From The Pulse, part of the Gale Health and Wellness Resource Center.
Losing weight is a popular new year’s resolution, but it can become a perennial resolution for those who don’t go about it sensibly. Weight loss gimmicks abound, and every January would-be dieters seek to sort out the real tips and tricks from the gimmicks. Fortunately, there are many online resources and support systems for safe and sensible weight loss.
Some such resources include:
- Weight Watchers online: Many people may associate Weight Watchers with group meetings and weekly weigh-ins, but the longtime company has taken its game online. The online Weight Watchers program allows users to develop personalized diet plans based on the Weight Watchers point system, access articles and tips for healthy weight loss, and track their progress from a computer or mobile device. Weight Watchers also is making an effort to appeal to men. Check out this link for Charles Barkley’s promotional videos of why Weight Watchers is a good choice for men looking to lose weight.
- Shape magazine online: The online version of Shape magazine is aimed at women who want to improve their health and fitness. It consistently features smart tips for sensible weight loss by exercising and eating healthfully. Shape also includes “success stories” of women who lost large amounts of weight by combining a healthier diet with a consistent exercise routine.
- Sparkpeople.com: Unlike some other online weight loss programs, this one is free. Features include articles and tips for weight loss through healthy eating and exercise, the ability to design a personalized weight loss plan to meet your needs, such as a diet that focuses on low sodium or low cholesterol. Another bonus is the active online support community, which can help dieters stick with their plans.
- Dukediet.com: This online weight loss program was developed at Duke University, and it may be a good choice for those who don’t require as much feedback or support. Duke medical experts will respond to questions, but this program doesn’t have the online community aspect of Weight Watchers and others. Still, it includes useful tools to help with safe, healthy weight loss, including calorie and fitness calculators, a shopping tool, and even a behavioral health assessment to help manage the emotional and psychological hurdles faced by some dieters.
It’s also important for anyone who wants to lose weight to be wary of products that claim to be a quick fix or magic bullet. To help keep consumers safe, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration provides a “For Consumers” page on its website that warns against several fraudulent weight loss products.