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In-Person and Online Weight-Loss Programs Garner Results

Emma Gonzalez | September 18th, 2012

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By 2015, an estimated 1.5 billion people will be overweight or obese. A new review of 18 weight-loss studies reveals that online programs can be a cost-effective and successful method of losing weight and maintaining results. However, the review also reveals that in-person programs, such as the physician-assisted plans available through The Center for Medical Weight Loss, achieve better results overall.

Online programs are both effective and budget-friendly

The review, which was published in August 2012 in the Cochrane Library, compiled information on 4,140 adults who participated in 18 randomized studies. The review, which is summarized into a 143-page analysis, sought to find cost-effective ways for fast weight loss while on a budget.

The good news is that dieters following online and computer-based programs, such as those that provide forums or help count calories, were able to lose more weight and maintain results better than those who received only basic care. The authors of the review concluded that, “Computer-based interventions have a positive effect on short-term weight loss and short-term weight loss maintenance.”

In-person programs most effective

However, the study also found that in-person weight-loss programs were the most effective tools for how to lose weight fast and keep it off. Dieters who attended weekly or monthly meetings, or who met with physicians involved in their weigh-loss goals, seemed to lose more weight, faster – and maintain those results. This is attributed in part to the accountability inherent in in-person meetings and checkups, but both methods – online and in-person – utilize camaraderie and peer support to help increase a dieter’s willpower and, therefore, improve his or her results.

This information builds on a 2010 study published in the American Journal of Medicine, which revealed that patients who were treated by their primary care physicians actually lost as much or more weight than those who went to specialized weight-loss clinics. In fact, this study showed that primary care clinics helped patients reduce their body fat percentage more effectively than those dieters who went to weight-loss clinics.

Physician-assisted weight loss relies on a basic equation for how to lose weight fast: eat well and exercise. Programs like those offered by The Center for Medical Weight Loss can help lower blood pressure, regulate diabetes, and reduce a person’s reliance on medications for cholesterol, depression, and other conditions. The Center boasts a high rate of people who lose weight successfully, with 95.3% of patients maintaining weight loss after a year on the program.

For more information on The Center For Medical Weight Loss, or to find out if there is a center near you, enter your zip code into the box at the top right. Special offers are available for first-time visitors at select locations.