The Best Online Weight-Loss Programs
From free/paid online videos to comprehensive online fitness plans, and apps that you can download to your mobile device and personalize to suit your needs, online weight loss programs have come a long way. And these innovative technologies certainly help motivate you more and make it easier to achieve your weight-loss goals. For example, Modern Fit offers extremely detailed and tailored nutrition and fitness plans to help you reach your goals.
There are all-inclusive fitness programs that offer long-term collaboration and personalized lifestyle improvement through daily, weekly, and monthly meal and workout plans, weight-loss challenges, and even personalized coaching, as well as psychological and emotional support and motivation. Or you can opt for the simpler, mobile apps that can help you keep track of your calorie intake; count the number of steps you make every day; and measure other fitness metrics.
Here are the top three free online weight-loss programs that can guide you toward fitness success!
This health and fitness company offers both real-world and online-only programs. Weight Watchers’ weight-loss model is based on a points system applied to the calorie, sugar, and saturated fat content of foods. You will be assigned a specific number of points based on your personal goal.
Points values assigned to foods are determined by their nutrient content. Each person’s point limit, in turn, is determined by how much weight they want to lose; therefore, to lose weight, one simply has to stay within their point limit.
The Weight Watchers app offers various services: keep track of points by logging food intake using a barcode scanner; keep track of weight-loss progress using a “Journey” log; provide a list of restaurant dishes with their corresponding points when eating out; provide healthy recipes that meet specific dietary requirements; provide opportunities to connect with other users for community support; and arrange personal coaching for an extra fee.
- You can eat or drink whatever you like as long as it fits in your point allowance
- The SmartPoint system can be easier to follow for some
- Online support to help stay on track
- Mobile app with scanner to make shopping easier
- Can end up eating less good food and more bad food, just less in total
- Must pay a fee too unlock app features
- Pressured into buying Weight Watcher food
- Exercise not stressed enough
- Lack of specificity might work for some, while not for others
Access to the Weight Watchers app requires membership to Weight Watchers, which costs $3.91 per week for the online program.
Lose It! develops a personalized weight-loss plan and calculates a daily calorie intake limit based on your age, weight, and fitness goals. The app allows you to log your food intake using a barcode scanner; an extensive food database for manual logging; and/or by taking a picture of your meals through its “Snap It” camera feature to effectively monitor portion sizes. The app also provides daily and weekly calorie intake reports to help you keep track of your weight.
The company’s food database – which contains more than 7 million food items from supermarkets, various food brands, and restaurants – is verified for each item’s nutrition information by a team of highly qualified experts. However, the app does not monitor intake of vitamins and minerals.
The Lose It! online weight-loss program also offers a social community platform wherein you can get in touch with other users through weight-loss challenges and forums. And you can easily sync the app with other fitness apps.
- App is free for basic services like calorie counting
- Extensive food database with restaurant items
- Can add exercise totals to keep track of exercise daily
- Tracks calories, not the type of food. Up to the member to make good choices
- Can be tedious
- Trackers for areas beyond calories aren’t free
- Doesn’t breakdown nutrients well for many foods
Signing up for the basic Lose It! program is free.
This personalized online weight-loss program is both a diet and an exercise tracker to keep you on the right fitness track. In addition to monitoring your daily meals and weight-loss progress, SparkPeople also offers an exercise demo feature.
SparkPeople’s nutrition database contains more than 3 million food items. You can log your food intake using the app’s barcode scanner. For your workouts, you can access exercise demos and other content to help you with your technique and progress.
SparkPeople also offers a points system that integrates your specific lifestyle choices, and which can be an effective motivational tool to help you succeed in your fitness goals. Through the SparkPeople website, you can interact with other users to share recipes and lifestyle tips, as well as to offer and receive support.
You can have access to all of the app’s tools and content for free, or opt for the paid SparkPeople Premium upgrade.
- Access to over 3 million food items and a barcode scanner
- Hundreds of exercise demonstrations
- Besides food, you can log exercise and cardio
- Online community for tips and motivation
- Can be overwhelming for some individuals
- Some complain of a flood of emails after signing up
- There are unskippable ads
Apps for Fitness Success
Go beyond the tape measure, weighing scale, and pedometer. Take advantage of online weight-loss programs to effectively keep track of your food intake, nutritional requirements, exercise habits, and other lifestyle choices as you work toward your weight-loss goals.
These programs provide plans that are personalized to suit your needs. They offer tips, guidance, community support, and motivation through tools and content that you can access through their websites and mobile apps.
Online weight-loss programs do require that you spend quite a bit of time to keep track of your daily lifestyle and progress; but “keeping you on track” is the whole point, to keep you moving forward and help you achieve success. Self-monitoring through an online weight-loss program makes you more aware and mindful of your habits and choices, and pushes you to become more proactive about your health.