Weight Loss Programs That Work … and Don’t Work

Around the same time every year, the magazine racks at the grocery store become advertisements for “Weight Loss Programs That Work!”

We see splashy before-and-after photos of people who “lost half their size” by following this weight loss program or that weight loss program.

What you likely won’t read in any of the articles is that the examples shown are rare outliers, and for person who loses half his or her weight, there are likely dozens who don’t lose any weight at all.

And it’s not because the weight loss programs don’t work ― it’s because most people choose weight loss programs that aren’t right for them, and therefore won’t work for them.

The fact is, most weight loss programs work. More specifically, most weight loss programs are based on nutritional principles that theoretically will work, from a physiological standpoint, to help a person lose weight. But the real question is: What do you have to do for the program to work, and will you be happy doing it?

Did the sitcom Friends “work” for you?

Saying a weight loss program “works” is like saying the show Friends is the greatest sitcom ever. Friends was mega successful, with critical praise for its acting and writing, along with 20 to 30 million viewers at its peak. 

But there are over 350 million people in America, so the reality is that only about one out of every 12 to 18 people watched it.

So, you could say Friends “worked” for about 6-8 percent of people who watched it (“tried” it) but failed for 92-94 percent of the people who didn’t watch it.

A lot of people thought Friends was funny, and worth a half hour of their time each week, but a lot more people didn’t care for it enough to tune in. They maybe watched an episode or two … and decided it wasn’t for them.

Weight loss programs work the same way. You might read about a program that’s getting lots of positive press or hear friends talking about a program that’s working wonders for them, then give it a try yourself only to find you can’t stand the food you have to eat or deal with the restrictions on food you can’t eat.

Just as comedy depends as much on the viewer as it does on the writing and acting, weight loss programs depend as much on the person who is trying to lose weight as they do on their underlying science.

Put simply, if you don’t like the food you have to eat (or can’t eat) on a particular weight loss program, it’s not going to work for you, period, because you are going to quit.

If you lose weight, then gain it back, is that a weight loss program that works?

Have you ever lost weight on a weight loss program and then regained the weight soon after?

If you answered yes, you’re not alone. Regaining weight after losing it on a weight loss program is fairly typical, and it happens with almost every weight loss program.

But would you say those are weight loss programs that work because you lost weight, or weight loss programs that don’t work because you gained back the weight?

Both, really. Because, again, the tactics of the program may work to produce weight loss, but the program eventually fails because its not a lifestyle you can maintain beyond the initial success.

One person might not have a problem sticking with a particular program that another person finds intolerable. And it has nothing at all to do with “willpower.” Rather, it’s all about personal preferences.

Losing weight and keeping it off is a lifetime commitment, so you have to use great care and consideration when choosing a weight loss program.

How to find weight loss programs that work for you in 3 steps

1) Be honest with yourself

If you eat nothing but raw food, there’s an excellent chance you’ll lose weight. If you follow the “paleo” diet or cut out all carbs, there’s likewise a pretty good chance you’ll lose weight. And if you cut your calories in half, you’ll definitely lose weight.

But … can you really live like that? Is it worth your sanity and your health?

There are diets and weight loss programs that work for some people ― but only for some people. Specifically, for people who truly don’t mind eating a certain way … eating that way every day … and eating that way forever.

For everyone else, those are weight loss programs that don’t work. So, you have to choose a program that has food options you like, and doesn’t force you to eat things you don’t enjoy. That’s a program that will work for you.

Again, don’t fool yourself into thinking if you just try hard enough, you can stick with any weight loss program, no matter how unpleasant it is or how miserable it makes you feel.

Losing weight is living, and living should be full of joy. Don’t choose a weight loss program that feels like self-abuse.

You may find that the program that works best for you is one that requires only slight tweaks in the way you eat. By avoiding drastic changes, it may take you longer to lose the weight you want, but you’re more likely to see it through and stick with it.

2) Have realistic expectations

Despite inspiring magazine stories about people who lost half their weight, if you set out thinking, “I’m going to lose half my weight!” you’re bound for disappointment. It’s just too big an undertaking.

You can’t control outcomes, but you can control your choices, so that’s what you should focus on. Your only real expectations should be those you place on yourself to make smart choices that move you closer to your goal.

Your ultimate goal may be to lose half your weight, but you have to break it down and take it one day at a time, one healthy choice at a time.

When it comes to weight loss programs that work, slow and steady almost always wins the race. That’s because weight loss is not a sprint but a marathon.

When you first start a weight loss program, set mini goals. Focus on losing 2 pounds at a time. That’s your goal – 2 pounds. When you achieve that, it’s on to the next 2 pounds, and so forth. You’ll be amazed at how much easier it is to stay positive when you see yourself reaching goal after goal!

3) Don’t relive bad experiences

The weight loss industry is filled with “same product, different packaging” weight loss programs.

For example, there are countless programs that offer packaged food as their primary feature. If one “packaged food” program didn’t work for you because you didn’t like the food, it’s highly unlikely another packaged food program will produce different results. You’re just going to run into the same issues.

We’ve all heard the adage that insanity is doing to same thing over and over and expecting a different result. Nowhere is that more true than in the world of diets and weight loss programs.

One of the biggest mistakes people make when looking for weight loss programs that work is jumping from one program to another ― and one disappointment to another. But they don’t really stop to think: Is this really just the same program I tried once before that didn’t work for me?

Be careful to avoid the same old ideas and approaches that have failed for you in the past. If one approach didn’t work, try something different.

When we created our weight loss program, The LOVIDIA Way, we set out to make sure it was unlike any other program, with a completely unique approach ― including an eating plan that’s designed to avoid the plateaus people typically experience due to metabolic reset ― and tools that aren’t available anywhere else, such as our patented Hunger-Control products.

If you’re ready to try a fresh approach to weight loss, you can learn more about The LOVIDIA Way here.

2018-08-04T09:21:11+00:00

About the Author:

Matt
Matt is a Los Angeles-based writer with more than 25 years’ experience researching and creating articles on health, fitness and nutrition topics.