Holistic Health Merced © 2015

Holistic Health Merced

Each year, millions of people enroll in weight-loss programs. These include well-known commercial programs such Weight Watchers and Jenny Craig (both of which have online versions) and organized self-help programs such as Overeaters Anonymous. Fewer people may be familiar with medically supervised programs, which include hospital-based programs or individual care from a physician. In addition, many free online diet and exercise programs are now available.

The commercial programs charge a fee for meetings. They offer advice on diet and exercise regimens as well as online tools for tracking your weight and food consumption. In some cases, they sell prepared foods and diet aids. The self-help programs tend to focus mainly on providing emotional support and encouragement in sticking with a weight-loss plan.

Clinical programs, which are provided through a doctor's office or hospital clinic, offer comprehensive diet, exercise, and behavior-modification programs, supplemented as needed with prescription treatments such as very low-calorie diets, weight-loss medications, and, increasingly, surgery.

None of the programs can guarantee that you will lose a particular amount of weight. With the exception of the clinical programs, these approaches are adjuncts to, not substitutes for, professional guidance for those who need it. Indeed, the self-help and commercial plans encourage participants to consult with health care professionals about weight-loss strategies. Following are descriptions of the different programs and what you can expect from them.

Like self-help programs, the commercial programs hold regular meetings to provide encouragement and support. But a significant difference between the two types of programs is money. The commercial programs charge fees to participate in meetings and also sell diet plans, as well as prepared foods and diet aids to go along with those plans. Costs for these programs vary, depending on how long you commit to the program, whether you attend meetings in person or online, and whether you purchase the foods or diet aids. Check with the specific organization for more information.

These programs are run by health care professionals, either in private practice or at hospital-based centers. Many of these programs are staffed by multidisciplinary teams that may include doctors, dietitians, exercise therapists, and psychologists or social workers, who provide a wide range of services, such as nutrition education, medical care, behavioral therapy, and guidance on exercise.

The mainstay of clinical programs used to be a very low-calorie diet of 800 or fewer calories a day, which is at least 400 calories per day less than conventional diets. Very low-calorie diets feature commercially prepared liquid formulas, such as Optifast, that replace all of the food in a patient's diet and induce a rapid loss of about 20% of his or her initial weight over 12 to 16 weeks, as much as 5 pounds a week. This type of diet is considered appropriate only for patients with a BMI greater than 30 who need to lose weight quickly for health reasons. Other clinical programs offered in the United States include Health Management Resources and Optifast.

As part of the program, people on very low-calorie diets should have regular medical checkups to identify any adverse health effects. Patients should also have counseling to help them adjust to the diet, as well as guidance on how to reintroduce regular food once the diet is over. Many programs also offer support groups to help people maintain their weight loss by adhering to a low-calorie diet and getting regular physical exercise. In the U.S., very low-calorie diet programs usually cost $1,000 to $2,000 for three months.

Today, however, clinical programs are inclined to recommend a more moderate low-calorie diet in conjunction with a program of exercise and behavior modification. For one thing, very low-calorie diets have been associated with complications in some people, including chemical abnormalities and irregular heartbeats. And in the long run, such diets are no more effective than conventional low-calorie diets in which people consume about 1,200 calories daily. For patients with obesity, and for those who are overweight but at high risk for obesity-related complications, clinical programs now often combine behavior-based treatment with weight-loss medications or surgery.

Example of Programs;

-Weight Watchers

-HMR Diet

-Biggest Loser Diet

-Jenny Craig

-Raw Food Diet




-Slim Fase

-Vegan Diet

Weight Loss

Regular Exercise & Proper Diet