystem makes a weight loss plan that works for you.

    Pros
    • Personally-tailored to your body, goals, and preferences
    • Nothing is off limits
    • Easy diet to follow
    Cons
    • Meals come frozen
    • Not ideal for vegans
    Read Nutrisystem Full Review
  • 2

    Noom

    The last weight loss program you’ll ever need
    Noom
    • Best forPersonalized dietary counseling, maintainable
    • Pricing$59/month$199/year
    • Weight lossNone

    Noom is not like any other weight loss program you’ve seen before. It really gets into your head, but in the best possible way you could imagine. Based on oodles of research, Noom takes a scientific approach to health, fitness, and weight loss. What this means is that Noom teaches you all about the science behind eating, why you eat what you eat, when you eat, and how you eat. The idea is that if you learn the underlying motivations, causes, and triggers that fuel your unhealthy eating habits, you’ll be able to stop self-sabotaging choices before they cause you to gain weight (or prevent you from losing it).

    Skeptical? That’s your elephant brain talking! And besides, Noom is backed by a boatload of research and analytics that have proven the system to be wildly successful. 

    Aside from the terrific teaching tools, Noom offers full-fledged weight loss plans, as well. Tools include a calorie counter, an exercise monitor, step counter, and loads of motivational articles to keep you on track. And there are some great features like a personal weight loss coach and community that helps you get customized advice from a professional weight loss coach to maximize your results.

    Pros
    • Science-based, proven results
    • Personal weight loss coach
    • Lots of tools included
    Cons
    • No diet plan
    • Coach isn’t available 24/7
    Read Noom Full Review
  • 3

    Jenny Craig

    DNA-based menu for optimal weight loss
    Jenny Craig
    • Best forFast weight loss
    • PricingAppx $23 per day
    • Weight lossUp to 16 lbs in first 4 weeks

    Jenny Craig has been into fitness for decades, so it's obvious that she's not messing around. The queen of trimming down, Jenny Craig, has crafted a weight loss program that is sure to return positive results in no time using its revolutionary weight-loss techniques. What's Jenny Craig's secret? It's in your DNA!

    Jenny Craig sends you a free DNA kit. From this sample, she’ll craft a custom diet plan to fit your DNA. Then, the expert chefs on staff will prepare delectable meals to fit your meal plan, deliver them to your door, and keep you happy, healthy, and losing weight.

    Even if you don’t want to go the DNA route, the Jenny Craig diet can still deliver awesome results. With nutritionally balanced meals made by professionals, you can see measurable results in the first 2 weeks. And Jenny Craig has tons of meal options to choose from. With more than 100 choices that are changed up constantly, you’ll never get bored!

    Pros
    • Diet and exercise programs combined
    • Very clear diet plans
    • Affordable prepared meals
    Cons
    • Doesn’t allow for eating out
    • Not maintainable for the long-term
    Read Jenny Craig Full Review
  • 4

    South Beach Diet

    Heart-happy diet plan without the restrictions
    South Beach Diet
    • Best forKeto dieters, easy healthy meals
    • PricingFrom $10.36 per day
    • Weight lossUp to 7 lbs in first 7 days


    The South Beach Diet is a protein-heavy diet plan that just about anyone can manage. That's because it doesn't eliminate all carbs as most protein-based diets do. Instead, it includes healthy carbs and even fats into the mix, making meals more satiating (and delicious!). So, people are fuller at the end of the meal, stay fuller longer with satisfying carbs in their system, and can keep up with the diet long-term since they don't feel restricted.

    The South Beach Diet is split up into phases, the first being the shortest and most intense. After that, you'll move on to the second phase, which includes more foods like whole wheat grains, rice, and a variety of delicious fruits.

    The South Beach Diet is popular for another reason. The entire program is designed by a trained cardiologist, so everything on the menu is naturally heart-friendly, making this weight loss program ideal for all types of diets, including diabetics. Vegans, vegetarians, and pescatarians will also find plenty of options within the wide food plans available through the South Beach Diet.

    Pros
    • Meal plans are crafted by cardiologists
    • You don’t have to worry about calories
    • Lots of meal options for various diets
    Cons
    • No prepared meals available
    • Limits fruits
    Read South Beach Diet Full Review
  • 5

    Diet-To-Go

    Personalized, prepared meals on call
    Diet-To-Go
    • Best forConvenient, portion-controlled
    • PricingFrom $8.57 per meal
    • Weight lossNone

    Diet To Go is all about making healthy eating and weight loss easier for you. Doing away with the hassle of expensive diet foods, meal prep, and constant shopping trips, Diet To Go balances the meals for you, cooks your meals for you, and even delivers your meals straight to your door. So, it takes away all the problems, leaving nothing but a healthy meal to consume and a great weight loss program to follow.

