Purchasing Diet Programs As Your Path To Weight Loss

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Over the years, various groups and individuals have come up with ways to help people reduce weight. There are dietary supplements. There are meal replacements. There are also specific groups that help you lose weight. You may count calories. You may eat only foods that match your color, season or even astrological sign. There are also commercial groups who have successfully marketed diet programs.

With Americans spending a substantial amount of money every year on weight loss plans, it is also not surprising there are both genuine and fad diets on the market. Purchased weight loss programs can fall into either category. It is up to you to do your homework. Research carefully before you buy into and prepaid diet program.

What are Purchased Diet Programs?

As the name implies, a purchased diet plan is one the dieter pays for. He or she selects the type of diet program or programs, pays for them and then follows the instructions. The type of purchased plan can fall into one or more of several different categories. It can also be purchased in one or more different formats. The format as well as the contents can affect how faithful you stick to the weight watch plan.

Formats of Purchased Weight Loss Plans

Purchased diet programs come in several different formats. These include:

  • Books
  • Videos/DVDs
  • CD
  • Clubs/groups complete with virtual or actual meetings
  • Online groups or plans
  • E books

Some purchased plans combine several formats. Some books come with a DVD or CD. A book may have a web site you can connect to when you have questions or need support. Some weight loss programs combine an online service with downloadable e books or material. The internet has expanded the ability for those who want to achieve a healthy weight to find the right plan. It has also made it possible for many to be taken in by the latest fad diet or popular but expensive purchased diet plan.1

Types of Purchased Diet Plans

Purchased diet plans come in a wide range of prices and types. They cater to almost every body type, diet preference and taste. They all vie for your money by promising theirs is the right diet for you. Some of the basic types are based on different premises on what you should or should not eat. While some have research and scientific argument behind them, others do not. Take time to read what the plan has to offer and research it to see whether it makes sense.

One of the most common types of weight control diet is one that includes a reduction in the body’s intake of carbohydrates. Carbohydrates are targeted because of their role in supplying energy and storing fat. Carbohydrates include simple sugars and complex fibers.Diets with restricted carbohydrates may or may not focus on simple or complex carbohydrates. In some cases, the amount of carbohydrates is balanced or restricted by its ratio to other types of nutrition. Reducing carbohydrates is often paired with either high or low protein.

  • High protein, low-fat, low-carbohydrates: This type of diet allows you to eat unlimited portions of cheese, meat and eggs that are high in protein but limits your intake of foods high in carbohydrates. This includes little or no sugar, milk, vegetables, fruit and pasta. Those who support this diet believe that by not eating food high in carbohydrates they are reducing the production of insulin. This results in decreased hunger pangs and, therefore weight loss. Moreover, by reducing the amount of carbohydrates, you are forcing the body to use up the existing stock
  • High-fiber (carbohydrates), low-fat: This type of diet may or may not be vegetarian. This one encourages eating increased amounts of complex carbohydrates such as those found in whole grains, vegetables and fruit.

Another approach to dieting does not restrict carbohydrates, proteins or any form of fat and fiber, per se. It relies on a system based on calories. These plans look at food in terms of caloric content. They focus on how many calories are present in certain foods.

Calorie counting is a means of measuring the amount of energy taken in and expended. A diet based on this approach attempts to help you learn that what goes in affects what goes out. The plan organizers assign a value or provide you with the specific amount of calories for individual items. It is then up to you to make the sensible choice. This system can run into trouble when faced with eating out and the fact that the body ultimately decides what calories are to be used or stored.3

Diets also come with meal plans. While some programs provide you with a guide to the foods you need to eat, a way to count or add up the specific content, some provide you with meal plans. Other groups go one step further. They encourage you to purchase pre-prepared meals.

What Makes a Good Diet Plan?

When you are faced with a choice, you need to consider several factors. You must consider all aspects of the plan from delivery format to contents to follow-up and/or reinforcement. A good plan deals with all of these. It provided you with:

  • A system of healthy, balanced eating
  • Reduces calories
  • Increases your consumption of fiber, vitamins and minerals by including whole grains, fruits and vegetables
  • Encourages exercise in a suitable form for your physical state
  • Has a follow-up, guidance, or support system in place. Research indicates most individuals require some form of support to help them stick with a diet.4

What the Research has to Say

Research indicates that many commercial, self-help but not fad diets do help individuals in their desire to lose weight.5 Moreover, maintenance is a primary quality in ensuring a diet program is effective for the long term.6 Further studies are required to compare, contrast and understand what systems work best and why.


The stated goal of most weight control programs is for you to lose weight as fast as possible and to keep it off. The extent of obesity in theUnited Statesmakes such programs necessary. Yet, it is also crucial that people learn to identify serious and genuine diets over fads. It is essential that the public educate themselves. There are no weight loss secrets that will melt the pounds away. You need to find a reputable program that works with your body, encourages exercise as well teaches you to eat healthily and properly.


1 Kelly, E. B. (2006). Obesity.Westport,Connecticut:Greenwood Press.

2 Balch, P. A. 2004. Prescription For Nutritional Healing. The A-Z Guide to Supplements. Revised and Updated.New York: Avery

3 Campbell, T.C. and Campbell, T. M. C. (2006). The China Study.Dallas,Texas: Bembella Books.

4 Chapman, K. (2010). “Can People make Healthy Changes to their Diet and maintain them in the Long Term? A Review of the Evidence.” Appetite. 54(3): 433-441.

5 Tsai, AG. and Wadden TA. (2005). “Systematic Review: An Evaluation of Major Commercial Weight Loss Programs in the United States.” Annals of Internal Medicine. 142(1):56-66.

6 Mata, J.; Peter M. Todd, and Lippke, S. (2010). “When Weight Management Lasts. Lower Perceived Rule Complexity Increases Adherence.” Appetite, 54 (1): 37-43.


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