Weight Loss Programs Research Note
By Reader's Digest Editors
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From Jenny Craig and Weight Watchers to Nutrisystem, LA Weight Loss, Slim-Fast and more, diet programs promise easy, almost automatic weight loss. You’ll pay more than you would dieting on your own, but a well-designed program takes the guesswork—and some of the chances for slipping up—out of the equation. Just follow the meal plan. In some cases, you don’t even have to cook. The downside? Transitioning back to regular food once you’ve reached your goal may be more challenging. But some plans offer maintenance programs and support to help you keep pounds off. Which one’s best? Honestly, it all depends on your personal tastes, needs and budgetFast Facts:
- Studies show that structure makes weight loss easier—that’s a built-in bonus in all weight loss programs.
- Insist on safety. Diets that dip below 1,200 calories a day for women or 1,400 calories per men may not provide all the nutrients you need.
- Aim for slow, steady pound-shedding. Dropping one to 1 ½ pounds per week is a healthy goal; more could erode muscle mass.
- Need motivation and accountability? Choose a program with an online community and/or weekly group meetings.
- Programs that provide food can cost thousands of dollars a year; but inexpensive group-support programs may be just as effective, research shows.
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