If living on a diet of black coffee, green tea, and eggs doesn’t sound particularly appealing, then you’ll be pleased to know weight loss techniques have evolved since the late Sixties and there are now so many options out there, you’re bound to find one that suits you and your lifestyle… eventually!
Finding an appropriate weight loss program can be an uphill battle if you don’t know where to start. Luckily, we’ve already done most of the work, allowing you to choose the one that fits your goals, lifestyle, and personality.
You’re probably thinking that your personality has little to do with your capacity to lose weight, but you couldn’t be more wrong. Every facet of what makes you who you are, from your DNA to your metabolism, food tolerances and character impact on how you lose weight and, as a result, which weight-loss program you’ll be able to stick with long enough to achieve your weight-loss goals.
How Your Personality Affects Weight Loss
Different people develop unhealthy eating habits for different reasons. For example, you might be so busy at work that you miss lunch and end up stuffing your face with candy from the vending machine. Others may spend so much time caring for other people and worrying about their feelings that they overlook their own needs and resort to comfort eating to fill the hole.
There is plenty of information available about how your personality and lifestyle impact on your ability to lose weight and, subsequently, which type of weight-loss approach is likely to be most successful for you.
For example, someone with a busy social life has a better chance of losing weight with a flexible diet program like Weight Watchers, while someone who makes lists of everything and thrives on routine will do better with the more restrictive and disciplined approach promoted by Jillian Michaels.
How Your Lifestyle Impacts on your Diet
One of most common reasons people fail to lose weight on a specific diet is because they approach it as a period of deprivation, rather than a long-term change in attitude to food and how they live. As soon as we commit to a diet, we tend to experience even more stress than we were before and, as stress lowers the metabolism, the chances are you’ll put on weight rather than losing it. By viewing weight loss as a long-term lifestyle change rather than a short period of denial will help combat stress, as will breathing exercises and meditation.
People juggling a full-time job with parenthood often battle to find time for proper meals, simply grabbing whatever is closest to hand. This is a huge stumbling block when it comes to losing weight as it makes counting calories virtually impossible. Weight-loss programs that include a smartphone app, like Diet.com, can help keep you track of your calorie intake, the number of calories you’ve burned, helping you stick to your weight-loss program and achieve your goals.
How Your Weight-loss Goals can Trip You Up
Many of us have unrealistic expectations when it comes to losing weight, expecting it to drop off the minute we substitute fries with cabbage. As a result, we simply can’t achieve our targets and become despondent.
A weight-loss program like The South Beach Diet gives you achievable targets and breaks your weight loss down into different phases. This helps you to stay focused on short-term achievable goals while working towards your target weight. In the final phase, the South Beach Diet focuses on long-term, sustainable eating habits that will help you to maintain your optimum weight.
Having established some of the factors that influence our dieting habits, let’s take a look at some of the best weight-loss plans available, how they work and what the benefits are for you.
Choosing the Right Weight-loss plan
This long-established weight-loss program has been around since the Sixties and its continued popularity is indicative of both its ease of use and positive results. Of course, the program has changed quite dramatically over the years, but it’s still ideal for those who prefer the support of a community to keep them on track and motivated.
How it works
Weight Watchers have three different basic plans available, the cheapest being their Digital Plan. This weight loss plan is perfect for those trying to squeeze dieting into an already packed lifestyle, giving you complete flexibility while providing the expert support you need to reach your targets.
Using a smartphone app to track your food intake, activity and weight gives you the freedom to manage your diet on the go. Weight Watchers digital plan gives you access to over 4,000 healthy recipes and 24/7 contact with a weight-loss coach.
The Studio Plan includes the app and website access but augments these with weekly Wellness Workshops. These weekly meetings give you the opportunity to speak to a Wellness Coach, get customized, expert advice, and meet other like-minded people.
The Coaching Plan takes things to another level, with a completely personalized action plan. This premium weight-loss plan gives you the opportunity to discuss your lifestyle, eating habits and weight-loss goals with a personal coach who will guide and support you every step of the way.
While many weight-loss plans rely on a strict menu plan, Weight Watchers have a more flexible approach based on a point system. Fatty or sweet foods carry a hefty point load, while fruits, beans, chicken and other healthy options have a zero-point rating.
