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How to Choose a Weight Loss Program : Use this Checklist

Updated on August 28, 2014

There are so many diet plans and weight loss programs advertised on the internet and in every day life that it is difficult to decide which is right for you. Use this checklist to make choosing the right weight loss program simple.

Food quality

-- Is the diet program based around whole foods, pre-packaged foods, shakes and powders or a bit of each?

If you are used to eating hearty home cooked meals then pre-packaged food or shakes aren't going to suit you. On the other hand, if you have little time to cook and eat on the run then shakes may suit you perfectly

Food quantity

-- How do you measure how much you are eating?

Weight loss programs use calories, points, portions, or food groups to moderate the volume of food you eat. If you are happy to weigh and measure your food then calorie counting and points is the best option, but if you would rather be a bit more relaxed then portion control (eg meat = size of your palm) may be better for you.

Activity level

-- Does the diet plan promote exercise?

If exercise is factored in to a diet plan then you are probably eating too much if you choose not to participate in the exercise plan. If you are following a plan that promotes 'loss weight without exercise' then you will be under eating if you engage in a hard training program.


-- Are there strange pills and potions you need to take to make this program work?

Probably not the best choice of a diet plan in most instances.

Maintenance plan

-- Does the weight loss plan include a maintenance phase.

You need to know how to transition from weight loss to a way of eating for the long term. If there are no instructions on what to do after the fat loss stage is over, then you should choose another plan.


-- Do you have to eat the prescribed foods on prescribed days at prescribed times?

Not having any flexibility to accommodate your tastes and life activities will make the plan difficult to stick with and may lead to rebound over eating. A good weight loss program gives you substitutions, dining out options, a way to incorporate your favorite foods and a recovery plan if you get off track.

Personal contact

-- Having someone design an individual program that suits your own particular needs makes weight loss a whole lot easier.

It is also provides accountability and an objective view of your progress. Contact with other people on the same plan will give your motivation, solutions to your problems and a bit of healthy competition.

It's too good to be true

-- If the weight loss plan offers fast weight loss with little effort then it is probably not the healthiest or most realistic plan.

Try to find a real person who has had success with the plan that you choose. "Sally" and "Jim's" testimonials on a website may not be authentic.


-- The only weight loss program that will work is the one that you stick to both in the fat loss phase and once you have reached your ideal weight.

If you can't imagine never eating a bowl of pasta, potatoes and bread for the next 3 months, and in limited quantities thereafter, a low carb plan is probably not your best option.

Make the Right Choice

Deciding to lose weight is a great decision but you need to choose your diet program with care. Find something that suits your food preferences, your activity level, and your lifestyle, and that gives you support both during and after the fat loss phase and you will be well on your way to a healthier, fitter, leaner body.


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    • 1on1diets profile image

      1on1diets 7 years ago

      Smart hub! Everyone loves a good checklist!

      I like the "it's too good to be true" step - we are so often fooled by false advertising. Thanks Katie!

    • profile image

      Weight loss reviewer 7 years ago

      Some very good tips here and plenty of common sense. What you say about low carb diets is very true. They work but all too often dieters don't choose the right foods.

    • michelle.dragon99 profile image

      michelle.dragon99 8 years ago

      Hi Katie...i like your weight loss check's pretty systematic and organized:)