    Diet To Go also offers great support. You can get advice and answers from real health coaches and dieticians. This way, if you have any problems, aren’t sure which meal plan is good for you, or want to understand your diet plan better, there’s somebody there to answer the call.

    Diet To Go also has a lot of specialty diet options, so if you are restricted in some way, then this is a good option for you. For example, Diet To Go has special meals and menus for vegetarians and diabetics. You can also get along very well on this meal plan if you are vegan or looking to restrict your carb intake.

    Pros
    • Prepared meals delivered weekly
    • Personalized menus
    • Lots of dietary specialties
    Cons
    • No fitness program
    • No totally gluten-free meals
    Read Diet-To-Go Full Review
  • 6

    Bistro MD

    Putting healthy living at everyone’s fingertips
    Bistro MD
    • Best forHealth-friendly, specialty diets
    • PricingFrom $9.80 per meal
    • Weight lossNone

    If you are looking for a meal delivery service that will promote healthy eating and not starve you of flavor, then BistroMD is your destination. A perfect balance between nutrition and taste, BistroMD prepares meals that are jam-packed with all the nutrients that you need to live a healthy life. The meals are prepared by expert chefs, too, so you get the kind of cooking you can look forward to (and not dread coming home to).

    What’s more, BistroMD meals are all designed by doctors. So, not only are these meals delicious, but they are just what the doctor ordered. Meals are designed to contain all of the necessary vitamins, minerals, and calories you need to feel fuller and promote healthy digestion.

    BistroMD also provides you with personal support to help you achieve your weight loss and fitness goals. Dieticians are on call to answer your questions and help you tailor your plan to fit your needs.

    Pros
    • Doctor-developed meal plans
    • One of the top prepared meal services
    • So many options to choose from
    Cons
    • Can’t pick and choose meals
    • Not good for a tight budget
    Read Bistro MD Full Review
  • 7

    Green Chef

    Organic meals made just for you
    Green Chef
    • Best forGreen eating, super healthy, ready-made
    • PricingFrom $9.99 per meal
    • Weight lossNone

    If the idea of loading up on healthy, delicious, organic food sounds like a dream too good to be true, you’re in luck. Green Chef is the meal delivery service that is making that dream a reality. Is cooking organic, healthy, well-balanced meals hard? Yeah, but that’s why having Green Chef in your corner is so great!

    Green Chef experts use the freshest, healthiest, and always organic ingredients to prepare the greatest meals you have probably ever tasted. And the best part is that they’re all healthy for you! Green Chef meals are designed to promote calorie burning for weight loss and proper metabolism. 

    And Green Chef has loads of options, too. You can choose from tailored plans, including vegetarian, omnivore, vegan, carnivore, and gluten-free. There’s even a paleo and keto menu option, so you really have a lot of choices. And with meals starting at just a little over $10, it’s one of the more affordable healthy meal delivery options.

    Pros
    • Only organic, fresh, healthy ingredients
    • Lots of specialty diet menus
    • First-class meals prepared and delivered
    Cons
    • Specialty diets get expensive fast
    • Shipping isn’t free
    Read Green Chef Full Review
  • 8

    Mayo Clinic Diet

    Clinically designed for optimal health, wellness
    Mayo Clinic Diet
    • Best forSlow and steady, maintainable weight loss
    • PricingFree
    • Weight loss6-10 lbs in the first 2 weeks

    The Mayo Clinic Diet was developed by the actual Mayo Clinic, so you know that whatever advice you’re getting is golden. And in fact, people who stick with the Mayo Clinic Diet have not only achieved their optimal goal but also maintained the weight loss over long periods of time. So, this diet really works for weight loss and general health and wellness, and has heart-healthy elements, making it an ideal choice for anyone.

    Instead of focusing on restricting calories, the Mayo Clinic Diet gives you general health guidelines (like avoiding sugars and refined flour) to live by. By replacing negative habits with healthier ones, the Mayo Clinic Diet successfully transforms your lifestyle slowly and steadily, resulting in the most long-lasting results. And since the diet is not restrictive, complicated, or time-consuming, it’s easy to maintain for years.

