Choosing an Online Weight Loss Program

HCA image Our busy lives can make it hard to attend in person weight loss programs. Luckily, there are some great online options. Read on to find out what these programs have to offer and how to choose one.

The Pros

Online weight loss programs offer many benefits. Here are some common features:

  • The ability to access the program online or through a smartphone app whenever and wherever you like
  • Tools that let you track your weight over time
  • Food diaries that allow you to count calories by entering items manually, selecting items from a food database, or scanning food barcode labels
  • Activity trackers that let you keep track of the calories you burn through exercise and daily activities
  • Healthful weight-loss recipes
  • Support from qualified weight loss specialists
  • An online community that can keep you motivated and accountable
  • The ability to connect with your friends through the program
  • Privacy options that let you control the information you share

Things to Look For in a Program

You may now be wondering how to go about choosing a program. Here are some features you should look for:

  • Make sure the program is designed and operated by qualified health professionals who have experience in weight loss counseling.
  • Do not choose programs that:
    • Try to sell you things like special foods, vitamins, or supplements
    • Advertise quick weight loss
    • Use fad or very restrictive diets
  • Make sure that the program offers a variety of diet plans to choose from, such as low-fat and vegetarian.
  • The website or app should be easy to use and have tools that support your weight loss goals.

Lastly, you will want to talk to your doctor about the program you plan to use. Make sure that it will work given any other health problems you may have.

RESOURCES:

American Obesity Association
http://www.obesity.org

Eat Right—Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics
http://www.eatright.org

CANADIAN RESOURCES:

Health Canada
http://www.canada.ca

Public Health Agency of Canada
http://www.phac-aspc.gc.ca

REFERENCES:

Choosing a safe and successful weight-loss program. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases website. Available at: https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/weight-management/choosing-a-safe-successful-weight-loss-program. Accessed November 3, 2021.

Diets for weight loss. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://www.dynamed.com/management/diets-for-weight-loss. Accessed November 3, 2021.

Last reviewed November 2021 by EBSCO Medical Review Board  Last Updated: 11/3/2021