Best Weight Loss Programs for 2024

Best Weight Loss Programs for 2024

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Working one-on-one with someone who knows your lifestyle, medical history, and eating habits is an ideal way to lose weight.

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We consulted experts to help make sense of a successful diet and weight loss journey. How do you find the right program for you? Here’s what they had to say.

What makes a diet successful?  

The best diet program for you will be the one that meets you where you are at in life. It must be “realistic, sustainable and flexible,” said Jamie Nadeau, a registered dietitian. “Learning to eat healthy consistently truly comes down to learning how to build healthful habits into your life.”

“If a diet program is too rigid or strict, it’s unlikely to work for most people,” she said. “If it’s asking you to do things that aren’t realistic for you or require tons of effort and change all at once, it’s not going to work.”

Dietitian Amelia Ti takes a different approach to the question. “I define a successful program as one that allows members to choose from a variety of foods without restriction and [one that] measures progress by how its clients/participants feel (their mood, energy levels, sleep, etc.),” she said. 

Ti added, “A successful diet program should improve one’s relationship with food and their body, not worsen it.” Nadeau agreed: “The most successful diet programs are the ones that involve learning how to eat a normal, well-balanced diet that includes all food groups (and fun foods too!).”

Dieting red flags

It is easy to fall for a weight loss program’s empty promises. Our two experts told us how to spot the red flags from miles away. 

Nadeau said to watch out for “any program that requires you to buy their specific products or foods to be successful. If you have to buy their bars, shakes or prepacked foods, run. The minute you don’t have their food to rely on, any weight that you lost is going to return.”

In addition to the food a program may tell you to eat, watch out for programs that are too restrictive. Ti said, “If a diet program instructs you to cut out various foods or food groups, red flag! A few others include if they label foods as ‘good’ or ‘bad’ and promise immediate results.”

Who should steer clear of weight loss programs?

Dieting programs are not for everyone — especially those at risk of developing eating disorders. Nadeau recommends working with a registered dietitian over a diet or weight loss program. She said, “Working with a registered dietitian means you’ll be getting individualized advice from a credentialed professional with experience working with people just like you.”