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How to Choose the Right Weight Loss Program

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Whether it’s one or two extra glasses of wine, a few too many steak dinners, or just not having enough time to go out and exercise as much as we should, at some point in our lives, most of us struggle to maintain the weight we’d like to be. A few lucky people out there seem to eat whatever they want and remain thin, but actually they might not be all that healthy on the inside. Whilst we might think of weight loss programs as something for larger people, that’s not necessarily true. Eating healthily and exercising does help you to lose weight, but it will also improve your general health, which means improving how you feel every day.


What Are Weight Loss Programs?

So what do we mean when we refer to a Weight Loss Program, a Fat Loss Program or a Diet Program? Well, as you’d expect, these are systems which help you to lose weight. They do this in a variety of ways, but the most common methods are to encourage you to eat more healthily and to try to exercise more. You might imagine that losing weight is all about eating less and exercising more. This can help, but it’s not necessarily all there is to it. The fact is that eating the right kinds of foods is more important, usually, than eating less food. Cutting out sugars and fats, eating more fibrous meals and making sure your body is receiving all the nutrients it needs, is much more useful and healthy, in general, than simply cutting down on portion sizes. Of course, we’re not dietitians and nutritionists, and each diet program has a different approach. One may work better than another for you – it really depends on what you’re looking for.

Many weight loss programs emphasize the importance of motivation. If you get a high from competing, winning rewards or simply reaching your goals, you should look for a site which focuses on those motivational elements. Alternatively, if you feel like you’d really benefit from some one-on-one support, that’s available too. We’ll discuss this in more detail shortly, but there are also websites which focus more on what you eat, offering ready-made restaurant-standard meals, or specially designed snacks to help you through the day. If you’re an exercise fan, you can also find weight loss programs which encourage working out rather than cutting back on treats. So, whatever kind of person you are (a food or fitness fan, someone who likes competitions or prefers some support), and whatever your goal (losing weight, toning up or becoming healthier), we have plenty to offer. We’ve tried out a great variety of diet and weight loss websites to help you decide which of them might help you to reach your goals.


What Important Features Should you Consider?

Before you go running off to read our reviews, we’ve a few small tips on what to look out for, so pull up a chair, pour yourself a glass of wheatgrass (or, you know, something tasty!) and read on.

  • Diet Features:
    Tracking what you eat is, according to several of these websites, going to double the weight you lose in the long run. So, we consider the tools available to help you track and monitor your progress. We also think about the range of recipes available, or the standard of the food which is delivered. Variety is the spice of life, so we give higher ratings to websites which can provide more support for your diet. If you wish to stay healthy and nourished, we recommend looking for tools which allow you to keep an eye on the nutritional value of your meals. Also consider the practicalities of eating and cooking: how easy is it to change the diet, can you print off a shopping list, do they cater for different eating habits and medical concerns, for example?  If these are important issues for you, check whether or not they’re covered by each weight loss website you’re interested in.
  • Fitness Features:
    As a general rule, many of the sites we’ve reviewed seem more interested in your diet than your fitness. However, fitness does play an important role in losing weight and maintaining a healthy body. Many of the sites will offer exercises, or links to other areas where you can find workouts. They might have books or videos available, or even offer tools which will allow you to track your activities, such as pedometers. If you’re interested in working out, look for sites which promote this more actively. Online videos, in particular, are a great way to get fit at home, and you can also sometimes buy gadgets to help you monitor your progress.
  • Community support:
    Dieting and exercising alone can be a slow, sometimes boring and sometimes lonely experience. That’s why some people find they need some support. Whether it’s a forum to exchange healthy recipe ideas, talking about a particular exercise regime, sharing your thoughts with an online group, or getting 1 on 1 support from a professional, it’s all available. Many people find that the more support they have in place, the more weight they lose. They’re also generally more successful at keeping it off. If you have a bit of a slip up, it’s also handy and reassuring to have other people around you who’ve been through the same thing, guiding you on how to improve and letting you know that you’re doing well.
  • Expert advice:
    Losing weight might not seem like rocket science to some people, but it’s not always as easy as “eat more salad and go for a run”. Experts such as dietitians and nutritionists understand the biology behind losing weight, and can offer great advice on why you might be struggling, and what you can do to improve. If you think you’d like this kind of support, you can find websites which will connect you with experts who can work on your exercise and diet plans to suit your preferences and lifestyle. Many sites will also include a range of excellent articles which you can read, or blog posts about important issues or current research. 
  • Extras:
    Aside from diet and fitness features, many of the sites we’ve reviewed will offer extras such as online stores, videos, games or competitions, links to events and more. Take a look at our list of features to find out if they offer anything a little different to their competitors. Every little helps.
  • Customer Support:
    If you’re ever in need of some technical assistance, or wish to ask questions about the ins and outs of a particular diet or package, customer support teams are a necessity. Some are better than others, of course, and the best of them offer a range of tools to allow you to contact them, including live chat options.
  • Ease of use:
    The vast majority of the dieting and fat loss websites we’ve reviewed will be easy to use. We also consider, however, whether they offer mobile apps and if these are well designed. After all, you don’t want to go shopping only to find that you cannot record the nutritional data about the food you’ve just paid for! If a site is complex (offering diet information, stores, videos and workout plans, for example) you’ll want to be able to navigate it easily, so we recommend the free trials where possible.
  • Value for money:
    Prices will vary significantly within this category. The reason is that some sites may only really offer free information and recipes, whilst others will cook your week’s food and deliver it to you. In between those, you’ll discover websites which provide a range of online tools, free information and perhaps occasional healthy snacks. Price depends on what you want from the program, but we also take the value of what’s on offer into account, comparing similar services to one another in order to suggest which ones we feel offer you the best value for money.


The Bottom Line

So, whether you’re looking to drop a few inches from your waistline, or just want to keep fit and healthy, there’s an abundance of options available to you through weight loss websites. Now put down that glass of wheatgrass (you didn’t finish it did you?!?) and take your first steps towards a healthier, slimmer, happier you!