Four Common Types of Weight Loss Plans

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weight loss plans
According to Harvard Special Health Report, each year millions of people enroll in different types of weight loss plans. There are several different kinds of well-known commercial weight loss plans like Jenny Craig, Weight Watchers and self-help programs like Overeaters Anonymous. There are also medically supervised programs and increasingly popular Internet weight loss programs. Here is a categorical list of what people can expect from the various types of weight loss programs.

Commercial Weight Loss Plans

Most commercial plans like Weight Watchers and Jenny Craig hold regular meetings for support and encouragement. Commercial weight loss programs usually charge fees for people to get food plans, join meetings and get prepared food. There are also fees for diet aids for extra help with weight loss.

Weight Watchers is one of the most popular commercial weight loss programs. Weight Watchers uses a point plan to help dieters with weight loss. Different foods depending on their calories, fat and nutrients equate to a different number of points. Depending a person's weight, height and how much she wants to lose, Weight Watchers calculates a daily limit of points. It is not necessary to buy Weight Watchers food. One of the nice perks about the point system is people can exercise and garner more points for the week. Dieters can go to meetings in person or join Weight Watchers online.

Jenny Craig is another popular commercial weight loss plan. The diet works by calorie control. Daily calorie limits average 1,200 to 1,300 per day, so most people can expect to lose one to two pounds per week. Jenny Craig meals are also portion controlled. While the company encourages people to purchase its own meals, food can also be prepared at home. Three meals and one snack are recommended per day. While membership in Jenny Craig includes meal plan ideas, personalized exercise goals and weight monitoring, the additional cost of food can make the weight loss plan expensive. Attending weekly weigh-in sessions may also be inconvenient.

Self-Help Weight Loss Plans

Non-profit self-help groups are widely available in most areas for help with weight loss. Most of these organizations operate on the premise that people who come together to share their struggles and success stories with each other will have more favorable results with weight loss.

Overeaters Anonymous is a 12-step program based on the same principles as Alcoholics Anonymous. While each member is allowed to work the program in his or her own way, Overeaters Anonymous encourages people to avoid sugar and white flour because these substances tend to be addicting to most people who have issues with weight. Overeaters Anonymous is free; however, most members make a small donation during each meeting for expenses such as rent and coffee. Like Alcoholics Anonymous, people are encouraged to get a sponsor for personal help.

TOPS (Take Off Pounds Sensibly) is a non-profit weight loss organization that has chapters worldwide. TOPS takes a practical approach to weight loss by encouraging members to follow a diet recommended by their health care practitioners. There are reward incentives as well as weekly meetings where members share their difficulties and successes in reaching their weight loss goals. There are small annual fees to join TOPS.

Clinical Weight Loss Plans

Clinical weight loss plans are operated by health care professionals in private or hospital-based programs. Clinical weight loss plans offer services such as nutrition education, physical exercise therapy, behavioral therapy, weight loss surgery and medical care. Many clinical weight loss plans promote weight loss programs that consist of fewer than 800 calories per day.

People on very low-calorie diets should have close supervision from a health care expert. These types of low-calorie diets can be dangerous to health and are usually only recommended for people who are obese and need to lose weight quickly due to health risks.

Online Weight Loss Plans

Some of the most popular online weight loss plans including Weight Watchers are eDiets, Jillian Michaels and the South Beach Diet. All three online diet plans have fees; however, the prices are comparably cost effective in comparison to traditional weight loss programs.

While there is usually no person-to-person contact and group meetings, dieting with the help of Web sites is very convenient. There are forums where people can connect with others. People can easily track their weight using graphs and charts. Online diet sites have algorithms where people can input their personal preferences and get streamlined food plans. There is also easy access to expert nutritional research and information.

Weight Loss Plans

Commercial weight loss plans, self-help weight loss plans, clinical weight loss plans and online weight loss plans offer dieters many options for weight loss.


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