The Best Weight Loss Programs on the Market | Learn: Your Fitness Business Resource

The Best Weight Loss Programs on the Market

Tyler Spraul is the director of UX and the head trainer for He has his Bachelor of Science degree in pre-medicine and is an NSCA-certified strength and conditioning specialist. He is a former All-American soccer player and still coaches soccer today. In his free time, he enjoys reading, learning, and living the dad life. He has been featured in Shape, Healthline, HuffPost, Women's...

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UPDATED: Dec 23, 2021

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  • Any weight loss program will probably work if a dieter sticks to it, but people have different personalities, goals, and capabilities.
  • Diets that successfully satisfy personal tastes and physical limitations are generally best for the individual.
  • Food habits and cultural inclinations must be addressed for any diet to be successful.

People gain weight for many reasons and weight loss is not a one-size-fits-all type of endeavor. Any weight loss program will probably work if a dieter sticks to it, but people have different personalities, goals, and capabilities.

Choosing a diet is a personal affair, but there are diets available to suit anyone’s needs if the dieter simply searches until he or she finds the right program. Vegetarians and some Jewish people would have problems choosing pork skins for a snack, as suggested in the Atkins Diet.

Read on to learn more about some of the most successful weight loss programs and how you can pair one of these programs with an exercise routine.

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What Is the Best Diet?

Research suggests that many diets can be effective. Good diets combine proper nutrition with exercise programs to promote safe weight loss; but personalities vary tremendously.

Some people are vegetarians and require special diets. If energy is increased sufficiently to burn more calories than are consumed, weight loss will result. Diets that successfully satisfy personal tastes and physical limitations are generally best for the individual.

Check out some of the most popular celebrity diets the stars use.

According to Dr. Malik S. Vasanti of the Harvard School of Public Health,

“Currently, there is no conclusive evidence that one popular diet is superior to another in long-term weight control. Clearly, one diet does not fit all.” – Dr. M. Vasanti.

Food habits and cultural inclinations must be addressed for any diet to be successful. This information was published in a scientific paper in the journal Natural Clinical Practice, a peer-reviewed professional publication. The Mayo Clinic reports similar findings.

The idea is basic common sense, but it is nice that it is backed by scientific research.

Dieters Should Consult a Doctor

Dieters should always consult their doctor before beginning any weight loss program, according to experts at the Mayo Clinic and Web MD.

Health professionals can help set realistic goals and help dieters plan a safe exercise routine and diet according to individual health conditions. Losing weight may lose its charm if an individual gets sick in the process.

Death may even be an unfortunate side effect for some severe liquid and fasting diets.

Because of the individual nature of diets, and people’s obsession with losing weight, charlatans can propose all manner of nonsense and call it a diet. Acceptable diets always require sufficient nutrition for meeting the body’s needs.

Top Diets for Weight Loss

There are many diets that other people have found effective, so the chances are great that one of them will work for a committed person. The following programs have all been ranked highly by consumer reporting agencies, medical professionals, and scientific studies.

  • Weight Watchers – This is the most commercially successful diet and furnishes food online and at local supermarkets for those committed to lowering caloric intake. It is readily accessible and receives top rankings from many scientific studies and consumer rankings, such as Consumer Reports and Science Daily.
  • Medifast Diet – This diet is great for fast weight loss. It combines increased physical activity with low caloric intake with foods that are scientifically selected to meet the body’s nutritional requirements.
  • Nutrisystem – This program will also help dieters lose weight in a more controlled way, without extreme calorie restrictions.
  • The South Beach Diet – This diet was developed by a physician and is a less drastic approach for curtailing carbohydrates and calories than the Atkins diet.
  • Atkins Diet – This diet has survived many years and various incarnations and has been scientifically proven to promote weight loss.
  • The Mayo Clinic Diet – This is the official diet that the famous Mayo Clinic has developed that emphasizes overall health and sustainable weight loss. It propounds changing lifestyles for effective weight management and is backed by considerable scientific and medical research.
  • Fat Loss 4 Idiots – This is the top-selling online diet program for people who cannot afford expensive foods and complex programs; the program allows dieters to get started immediately with sensible exercise and nutrition.
  • Type 2 Diabetes & Diet – This is a specialized diet for diabetics and has been designed to address the specific needs of those suffering adult-onset diabetes. The diet is recommended by the American Diabetes Association for critical weight and diet management of those with diabetes.

