Diet Information
Weight Loss Programs, Types, Calorie Intake, Weight Reduction Results, Nutritional Content, Evauation & Assessment

Weight Loss Programs

Diet Information - Weight Loss Diet Reviews - Guide to Weighing Scales

Weight Loss Diets and Programs

General Weight Reduction Programs

If you want to lose weight there are tons of different weight loss programs to choose from. They may involve weight loss diets, or meal-replacements combined with dietary supplements. Some are based on weight loss centers or meetings, some are based on diet books, while others are purely online weight management programs. Here is a brief summary of the main types of weight loss plans.

See also our reviews of the Best Diets

Low Fat Diets

The most popular low-fat and low cholesterol weight loss plans include: Ornish Diet and Pritikin Diet. Both very good for heart health as well as weight control.

Low Carbohydrate Diets

All these diet programs restrict carb intake, but some very-low-carb diets are ketogenic to help the body break down fat faster. The plan with least carbohydrate is Dr Atkins Diet, while South Beach Diet and Zone Diet are more moderate. Other low carb weight loss programs include: Sugar Busters, Scarsdale Diet and Carbohydrate Addicts Diet.

Glycemic Index (GI) Diets

These programs are the latest type of "good carb" diet. Based on low-GI foods, they assist weight reduction and maintain stable blood glucose levels - very effective for type 2 diabetics, or dieters with severe clinical obesity or insulin resistance. Both ediets and Anne Collins have excellent GI diets. The best GI diet book is "The Glucose Revolution."

Metabolism-Related Programs

The Three Hour Diet aims to keep you eating throughout the day to burn extra calories and prevent the body entering "starvation mode", while the Eat Right 4 Your Type and Metabolic Typing program offer eating plans based on your personal metabolic body chemistry.

Food Combining Diet Programs

These diets are based on the belief that different food types are digested differently. The Hay Diet was the original food combining health plan, while more modern examples of food combining weight loss programs include: Somersizing, the New Beverly Hills Diet and Fit for Life.

Meal Replacement or Liquid Diets

Typically low in calories, thus used under medical supervision for the treatment of severe obesity, these weight loss programs include: Health Management Resources (HMR), Medifast and Optifast. Non-medically-supervised liquid diet plans include: Cambridge Diet and Slimfast.

Low Calorie Fad Diets

Not recommended for medium/long term use due to serious nutritional deficiencies, these weight loss programs are often misused by teens for fast (if unhealthy) weight loss. The most popular fad diets include: Cabbage Soup Diet, Cider Vinegar Diet, Grapefruit Diet and Rotation Diet.

Weight Loss Centers

Although both Medifast and Optifast weight loss programs are only available from medical centers (hospitals, clinics), the most common weight loss centers are those such as: Weight Watchers, Jenny Craig, LA Weight Loss. Most center-based programs also offer online weight management programs.

Detox Plans

These cleansing plans are based on the principle that reduction of toxins leads to a healthy liver that can then burn fat more efficiently. Detox diets include: Fat Flush Plan and the Hollywood 48 Hour Diet and numerous other diet fasts.

Online Weight Loss Programs

The best online weight management programs include: ediets and Anne Collins. Both offer a variety of different diet plans as well as support forums.

Weight Loss Support Groups

The most popular support groups for overweight or obese individuals include: Overeaters Anonymous (OA), TOPS (Taking Off Pounds Sensibly), Overcoming Overeating (OO) and The Solution.

General Weight Loss Programs - Beware Scams!

Before buying a weight loss program in a bookstore or via the Internet, be aware that the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has estimated that up to 40 percent of weight loss advertisements for diet-supplements, fad diets and other weight-loss products make fraudulent claims. As a general guide when searching for a suitable weight loss plan, avoid the following:

  • Diet or weight loss programs offering a quick fix.
  • Claims of weight loss that sound "too good to be true."
  • Dramatic statements about foods or weight loss supplements unsupported by evidence.
  • Claims based on statements of a few individual dieters.
  • Any diet or weight loss program which bans a particular food group (e.g. carbs).

Diet & Weight Loss Programs - Created by a Professional

To ensure you receive healthy weight loss advice, either choose a diet program written by a qualified dietitian or nutritionist, or - best of all - consult a professional in person and get a weight loss program tailored for your specific weight and dietary needs.

Individual Weight Loss Programs

A personalised weight loss program designed by a dietitian usually has three elements.

Health, Weight & Diet Evaluation
First, a health and dietary evaluation session during which your health (inc. blood pressure, cholesterol, glucose, hemoglobin levels etc.) is checked, your weight and weight history is recorded and your eating and general diet habits are discussed. If you are suffering from obesity - body mass index 30+ - your dietitian or health care professional may also monitor your body fat percentage and fat distribution, as this is becoming an important weight-related risk factor. Your dietary preferences including food sensitivities, allergies, cooking habits are also taken into account. Lastly, your calorie needs, exercise routine and fitness capacity are recorded. All these weight-related factors are assessed before drawing up a suitable weight loss program.

Personalised Weight Loss Programs
Based on your health and diet needs, you will receive a personalised weight loss program comprising a balanced eating plan with practical food options to suit your lifestyle and budget, plus daily exercise recommendations. The best type of weight loss and diet programs are based on lifestyle and food choices, plus a realistic exercise program. They are not based on achieving fast weight loss results or dramatic fat loss. Furthermore, you should not be required to 'boost' your weight loss with supplements or buy expensive fitness equipment.

Weight Loss Programs Should Involve Follow Up
Your dietitian or health care professional should arrange for follow up sessions as you work through your weight loss program. This is essential to modify your diet plan, where necessary, and provide extra weight loss motivation.

Individual Weight Loss Programs - Finding Professional Help
Personalised weight loss programs for healthy weight control require expert assistance. For best results, consult these resources:

American Dietetic Association (ADA)
The ADA is the world's largest organisation of weight loss and diet professionals. Weight loss programs based on healthy diet nutrition are their speciality. Call the Hotline at: 800-366-1655
British Dietetic Association
Call: 0121-200-8080

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