Is it getting increasingly difficult to fit into your little black dress? Do you have to grunt, sweat, whimper and suck in your gut before successfully buttoning up your pants? These may just be warning signs that you need to get into a weight loss program, fast. But with the number of weight-loss diet plans, from science-backed to celebrity endorsed, it may be a bit of a strain finding the right diet that perfectly matches your body type, lifestyle, and personality. A recent study has found that online weight-loss programs which provide useful medical information and expert feedback are more effective for dieters. To make your search much easier, we have put together a list of 7 amazing online weight loss programs, with a focus on value and variety of diet recommendations, fitness components and reasonable expectations for weight loss.
Weight Watchers ($47 per month or $65 for 3 months)
If you’re a dieter who does not like being told what to eat, Weight Watchers is one online weight loss program that would greatly interest you. A ProPoint system is used to give you a daily value of foods and drinks that you can consume every day, regarding carbs, fiber and protein content. This means that every food is assigned a Smart Points value, based on nutrition. So, depending on your age, weight and activity level, you’re allotted points, and you can eat anything you want as long as you remain within your points limit. Also, the website is loaded with a variety of recipes, and you can choose from any of the available cuisines (Chinese, anyone?).
Why You’ll Love Weight Watchers
Sustainable weight loss of 2 lbs. per week is assured.
All foods are allowed, so you can eat what you prefer as long as you stick to your points allowance.
This diet plan is not as restrictive as many other online weight loss programs and is way easier to follow.
The safety net of points feature makes this weight loss plan quite flexible, so you could indulge a bit on a night out with your friends.
Exercise is recommended, and plenty of fitness tips, articles, and exercise demos are accessible on their website.
There is a multi-model platform provided for people to share their successful weight loss journey with others, as a form of encouragement and motivation.
Weight Watchers is a workable and sustainable weight loss program based on solid nutritional science. This plan urges you to learn simple ways to make healthier choices and leaves you feeling supported and encouraged every step of the way. It may not work 100% for everybody, but it’s surely one of the best diet programs online.
Nutrisystem ($9 - $11 per day)
Doesn’t it get a bit old trying to plan a healthy dinner night after night? Nutrisystem can help you with that. This portion-controlled, online weight loss program provides you with customized meals, based on your metabolic type. If you opt for this plan, you’d be required to choose 28 days’ worth of pre-planned meals – breakfast, lunch, dinner, dessert – which will be delivered to your doorstep within 6 to 10 days. These meals are selected depending on your age, sex, and dietary restrictions (vegetarian and diabetic). The number of calories recommended for women per day is about 1,200 and 1,500 for men (or more active women).
Why You’d Love Nutrisystem
Sustainable weight loss of 2 lbs. per week is assured.
Unlike most online diet programs, membership to every aspect of this weight loss plan is free. You only need to pay for the food.
The availability of a specific meal plan means you do not need to calculate calories yourself.
For four-week food orders, delivery and shipping are free.
You are given the option of choosing from different diet plans comprising of all food groups, to better suit your needs.
Fitness is encouraged, and there are exercise programs, logs for you to keep, and tips for you to follow.
There’s a strong sense of support, as members are given unhindered access to dieticians and nutritionists through online chats and one-on-one counseling sessions.
This is a nutritionally balanced diet that can kick start your weight loss plan. It’s cost-effective, incredibly easy to follow and produces real results. Also, it’s super convenient as it rids you of the burden of planning, shopping, and cooking. Overall, this is a healthy diet for maintainable weight loss.
South Beach Diet ($20 per month)
This science-based diet created by a medical doctor is a popular choice for weight loss that stresses eating sufficient amounts of lean protein. The South Beach Diet consists of three phases which include desserts and snacks to be eaten daily so that you don’t feel denied. This makes the South Beach Diet somewhat different from other low-carb online diet plans because it restricts high-sugar carbs and saturated fats. For the first two weeks (phase one), there are diet restrictions which recommend complete abstinence from fruits, sugar, and grain. This helps to reduce your cravings for ‘bad carbs’ such as sweets, rice, and baked goods. In phase two, some carbs such as pasta and some fruits are re-introduced into your diet. Finally, phase three involves maintaining your target weight and overall health by making healthy eating choices.
