Do Weight Loss Programs Really Work?
Searching through the different weight loss programs out there can be a mind-boggling effort. There are so many different programs, each promising that it is the key you need to your perfect body. They also take no shame in trying to discount each other. This leads to a lot of information, as well as a lot of misinformation to sift through.
Weight Loss Through the Ages
Perhaps no other time than right his instant has there been more focus on people have lean, toned bodies. It just didn’t occur to primitive mankind to fuss about their figures because they were too busy running from predators, or foraging for food. Only now that we have hundreds of channels of digital entertainment streaming into our comfy homes to we have the luxury of getting fat.
To be sure, it was in fashion to be plump during the Victorian Era because this meant you were rich enough to afford to feed yourself, and even overfeed yourself, while the poor people starved. Now that food is ubiquitous it’s proper to show that you can restrain yourself around a smorgasbord of food. Plus, the rich know that eating properly is a way to enjoy a long healthy life so this is the new trend as of the last 20-30 years.
The Guru Problem
The problem is that there are so many gurus out there that claim to be experts in weight loss and nutrition, but many are not. Just because they have the Dr. title before their name does not mean they have your best interests at heart, or that their program is medically sound. Also, many gurus are just laypeople that have scraped together enough information to call it a program, and have no qualifications other than a nice body. and sometimes not even that!
Product Review Recaps
Diet Solution Program Recap
The Diet Solution Program comes in the form of an ebook, so don’t look for it at your local bookstore because you won’t find it. It is one of a slew of diet books and their corresponding programs that can be ordered online and downloaded in a matter of minutes. What’s great about it is that while it may be about 2 or 3 times more expensive than a paperback book, you get 60 days to try it out and see if you like it or return it for a full no-questions-asked refund.
Like any diet product it works for those that work it, but if it doesn’t jive with what you believe than just send it back and try something else. That’s our recommendation.
See our full review of Diet Solution Program
Fat Burning Furnace Recap
The Fat Burning Furnace has gathered a lot of attention for itself, mostly due to the large amounts of affiliates out there trying to sell the book through bogus review sites. It’s a pricey book but it’s packed with lots of different exercises that are sure to get that fat moving from your body. The kicker is that you actually have to perform them, and not just read the book.
This is a classic example of a product that actually delivers, but will find itself collecting dust because it is not realistic that 90% of people won’t be able to stick with it long enough to see results.
See our full review of Fat Burning Furnace
Fat Loss for Idiots Recap
You’ve definitely seen an ad for Fat Loss for Idiots, they’re all over the Internet. They usually say something to the effect of Weird Tip to Lose Belly Fat and show an rudimentary drawing of a fat woman getting slimmer in the midsection. If you’ve bothered to click through, as many people must have since it’s a best selling product, you were greeted with a multi-page sales pitch.
When you finally make your way through to the order page and complete your purchase, you’ll soon discover that a large part of the book consists of debunking other types of diets, and has little in the way of a new or revolutionary way of eating or losing weight.
See our full review of Fat Loss for Idiots
SparkPeople is unique in that it’s mostly focused on being a website community rather than pushing a book down your throat or getting you to buy their pre-packaged meals. Maybe that’s down the road in their business model, but for right now you can take advantage of all of their informative articles that they make available, and some of their neat tools to track your progress.
Communities are big these days, and it’s nice to know that you can ask questions, make friends, cheer people on, and be cheered on in your pursuit of weight loss. It’s hard to get that level of support from a book or DVD program.
See our full review of SparkPeople
17 Day Diet Recap
17 Days is not a lot of time, but the author of this book says it’s all the time you need to turn yourself around and get a brand new body. At first look it seems like a gimmick to sell books, and the latest in a long line of fad diets. Surely someone will come out with the 16 Day Diet as the next logical step.
We still believe that this is too little time to see any meaningful results, and might only set you up for further disappointment and discouragement. Perhaps the methods and advice in the book can help you lose weight and live a healthier life, but bump the timeline out to give yourself enough time.
See our full review of 17 Day Diet
Atkins Diet Recap
The boom time for the Atkins Diet was a few years back but they are still pushing strong, trying to hold onto that momentum in order to sell some more bars, packaged meals, and books. The author of the original book that started it all died a while back from a slip and fall accident, but before that seemed to be in good health at the time.
These days most people write off a no carb diet as being unhealthy and unbalanced, and our final analysis is that the body needs all types of foods to function at its full potential, and that a restrictive diet is ultimately doomed to fail.
See our full review of Atkins Diet
Almighty Cleanse Recap
Almighty Cleanse is not really a program per se, but rather a one of those system that you see pushed on one of those late night infomercials as one of those phony interview-style ads. The claim is that a backed up colon is the cause of a lot of weight retention and other health problems, and if you flush all of the backed up gunk out of your system you’ll feel lighter and weigh less.
