What is a Weight Loss Plan
Usually, a weight-loss plan combines elements of healthy eating and exercise to give its users the best chance of achieving their target weight.
In addition to specifying a weekly menu plan or giving guidelines regarding calorie-intake and food selection, the best weight-loss plans give you clear exercise regimes or allocate you fitness points for activities you perform on a day-to-day basis, like housekeeping, for example.
Some weight-loss plans are very stringent, giving you a restrictive meal plan and tough exercise plan to keep you focused and dedicated.
Others are more flexible and aimed at rewarding you for every piece of fruit you eat and step you take while on the program.
Your weight-loss goals, personality and lifestyle impact on your potential to lose weight, so selecting a plan that fits in with all these criteria gives you the best chance of success.
Avoiding fad diets and fast-track options is important as these are rarely sustainable. When choosing a weight-loss plan, it’s important to consider the following points:
Are certain foods completely banned?
Too much of anything is a bad thing, but so is none at all. Diets like the macrobiotic diet that heavily restricts the intake of animal products can impact negatively on your body’s balance of vitamins and minerals, leaving you with nutritional deficiencies.
Are the weight-loss predictions safe?
Losing more than two pounds per week is considered to be both unhealthy and unsustainable. The faster you lose it, the more likely you are to put it back on.
Do I have to purchase specific foods or supplements as a part of the diet?
There are lots of individuals and companies out there keen to get their slice of the pie, so to speak.
With the US weight loss industry’s net worth sitting at around $66 billion at the end of 2017, it’s obvious that diet supplements, plans, and programs are doing well but that doesn’t mean you have to help them.
Pay for a plan, by all means, but try to sustain yourself on natural foods rather than dietary supplements or detox drinks.
How Does a Weight Loss Plan Work?
While every weight-loss plan is different, they do usually share certain features, such as menu and exercise plans, tips on dieting, expert support and coaching.
This approach is effective at helping you lose weight but may not carry as much of a punch when it comes to helping you keep that weight off.
Whatever weight-loss plan you choose, you need to think long and hard about how dedicated you are.
Having a healthy lifestyle for a few weeks or even months isn’t enough unless you make a lifelong commitment to a healthier lifestyle.
Some weight-loss plans are designed to help you lose weight within a specified period, like the South Beach Diet, while others encourage you to carry on meeting your healthy eating and exercise targets for a much longer period, or even forever, like Weight Watchers.
To get started on any online weight-loss plan, you’ll need to take the following steps:
Step 1: Sign up for your chosen weight-loss plan
Step 2: Complete the registration and pay for your plan (Jillian Michaels offers a free 7-day trial which is great for those not 100% convinced her plan is right for them)
Step 3: If there’s an app available that will enable you to access the plan from your smartphone, download it.
Step 4: Select from the options available to create the perfect combination of meal and exercise plans.
Step 5: Get going and track your progress using your app
Step 6: Stay motivated by connecting with others via the weight-loss plan’s online community
Step 7: Reward yourself by treating yourself to a new outfit or a weekend away
The most important thing when it comes to weight-loss plans is to view them as a tool rather than a set of restrictions.
If you don’t like one of the exercises or want to substitute one ingredient for another, go for it.
As soon as a weight-loss plan becomes a weight around your neck, your motivation and dedication will take some serious knocks, so making sure the plan suits you is your best chance of success.
What are the Benefits of a Weight Loss Plan
Inevitably, different weight-loss plans offer different benefits with some focusing on tough fitness workouts to help you burn more calories and others helping you attain your weight-loss goals through a rigorous low-fat, low-carb diet.
The extent to which you benefit from a weight-loss plan is largely dependent on your attitude to losing weight, selecting a weight-loss plan that fits into your lifestyle, and the amount of support you receive for the duration of the plan.
As a weight-loss plan dictates how and how often you both eat and exercise, it gives you a routine that you can stick to, rather relying on your own understanding of healthy living to create a new lifestyle for yourself.
With lots of useful tips, fitness videos, dieting tools, and coaching, a weight-loss plan equips you to succeed.
Weight-loss plans help you achieve your goals by:
- Providing a structured meal plan and giving you specific weekly objectives
Giving you tips on fitness workouts and setting weekly exercise targets
Expert support either online, over the phone or in person
Community support from other people using the same weight-loss plan
Helping you keep track of your progress
Once you’ve completed your weight-loss plan comes the hardest part of all – maintaining your weight.
Hopefully, during the course of your weight-loss plan, you’ve not only acquired some useful diet tools and exercise ideas, but you’ve also met with other people trying to achieve similar goals.
Use those tools and support group to help you keep the pounds from piling back on.
Once you’ve completed a weight-loss plan, maintain your optimum weight by:
1. Eating Mindfully
Be conscious of what you’re putting into your body and listen to it. When it says it’s full, it probably is. When it’s craving green vegetables, it probably needs them.
Similarly, be conscious of where your food has come from and savor it’s individual and combined flavors. Make eating healthy a happy and rewarding experience.
2. Sleeping Soundly
Lack of sleep and stress can both impact negatively on your body weight so maintaining a regular sleeping routine, avoiding caffeine and alcohol, and exercising regularly can all help you relax and get some decent shut-eye.
3. Keeping a food journal
Keeping track of what you eat is a great way of forcing yourself to focus on your diet and assess exactly what you’re eating.
Without it, the calories can start creeping up without you noticing so a journal of some other means of tracking your calorie intake can be the difference between maintaining your weight or being forced to start dieting all over again.
