Weight Loss Programs Comparison Guide

Create a healthier, happier you by signing up to a weight-loss program and waving goodbye to those unwanted kilos.

People who are medically considered as overweight or obese expose themselves to a huge amount of dangerous health risks, from heart disease to diabetes and cholesterol problems. One of the best ways to combat this is to make a New Year’s resolution to lose weight. Rather than managing the process yourself, you can enrol in a weight-loss program to ensure you have a plan tailored to your specific health needs, along with plenty of expert assistance along the way.

What are weight-loss programs?

A report from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) shows that in 2013, about 63 percent of Australians were classified as overweight or obese.

In recent years there has been a marked increase in the establishment of health and fitness organisations, many of which offer tailored weight-loss programs. Some of these organisations are operated by one person, while others are run by gyms, athletic organisations, clinics or hospitals.

Many of these companies also sell health and food supplements to complement their programs. This includes exercise equipment, workout DVDs or food and beverage items.

The ideal design for most weight-loss programs consists of teaching skills to their clients to help them develop dietary habits, improve their level of physical activity and help change their lifestyle. This also includes counseling on how to sustain a normal healthy weight level after the weight-loss program is completed. The final goal of the program is to maintain a long-term weight normalisation.

Generally, many companies which offer weight-loss programs recommend a 1000 to 1500 calorie diet. Although many customers may achieve long-term success with this program, some still find it difficult to stay motivated after the program’s finished.


Top 10 products to help you when taking part in a weight-loss program

Fruit Box from Hello Fresh

Fruit Boxes produced by Hello Fresh give you healthy and delicious fruit to help you develop your healthy eating habits.

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Dymatize Dyma-Burn Extreme Trial from Amino Z

If you're new to the world of weight loss supplements this trial packet could be a great starter package for you. This product can aid in controlling appetite with natural compounds.

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Medifast Oatmeal Raisin Crunch Bars from Amazon

Medifast Crunch Bars feature a great crunchy taste and a formula that's lower in calories, total fat and carbohydrates than Medifast Maintenance Bars.

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Veggie Box from Hello Fresh

Delicious vegetarian recipes and all the fresh ingredients in the exact quantities for two, four or six people. This will enable you to change your lifestyle and eating habits.

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P-Protein Dairy Free Shake from VitaminKing

This tasty shake offers up to four hours of hunger control with 10 grams of protein and four grams of fibre per serving.

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Best online retailers to help you lose weight

Hello Fresh from Hello Fresh

Hello Fresh sends recipes to you with all the fresh ingredients you need to prepare them.

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Optomo from Optomo

Optomo specialises in first-aid equipment, sports medicine, health medicine, fitness medicine and rehabilitation products.

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VitaminKing from VitaminKing

Vitamin King claims to be Australia's largest Vitamin and Supplement store online. They offer a wide range of supplements, shakes and vitamins for both you and your fluffy friend.

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How do weight-loss programs work?

As well as programs conducted in person, there are now many companies which offer online weight-loss programs. Online programs are often provided for free and benefit those who can’t afford the expense of going for a personal physical tutorial.

Similar to in-person weight-loss programs, people who join online programs are able to create customised diet and fitness plans. Furthermore, they can learn all about losing weight in the comfort of their own homes.

Other features of weight-loss programs include articles on health issues, exercise and fitness tips. There may be free fitness videos, meal planning services and calorie tracking charts and graphs to help you measure your weight-loss progress.

For those people who can afford the cost of a weight-loss program in person, there are companies which offer personalised plans and are available mostly in urban centres.

Top free weight-loss programs

The top free online weight-loss programs are now helping millions of clients throughout the world. Here are some of the companies which offer free weight-loss programs:

MyFitnessPal

More than 40 million people lose weight through MyFitnessPal's free calorie counter. It also offers free access to the world's largest nutrition and calorie database. The company provides a smartphone app and website that tracks diet and exercise in order to know the optimal nutrients and calorie intake to achieve your goal.

MyFitnessPal focuses on ensuring that you can log on as quickly and easily as possible so that you can stay on track. It also provides a searchable food database of over 3,698,000 items for you to get information about your favourite foods.

MyFitnessPal offers different exercises at different intensities or speeds which the user can easily calculate. The process involves entering the number of minutes used in the exercise and calculating the calories spent. This number of calories is then added to the total number of calories that the user should eat per day.