While this isn’t a weight loss program, it dovetails with any other weight loss efforts you might be going through, and should be considered if you’re taking an overall approach to better health.
See our full review of Almighty Cleanse
hCG Diet Recap
One of the latest diet crazes has been the hCG diet, and people have been scrambling to find out what it entails, and how they can get started. Since injected the hCG substance into your body is all that’s required, this is especially popular with those that don’t want to do much in the form of effort when it comes to losing weight.
But for those that realize that it’s better to take measured, timely steps to losing weight, this sort of program just doesn’t measure up.
See our full review of hCG Diet
Jenny Craig Recap
One of the more popular weight loss programs on the market is Jenny Craig. It has endured the test of time and still has people signing up for it. Their promotional campaign is still going strong, with ads being shown around the clock on all of the different networks.
One good thing about the program is that it has evolved over the years, and changed with the times. As new breakthroughs and methods of weight loss are discovered, the folks behind the Jenny Craig program incorporate successful techniques into the system.
See our full review of Jenny Craig
Juice Fasting Recap
If you’ve seen an ad by the Juice Man you might have thought it would be good to go on a juice fast to help rid the body of toxins and give the digestive system a break. But is it really good for the body, or are there potential negative side effects to drinking nothing but juice for an extended amount of time?
Turns out that his may not be the best method for sustained weight loss, but it’s good for your health and should be done on a regular basis to sort of hit the reset button on your body and give it a chance to cleanse itself a bit.
See our full review of Juice Fasting
The concept of Curves is a solid one, and they have gained themselves a decent sized following of women committed to losing weight in a safe, friendly environment. The Curves system incorporates both diet and exercise and is targeted only for women, making the advice even more accurate and effective.
If you’ve had trouble in the past sticking with a diet program, and have felt self-conscious about going to the gym and being judged by the other uses there, it is in your best interest to try Curves out and see if it’s the fix you’ve needed.
See our full review of Curves
Hip Hop Abs Recap
Hip Hop Abs combines the fun of hip hop with the torture of ab work. It’s designed to work out your abs while you dance to hip hop music in an attempt to help you get that slim waste or six pack. The host is the same guy that runs the heavily promoted Insanity program, so you know that the workouts must be effective.
So how does Hip Hop Abs stack up? Most ab programs end up sitting on the DVD shelf as constant reminders of the fact that we’ll never have a six pack. Unless you’re a big fan of hip hop music, this will probably be the next one to join that shelf.
See our full review of Hip Hop Abs
Colon Cleansing Recap
Few can argue that the colon should be cleansed as part of a healthy lifestyle, but also few consider a colon cleanse part of their overall strategy for weight loss. The fact of that matter is that if you colon has layers of impacted feces in it, you are not absorbing the nutrients from food as well as you could. This will curtail any progress you might otherwise get from a weight loss program.
You should add professional colon cleansing to your list of things to do in order to help craft a brand new body. Combining it with other well-reviewed weight loss programs is a one-two punch to a successful diet attempt.
See our full review of Colon Cleansing
Weight Loss Hypnosis Recap
Weight loss hypnosis is hard for most to take seriously, and this is the very reason why it usually gets negative reviews. The basis of hypnosis entails that you have an open mind and not resist the efforts of the hypnotist to access your subconscious.
Those that are skeptical or think it won’t work, are not in the right from of mind to see any results. Those that are could simply be having a placebo moment. This makes it hard to gauge with any accuracy whether or not hypnosis helps in the battle for weight loss.
See our full review of Weight Loss Hypnosis
Zone Diet Recap
The Zone Diet was developed by a doctor and made its debut in book form, before branching out into it’s own line of fish oils and packaged foods. The theory behind it is to pick foods that put you in “the zone” where your body won’t gain weight, and where you’ll be healthier, and your metabolism will be at its optimal level.
The ideal foods for you to eat are listed in the book, as well as what a typical meal might look like. But is this diet all its cracked up to be, and what do those that have tried it have to say about the results?
See our full review of the Zone Diet
The theory behind detoxing is that if you rid all of the negative toxins from your system, you’ll automatically shed some pounds because your body will go back to its natural weight. If you cleanse your organs systematically, your colon, your liver, your kidneys, etc., you’ll eventually have a fully functioning system, the way it was before all of the junk accumulated in it.
But since this is an alternative treatment, there isn’t a lot of scientific data to back it up. Does this mean you should avoid it or go ahead with it?
See our full review of Detoxing
Body By Vi Recap
Body By Vi is a line of shakes and nutritional supplements that is designed to replace some meals, and help towards a healthy eating plan. They make several claims at their site, and they have several different programs for you to follow based on your current level and your goals.
We went to work to try to find out whether or not the Body By Vi system is something you can trust your body with. We break it down for you and let you know if this is a pass or a buy in our full report.
