If you’re over 50, I don’t need to tell you how difficult it is to maintain a healthy weight. No doubt you’ve dieted before, possibly many times, and if you’re like most of us you been successful only to re-gain the weight you lost or even more.
In this article, we’ll discuss some popular Weight Loss Programs and give you some tips about how to choose one that will work best for you.
What Are Weight Loss Programs?
Some of these programs just provide diets and exercise regimens, while others also include meal plans and meal kits.
Each program is different and there are dozens of different ones to choose from, so it’s well worth doing your research and thinking long and hard about which weight loss program is best suited to you and your particular weight loss objectives.
Before we get to the benefits of weight loss programs, we’d like to make you familiar with three great weight loss programs. If you want to skip down to the deep dive on weight loss programs, click here.
BistroMD is a company that offers meal replacements. This program stands out for several reasons. The first is that they offer plans for special needs, such as men, women, menopausal women, gluten-free, heart-healthy, vegan, and diabetic-friendly. The meals contain no aspartame or artificial ingredients. You can choose a 5-day, 7-day, or custom plan. They offer a variety of meals that are easy to prepare. This plan stands out in the types and varieties of meals that you will eat in a week.
|😀 PROS||😡 CONS|
|Variety of meals||Might not be long enough to|
achieve all desired results
|Short-duration program||Might not conform to the needs|
|Lower-priced||Must choose a program that is|
right for your needs
Diet-to-Go offers a meal replacement plan for weight loss. You can choose from a variety of plans, and they are one of few to offer keto/low carb-friendly plans. Their plans are designed for different caloric and nutritional needs. For instance, women consume around 1,200 calories on the standard plan and men consume around 1,600 per day on the same plan. The meals are delicious and easy to prepare. They are delivered to your door weekly, making it convenient for those who do not want to go out to shop.
|😀 PROS||😡 CONS|
|Eat a variety of meals||Shipping adds to the cost of meals|
|Plans for special dietary needs||Not for some special dietary needs|
|Meals delivered weekly||Not as many choices as some plans|
Medifast is one of the oldest and most well-known weight loss programs around. It is based on low-calorie programs where you purchase meals and consume only those for a certain amount of time. Medifast promotes itself as the means to achieve lasting lifestyle changes but claims that it is not a fad diet. It does not promise quick results, and it is known that rapid weight loss is not a healthy approach. Most people who lose weight quickly will gain it back quickly after they stop. This is where Medifast claims to be different.
|😀 PROS||😡 CONS|
|Clinically-proven weight loss||Might not be right or people with|
some health conditions
|Many plans to choose||Initial payment can be steep|
|Tasty meal choices||Results might not be the same|
What Do These Programs Include?
As mentioned, there are countless different weight loss programs to choose from – and each offers different levels of support and guidance to participants.
However, it is possible to group different weight loss programs together based on their structure and what they entail.
Some of the most popular and important features of weight loss programs are:
Diet and Exercise Regimens
This is usually a feature of almost every weight loss program – and in many cases these programs solely consist of such regimens.
It may seem strange that people pay for this when there are loads of diet and exercise plans available for free on the internet, but these regimens are typically far more detailed than the free alternatives.
And, in some cases, these plans are and tailored to suit the individual’s personal dietary and exercise preferences, and their specific weight loss goals.
Many programs give subscribers access to their members-only Facebook weight loss groups and other online communities where they can exchange tips and post progress updates to motivate each other.
Again, there are many free weight loss forums and other communities available online, but the paid ones are more structured and may also come with support from paid experts.
In addition to providing a diet and exercise regimen, some weight loss programs also send out meal kits to their subscribers. These meal kits include everything you need to cook the meals in their corresponding recipe book or diet plan.
The great benefit of joining a weight loss program like this is you don’t have to worry about shopping around to find the right ingredients and looking up recipes and cooking tutorials on the internet.
As you can imagine, these programs are several times more expensive than plans which only consist of plans and community support.
Protein Shakes & Meal Replacement
Instead of sending out meal kits, some weight loss programs focus on sending subscribers protein shakes or bars and other products to help them achieve their fitness goals.
Some programs even send out their own meal replacement shakes to help you reduce your daily intake of calories and achieve a caloric deficit so you can burn off those unwanted pounds.
How Much Do Weight Loss Programs Cost?
With so much variation in what a weight loss program might include, it’s no surprise that there’s also a lot of variation when it comes to pricing.
You can expect to pay anywhere from under $20 per month for a program which just provides community support and a diet and exercise regime for you to follow, all the way up to a few hundred dollars a month for a program which also includes daily meal kits.
Even within each bucket of weight loss programs there will be some variation in pricing depending on the brand’s reputation and what’s included, so it’s advisable to shop around and compare several different programs to find the best one for you.
What Are the Benefits of Losing Weight?
It’s likely you already know the countless benefits of losing weight, but in case you need any convincing, here are just a handful of important reasons to lose weight:
Obesity is a Risk Factor For Several Diseases
Being obese or overweight is a risk factor for several diseases and conditions, including heart disease, type two diabetes, and high blood pressure.