Weight Loss Programswright loss programs

Spark People

Spark People is one of the best-known free online weight-loss programs and has about seven million members. The company offers customised diet and fitness plans and allows you to track your calories, exercise and water intake.

It gives you the opportunity to set certain goals with regards to your weight-loss program and tracks the progress of your goals. The site has a wide range of community involvement and people not only get help and motivation from trainers and dietitians but also from other members of the site.

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Start Your Diet

This is another free online weight-loss program which can help you plan your meals, track your calories and provides charts and graphs to help you gauge your weight-loss progress. It has community involvement in the form of forums and blogs and a database of thousands of foods to help you track your diet.

The company has a paid deluxe membership which you may choose if you outgrow the the free membership program. Many consumers believe that the free membership is adequate to meet their needs.

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eWeightLossCenter

This online service offers a wide range of nutritional information, interactive tools and online support to help its members attain their weight-loss goals. The company offers a unique user ID and password which each member uses to log into the online member centre. This will enable them to access weekly diet plans, custom fitness plans, delicious recipes, online tools, 24/7 support, tips, guides, articles and other resources.

eWeightLossCenter offers a full line of weight-loss programs that are simple and straightforward. It also helps people learn to eat better and exercise using a variety of tools, trackers, articles, tips and guides.

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CalorieKing

This is the brainchild of Allan Borushek, a registered dietitian and is now Australia’s most popular independent food and nutrition information website. Its mission is to provide free information, tools and education to Australians to help them conquer their weight.

The company offers an innovative 13-week program designed to teach you life-long skills needed for weight management. It aims to teach you everything everything about how to lose weight and how to find time to exercise.

Weight Watchers

Weight Watchers has been operating for more than 40 years and has helped millions of people around the world to lose weight. It offers long-term weight management solutions which focus on an emotionally and physically healthy lifestyle.

The company’s approach is participative and aims to combine its knowledge with the client’s efforts. Weight Watchers provides information, knowledge, tools and motivation to help you make healthy eating decisions and exercise.

Its major products are the Points Plus program, Weight Watchers meetings, Weight Watchers online, Weight Watchers etools, Weight Watchers at Home, Weight Watchers magazines and Weight Watchers Corporate Solutions.

The basic cost for registration and weekly meeting fees varies by location, but the average is $25 - $35 to join and $13 a week from then on.

NutriSystem.

NutriSystem offers personalised weight-loss plans which involve complete support and 28 days of nutrient-rich food delivered right to your doorstep. When you are enrolled in the program all your breakfasts, lunches, dinners, entrees and snacks are shipped to you each month and everything can be cooked using a microwave.

NutriSystem offers a cost of $10 per day or about $300 per month. You choose foods you want to eat from a menu and the food is then delivered to your door.

Jenny Craig.

Jenny Craig’s weight-loss program is all about a lifestyle change rather than just a diet. The weight management program combines nutrition and physical activity with counseling to help clients change their lifestyle and eating habits.

The company offers three types of memberships: Signature Plus, Signature and Trial. Each offers access to a personal weight-loss coach, one-on-one weekly consultations, personalised menu and activity planner, weight-loss tools and plenty more. Trial membership starts from $10

Medifast.

Medifast produces, distributes and sells weight management and disease management products including the Medifast weight-loss program. The company offers several programs depending on age, weight-loss goals, activity level and health conditions (such as diabetes). One of its fast-selling products is the ‘5 and 1 plan’ which involves consuming five Medifast meals each day and one ‘Lean & Green’ meal which consists of a generous portion of lean protein and green vegetables.

Medifast is designed for fast, safe weight loss and costs $275 per month.

SlimFast.

SlimFast is a brand of shakes, bars, snacks, packaged meals and other dietary supplement foods which was founded in 1977. SlimFast is a meal for the whole day which includes a shake for breakfast, a shake for lunch, then a sensible dinner. You can also enjoy snacks and take advantage of an approach that allows for different calorie plans.

SlimFast costs around $8 for six cans of Slim Fast shakes, or approximately $2.50 per day plus food.

If you want to lose weight, there are a number of professional weight-loss programs available to help you reach your goal. Whether you go for a free online service or pay for in-person support, you’ll be able to receive the help you need to lose weight.

Stephanie Yip

Stephanie is the travel editor at finder.com.au. On top of being an avid traveller, she's an all-round bargain hunter. If there's a deal or cheap flight available, she'll know about it. And she'll let you know about it, too.

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