Losing weight (and keeping it off) is hard, and trying to do so on your own is nearly impossible. Most people can stay motivated for up to a week, but without any kind of accountability or support, it is hard to keep going. So, if you live in Austin, TX, what are your options?
One option is Jenny Craig, which for a small fortune will provide you with food to keep your daily calories in check. Is it easy to pick up some food vs. having to think about what to eat on a daily basis? Yes. Is the food yummy? I personally haven’t tried it, but my friends have all told me “NO!”. Also, what do you do when you go off of the Jenny Craig plan? You really haven’t learned how to plan, shop, and cook foods for yourself – which is an important skill you’ll need to keep off the weight long-term.
There are also lots of weight loss clinics in Austin which provide patients with appetite suppressant medications, “fat burning” injections, and hormone shots. Most of these require you to eat a diet devoid of any carbohydrates and take a variety of supplements. A friend of mine recently paid over $1,500 at one of these clinics, subjected herself to a variety of injections, and ate nearly NOTHING for 6 weeks. During the 6 weeks, she did in fact lose a lot of weight. Now that she is eating normally again, guess what? The weight is coming back on. And you really have to wonder how her metabolism was affected during her 6 week starvation period? Research shows that dropping your calories too low will inevitably cause your metabolism to drop too.
Another option in Austin is Weight Watchers. I actually think Weight Watchers can be a useful program for people who are first-time dieters, and have no idea how to lose weight. Through their point system, members quickly learn that vegetables are usually 0 points, so they can eat as much as they want. They also learn that whole grain products have less points than refined carbs. And finally, they learn that if they exercise, they can get more points to eat each day. The point system is basically a form of calorie counting, and calorie counting has been around for a long, long time. Weight Watchers can be really pricy, with meetings costing between $10-15 per session.
There are also a variety of online programs that people in Austin (or anywhere) can join (i.e. ediets.com, Weight Watchers online program, and many others). I have not met one person who has been able to lose weight an keep it off through a diet website. It is my opinion that people need support and encouragement from friends (i.e. people you can talk to and see in person!). When you have a bad week, it is easy to just stop logging into your online dieting tool. However, when you are part of a LIVE support group that meets once a week, sharing your results (or lack there of) with others can help keep you on track (or get you back on track ) to meeting your goal.
There are a variety of tools available online, along with iPhone applications that can definitely HELP you with your weight loss efforts. LoseIt for the iPhone and Sparkpeople.com are two favorites that Weigh 2 Go! members use. They basically make it easy to keep track of you calories, exercise, and weight loss results. Using these tools in conjunction with a weight loss support group like Weigh 2 Go! can definitely be a recipe for success. Most people know HOW to lose weight (eat healthier, eat less, exercise, drink water, etc), but lack the motivation and accountability to do so.