The Ins and Outs of Internet Dieting and How to Find Your Online Dieting Groove
Pages in this Story:
- Does Online Dieting Work?
- Advantages and Disadvantages of Online Diet Programs
- What You Should Know About Before You Decide on a Plan
Does Online Dieting Work?
Put the term "diet" into a Google search and you'll find more than 150 million entries. Many of them are pretty sketchy -- promising you quick, simple, and painless weight loss -- but there are several companies that have interesting and creative programs to help you battle the bulge online. There's eDiets.com, WeightWatchers.com, Southbeachdiet.com, FitDay.com, PersonalDiets.com, and many more. Do they really work? Which ones and how? And what should you look for when picking an online diet? Here are a few of the answers that will help you find your online diet groove.Does Online Dieting Work?
There have been several studies by the University of Vermont and Brown University that show some interesting progress with online dieting. The most recent compared an "online, therapist-led structured behavioral weight-loss Web site" with eDiets.com. In this case the therapist-led group lost significantly more weight and kept it off. In another study, researchers at University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine compared eDiets.com with a simple "weight-loss manual." Here again researchers reported that "participants who received the weight-loss manual lost significantly more weight at weeks 16 and 52 than those assigned to eDiets.com." Another recent study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine suggests that the Internet is no better than print marketing campaigns to motivate exercise (which could be considered a good thing, but the Internet is not necessarily a less expensive alternative).
According to Dawn Jackson Blatner, RD, a spokesperson for the American Dietetic Association, the bottom line is that "research shows that weight loss and maintenance are improved when participants have personalized feedback from the program, log in regularly, complete food and activity diaries, and use peer/social support tools."
What are the different types of online diets?
There are many types of programs online, including:
- E-mail counseling with nutritionists and/or dietitians (e.g., PersonalDiets.com)
- Web tools, including food and activity diaries (FitDay.com, MyFoodDiary.com)
- Web tools, meal planners, social support (eDiets.com, WeightWatchers.com, Southbeachdiet.com)
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