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60 Day Weight Loss Plans: How much will you really lose?

Maggie Hudspeth, RDN

Think about how many times you see an advertisement for a weight loss program a day. Social media influencers, commercials, radio ads, you can’t get away from it. So how do you know which ones are legit and which ones to quit?

Weight loss is a very stressful journey for many people. Years of putting it off, most will do just about anything to reach their desired weight. And that’s the audience most diet programs target; showing dieters they have all the secrets and tricks to lose weight quickly. All you have to do is deprive yourself, meal prep your entire refrigerator, workout for 18 hours a week, incorporate magical powders in all your beverages, sprinkle some fat melting crystals on your meals and ride off on the mystic weight loss unicorn into the sunset, every day for 60 days.

Alright, maybe that was not totally true, but some of it kind of was. Many weight loss programs design themselves to show you the only way to lose weight is to do it their way with their products. But in reality, losing weight takes fueling your body with optimal nutrition, good ol’ fashion physical activity, some self care and a little bit of patience. And here’s the big reality of it all, there is no time limit!

Many programs are designed with 14, 30, 60, or 90 day limits. But when it comes to weight loss, there is no time limit. That’s the thing about diets, they have a beginning and end. But if you want to lose the weight for good, it takes a lifestyle change to keep it off. There are 5 reasons why these limiting diet programs don’t work. Let me explain and I will let you be the judge.

1. Food restrictions on a 60 day weight loss plan

The multi-billion dollar diet industry has the public believing losing weight is all about what you can and cannot eat. Looking at multiple diets across the board, 9 times out of 10, they have a list of banned items. Some of those items include vital, nutrient dense fruits and vegetables! Most consist of carbs, including fiber packed whole grains. We must put an end to banned foods. Ban the banned!!

This diet mentality of “eat this, not that” drives more people to feel deprived and possibly lead to some nutrient deficiencies. When it comes down to it, it’s really about learning how to eat proper portions of all foods and how to eat your favorite foods. Which is exactly what Noom focuses on. There are no dietary restrictions, no banned list of foods, no feelings of judgement or guilt for eating your favorite treat. Having a balance of nutrient dense foods with your favorites sets you up to follow through with your weight loss commitment. Not only while participating in the program, but you learn how to apply these concepts throughout your new lifestyle.

2. You’re on your own for 60 days

When signing up for a diet program, it usually looks like this: you sign up, enter your credit card information, add on the extra, magical products, download the PDF plan, print it out, put it on your fridge, do it for a week or so, then start bending the rules. There is zero support, encouragement or accountability from anyone. Most diet programs you must go through on your own, unless you sign up with a partner. And even then, the lack of professional guidance increases the chances of not going through until the end.

Noom provides guidance, support and accountability, all in the palm of your hand. Having two coaches and interacting with other app users, you are never alone in this journey. The coaches are there to help guide you through goal setting, helping you analyze food and exercise logs, and hold you accountable to stick with it! The fellow Noomers add a level of relation – who better to encourage each other to keep fighting than those who understand what you are going through? The group will celebrate your wins and dust you off when you fall. You can’t get this sort of support from a PDF diet plan.

3. Zero education with a 60 day weight loss plan

So, you have a list of foods you can and cannot eat, a one-size-fits-all workout plan and a supplement regimen. What are you learning? What are you truly learning about your body and how it utilizes food? Most diets do not provide any sort of education. They simply tell you what to do and what not to do. But what are the reasons for doing or not doing those things? What does cutting out a food group really do for your body? So many questions that you should be asking yourself when it comes to choosing a weight loss program. Without education, how do you plan to maintain the weight loss when the diet is over?

The daily education Noom provides is what makes the program so unique, I think. It’s also a big reason why Noom works. The curriculum is chock full of facts and tips. Each week presents a new theme; basic nutrition, physical activity, how sleep affects weight, what mindful eating looks like, etc. Learning about all the different areas that affect weight and how to modify some of the behaviors correlated with these topics gives Noomers the confidence to carry these traits beyond the program. Educating yourself on how your body responds to different foods, different portions, different timings of eating, different exercises, or different emotions can be the missing piece to not only losing weight, but maintaining for a period beyond any weight loss program.

4. Products on products

I’m going to let you in on a little secret – there is no such thing as a fat-melting, metabolism boosting, energy producing product out there to shed pounds and keep it off. Shocking, I know. Now, I know not every diet plan out there comes with products, but many do. Plenty of programs drive customers to believe they won’t be able to achieve weight loss unless they incorporate their powders and pills. Here’s the reality, most of these products are just encouraging hydration, filling you up with water so you’re not as hungry and eat less. It’s not so much the product doing any work, but your stomach just filling with water. Not to mention, some of the powders that programs have you utilize between meals or with workouts, are actually full of unnecessary ingredients that add more calories and fat to your day. You do not need protein powder to lean out.

Noom has none of that. No pills, powders or any sort of product regimen. Noom thrives on incorporating whole foods to not only help with weight loss, but to lead a healthy, balanced lifestyle. But Noom is also forgiving, something many diets are not. Life gets in the way sometimes, unexpected celebrations, tough situations or just a much needed date night. Whatever life throws at you, be understanding that you are human and you are not perfect. Learn from your mistakes and move forward. Dwelling on the past can lead to a bad day, a bad week or a bad month. Noom teaches app users how to accept their slip-ups and how to move forward. No weight loss supplement can teach you that!

5. Sustainability after day 60?

Last, but not least, probably the most important reason why limiting diet programs do not work is because of sustainability. Let’s say you made it through your 14, 30, 60, or 90 day program. You stuck to your eating plan, crushed your workouts and kept up with the supplement schedule and you hit your goal weight. Now what?

The diet is over, where do you go from here? Will you go the rest of your life without the foods on the banned list or keep handing over cash for supplements? You know for a fact that does not sound like something you can do the rest of your life. That’s the problem with diets, they have a beginning and end. Soon after finishing them, people tend to revert back to old habits that made them gain weight in the first place. Without education or support, maintaining weight after a diet is a challenge most cannot overcome. So what do they do next? Move on to the next fad diet.

Noom has no “ending”. That’s what makes it a lifestyle change. You’re not only learning new habits during your time in the program, but learn how to carry that momentum throughout your life. Adjusting your habits and modifying behaviors gives you the tools to tackle life outside of the app. When most people think about weight loss, they only picture the time frame of the actual weight loss. They forget the next step of maintaining. After going through the core portion of the program, Noom offers education and support on how to continue your newly develop habits when you are ready to leave Noom. Even though you might end your time with Noom, give up your coaches and stop reading daily content, you still have the opportunity to track your progress and analyze your choices through the app. You don’t have to log in an app the rest of your life to maintain weight loss. But it puts the mind at ease knowing you still have the resource that helped you achieve your new weight to help you maintain.

60 day weight loss plan vs. a lifetime of healthy habits

The bottom line is, while most diets have some success with helping customers lose weight, they rarely prepare you for life without their product. Anytime you are considering starting a program that has a time frame in its title, the first question you should be asking yourself is “what is my plan when the diet is over?”. Without guidance and support, it’s up to you to keep up the momentum and motivation beyond the program. Do you feel you are equipped to do so? Nooms gives you the tools and mindset to tackle life outside that diet mentality. Don’t just lose the weight, learn how to lose weight sustainably and for the long term!

Author: Maggie Hudspeth, RDN