Online diet programs

We check out popular online diets - can a virtual diet program give you real-world results?
 
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02.The lowdown

The most successful weight-loss regimes are those tailored to the individual and take into account their needs, lifestyle and specific health issues, as well as having a level of accountability in terms of meeting up or checking in regularly.

Of the programs here: 
  • Nathan rated the Michelle Bridges 12 Week Body Transformation as the best, though he admits that the exercise component is high and may not be for everyone.
  • Kellie found the Weight Watchers program more flexible in terms of lifestyle and following sensible eating guidelines, however Nathan was concerned about its lack of emphasis on exercise.

Before you sign up

Many diets out there are overly restrictive. The best ones are those based on the Australian Dietary Guidelines (ADG) and include all food groups for balanced eating, encourage regular physical activity and discourage missing out on key nutrients.

If you’re looking to lose weight but don’t believe an online program is for you, talk to your GP first. They can suggest options including face-to-face programs, or may refer you to an APD who can provide advice specific to your individual needs and lifestyle. A GP can also check to see if you are ready to take on a vigorous exercise plan.

Calories and not kilojoules?

Some of the programs we assessed had a tendency to use calories rather than kilojoules - despite Australia officially switching to the metric kilojoules over 35 years ago. Dietitian Kellie Bilinski says calories are used in the US which may explain the increasing use in Australia. She also says that she prefers calories as "it's easier a bit to calculate - for example, an average female requires around 1800 calories."

CHOICE has also covered the calorie to kilojoule conundrum here.

Free, you say?

If you aren't keen to commit to a paid plan, there are plenty of tools online that can help you keep track of both your diet and exercise regimes for nix. 

Some popular sites include:

 

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