Are Weight Loss Programs Effective?

Jul 05, 2018 Weight Loss

Weight loss is difficult at the best of times because it requires willpower and dedication.  The mere thought of missing out on favourite foods makes us desire them even more.  

Losing weight is a challenge especially if you are not sure how to approach it. Crash diets may lose pounds quickly but are unsustainable in the long run so it important to choose a realistic weight loss plan. There are many different weight loss programmes to choose from each of them approach losing weight in slightly different ways.  View our Ultimate Guide to Losing Weight here.

The NHS has a free programme available online along with lots of good advice. Companies like Weight Watchers and Slimming World help people to lose weight with the support of friends or online.

The most effective weight loss plan is one you are able to follow easily and has strategies to help you to understand why you put on weight in the first place. Losing weight involves lifestyle changes as well as reducing your intake of food. Research into weight loss programmes shows they have varying degrees of success.


Types Of Weight Loss Programmes

The impending obesity epidemic is prompting the use of weight loss programmes. There are a variety of approaches to weight loss including; slimming groups, meal packages, diet pills and nutritional shakes.


Slimming Groups

Fans of the series ‘Fat Friends’ will be familiar with the format of slimming groups and the weekly weigh-ins.  

Slimming groups provide a wide range of support for people who find it difficult to diet alone. Membership includes the chance to go to weekly meetings, diet and lifestyle advice.  Weight Watchers and Slimming World are the most popular slimming groups people join.

Both of these companies work by franchising groups run by a previously successful slimmer.  There is a wide range of diet aids available to help members to follow the diet plans. Shops stock ready meals, drinks and snacks to help people to keep to the programme.  

These types of programmes successfully help people to lose weight due to years of researching the best ways to approach weight loss. A holistic approach to weight loss is the key to these weight loss programmes because they help members to identify why they put on weight and incorporate exercise into the plan.  The plans involve losing weight in increments so you achieve little goals on the way.

Wine, chocolate, crisps and other favourite snacks are permissible so cravings don’t cause a blowout. Those who don’t like the idea of support groups are able to access the programmes online and record their weight loss in an app.


Prepared Food

For those who don’t have time to calorie count and cook healthy meals prepared food is a good option.  It is quite expensive but replaces your normal food shop.

All meals are bespoke to your individual dietary requirements and include snacks to eat in between meals.  They are only successful if you only eat the food rations and avoid the temptation of other food.

This type of diet is ideal if you are the type of person who doesn’t need flexibility and are happy to stick to a rigid food plan.  It is only sustainable if you are able to afford to keep buying the prepared food for eternity.

It doesn’t teach you how to make healthy portion sizes or manage your weight loss yourself so is unsustainable if your financial situation changes.


Meal Replacements

Having a milkshake instead of a meal sounds like fun to start off with but it is not likely to be a sustainable diet.  

Diets like Slim Fast are good to kick start weight loss but become boring and predictable after a while. Although there are a variety of different food replacements available they don’t really help you to lose and maintain weight loss in the long run.


Diet Pills

Diet pills like Orlistat, Xenical and Alli help to increase the rate you lose weight by binding fat together and expelling it out of the body.  It is important to eat a low-fat diet while on these pills to reduce unpleasant side effects.

People with a BMI over 28 are suitable for this type of treatment and they must be following a weight loss plan for it to be effective. Diet pills are not a magic solution to weight loss and you won’t suddenly wake up in the morning beach ready they still require dedication.

Making the decision to lose weight is a very positive one so it is important to choose the type of programme you feel comfortable with.  Visit your doctor who will be able to offer advice about weight loss if you need more support.

To review and purchase weight loss treatments please click here.

By Parv Sagoo (June 2018)

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