Where Can You Find the Best Weight Loss Programs?

The best weight loss programs help you create healthy habits that you can stick with long term. They also take the guesswork out of eating by providing meal plans and calorie counting.

Some programs, like Noom, provide lessons and health coaching in their apps as well as community support. Others, such as Mayo Clinic Diet, include weekly coaching sessions.

What You Want

Many best weight loss programs claim to help you lose weight, but lasting success depends on eating a healthy diet that fits your lifestyle and preferences. When selecting a program, avoid those that are too restrictive and don’t emphasize whole foods. Instead, find one that teaches you how to make positive diet changes.

Most weight loss programs provide access to an online app that helps you track food and exercise. They also offer daily lessons and coaching to keep you motivated along the way. In addition, they provide meal plans that may fit your budget. Some, like Nutrisystem, deliver premade meals that you cook at home.

Others, such as WeightWatchers, use a point system to guide you through your meal choices. Their points allow for “zero-point” items, such as fruits and vegetables. The popular program has been around for decades and frequently ranks on lists of best diets. In addition to its standard plans, it offers diabetes-tailored and vegetarian options.

Other programs, such as Future, focus on fitness. They feature a virtual personal trainer, and you get coaching and access to a community via an app. You can also find recipes and log your progress.

What You Can Afford

The weight loss industry is a huge one, and it’s easy to get sucked into a program based on the claims it makes. It’s important to choose a program that you can afford, and consider what your budget is for dietary supplies, exercise equipment and personal trainer fees if applicable.

Most programs will advise that you eat more fruits, vegetables and lean meats while cutting back on sugar and fat. You should also try to get at least 150 minutes of moderate exercise each week. However, if you’re unable to afford an in-person fitness coach or membership at a gym, you can still make progress toward your goals with an app that offers virtual personal training and nutrition guidance.

A few of the best programs for people looking to lose weight include Joggo, which starts at $12 per month and allows you to customize a workout routine that fits your lifestyle. Another option is the Mayo Clinic diet, which teaches healthy eating habits during a two-week “Lose It!” phase and a 12-week “Live It!” phase. The app includes a meal planner, recipes and support features, but you’ll need to purchase a Mayo Clinic Diet book and journal.

The app Noom is a good choice for those with limited budgets because it doesn’t provide specific dietary guidelines but instead uses daily lessons and quizzes to teach you about the behaviors that lead to overeating. You’ll learn to track your food and activity, as well as how to set goals that are realistic.


Motivation is the driving force behind goal-oriented behaviors. The factors that influence a person’s motivation include biological, emotional, social, and cognitive forces.

The most effective weight loss programs incorporate the latest behavior-change research, which teaches you to create healthy habits that you can maintain for life, says Forman. She also recommends looking for a program that includes lifestyle counseling, which can teach you skills to manage your stress and emotions and find ways to overcome obstacles to achieving your goals.

Lastly, make sure the program you choose can accommodate the type of diet you want to follow. Many weight loss programs offer options, including the Mayo Clinic Diet and Noom, but you can also find programs that focus on a particular diet like paleo or keto. You might also prefer a program that provides access to a community and health coaches through its app.

Some of these programs ship you meals, and others charge for support and access to a community. If you choose a meal-delivery option, be sure to factor in the cost of food in your budget. You can also try a weight loss program that allows you to purchase its app and access health coaches, but requires you to provide your own food. These apps typically include daily lessons and a weight loss journal to help you refine your eating habits.


In addition to meal plans and recipes, the best weight loss programs should offer support with tracking and habit-building. Some will provide personal coaching or a community of support. Others will give you the tools to create a workout routine and stick with it. Look for a program that offers all or at least some of these features, says Healthline.

A good weight loss program should also help you set reasonable goals, such as one to two pounds per week, he adds. “Effective programs teach nutrition skills and make it reasonably easy to track your food, activity and energy (calorie) intake,” he says.

For example, noom’s app uses daily lessons and quizzes to help you understand what triggers your cravings, so you can stop those behaviors. It encourages you to prioritize foods that are low in calorie density and helps you build healthy habits. It also provides a community of users to support you and gives members access to coaches, dietitians and fitness trainers.


Another option is Calibrate, which offers a comprehensive program that includes behavioral modification and prescription medication to promote long-term success. It teaches members to manage their metabolic health through diet, sleep, exercise and emotional well-being. It also offers support through online forums and regular video chats with coaches, who can monitor progress and set new goals.