Why You’ll Love the South Beach Diet
Rapid weight loss of up to 10 lbs. can be shed in the first two weeks.
This diet is based on the principle of healthy eating.
No major food group is excluded from the plan, and after the initial restrictive phase, low-carb foods and vegetables are recommended.
The website for the South Beach Diet is full of helpful resources and tools such as a recipe archive, a ‘stay-on-the-program’ guide when dining out and a grocery-shopping planner.
Expert feedback is available in the form of one-on-one guidance and counseling, for a small weekly fee of $3. Additionally, you can get a fast reply to your questions by using the “Ask the Nutritionist” message board.
Good online fitness programs usually encourage fitness, and the South Beach Diet is not lacking in that respect. Its website has a Fitness Club, which provides step-by-step video instructions and pictures of Pilates-based movement.
The first two weeks of the South Beach Diet are the hardest part of the plan because of the restrictive diet. However, phenomenal progress is made during this period, as weight loss is substantial. Once you can complete this initial phase, the diet assists in weight management by providing all the nutrients you need to stay healthy and remain trim!
SlimFast Diet ($75 per month)
SlimFast is one of the few online weight loss programs that has been around for quite a long time – about 25 years. Their weight loss plan is centered on replacing meals with convenience products which include bars, shakes, and snacks. Their shakes are the most popular aspect of their brand, and they may just be the best known liquid meal replacement plan for weight loss. A typical day on a SlimFast weight loss plan would involve two meal bars or SlimFast meal replacement shakes, three snacks a day (you can choose from an exhaustive list of chocolate and crisps), and one healthy meal selected from a list of recipes on their website. Depending on your weight loss goal, you can choose to stick with the diet for as long as you desire. When you attain your desired weight, the plan switches to two low-fat snacks, one meal replacement shake and two healthy meals a day.
Why You’ll Love SlimFast
Weight loss of about 1 to 2 lbs. weekly can be achieved.
Such a meal replacement diet can be very useful for helping you lose weight and maintain it.
The entire plan is super convenient and does not entail calorie counting and portion control.
It’s very flexible as you’re not restricted from eating anything although you’re urged to eat veggies, fruit, and lean protein.
SlimFast has a significant online presence which means that critical weight tracking and planning tools are at your disposal.
Healthy living is encouraged through exercise, often eating during the day and drinking plenty of water.
After reaching your weight loss goal, the program can be further used to maintain a healthy weight.
Although the taste of meal replacement products cannot be compared to that of real food, the Slimfast plan can be a nice addition to your weight loss regimen. Ensure that you take advantage of the rich online support to manage your daily food and drink intake and to be more grounded on the principles of healthy eating.
Dukan Diet ($29.95 per month)
The Dukan diet is a high protein, low-carbohydrate diet. It is divided into four phases, and you are allowed to eat what you want as long as it’s compliant with the rules of the plan. In the initial phase, a strict lean protein diet is provided based on about 72 different relatively low-fat protein-rich foods, including fish, eggs, turkey, chicken and fat-free dairy. Additionally, except for moderate amounts of oat bran, carbs are totally banned. Fat is severely restricted, and vegetables are off limits. To achieve rapid weight loss, this phase lasts for about five days. Down the line, small amounts of carbs, fruits and veggies are gradually introduced in the next two stages, and subsequently, all foods are allowed in the final phase. Once you get to phase four, regular exercise is recommended, as well as setting aside one day of the week as a ‘protein-only day.'
Why You’ll Love the Dukan Diet
Gradual weight loss of about 2 lbs. per week is assured.
Besides helping you lose weight very quickly, this online diet plan supports long-term weight management.
