Weight loss programs are incredibly effective tools that almost everyone can take advantage of if they want to lose weight and become fit.
They’re designed to provide structure and motivational assistance for those who find it difficult to work out or eat healthily on their own. They often combine dietary and exercise guidelines, with motivation, and community support.
With weight loss programs, it’s important to know:
- Weight loss programs should be self-directed so that people can tailor their journey to their lifestyle and goals.
- Weight loss programs should factor in dietary and exercise restrictions for maximum benefits
- Weight loss programs should include a motivational component to enhance adherence and long-term results.
Best overall weight loss program: Nutrisystem
Best weight loss program for women: Nutrisystem
Best weight loss program for men: RIP90FIT
Best online weight loss program: Noom
Best fast weight loss program: The 28-Day Dash
Nutrisystem is one of the most effective no-calorie counting weight loss programs on the market. It provides a delicious and detailed meal plan that ensures your body is fuelled to maximize fat loss.
With 6 meals per day, you’ll never go hungry. Over 150 meal options and an endless array of combinations are included so that every person will be able to enjoy delicious and healthy weight loss friendly meals. It’s no surprise this is BestHealth.org’s #1 weight loss program.
2. Noom Weight Loss App
Noom is modern and innovative, focusing entirely on the use of an app to help you maintain your diet.
This health app was designed by health professionals and focuses on helping you make sustainable lifestyle shifts; you can track the food you eat, log your exercise patterns, and receive 1:1 health coaching.
3. The 28-Day Dash Diet Weight Loss Program
Need to lose weight quickly? The DASH diet will have you follow a diet rooted in balanced eating to do exactly that. It will also support healthy lifestyle changes so that you benefit from holistic weight loss practices in the long run.
It’s one of the fastest weight loss programs on the market, showing results in just 28 days.
4. WW (Formerly Weight Watchers)
Weight Watchers reimagined is a new breed of weight loss; built on the point-based foundation of weight watchers and combined with 21st-century technology and science.
For people with blood sugar issues, you may want something more restrictive.
RIPT90 FIT features intense workouts spread across 12 DVDs, with an additional stretch workout for recovery.
It also includes a training guide so you can lose weight and build muscle at the same time.
6. Cinderella Solution
The Cinderella Solution is a weight loss program targeted specifically toward women; it’s easy to follow as it only has a two-step ritual.
Everything you need is included in the book, and it’s known to be one of the most user-friendly and lifestyle-boosting diets on the market.
7. Keto: A Woman’s Guide and Cookbook
This keto focused diet is perfect for those who sit in the ketogenic weight loss process.
It’ll have you eliminate carbohydrates from your diet to force your body into a state of ketosis, which results in your body burning fat for fuel instead of carbs; the cookbook has the recipes you need to keep your meals tasty despite this limitation.
8. Circuit Burnout 90
If you want to lose weight and build lean muscle across 10 challenging workouts, this is the plan for you.
Circuit Burnout 90 provides you results within 90 days, and each workout demonstrated on the discs is easy to follow. A nutrition plan and training calendar are also included to enhance your results.
9. Weight Loss Starts In Your Brain
This book focuses on the truth that all weight loss begins in the mind. It’s focused on changing the way you think about weight loss and dieting.
Through a 12-week program, you’ll learn how to lose weight naturally by focusing on you instead of external powers.
10. The McDougall Program
This weight loss program promises to let you eat relatively freely while also losing weight.
It includes over 100 delicious and healthy recipes, as well as nutrition guidelines and weight loss advice that you can follow over many months for gradual weight loss.
11. The Biggest Loser Bootcamp
Based on the principles seen in the “Biggest Loser” TV show, this weight loss program includes comprehensive training and advice developed by trainers and fitness experts.
You’ll be able to lose weight over 8 weeks without starving or drastically depriving yourself.
12. Dr. Cimino’s Weight Loss Solution
This weight loss program is extremely effective and focuses on eliminating foods that can cause insulin surges and insulin resistance in the body.
This helps to lower your fat storage and can reduce hormone-induced weight gain.
Best Weight Loss Program for Women
Nutrisystem is the best weight loss program on the market, focusing on one of the most important aspects of weight loss: nutrition.
It takes the top spot as the best weight loss program for women for providing a delicious and structured meal plan that guarantees weight loss as long as you follow it. No calorie counting required.
Best Weight Loss Program for Men
This exercise plan is uniquely suited to men because of its focus on training and eating healthy, meat-focused meals.
It takes the top spot as the best weight loss program for men for providing muscle building workouts that last just 30 minutes a day.
