We’re old enough to know that the only way to keep trim is to maintain a decent calorie intake and exercise programme all year round, but do we follow that through in real life? No, we do not: up there with the inevitability of death and taxes is the thrice-yearly diet: New Year, pre-summer holiday and pre-Christmas countdown.
I’ll be questioning the effectiveness of this perpetual treadmill in the New Year. But in the meantime, for those of you hoping to lose a few pounds before Christmas, here are the top online destinations that can help you.
Weight Loss for Good
A one-stop destination bulging with advice and reviews of different diets and diet sites. A search facility helps you explore the effectiveness of diets, ranging from Abs to Zone and everything in between. Other sections review diet books and weight loss products. There is also an exercise and fitness channel and weight-loss tools. Free. Visit Weight Loss for Good.
My Fitness Pal
Studies have confirmed that keeping track of your food and activity intake is a sure way to succeed. This diets-and-fitness community provides tools and support to help you achieve your weight-loss goals. It has a food diary function, a searchable food database, a personalised diet profile and weight-loss tracker, along with iPhone and Android apps to help you stay on track wherever you are. Free. Visit My Fitness Pal.
Every little helps, I suppose, and Tesco’s comprehensive site certainly offers a highly personalised approach. You complete a detailed assessment about your lifestyle, pick a diet plan or have one recommended, then plot your progress on the weight loss log. For a monthly fee you’ll receive a personalised diet plan, expert support, recipes, nutritional advice, an exercise programme and other tools to help you reach your goal. Visit Tesco Diets.
If the thought of a weekly weigh-in in front of fellow dieters is enough to make you reach for a bag of doughnuts, join their online community instead. You still have to pay the sign-up fee and monthly subscription but after that your relationship with the scales is entirely private. With 35,000 food options, 1,000-plus recipes, interactive tools, apps and videos, it’s a comprehensive offering. Visit WeightWatchers.
You have to navigate your way through a plethora of information but it’s all there and it’s free. This is packed with advice on how to check your Body Mass Index (BMI), understanding calories and food labels, healthy food swaps and useful tips for healthy eating. It also shows you how to keep the pounds off once you’ve reached your target weight. Visit NHS Live Well: Lose Weight.