The Atlanta Journal and Constitution features a weekly weight loss success story complete with before and after picks. More than any other weight loss program, the featured loser points to Weight Watchers as the program that led to their success.  Looks like they may be on to something. A U.S. News & World Report Article titled, Best Weight Loss Diets, also ranks Weight Watchers #1.  Thinking of starring in  your own before and after photos? Here are three programs that can help.

Weight Watchers
Benefits of the program include flexibility, you can eat what you what as long as it falls within your point allotment; and support for weight loss as well as maintenance. You can access the program online, via groups or through personal coaching so there is likely something to fit your schedule and interaction preference.

HMR – Health Management Resources
Developed 30 years ago, the program emphasizes meal replacement coupled with fruits, vegetables and exercise to lose weight. The program has two phases. The first is quick start. During this, phase meal replacements are delivered to your home every two weeks. You also receive support to make healthy lifestyle changes. In phase two, or the transition phase, you receive low calorie HMR meals once monthly. These are supplemented with fruits and vegetables and, in time, sensible food options such as lean meats. Telephone coaching and support help you along.

Jenny Craig
Jenny Craig offers personalized meal planning and coaching. Prepackaged meals help regulate calories and portions in the first phase of the program. As weight loss is achieved and healthier relationship to food established, participants begin to prepare their own meals. Nutrition and support coaches, as well as a splurge budget (extra calories for special occasions), are built in to encourage success.

Weight lossNo worries if these don’t float your boat, there are many other weight loss programs to choose from. Here are some things to consider as you do your research.

•    How will this program fit into my lifestyle?
• Consider your motivation and interaction style as well as your schedule. Does the program fit your needs?
•    Is this program right for my budget?
• How long do you anticipate being on the program? Is that length of time financially sustainable?
•    Does this program offer meals that fit my taste?
• Are there options for food allergies or eating styles such as vegetarian, locavore, paleo, gluten free, etc.
•    How much support/accountability is available?
• Is there a coach if you need one? If so, how accessible is this person?
•    Is maintenance support available?
• What happens after you reach your goal weight? Is there support to maintain it?

With any successful weight loss program, it is important to understand your motivation. You will need to draw on a strong reason for weight loss to stay committed through the tough times. It is also a good idea to add as much activity as you can. Add cardio and weight training, even if you have only a few minutes each day. When it comes to weight loss, lifestyle choices are cumulative and can add up to lots of pounds lost.