By incorporating a combination of foods with SmartPoint values and ZeroPoint foods, you have the freedom to eat whatever you want, as long as you stick to your daily SmartPoint intake.
With the Weight Watchers app, you can set yourself activity goals and earn FitPoints as you go. Designed to complement a range of lifestyles, you can earn FitPoints from running 5km, cleaning the house or walking the dog.
Weight Watchers avoids monotonous workouts and instead offers an entire library of fitness techniques and exercise routines that you can fit into your lifestyle.
- Holistic approach
- Expert and community support
- No meal plan
- No calorie counting
- Digital Plan – $3.30 per week
- Studio Plan – $7.34 per week
- Coaching Plan – $12.92 per week
Well-known for her participation in the reality TV show, The Biggest Loser, Jillian Michaels has a range of exercise plans and diets available online, although she places a lot more emphasis on exercise than Weight Watchers, for example.
How it works
With both a smartphone app and website jam-packed with handy tips, workouts, and weekly meal plans, this is great for those who want a strict diet and intense workout schedule. Jillian Michaels also has an online community forum, so you connect with others and give your motivation a boost.
The Jillian Michaels app gives you access to over 500 different exercises, as well as meal plans and diet tips. This means you can choose whether you work out at home or in a gym, although some of her tailormade workouts, like Gym Cat, will require you to put in some serious hours at a fitness center.
For those fitness-phobes who’d rather exercise in private, Jillian provides some handy tips about how to do away with expensive equipment and get the body you want just using items you find around the home.
In contrast to Weight Watchers, Jillian Michaels offers a range of meal plans that can be adapted to accommodate those on a gluten-free, vegetarian, vegan or pescatarian diet. Each meal plan focuses on reducing your fat and carbohydrate intake and increasing protein.
The meal plans include recipes and meal calculation tools, as well as detailed weekly menus. Although the menus might seem rather restrictive to some, for those who like routine and discipline, they’re ideal.
While Jillian includes shopping lists and even offers advice on dining out, she doesn’t offer quite the range of diet tools available on Weight Watchers so, if you’re concerned about portion sizes or want to know more about what you can use to substitute certain ingredients, this may not be the right weight-loss plan for you.
If, on the other hand, you want to work up a sweat and burn off your calories through intensive exercise, following one of Jillian Michaels plans will pay dividends.
Jillian is passionate about fitness and exercise, so her site has an impressive variety of specifically tailored programs for you to choose from. If you’re just starting out on your weight-loss journey, Jillian’s 30-day Fitness for Beginners is probably the best place to start, whereas, for those looking to lose 30 pounds or more, her Transform 90 is more suitable. There are also programs for gym enthusiasts, those looking to regain fitness after having a baby and even one for yoga fans.
If you don’t feel any of these programs really target your needs, you can use Jillian’s wide range of workouts to create your own unique exercise regime, the beauty of this option is that you have the option to increase or decrease the intensity of the workout at any time.
- Detailed meal plans
- Tailormade exercise plans
- Free 7-day trial
- Limited diet tools
- Restrictive meal plans
- Heavy emphasis on exercise
- 1 month – $14.99
- 3 months – $29.99
- 12 months – $99.99
If the toned, tanned bodies on Florida’s South Beach inspire you to lose weight, then this is the weight-loss plan for you. Not dissimilar to the Atkins Diet, the South Beach Diet aims to boost your health by changing your blood chemistry.
Developed by cardiologist Arthur Agatston, this three-phase weight-loss plan is designed to reduce your carbohydrate intake and thereby stabilize blood sugar levels.
The South Beach Diet has several plans available, all of which run for four weeks and promise to boost your metabolism and help you burn fat. Unlike the other weight-loss plans in this article, The South Beach Diet goes the extra mile, preparing and delivering most of your meals to the door.
The South Beach Diet encourages users to eat smaller portions more frequently. If you select the Gold plan, you’ll receive snacks along with your meals, so you don’t have to think about what you’re eating at all, except twice a week when you cook for yourself, using the diet plan provided.
Unlike other weight-loss plans, the South Beach Diet doesn’t require any calorie counting at all, instead focusing on removing specific foods from your diet. Broken into three phases, the South Beach Diet is focussed on making healthy eating enjoyable.