The diet plan is strict and prescriptive and is very easy to follow.
The stress of counting calories and weighing food is avoided altogether.
During your first two weeks on the plan, no restriction is placed on how much you can eat.
Seeing all those extra pounds start to fall off in a very short time is very motivating. However, you must be careful to stick with the diet’s recommendation of a fiber top-up (oat bran) and vitamin supplement, to prevent the risk of long-term health problems. Once you reach your weight loss goals, you may need to incorporate more wholesome foods in your diet.
You know how you want to lose weight or maintain a trim figure, but you’re too busy having a life? Well, MyFitnessPal has got you covered. This web tool is one of the most popular free online weight loss programs which assists users to count their calories and track their exercise and nutrition. Calorie counting is made possible by an online diary provided for users to keep accurate records. You are also given a platform to create recipes, share your meals, set goals and track your exercise. Some users use this program alongside some free online diet plans for weight loss. The best part is, it comes as a free app available for download on Blackberry, iPhone, Windows, and Android smartphones.
Why You’ll Love MyFitnessPal
It’s free (Who actually loves to spend money?).
It encourages healthy and sustainable weight loss.
MyFitnessPal is loaded with over 350 different exercises in its database, and it displays how many calories each person burns daily during their workout based on weight, height, and gender.
The number of foods in the database is endless, so you’re faced with a variety of choices. Plus, if your desired food is not included, you can add it.
You can decide to share your food diary with the public or keep it private. You also have the option of using a passcode.
MyFitnessPal integrates with many other tracking programs like DigiFit and Fitbit and provides a forum where you can make contacts with other members.
You can customize your recipes and save them for future use.
Based on calories and macronutrients, you can set your weight loss goals. You can also choose from any of MyFitnessPal’s recommendations.
You can also share your weight loss progress on social media such as Twitter and Facebook.
It can be tailored to suit any particular dietician/doctor-recommended requirement.
MyFitnessPal is one of the best free weight loss programs online that helps you monitor your nutrition as you take daily steps towards achieving your weight loss goals. And it doesn’t hurt that you will not need to spend a penny in the process. Simply awesome!
Do you know how many calories you’ll gain from snacking on that juicy burger tucked inside your bag? FatSecret knows. This free calorie counter is one of the most useful fitness programs online that shows your total calorie intake, including the breakdown of protein, carbs, and fat. This is displayed after each meal (remember that burger?) and for the entire day. A weight chart and journal, exercise log, healthy recipes, nutrition database, and food diary are included on their website, plus a barcode scanner to keep track of packaged foods. All in all, this fitness tool is pretty user-friendly, can be paired with free online diet plans, and provides a community for interaction among other users.
Why You’ll Love FatSecret
FatSecret has a very comprehensive food database that includes the cuisines and recipes of many restaurants and supermarket.
FatSecret shows you all the calories consumed daily in a monthly summary, which comes in handy to monitor your overall progress.
Their website contains plenty of helpful tips and information, including some articles covering different topics.
For low-carb dieters, the “net” carbs option on the FatSecret website is very beneficial.
Few calorie counters are more accurate than FatSecret when it comes to measuring net carbs. Therefore, this is a recommended choice for anyone who needs to keep track of their calories and be regularly updated on their progress. Additionally, it can be used with other free online diet plans!
Trying to lose weight is not so different from traveling to a distant place. The more guidance and tools available to you during your voyage, the more hitch-free it will be. Weight loss is not a destination; it’s a journey, and you’ll experience a lot of new things along the way. Although, it’s okay to desire to get to the destination as fast as possible, the things you’ll discover on the journey can be more rewarding, fulfilling and enjoyable. In a nutshell, you’ll know you’ve found the best weight loss plan if it delivers all the strategies and tools that you need for long-standing success. So check out one of the online weight loss programs above, choose one and devote yourself to it. In no time at all, you’ll put on those skinny jeans again!