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Pros and Cons of Online Weight Loss Programs

Updated on February 26, 2015

Much like any other fitness or weight loss program, online weight loss programs offer both positive and negative features. Whether or not one can help you get into better shape depends on your unique situation; however, many people have found their assistance invaluable.

Obesity is an unfortunately common problem in today's society.
Obesity is an unfortunately common problem in today's society. | Source

Online Weight Loss Programs

Web-based weight loss programs have skyrocketed in recent years both in number and in popularity. Unfortunately, this is due in part to the fact that obesity and unhealthy weight gain have also become far more widespread, causing an increased search for solutions. Since many people are too busy to attend more traditional, face-to-face weight loss programs or meetings, online versions have become a popular alternative. These programs can seamlessly incorporate exercise and food journals, calorie counters, calculators and a wide variety of other tools that can help you reach your weight loss goals. Many people find that this type of one-stop solution can help streamline the busywork involved in weight loss planning.

Online programs can be a convenient weight loss tool.
Online programs can be a convenient weight loss tool. | Source

Social Features

Modern technology allows online weight loss programs to simulate much of the face-to-face interaction of traditional weight loss programs. Through the use of forums, chat rooms, messaging systems, video chatting and similar features, a quality online program will ensure that you never feel lost or alone during a difficult phase of your weight loss journey.

What type of weight loss program do you prefer?

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Accountability

Of course, even the best program cannot lose the weight for you -- whether it is online or offline. All a weight loss program can do is give you the tools, guidelines and know-how that enable you to lose weight. You must still do the work yourself. Simply knowing that there are other people dealing with the same struggle as you, people who encourage you on your off days and hold you accountable to reach your goals, can be a huge added motivation. Since online weight loss programs help you connect with people from all different backgrounds from all over the world, you can always find someone familiar with your struggle. That is one advantage online programs hold over traditional ones -- you might have difficulty finding people familiar with your particular situation in your home town alone.

Online weight loss programs can provide a sense of community and teamwork from people going through the same process with you.
Online weight loss programs can provide a sense of community and teamwork from people going through the same process with you. | Source

Formats

Choosing a specific online weight loss program depends largely on your own goals and preferences. First of all, you should look for a program that offers a solid, reasonable plan to follow that helps you adjust your lifestyle in the long term, rather than simply promising a sudden and drastic "quick fix". Within these realistic, lifestyle based-programs are two basic formats. One is highly structured and individually customized, featuring a significant amount of one-on-one coaching. The other, which is geared more towards individuals who prefer to work independently, designs an overall plan that people can then follow on their own, allowing them to simply ask for help and advice when necessary.

Final Considerations

If you do decide to use an online fitness or weight loss program, take the time to carefully compare the available options and choose one that is serious and reputable. Although some programs are extremely high quality, others are little more than fly-by-night scams designed to sell a miracle supplement or pill. These programs provide virtually no actual benefit, but simply prey on individuals who are attempting to better their lives.

Once you find a program that you feel could work for you, take the time to research it carefully before making any commitment. Reviews from past members and independent industry professionals can help ensure you know exactly what to expect before you sign up. Keep in mind, of course, that any program will have its share of negative comments from private individuals, some of which may not be based in reality. However, you should avoid programs that do not have a solid majority of positive client reviews. Make sure you find a program that fits your learning style and has a good reputation, both from past clients and industry experts, before you make a commitment.

Have you ever tried an online weight loss program? Why or why not?

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    • CJMcAllister profile imageAUTHOR

      CJMcAllister 

      3 years ago from USA

      Thank you for your kind words...I'm glad it was useful to you! :)

    • Deborah Demander profile image

      Deborah Demander 

      3 years ago from First Wyoming, then THE WORLD

      Thank you for writing this interesting and informational article.

      Namaste.

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