Losing weight is not an easy task. It will take plenty of hard work and discipline, which is not something most people want to hear. This is why extreme diet programs and gimmicks are such big sellers. People want to believe that they can lose weight without just simply eating less and exercising more. Late night TV and magazines are riddled with the latest fad diets that claim to get results fast just by techniques like fasting for a week, eating nothing but juice or eliminating all carbohydrates. Some of these diets might work in the short term, but they are very unlikely to get lasting results. In addition, many of these diets are not healthy and leave people vulnerable to sickness and other malnutrition. The cold hard fact of the matter is that there is no shortcut to losing weight. There are, however, some healthy diet programs that can get results without putting your health at risk.

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Old School

Most people know the truth but just don’t want to admit it. The best and healthiest way to lose weight is a combination of healthy diet and exercise. This old school method is still the most effective, although not the easiest way to lose weight. You need to cut out fast food, fried foods and other processed junk food and replace it with healthy fruits and vegetables. If you combine a healthy diet with 3-4 trips to the gym per week you will be on your way to losing weight. This may not be the fastest approach, but it is the safest and will give you long lasting results. People that lose weight the right way tend to keep it off longer than those that use fad diets or other extreme methods.

Weight Watchers

Weight watchers has been around for a long time and for good reason; it works. Weight watchers involves using a point system to keep track of the foods you eat. It works for a variety of reasons, Firstly, people that diet as part of a group tend to have more success, as they will have others there to motivate them. Secondly, weight watchers does not ask you to cut out certain foods, just to limit them. This makes it much easier for people, who have a sweet tooth, or require an occasional piece of pizza. The downside to this diet plan is that it can cost a lot of money, as many buy the expensive pre-made meals directly from Weight Watchers.

South Beach Diet

This diet program has been around for nearly a decade and has been proven to get results. The South Beach Diet works because it uses a balanced approach that still gives people plenty of nutrition. Many people have had success with this diet because it does not require them to obsess over every calorie or gram of fat they take in. The South Beach Diet basically just gives you some guidance for how to eat healthy, balanced meals. The downside to this diet is that you will need to purchase the book, which is not really a big deal.

The New Sonoma Diet

People in the Mediterranean region tend to have less heart disease and obesity problems. The New Sonoma Diet aims to replicate this Mediterranean style diet with balanced meals that included gourmet foods and even wine. This diet works because it doesn’t have a whole lot of restrictions. The only real problem with this diet is that it involves a lot of cooking. This is why it is often called the “Foodie Diet” as you will need to know how to cook your own delicious and healthy meals for it to work.


This diet doesn’t play around with gimmicks and fads, but uses a traditional combination of healthy foods and exercise. This one is applauded by doctors for being very healthy, as it involves getting plenty of nutrition. This 12 week eating course not only provides plenty of healthy meals, but is also very adaptable and customizable so it will work whether you are extremely overweight or just want to shed a few extra pounds. This diet program is much more than just meal plans; it is an entirely new approach to life that will get long lasting results.

Burn the Fat, Feed the Muscle

This diet uses the three basic values of weigh loss, which are diet, cardio and weight lifting. This program will allow you to cut weight while building muscle at the same time, which will help achieve quicker results. It is a healthy diet that provides plenty of nutrition and since you are working out simultaneously, there is no need to starve yourself. This is a popular diet among people that want to take an all around approach to boosting health and losing weight. The only problem with this program is that it takes a lot of motivation. Since many dieters lack motivation, it is not for everyone.

Talk to Your doctor

Before starting any weight loss program it is important to speak to your physician. Not all diet programs are ideal for everyone, so it is important to choose one that suits your body type and level of fitness. You should first get a physical exam to see if there are any glaring health issues that might prevent you from losing weight safely with one of these programs.

Get Started

The only way to lose weight is to get started. There is no perfect time to start a regimen of diet and exercise, so why not start now? There are always excuses not to start. People say “I am too busy,” or “I’ll wait until after the holidays,” or “I have a hard time exercising in winter.” These types of excuses are likely what got you into this mess to begin with, so quit making them and just get started. Even if you only start doing ten minute workouts a few times a week it will be better than just sitting on the coach doing nothing.