Just because you’ve now achieved your target weight, it doesn’t mean you sit on the sofa all day watching TV.
If you suddenly stop exercising after dieting, then you need to reduce your calories even further as the amount you are burning off with have slumped.
Exercising for an hour a day is good for your overall health, energy levels, and sleep quality, as well as weight control.
Don’t forget, exercise can include gardening, housework and other chores – it doesn’t have to take place in the gym.
5. Stay connected
Just because the weight-loss plan has come to an end, doesn’t mean you can’t keep in touch with people in the same position as you.
Sharing your struggles and successes with others, and vice versa can help you remain motivated, even if you experience a setback or two along the way.
6. Portion control
For some, this is the hardest part of life after a diet. Working out how much of each component make up a healthy, well-portioned and flavorsome meal can be tricky and takes a bit of practice.
Nonetheless, it’s crucial if you’re going to maintain your optimum weight. If this aspect worries you, why not consider a meal delivery service where each ingredient comes pre-portioned?
After a month or so, you’ll probably feel a lot more confident about how much you should be eating at any given meal.
#1. Watchers – Premium Weight Loss Program
Weight Watchers has been around for over five decades, and they have recently revamped their diet program to include a stronger emphasis on physical activity as well.
The modern-day Weight Watchers is more of a lifestyle overhaul than a strict diet plan, and that’s what makes it so successful.
People looking to change their lifestyles permanently benefit from the extensive resources and the support of a large online community.
One of the biggest differentiating factors of Weight Watchers is their famous claim that you can eat whatever you want.
A points-based system allows members to select which indulgences they want to spend their calories on, and that’s also one of the secrets to its success.
When people feel that they aren’t being restricted, psychologically, it is easier for them to follow a diet plan. This is part of what you’ll get from a Weight Watchers membership:
An extensive mobile app that helps you calculate your caloric intake with a foods database containing close to 300,000 different food items, even popular packaged goods
- Thousands of recipes for healthier eating
- Progress tracking tools online or via the mobile weight loss app
- Cooking and shopping guides
- Online community support.
#2. Jillian Michaels – Personalized Fitness & Meal Plans
Jillian Michaels is one of the most effective weight loss programs for women.
Combining a fast weight-loss diet with a tailored weight-loss workout plan, Jillian Michaels hits fat where it really hurts, getting results quickly and consistently.
One note about this diet plan before we dive in. A personal trainer by profession, Jillian Michaels’ weight-loss plans are not for the fainthearted.
She’ll take you on a journey, transform your body, and make you reach the fitness goals you’ve been craving…but it won’t come easy.
Go into this plan with the determination and awareness that you’ll be working hard, and the results will really amaze you.
Take a look at these Jillian Michael highlights:
- Access to professional dietitians, chefs, and fitness trainers
- Excellent mobile app for fitness and diet tracking on the go
- Choices for different dietary preferences such as omnivores and vegans
- Menu and meal planning tools and guides
- Wide range of targeted workouts
#3. The South Beach Diet – Nutritional Focused Weight Loss
Known as the carb-hating diet, the South Beach diet is a weight-loss food plan centered around low-carbohydrate meals.
It’s important to note that the South Beach Diet doesn’t forbid carbohydrates, unlike many fad diets out there, instead, this healthy weight-loss system understands the intrinsic benefits of healthy carbs and builds them into your meal plans to maximize those strengths for optimal health and weight loss.
The diet focuses on fiber and nutrient-rich carbs rather than empty calorie carbs that don’t do you any good.
And, if done properly, you can expect to drop 8-13 pounds in the first two weeks! Take a look at some of the program highlights you can look forward to from the South Beach Diet:
- Three stage weight loss food plan that includes lots of proteins and veggies
- Dining out guides to help calculate how much that celebratory dinner will cost you in calories
- Online community support
- Free trial
#4. Diet.com – Diversified Exercise & Meal Plans
Diet.com is lauded far and wide for their individualistic approach to dieting.
As most legitimate weight-loss plans for women will testify, a cookie-cutter diet is rarely successful as every body type, lifestyle, and individual is different.
Diet.com embraces those differences and tailors its healthy weight-loss plans to fit your specific needs. Here’s how it works:
Fill out the in-depth questionnaire so Diet.com can get to know your personality, eating habits, activity level, and other important details.
From there, you’ll receive your own diet profile which is essentially a tailor-made weight loss food plan and workout regimen geared towards helping you live healthier and lose weight.
Some of the benefits of this program include:
- Fitness tracking
- Comprehensive weight loss exercise plans that target specific problem areas and muscle groups
- Diet plans tailored for you
- Weekly menu plans
- Hundreds of delicious and healthy recipes
While any diet that reduces your intake of fat, sugar, and carbohydrates will help you lose weight, a weight-loss plan can offer you much more and give you a much better chance of long-term success.
As weight-loss plans have been developed by dietitians, fitness coaches and nutritionists, they are designed to help you lose weight safely and progressively, while altering your attitude to food and encouraging you to adopt healthier habits.
As the weight-loss process varies from person to person, there is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to dieting.
The efficacy of any weight-loss program is dependent upon your commitment to the plan and how well it fits into your lifestyle.
This is why it’s important to consider your weight-loss goals and lifestyle parameters before launching into a weight-loss program.
Furthermore, with so many fad diets and magic pills out there, it’s important that, once you’ve chosen and signed up for a weight-loss plan, you stick to it and don’t get distracted by quick-fix solutions.