Descriptions of Diets

– Weight Watchers

Weight Watchers employs a point system that has recently changed to allow more fruits and vegetables by assigning them zero points. Other features of the diet include the following:

  • Costs $20 to join, plus weekly fees. Dieters can enjoy Weight watchers products from their local supermarket.
  • Accommodates Vegans and the glucose intolerant.
  • The new point system emphasizes whole unprocessed foods. Roberta Anding of the American Diabetic Association applauds the change in an interview with the New York Daily News.
  • The University of Birmingham study examined 740 obese people on various diets. Data was for 12 weeks, and at the end of a year. Weight Watchers dieters showed the greatest average loss – 4.4 kg, and also sustained the loss better than people enrolled in other diet programs.

– Medifast Diet

This diet is designed for fast weight loss and is perfect for the urgent dieter who needs to shed pounds quickly. It may not be the best long-term solution, but it can jumpstart a weight loss regimen.

  • The diet provides meals and helps individuals lose up to five pounds per week.
  • Dieters have a complete plan and do not need to shop, plan, cook or count calories. All this is handled for them.
  • Supervising medical staff provides adequate nutrition.

– Nutrisystem

This diet also provides fast weight loss and is the least expensive of the top programs.

  • The program has helped millions lose weight very quickly for over 30 years.
  • The calories are more filling than the Medifast diet and the costs are considerably less expensive.
  • Dieters also get a complete plan of diet and exercise to meet their goals.
  • Weight loss is consistent and sustainable for many people. Consumer reports, online reviews, and scientific studies have consistently rated it one of the top programs.

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– The South Beach Diet

A cardiologist named Arthur Agatston created the South Beach Diet in 2003. It is a commercial weight loss program, however, and not a medically supervised plan designed by a personal physician. There has been much debate about low-carb diets over the years since Atkins first introduced the Atkins Diet.

The South Beach Diet does not restrict carbohydrates as severely as Atkins. The diet is also attractive to many people, so they tend to stick with it.

  • It is not necessary to count carbs. The diet places greater emphasis on healthy protein and fats.
  • The diet attempts to change eating habits permanently to encourage people to eat healthier, even if they are not dieting.
  • Trans fats and saturated fats are discouraged, as are “bad” carbs. Unsaturated fats are considered healthy in certain quantities and are acceptable.

– Atkins Diet

This diet has more lives than a cat. It sparked the whole low carb debate and the original version was proven to be medically unhealthy.

It has undergone changes over the years and is now accepted by such organizations as the American Diabetic Association, which has softened its previous opposition and now suggests the diet is preferable to obesity.

  • Diet is high in protein and low in carbohydrates.The diet works in stages. The first stage lasts two weeks and restricts carbs to 20 per day.
  • Gradually fruit and whole grains are re-introduced into the diet.
  • Dieters often lose a lot of weight in the early stages, giving them the motivation to continue the diet.
  • The diet was one of the first major fad diets to influence popular culture.

– The Mayo Clinic Diet

The diet is more concerned with overall health than dieting and requires adopting healthy habits such as exercise. It is not a one-size-fits-all diet but is tailored to individual needs.

  • A two-week starter program allows dieters to jumpstart their weight loss.
  • Participants are encouraged to adopt five healthy habits and give up five unhealthy practices. As dieters give up five unhealthy habits, they adopt five new healthy activities to compensate, as a kind of bonus.
  • The program is medically and nutritionally sound.
  • Dieters should still consult their personal doctor before beginning any diet regimen.
  • Participants in the program learn to make healthy eating choices for life.
  • The plan understands that people have favorite foods and will occasionally indulge.

Finding the Right Weight Loss Program

Successful weight management requires a lifelong approach. However, many people can help ignite weight loss by trying a commercial program; the initial weight loss can be a strong motivator for dieters to continue dieting.

Dieters must remember that watching what you eat is only part of the weight-loss equation. People must couple a diet with an exercise routine that will build muscle, which will in turn tone and tighten your body, as well as help to keep the weight off.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

How many calories should I eat?

How many calories you should eat depends on a number of factors. To get a rough estimate, check out this article.

What is bulking? What is cutting?

Bulking and cutting are techniques used by bodybuilders to grow muscle and shed fat. Bulking requires eating in a surplus while weight training in order to build muscle. Cutting requires eating in a caloric deficit to shed body fat in order to “expose” the muscle built during the bulking phase.

Do I have to bulk? Do I have to cut?

No. Unless you are a professional bodybuilder, you do not have to bulk or cut to lead a healthy, happy lifestyle.

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