    The Mayo Clinic Diet also recommends including some sort of exercise into your weekly routine. The diet offers several regular activities you can do to rack up those exercise points like raking leaves, walking with friends, and taking a dip in the pool.

    Pros
    • Least restrictive diet plan out there
    • No expensive meals or shakes
    • Cheaper than most weight loss programs
    Cons
    • Have to cook your own meals
    • Not a structured meal plan
    Read Mayo Clinic Diet Full Review
  • 9

    Factor 75

    Truly healthy eating done right
    Factor 75
    • Best forNutrition-centered eating
    • PricingFrom $11 per meal
    • Weight lossNone

    Healthy eating is important. We all know it, but who has the time and patience to prepare those health-happy meals? Factor75 does, that’s who. This health-conscious meal delivery service takes your health seriously and prepares the kind of meals that promote positive, healthy metabolism every time you munch.

    Meals are prepared by highly trained chefs and then delivered to your door. But what really makes Factor75 meals great is the quality of ingredients. Each meal is prepared using grass-fed, pasture-raised, antibiotic, hormone, and GMO-free ingredients. There’s no soy, no refined sugars, and no gluten either. So, anyone on any type of diet will benefit from eating these meals, and no matter how restrictive your dietary restrictions are, you’ll find plenty to eat in this mix.

    You'll get to choose from menu options like turkey ragu-zucchini bowl, artichoke and spinach chicken breast, and steak au poivre. Every week, you get a new list of delightful menu options to choose from.

    Pros
    • Highest quality ingredients only
    • Responsibly sourced, earth-friendly ingredients
    • Meals delivered ready to eat
    Cons
    • No family meal plans
    • Only a few vegetarian options
    Read Factor 75 Full Review
  • 10

    Freshly

    All-natural chef-prepared meals
    Freshly
    • Best forHealthy, convenient prepared meals
    • PricingFrom $8.99 per meal
    • Weight lossNone

    Freshly is the meal delivery service with an emphasis on healthy, natural foods. All of the meal options on the menu are made using all-natural ingredients. Freshly also uses real, whole foods, and skips out on the processed stuff, chemicals, and artificial flavorings. It also loads up each meal with tons of nutrients, so your meals are balanced and healthy.

    Freshly makes it easy to order meals. You can browse through the menu, which includes items like Mexican-style shredded beef, cauliflower shell bolognese, and Sicilian-style chicken parm. And Freshly has plenty of plans to choose from, so you're not limited to 1 or 2 eating styles. You can get 4, 6, 9, or even 12 meals a week. Skip a week or cancel anytime without repercussions. Meals come perfectly proportioned for a single eater, so you don't have to worry about calorie counting or anything complicated like that.

    But what’s really unique about Freshly meals is how, well, fresh they are. Your meals are cooked by professional chefs. And then they are delivered to your door fresh! So, you can be ready to eat in just 3 minutes. That’s fast food for the health-conscious eaters!

    Pros
    • All-natural ingredients
    • Freshly prepared and delivered
    • Lots of plan options
    Cons
    • Limited amount of meals per week
    • Not available in all 50 states
    Read Freshly Full Review

What is a Weight Loss Program?

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.

How Much Do Weight Loss Programs Cost?

How much a weight loss program costs varies drastically from one brand to the next. Some will be entirely free. For example, you can follow the Mayo Clinic Diet and not pay a thing. Of course, the more assistance you want, the more you're going to pay. A fully-prepared meal is going to cost more than a general meal guideline. You can expect to pay anywhere from  $50-$400, and meals can range anywhere from around $10-$25 a meal.

Do Weight Loss Programs Actually Help You Lose Weight?

When it comes down to it, everyone wants to know will weight loss programs really work? Do they really help you lose the weight, or is it all hype. Well, we don't need to hypothesize on these questions. 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. All meals are crafted by dieticians or researchers who have studied what works and what doesn't. Ingredients are chosen based on calorie-burning power and metabolic response. Meals are balanced for optimal nutrition. In plain English, these weight loss programs are designed to work. If you stick to the program, you'll see results.

How Easy are Weight Loss Programs to Follow?

How easy a weight loss program is to follow 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.

Sarah PritzkerBySarah PritzkerAug. 20, 2018
Sarah Pritzker is a content writer with years of experience and a keen interest in the vast world of online consumer products. She enjoys helping readers make sense of the options on the market in industries including diets, meal delivery and psychic reading.