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New Study Finds Dieters Benefit From Online Weight Loss Programs

Whitney | August 30th, 2012

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Individuals who are trying to learn how to lose weight fast might benefit from going onto the internet, a new study finds. Researchers examined the effectiveness of online weight loss programs and found that over the short term, these plans could help dieters lose weight and achieve a healthier lifestyle. The subjects who lost the most weight, however, were those involved with in-person weight loss programs.

Can the best weight loss program be found online?

Researchers from Massachusetts, Rhode Island, New York, Pennsylvania and Maryland contributed to the Cochrane systematic review that assessed more than 4,000 adults participating in online weight loss and weight maintenance programs. The research study found that those who participated in these programs for six months saw better weight loss results than those who received basic care, including a pamphlet or workbook. Researchers discovered that online weight loss programs did contribute to positive results over the short term.

People who learn how to lose weight fast through online programs tend to take advantage of interactive features and the ability to communicate with other dieters while on the program.

The research is promising in regard to the fight against the rising obesity epidemic facing the United States today. According to a recent report in the Huffington Post, obesity is now taking a bigger toll on public health than smoking. Around 1.5 billion people across the globe are expected to be obese by 2015, and according to the CDC, more than one-third of American adults fit this category now.

Most effective diet provides ongoing support

While support and accountability may contribute to the success of online weight loss programs, researchers discovered that the test subjects that lost the most weight overall were those who participated in an in-person program that included weekly or monthly meetings.

In addition, the current Cochrane research showed that online weight loss plans were only proven to be effective for the short term. The study did not extend beyond the initial six-month period, leaving researchers guessing about just how long weight loss results would last for their test subjects.

How to lose weight fast with physician oversight

According to the study, the best weight loss program is one that involves face-to-face meetings between the dieter and a weight loss expert. The Center for Medical Weight Loss offers just such a program, with a staff of physicians who meet one-on-one with patients to create the most effective diet and fitness plan for each person’s unique needs. Doctors then continue to meet with patients as they learn how to lose weight, offering counseling, support and motivational techniques to keep dieters on track.

A study published in the American Journal of Medicine shows that the average weight loss for patients at the centers is 11.1% of total body weight in 12 weeks, or 28 pounds for someone whose starting weight is 250 pounds. Nearly 100 percent of the dieters who lost weight through The Center for Medical Weight Loss were able to maintain weight loss after one year.

Currently, there are around 450 centers nationwide to help dieters find the best program to help them lose weight quickly and successfully. Enter your zip code in the box at the right to find out if there is a center near you. Introductory offers are available at some locations for first-time visitors.