The most obvious way to judge a weight loss program is by its ability to produce results. On this score, Weight Watchers (membership starts at $18.95/month) reigns supreme. A diet plans review on NextAdvisor.com asserts that a key factor in Weight Watchers' success is its well-rounded approach: healthy and balanced food choices along with physical activity and peer and/or online support. Dieters say that adhering to the plan, which involves counting points allotted for food and exercise, has enabled some to lose 30 to 45 pounds in a few months. More importantly, add reviews at Viewpoints, report that Weight Watchers teaches you how to eat properly, reverse sedentary habits, and feel good about yourself. One study that Weight Watchers showcases on its website found that 72 percent of those who completed the full program maintained their weight loss after two years and 50 percent did so after five years. Continuing to follow the point system is critical, though, and some reviewers caution this can become tiresome.
Consumers rarely mention the online supports (e.g., meal planners, online journal, nutrition counseling) in reviews of the South Beach Diet (membership starts at $4/week; book starts at $7.99), but they do comment extensively about their impressive weight loss. At Viewpoints dieters report that significant weight loss is registered in the first few weeks when the type of foods allowed is severely limited (forget about bread, pasta, and fried potatoes); some claim to have lost 10 pounds and more during this period. After that, when once-taboo foods are reintroduced, dieters say weight loss continues to the tune of 40 or 50 pounds over the course of a year. The biggest benefit of the South Beach Diet, state multiple diet plans reviews, is learning to prepare and eat healthy food by following the menus and recipes. U.S. News & World Report rates the South Beach Diet as the seventh best commercial diet plan. (Weight Watchers ranks first.)
More than five million people belong to the SparkPeople (no cost) community and many say their connection to the site, with its tracking tools, videos and articles, and user involvement, has yielded a variety of benefits. Beyond losing significant amounts of weight, diet plans reviews by SparkPeople members say they have learned how to exercise and sustain a healthier diet, and have enjoyed the multiple points of contact with other enthusiasts. One post at Amazon tells of having shed 250 pounds over seven-plus years and attributes that outcome to the gradual -- and therefore sustainable -- lifestyle changes that SparkPeople promotes. A blog called Cutting Fitness sarcastically puts down the weight-loss site only to signal approval of its no-fee policy, blanket coverage of all things diet and fitness, assortment of helpful tools, responsive peer community and representatives, and finally, the positive results; guest comments affirm the blogger's conclusions. One minor gripe: There's so much information on the site and within the forums that new members sometimes feel overwhelmed.
The Atkins Diet (starting at $10.88/book) is heavy on protein and fats and regards most carbohydrates as the enemy. Diet plans reviews urge caution before following the Atkins formula. Consumers who posted comments on Top Diet Review report significant and rapid weight loss but warn that the pounds return quickly if you don't follow the plan religiously. And that means you really have to like animal protein and get past carb cravings. Moreover, consuming these foods while abstaining from or limiting the intake of others alters body chemistry by burning fat instead of carbs for fuel. Diet plans reviews often mention the adjustment your body must make given the radical dietary change required by the Atkins Diet, and some consumers write about initially feeling dizzy and developing bad breath. A recent update to the Atkins approach places more emphasis on eating vegetables (there is now a vegetarian path), a change that some suggest holds wider appeal. Other reviews argue that Atkins is losing touch with its roots.
A diet-food delivery plan like Nutrisystem (starting at $229.99/28 days), which also offers online discussion forums, blogs, and newsletters, is the epitome of convenience, crow diet plans reviews. There's no measuring, weighing, calorie counting, or effort other than popping a package into the microwave. Reviews posted by consumers who signed on for NutriSystem deliveries over the past couple of years tell of having shed up to 65 pounds or several pants sizes in a matter of months without feeling food-deprived. Many are generally satisfied with the taste and overall food quality but note that the need to buy dairy and fresh fruits and vegetables adds to the already sizeable food bill. And yet, a number of diet plans reviews at Consumer Affairs trash the taste and heavy dose of salt and chemical ingredients and gripe about the price. And several posts at 3 Fat Chicks grumble that boring, tasteless food and little attention to weight maintenance without the Nutrisystem-supplied products leaves you with no safety net should you decide to forego meal deliveries. The website, however, does outline a transition and maintenance phase that includes learning to prepare your own healthy meals.