comparing weight loss programs

Comparing Weight Loss Programs

With so many people looking to lose weight, it’s no wonder there are so many diets and weight loss programs out there.

But all of these programs can be overwhelming, and the truth is, many are just out to get your money.

So which weight loss program is best for you? Let’s compare…

Weight Loss Programs: Counting Calories

If you need to lose a lot of weight, reducing your calorie intake may be beneficial. This is essentially the same goal of weight loss programs that rely on point systems. Creating a calorie deficit (burning more calories than you’re eating) can be a great way to lose weight and burn fat.

But the risks may outweigh the benefits especially if the deficit is not in line with your goals.

Calorie deficits can also result in muscle loss, which can counteract your strength training and muscle building efforts. Extra calories are also needed to sustain that extra muscle growth.

The other part of calorie counting is that it really puts you down the wrong path of always stressing out about how many calories there are in your food rather than enjoying what you eat. My advice on this is to stay away from these kind of weight loss programs.

Weight Loss Programs: Low-Carb Diet

The low-carb diet is a great option for losing weight as carbohydrates are often accompanied by extra calories. But don’t cut carbs completely – your body needs carbs to properly process other nutrients like protein.

If you do the low-carb diet, do it right – go for lean, unprocessed meats like fish and poultry. They’ll contain less sodium and be lower in unhealthy fats.

Also make sure to have carbs before and after your workouts as without the carbs you’ll drain your energy and not have the ability to go extra hard in your workouts.

Going Vegan

Many people think that going vegetarian or vegan is an effective path to weight loss. But lots of new research indicates this may not be the case.

The removal of dairy products and meats also means a significant decrease in protein, which is key to a balanced diet. The majority of vegetarians are lacking all the essential amino acids that are found in complete proteins because most veggie sources of protein are not complete.

If you go vegan, make sure you take a veggie-based protein supplement like Nutiva Organic Hemp Protein, in addition to eating lots of protein-rich nuts, beans and legumes.

Fat Burning Supplements

Generally speaking, “diet pills” are not a smart option for losing weight. Many over-the-counter weight loss supplements have negative side effects that can actually disrupt your weight loss efforts over time.

But there are a number of natural fat burning supplements that can be great additions to your weight loss routine. I recommend trying Irwin Naturals Green Tea Fat Metabolizer or Muscle Pharm Shred Matrix for best results.

Remember fat burning supplements should be looked as “supplements” and only part of a healthy nutrition and workout plan. No matter what you hear there is no magic pill which will make you toned without the whole plan, so be smart about it.

Cardiovascular Exercise

While cardio workouts can contribute to weight loss, they may not be the most effective route. Too much cardio can actually burn muscle mass, which can disrupt your efforts at the gym.

Increasing your cardio also results in an increased appetite, which can lead to cravings and unhealthy binges. I recommend combining cardio with a weight training routine 2-3 days a week at a maximum of 30 minutes a day (of cardio).

The best approach with cardio is to go intense and shorter duration, even 15 minutes of high intensity will provide better results than 60 minutes of low-intensity cardio.

Strength Training

Strength training is an extremely effective option for losing weight. By increasing your body’s muscle mass, you are increasing your body’s metabolism over the long-term.

This means you’ll burn more fat on a daily basis, even when you’re not working out. In order to sustain muscle growth, make sure you’re taking a good quality whey protein supplement like Gaspari Nutrition Myofusion and BCAA’s (branch chained amino acids) like Scivation Xtend to improve your post-workout recovery.

The Final Word

When it comes down to it, a balanced, healthy diet combined with a rigorous strength training routine (with occasional cardiovascular exercise) is probably the best weight loss program out there. Eat smart, be more active, and you’ll be losing weight in less time and keeping it sustainable over the long-haul.

Have any questions or feedback about comparing weight loss programs? Please leave a comment below…