In other words, being obese or overweight puts you at a heightened risk of developing these illnesses, so losing those excess pounds will reduce the likelihood of your developing several unpleasant and sometimes fatal diseases.
This in itself is a good enough reason for anyone to take weight loss seriously. After all, nothing matters more than being in good health!
Many people who are obese struggle with mobility due to excess fat on certain parts of their body. Being overweight can also lead to back or leg pain, which can be very painful and difficult to deal with.
If you’re obese, losing weight can help you improve your mobility and address the underlying source of your back or leg pain.
Regain Your Confidence
It’s no secret that being overweight or simply having a bit of excess fat on your tummy can shatter people’s confidence and deter them from going to the beach. Being overweight or being unhappy with other aspects of your body’s appearances can also have an adverse impact on your mental health, potentially making you feel very down and isolated.
As with the above point, losing weight can help you overcome the underlying issue which is causing these problems. However, it’s also important that you try to be more comfortable in your own skin, as there are some things about our body’s which we simply can’t change.
Improved Hormonal Balance
Being overweight can make it more difficult for your body to secrete the correct types and amounts of important hormones. This may lead to a hormonal imbalance in your body, leading to various symptoms, including mood swings and sharp, sudden changes in your appetite.
Burning off excess fat and moving towards a healthier weight can help address this issue and improve your body’s hormonal balance.
Lead a Healthier Lifestyle
Many people who diet and exercise to lose weight end up leading healthier lifestyles long after they’ve achieved their weight loss goals.
This is because it’s easy to pick up healthy eating habits while trying to lose weight which will stick with you. The same can be said for exercising regularly.
Types of Diets
Most weight loss programs base their meal plans on certain types of diets, including:
High Protein, Low Carb Diets
These diets focus on consuming foods which are protein rich but low in carbs. By eating this combination of nutrients, you effectively trick your body into burning fat for energy instead of it burning the calories from the food you’ve eaten (as it normally would do.)
There are various different diets, including keto and paleo diets, which consist of high protein and low carb foods.
Plant-based diets are a no-go for many people as they prevent you from eating meat and even products like cheese and milk (depending on if you go for the vegetarian or vegan option.)
However, if you’re willing to sacrifice these foods for the sake of your health, a plant-based diet can be a great way to lose weight and improve your overall health.
These diets consist of replacing one or two meals per day with a low calories but nutrition rich meal replacement shake. If done properly, these diets allow you to slash your daily intake of calories without compromising on nutrition.
Cleanse diets are usually short term options and they aren’t always done with a sole focus on weight loss, but they can still be effective in helping you shed unwanted pounds.
These diets are quite restrictive and they focus on cutting out certain types of foods, such as gluten, alcohol, high fat products, sugar, wheat and unhealthy oils.
How to Find the Right Program For You
Finding the best weight loss program isn’t exactly a walk in the park, but using our four step process will help you find a suitable program in a methodical fashion.
Decide What Type of Program You Want
You should first decide what type of weight loss program you think you would benefit most from.
For example, do you just want a program which gives you access to community support and diet and exercise plans for you to follow? Or would you prefer a plan which sends out meal replacement shakes or meal kits as well?
You should think about whether or not the additional cost of the more expensive plans is worth it for you and if they’ll actually make it easier for you to lose weight.
Consider Your Dietary Needs and Preferences
When comparing individual diet plans to follow, you should consider your dietary needs and preferences, as some diets are very restrictive and therefore may be very difficult to follow for some people.
Set a Budget
Cost is undoubtedly an important consideration, especially as weight loss programs are an ongoing expense and some cost hundreds of dollars per month.
Compare a few different plans before setting a budget so you can get a feel of what you’ll realistically need to pay to get the kind of plan you feel you’d benefit most from.
Explore Your Options and Make a Decision
Once you’ve figure out what kind of weight loss program you want to join and have set a budget, you can begin comparing individual programs and judging their suitability.
You should aim to shortlist a few options and then narrow down your selection by the process of elimination until you’re left with a clear winner.
Weight loss can be a struggle for many of us, and while joining a weight loss program still requires you to put in the work and dedication to get the results you want, they can make it easier to achieve your weight loss goals by providing you with structure and much needed motivation.
You should be realistic about what you can afford and whether or not certain features of a program will be of benefit to you.
Be sure to compare several different programs before making a decision and make sure you’re ready to put in the work once you get started!
A Quick Summary
- A weight loss program is a regimen which sets out an exercise program and diet for participants to follow to help them achieve their weight loss (and other fitness) goals.
- These programs may just consist of an exercise and diet regimen, though they can also include support forums and meal kit subscriptions.
- The cost of joining these weight loss programs varies massively, but if you’re on a budget, there are several options that cost less than $20 a month.
- There are countless benefits of losing weight, including improved confidence, increased life expectancy, and improved mobility.
- Weight loss programs can be based on a number of diets, including keto diets, cleanses, and meal replacement diets.
- Be sure to look into each diet to see which is best suited to your dietary needs and preferences.
- Once you have finally found the right program for you and get started, it’s important to be disciplined to follow the diet closely and stick to your exercise regimen!