Best Online Weight Loss Program
Noom is by far one of the best online weight loss programs because you can access it anywhere via the app.
It takes the top spot as the best online weight loss program for attacking weight loss through a variety of methods, including fitness tracking, nutrition, coaching, and community support.
Best Fast Weight Loss Program
1. The 28-Day Dash Diet Weight Loss Program
This program promises results in just 28 days, all through helping you eat healthier and improve your lifestyle.
It takes the top spot as the best fast weight loss program for providing some of the quickest and safest weight loss results possible.
Best Weight Loss Exercise Program
1. Circuit Burnout 90
Circuit Burnout’s 90 day exercise program will help you build lean muscle across your entire body while burning fat at the same time.
It takes the top spot as the best exercise weight loss program for including a nutritional guide that complements the metabolism-boosting workouts.
Who Should Use Weight Loss Programs?
Weight loss programs are fantastic tools that you can use to lose weight and become fitter overall. They’re appropriate for everyone who wants to lose weight, not just those with some fitness experience.
Weight loss programs help you lose weight and become more fit by providing structure and schedules to workout routines, advice to make healthy lifestyle changes, and offering example workouts and recipes. Their effectiveness is contingent on people following their advice to the letter and sticking with their routines over many weeks and months.
However, if your weight gain is the result of an uncontrollable biological circumstance, like a thyroid disorder, you should speak to your doctor about medication to be used in conjunction with a weight loss program. Weight loss programs are most effective for individuals whose overweight status is mostly because of eating habits or sedentary lifestyles.
Special populations such as pregnant and nursing women, as well as diabetics, should proceed with caution before engaging in a weight loss program as they may have negative effects.
Speed of weight loss: Weight loss programs are unattractive if they advertise results in more than 3 months. As such, we focused on weight loss programs that could deliver results for most people in under 90 days, and ideally half that. This way, people starting these weight loss programs should be able to see real improvement and get a motivational boost in a reasonable span of time. Nutrisystem excelled here, helping individuals to see results in as little as 4-6 weeks.
Nutrition: One of the most important parts of weight loss is nutrition. The reason being is that we exercise for 1-2 hours a day, but we can eat for up to 16 hours or more. Our top choices, like Nutrisystem, placed a large emphasis on ensuring the absolute best nutrition for weight loss.
Holistic focused: We wanted to find weight loss programs that focus on more than just one element of the weight loss journey. Weight loss is usually contingent on several improvements across one’s lifestyle, including eating habits, exercise habits, lifestyle (sedentary or active), nutrition, and biological factors
The best weight loss programs at least touch on all of these factors instead of just focusing on recipes, for example. This is why products like Noom ranked so highly on our list.
Proven track records: Lastly, we looked for weight loss programs that had good track records when it came to former or current users. This is evidence that the program in question actually provides results and real testimonials instead of just being championed by its creator. If it works for other people, it’ll probably work for the next person to give the program a try.
Weight loss programs help you lose weight. Weight loss programs don’t need to necessarily be doctor-created or prescribed to be effective. In fact, there are several popular weight loss programs that are primarily commercial, including Jenny Craig and Weight Watchers. These can also have positive weight loss effects for those who participate in them, leading to even more evidence that the primary benefit of these programs is the structure and positive peer pressure – more than the details.
A review of the efficacy of several commercial weight loss programs found that by focusing on nutrition, behavioral counseling, and social support, they predicted strong weight loss results in most women who took them (1).
However, reviews of several commercial weight loss programs’ efficacy over 12 months found differing results from those who participated. Researchers from another review concluded that the overall value of these weight loss programs can vary dramatically. More testing is required to guarantee effectiveness overall, as opposed to specific program routines (2).
Weight loss programs can reduce body fat levels. Weight loss programs are effective at helping individuals lose pounds on the scale, and fat from their waistline. One study showed that weight loss programs such as intermittent fasting, can help reduce fat in all types of individuals (3).
Weight loss programs can help with both short-term and long-term weight loss. It’s difficult for people to monitor and hold themselves accountable without the peer support of a larger network of people also trying to lose weight.
A retrospective analysis of over 2000 participants in a particular weight loss program found that participants in the program lost more weight than those who did not participate in a weight loss program at all. Behaviors common in all weight loss programs, including daily steps, persistent food logging, high-intensity activities and self weigh-ins, were all positively associated with long-term weight loss over a six-month period (4).
Weight loss programs that include exercise help speed up weight loss and improve overall health. Exercise training already plays a big role in weight loss, but programs that incorporate these types of elements are more effective than individuals who attempt to lose weight by themselves.
