Weight loss methods continue to rise with the growing prevalence of obesity. Losing excess body fat can improve your health and boost your self-image. Some of us have struggled with gaining a few extra pounds during the COVID-19 Pandemic; if you’re one of them, this is the article for you!
In the United States, nearly half of adults attempted to lose weight through diet plans in the past year alone.
Obesity Reporter (OR) is the number one source of data on the best weight loss programs. Editors at OR has ranked the top 8 diet plans to help you choose the one that fits you best.
What is a weight loss program?
Diet plans consist of correcting past unhealthy eating patterns, implementing exercise into your everyday life, and bettering your overall health through a structured program that best suits you.
There is a difference between a medically-supervised weight loss program and unsupervised programs. Clinical weight loss programs are supervised by a medical expert like a physician, or registered dietitian. These generally include diet, exercise, and medication to help lose weight – all while being monitored by the program clinician. Unsupervised programs are not monitored by a qualified dietitian and are more like DIY weight loss.
Finding the best program for you is all about individual preferences and goals. So without further ado, let’s get started with free weight loss programs that really work.
Do weight loss programs work?
Weight loss methods are a great tool to help you lose weight when followed correctly; these programs are not just temporary fasting. Some diets are based on limiting your calorie intake (carbs or fat), while others reduce your craving to control your food intake.
Incorporating exercise into your everyday life will help to speed up the process. More than 80% of adults do not participate in enough physical activity to meet the recommended guidelines.
To maintain your goal weight, a lifestyle change must be made in order for the initial diet plan to working. It takes time and dedication to change your lifestyle habits, however, it can be done.
How to find the best diet program for you?
Finding the best weight loss program can be as simple as discovering a structured plan that includes nutritious foods that taste good to you! Deciding what your biggest priority is, whether it be portion control, heart health, or eating a balanced diet, will be extremely helpful when choosing a regime plan.
Choosing a regimen that will be easy and achievable for you to follow is key to successful weight loss. Learning about the importance of nutrition to aid in weight-loss will help you to choose the right path. In summary, successful weight loss requires the proper diet plan,
- Flexible Plan without restricting certain foods (like Keto diet).
- Nutritionally Balanced with enough nutrients and calories.
- Likeability to be sustainable for the long-term.
- Physical Activity to boost your weight loss.
Best Overall Diet Plans 
1. Flexitarian Diet
- Flexible diet
- Balanced meals
- Lifestyle change
The Flexitarian diet is primarily a vegetarian diet that allows you to indulge in meat every once in a while without any guilt. This diet focuses on adding five food groups to your meals as the “new meat”: fruits/veggies, whole grains, dairy, sugar, and spice.
The calories are split up by meals: 300 calories for breakfast, 400 calorie lunches, 500 calorie dinner, and two 150 calorie snacks. Together, they add up to about 1,500 calories.
2. Mediterranean diet
- Prevents heart disease
- Research shows it promotes longevity
- Easy to follow
The Mediterranean diet is a lifestyle that follows the way the people in countries bordering the Mediterranean sea eat.
There is research showing that this diet may help to reduce the risk of heart diseases and cancers.
This weight loss plan is low in red meat, sugar, and saturated fat and high in protein, healthy fats, and produce.
3. DASH diet
- Promotes heart health
- Diverse food options
- Prevents hypertension
The DASH diet, which stands for dietary approaches to stop hypertension, is recommended to help lower blood pressure and promote a healthy heart.
Foods such as low-fat dairy, fruits, veggies, whole grains, and lean protein are implemented. This regimen discourages artificial sugars, full-fat dairy foods, and saturated fats.
4. Plant-Based diets
- High in fiber
- Reduced risk for chronic diseases
- Easily accessible foods
A plant-based lifestyle involves a diet that focuses on meals coming from plants, not animal products. This diet plan is very high in fiber, which can make you feel full for longer, aiding in weight loss.
Research also shows that these types of diets can lower your chances of developing chronic heart diseases and cancers.
5. The WW (Weight Watchers) Plan
- Very detailed
- Better if you need a structured plan
A points system that is aimed toward lower-calorie, more nutritious food, low in saturated fats. The program also offers quite a bit of flexibility in your diet.
This system is good for those that need more structure in their diets, however, it can be slightly complicated to follow.
6. Paleo diet
- High protein
- Easy to follow
- Eliminates processed foods
The Paleo diet is a diet that focuses on foods that eliminate modern-era foods. The idea is that if cavemen didn’t eat it we don’t need it. This particular regimen focuses on meats, fish, poultry, fruits, and veggies.
Research shows that cutting out any processed foods and eating solely these types of food can help reduce the risks of cancers and heart diseases.
7. Mayo Clinic diet
- High in fiber-full for longer
- Reduced risk of chronic diseases
- Promotes healthy eating habits
The Mayo Clinic diet relies on its own food pyramid that emphasizes fruits, veggies, and whole grains. It also promotes physical exercise in your daily routine (at least 30 min). The Mayo Clinic offers helpful resources including a Food Journal, Quick Start Plan, Menu Guide, and more.
Certain lifestyles such as eating while watching TV and eating out are avoided. Frequently consuming red meat and dairy products is discouraged.
- Calorie focused
- Developed by dieticians
Noom® is a rapidly growing app that has been formulated by registered dieticians. This app focuses on modern technology to build a plan for individual users.
The app makes tracking intake simple, and shows which foods are most nutrient-dense. There is a monthly fee to access the app, which is the largest downside of Noom, however, it is an excellent tool to achieve your goals.¹
A suitable weight loss program should help you drop the extra lbs on your own with the foods you enjoy and love, along with optimized workouts. A great meal plan boosts your metabolism without stressing you out on what to eat and buy at the supermarket!
While losing weight through nutrition and exercise is ideal, there are times when genetics and other factors can play a huge role in preventing lasting weight loss. Bariatric surgery is a tool that can assist in achieving your goal weight! There are many success stories surrounding bariatric surgery that can help you to decide if it is for you…