See our full review of Body By Vi
Low Carb Diet Recap
The idea behind the low carb diet craze is that carbs are the enemy. That’s why you see carb-free and low-carb options all over the place. By cutting out the carbohydrates from your diet, the theory is you are taking away the things that end up turning to fat.
The Atkins Diet is perhaps best known as what brought low-carb dieting to the mainstream. Proponents of diets like these advocate eating meats, cheeses, vegetables, and anything else you want as long as you lay off the carbs. People lose weight, but is this healthy and sustainable?
See our full review of Low Carb Diets
Different Types of Weight Loss Programs
Weight loss programs generally follow two types of strategies to get you to lose weight. Some focus on diet first, and throw in a little exercise for good measure. Others focus mainly on working out and also include a meal guide to accelerate your results. It is up to you and what you believe is the best method to target fat and weight loss from your body. There is a third category that tends to put equal importance on both aspects of weight loss, and these tend to get the best feedback from users.
Diet or Exercise?
Typically it is the couch potatoes out there that are drawn to the exercise-heavy programs. They believe that it must be their sloth that has led to their fat gaining, and if they just got more active the fat would go away.
Those that are more active throughout the day, but tend to eat an unhealthy diet are drawn to the programs that rely mostly on eating the right foods, and are a little more lax on how many times you’re supposed to hit the gym.
For the best chance at long-term sustainability and overall good health, you have to keep both diet and exercise in mind each and every day. Your body wants to move, and it wants you to eat healthy, nutritious foods. Food cravings are unnatural, and being lazy and sitting around all day is not natural. Only when you take steps to satisfy both of these needs of the body do you start to get the full benefits of a healthy lifestyle.
User Error and Super Users
Be careful when you read reviews of weight loss programs and try to apply what you’ve read to your own life. You could fall victim to two very prevalent fallacies out there. For one, bad reviews could come from basic user error. Someone reads what they should do and then goes and does it the way they believe it should be done. But this is often not the way the author intended the method be performed, so you are getting misleading feedback from a misguided user.
The other thing you need to watch out for is the Super User. These are the people that will say that it worked for them, but in reality they are doing about a dozen different things to help them lose weight, or their bodies are designed to quickly lose weight when they make major lifestyle changes. These positive reviews can be equally misleading and harmful because they will set you up to think that something will work, but then you find out that it didn’t work for you so now you think that you are just beyond help.
That’s why it is important to take all reviews, both good and bad, with a grain of salt. You should read about the basic premise of a weight loss product, and then see how it registers in your own mind, and with your own life history. Then give it a shot and see what sort of results you get from it.
Weighing In on Weight Loss Programs
Almost everyone in first world countries has tried at least one diet program in their life. It’s hard to escape in this modern world and most people are dissatisfied with at least one part of their body. For guys it is likely to be in the form of an exercise program, and the ladies tend to try out the dieting plans. But how can you get a reasonable evaluation of whether or not a program is effective for the average individual? As we’ve seen, reading reviews is often unhelpful, and trusting a site’s sales page will only lead to a purchase.
By taking an overview of all of the feedback, and evaluating each program on what they contain, rather than what they promise, we come up with an aggregate system of determining which programs have real meat, and which are just fluff that will waste your time.
Things to Avoid
Avoid going hard out right at the start. Just like running a marathon you have to pace yourself at the beginning or you’ll burn out before you reach the finish line. It’s good to get excited about your new commitment to weight loss, but going overboard at the start is a big stumbling block for many people.
Also avoid thinking that it’s any one thing that has made you fat. It is pretty hard to gain weight by just eating bad food. You would have to eat a lot of bad food every day for a long time before you started gaining weight, if everything else in your life was of a healthy nature. Likewise, you would have to be super extremely lazy for that to be the sole cause of your weight gain. In almost every overweight individual it is usually a combination of many unhealthy habits and lifestyle choices that contribute to the weight problem.
So Do Any Weight Loss Programs Really Work?
In short, they ALL work! Compared to sitting around and doing nothing and eating whatever you want, all of the programs out there that are designed to help you lose weight will do so. But you have to resolve yourself to actually taking the recommended steps in the books, and doing the exercises on the DVDs. It’s the only way to make a change in your life for the better. Buying the books and DVDs is not enough. Reading them and knowing what you should do is not enough. Putting it into practice and not being afraid to try and fail again is the key to success.
You have to trust your instincts when it comes to choosing a weight loss product that is right for you. If you’re a sucker for a certain type of product, don’t make the mistake of getting yet another one that will only lead you down the same road again. Choose a program that resonates with you, and give it your best shot. There’s no shame in trying out another program, even if you’ve tried dozens before. It’s just another step in the evolution of the best you possible. There will always be new weight loss programs coming out, so you don’t have to worry about having nothing to choose from if it doesn’t work.