A 2013 review of available literature found that clinically significant weight loss often occurs in weight loss programs that include some level of aerobic exercise training, especially when compared to programs that don’t include any exercise training. However, the reviewers did note that individual weight loss is still highly heterogeneous; exercisers must have reasonable expectations for weight loss based on the activities included (5).
Weight loss programs can help improve satiety. Weight loss programs have been long known to help reduce appetite and improve satiety by including more nutrient dense foods that help give your body the nutrition it needs to function at peak capacity. According to one study, weight loss programs that follow a low carb, high fat nutrition protocol provide the best appetite suppressing results (6).
Weight loss programs can help reduce the amount of calories you consume. Reduced calorie diets almost always result in clinically meaningful weight loss. This provides proof that, no matter your situation, it’s likely that you’ll at least lose some weight as long as the program you choose has you diet to some degree. It doesn’t matter what macronutrients are emphasized (i.e. keto is not necessarily better for everyone).
A 2009 trial with 811 randomly assigned adults had them given one of four diets. The study found that the specifics of the diet didn’t matter when it came to clinically meaningful weight loss. It found that reducing calories in general resulted in weight loss across the board, and people stuck with diets more often when they had a program to go along with it (7).
Weight loss programs can combine multiple healthy lifestyle interventions to improve overall health. Undertaking weight loss efforts across all major aspects – dieting, exercise, weight loss medications, program participation, and peer pressure – is more effective than focusing on only one aspect. As such, weight loss programs can be effective at helping you lose weight since most of them at least touch on every one of the above factors (though some do focus to one at the exclusion of others).
A 2013 multivariable analysis of data from obese adults in several studies from 2001-2006 found that obese adults who participated in commercial weight loss programs had more meaningful weight loss overall than those who did not. By contrast, adults who only followed a diet program were less likely to achieve even 10% weight loss over time (8).
Weight loss programs with exercise components help support long term weight loss success. As most weight loss programs incorporate both exercise and dieting, this is a good sign for the efficacy of weight loss programs overall.
The review in question occurred in 2014 and performed a meta-analysis of several other studies focusing on long-term weight loss effects. They found, in addition to the above, the programs based on physical activity alone was significantly less effective than combined programs (9).
Many weight loss programs emphasize how important it is for overweight individuals to change their lifestyles. Lifestyle modifications typically produce a 7% to 10% reduction in initial weight, which can also lead to further weight loss as motivation and increases. Furthermore, modern technologies, such as those used with online programs, make it easier for individuals to monitor their behaviors and activities to make meaningful lifestyle changes.
A 2012 overview of the effects of lifestyle modification on weight loss found that lifestyle changes are easier for individuals to adopt than before. They also found clinically meaningful improvement in weight is more likely for individuals that undertake lifestyle modifications from weight loss programs as opposed to those who work out but don’t otherwise change their lifestyles. (10)
Weight loss programs can help lower triglyceride levels. High triglyceride levels are known to cause to increase the risk of strokes by clogging up arteries in veins. They can also increase the risk of cardiac episodes. Weight loss programs often lower carbohydrates, which can help reduce triglyceride blood levels (11).
Weight loss programs provide a supportive community. Many people don’t adhere to various weight loss interventions or plans because they don’t have anyone supporting them emotionally or providing discipline and motivation. Weight loss programs can fill in this gap; which may be particularly effective for individuals who live alone or who are trying to lose weight alone.
A systematic literature review and meta-analysis of studies published between 2004 and 2015 found that programs that supervise attendance, focus on dietary modification, and offer social support provide much better results for their users. The adherence rate for these individuals was 60% greater than individuals who tried to lose weight without the help of a weight loss program (12).
Weight loss programs are tailored to specific needs and lifestyles. Simply lowering the number of daily calories consumed and motivating physical activity is usually enough to promote significant weight loss success in individuals. A 2020 review of scientific evidence for diets for weight loss found that virtually all weight loss programs were successful for the dieting portion of their routine.
It found that no single diet was more effective than the others, including intermittent fasting, high-protein, low-carb, and more. This means that people can look for and stick with a diet that works best for them without having to worry about their unique bodily needs being less effective than others (13).
Weight loss programs are a fantastic way to take charge of your body and give yourself the structure and confidence you need to see a diet or exercise plan through to the end.
They often combine multiple avenues of weight loss including diet, coaching, community support, and exercise. This allows them to help you not only lose the weight, but keep it off too.
For BestHealth.org’s #1 recommended weight loss program, click here.