When exploring the world of weight loss programs, it quickly becomes clear that many programs are marketed simply based off of their timeline. Want to lose weight in 30 days? How about 90? Whether it is marketed as 3 months, 12 weeks, or 2190 hours, a quick internet search shows just how many 3 month programs are out there offering diet and fitness advice. These programs have garnered popularity through their perceived balance and sustainability. Comparing these 3 month programs to crash diets promising the same amount of weight loss, in half or even a third of the time, these programs do appear far more balanced and sustainable. From a strictly weight loss perspective, it is true that a healthy amount of weight can be lost in 3 months. but are the recommendations of these program balanced and sustainable? Let’s look at some specific characteristics of these programs and how they stack up to true sustainability.
3-Month Weight Loss Plans: The Workouts
When looking at and comparing various 3 month weight loss programs out there, an area many share is the addition of exercise. Some plans encourage more specific and regimented approaches to exercise while others simply suggest the addition of any form of physical activity throughout the day. Whatever the form or frequency, exercise can not only help burn calories and contribute to a favorable caloric balance, it can also result in improved body composition and reduced risk of chronic disease. For this reason, we were glad to see it as an important part of these 3 month weight loss plans.
3-Month Meal Plans: The Food
Another commonality between many of these 3 month weight loss plans is the focus placed on specific meal plans. Meal plans are just what they sound like, a specific plan that lists meal timing, nutrients, and the corresponding foods that should be eaten at each meal. Meal plans are typically a staple of these programs because they account for a specific balance of calories and macro nutrients, making it “easier” for followers to reach their goals. Although the science may be sound and the meal plans create a caloric deficit for followers, the plans tend to include the same foods day after day, making them at best, a short term solution. The regimented nature of these eating styles makes it difficult to follow and adapt to based on schedule and lifestyle.
Another issue that can arise from a regimented diet lacking food variety is that it can reinforce an unhealthy obsession or view of food. Yes food is fuel for our bodies but it is also delicious, social, enjoyable, and nourishing. When food is viewed through the lens of fuel alone, it can quickly become a chore and unenjoyable.
At Noom we offer meal plans with the hopes that you can obtain both structure and flexibility. Our plans allow you to pick the foods you want to eat and gain awareness around how they fit within your overall daily calorie budget and color balance. At Noom your coach or Noom meal plan will never tell you what or how much to eat but instead give you the tools to find the best meal plan for you!
3-Month Weight Loss Plans: The Short-Term Fix
Another area that is important to realize is the fact that these 3 month weight loss plans are inherently a short term solution. If these plans were long term, they would not be called 3 month weight loss plans… The short term nature of these typically go hand in hand with regimented and unsustainable approach to diet and weight loss. This also leaves many followers lost and frustrated once they complete their 3 months. Do I start back over? Will my 3 month plan work for 6 months?
At Noom, we do not offer a short term or quick fix. We believe the only successful weight loss plan is the one that you can fit into your life, preferences, and schedule. We also believe it is the plan that you are able to do for the rest of your life! Interested in learning more about sustainable change that will get you to your goals? Meet your personalized support team and get started today on your sustainable weight loss journey!