The first phase is designed to reboot your body by cutting down on sugar and carbohydrates and introducing plenty of healthy fats and vegetables. This approach means you can achieve significant weight loss without hearing your stomach grumble day in, day out.
The second phase reintroduces certain foods that were eliminated in the first week. This three-week phase is aimed at steady weight loss, after which The South Beach Diet will give you tips and recipes to maintain your optimum weight and enjoy a varied yet nutritious diet.
meals for the next 3 weeks from an expanded menu, and start adding in more foods—low-refined good carbs like fruits, whole grains and more vegetables.
The South Beach Diet is, as it says on the tin, a diet, not a combined weight-loss plan. Although there is an exercise program to go with the diet, it’s not available on the South Beach Diet website. If you’re interested, however, you can access the first phase here.
- Meal delivery service
- Plentiful online tools
- No calorie counting
- No exercise plan
- Restrictive menu
- Silver Plan – $9.89 per day
- Gold Plan – $11.21 per day
- Platinum Plan – $12.20 per day
Like Weight Watchers, Diet.com is a well-established online diet and exercise plan dedicated to sharing weight-loss tips, tools, and resources. An extensive online community, Diet.com gives users plenty of support and, by utilizing their easy-to-use online resources, you can not only get rid of that excess weight but also maintain your optimum weight for years to come.
One of the best things about Diet.com is that you can access many of the tools without subscribing. These include a variety of workouts aimed at different ability levels, a reference library packed with educational articles, and expert blogs.
If you sign up for Diet.com’s premium service, you’ll be able to choose between eight different lifestyle-based meals plans and three different skill-level-based exercise plans. These plans aren’t as rigid as those recommended by Jillian Michaels, making it easier to slot them into your lifestyle.
Select a meal plan that is consistent with your other lifestyle choices. The plans available cover everything from vegetation to nut-free, college to low-carb but are all fully customizable. In fact, within each plan, you can choose your calorie level so, if you want to start slow, you can opt for 1500 calories a day and then increase it to 1200 calories once you’re comfortable.
The college plan is a clever idea and gives consumers a four-week plan that is both cost-conscious and nutritious. The nut-free plan is also great for those with food allergies, giving you healthy alternatives to the healthy fats provided by nuts.
In addition to a meal plan, Diet.com gives users access to a range of handy diet tools, including a meal tracker, weight tracker, and advice from nutrition experts. On the downside, all of this is available only online at Diet.com have yet to introduce a smartphone app.
As with Weight Watchers, Diet.com starts you off slowly, giving you a firm foundation and understanding of how to exercise safely, before introducing the more strenuous activities. Again, these plans are highly adaptable, enabling you to increase the intensity of your workouts as you feel stronger and fitter.
The three exercise plans offered by Diet.com are aimed at different skill levels, from beginner, through intermediate, to expert. There are literally hundreds of fitness videos available on the Diet.com site and you’ll also have access to an exercise tracker so you can stay on top of your
The beauty of these exercises is that nearly all of them can be done at home with minimal equipment. You may need to buy an exercise mat and ball, but otherwise, you won’t need to invest too much unless you really get hooked! You can even pick and choose from the exercises demonstrated online to create your own workout, targeting your own specific problem areas.
- Available for all levels
- Extremely adaptable
- No smartphone app
- No online community
- Comparatively unimaginative menus
- $9.99 per month
As New Year approaches, many of us re-examine our lifestyles and make resolutions about how we’re going to kick start the New Year. Before throwing yourself into a highly restrictive diet and forcing yourself to hit the gym seven days a week, think about what kind of weight-loss plan is actually sustainable for you, given your personality and lifestyle.
There are numerous aspects of our biological, psychological and work-life balance that impact on our weight-loss plans and setting yourself unrealistic expectations is one of the quickest ways to fail.
With literally thousands of different diets, exercise regimes and weight-loss plans out there, finding the one that’s going to work for you can be tough and potentially costly. We recommend that you take the time to consider how often you can realistically work out each day and whether portion control or meal planning or another aspect of healthy eating is the biggest challenge for you.
Once you have a clear idea of what you want to achieve and how much time and effort, you’re willing to put in, you can find a weight-loss plan that works for you and start enjoying the benefits of a healthier weight and lifestyle.