Online Weight-Loss Success Stories
They say it’s one of the hardest things you can do in life: shed the extra pounds effectively -- and keep the weight off. Multimillion-dollar industries revolve around the weight-loss and fitness phenomena, which signals that obesity is still an important issue plaguing many Americans. Yet according to a 2008 Boston Globe
story, only 26 percent of women and 16 percent of men are on diets.
Short-lived fad diets aside, the reality is that if you eat reasonable portions of healthy foods and exercise regularly, you’re more likely to remain fit and ward off the extra pounds. But the trick is giving up tasty, flavorful and hearty portions of creamy pasta, cheesecake and potato chips and opting for low-calorie foods that are good for you.
A number of diet industries, such as Jenny Craig, have resolved this issue by offering a variety of menus that offer low-calorie, low-fat versions of the classics (lasagna, cake, cookies and burgers, for example). Fitness gurus have also devised workout routines tailored to suit the needs of people with different tastes, from intense weight-lifting workouts for the hard-core enthusiast to Zumba classes for the client in search of a more fun, relaxed routine.
But hitting the gym, working out with an expensive personal trainer or forking out dollars on a diet system may not be feasible. One less expensive solution is online fitness programs
like FitOrbit and GymAmerica, which let you work out with an online trainer at your own pace in the privacy of your own home. Your trainer also works with you to devise a meal plan and a workout routine that fits your schedule. The online trend has picked up a lot of steam lately, particularly with various fitness celebrities who have also jumped on the online bandwagon.
In recent years, “lifestyle” has been the magic word -- enabling fitness trainers and nutritionists to educate their clients about meal plans and fitness programs they can follow for the rest of their lives. The word “diet,” for example, doesn’t hold as much sway as the term “healthy routine,” and the results have proven effective.
“I started in January and have lost a little over 50 pounds," says Errin Miller, who is on an online fitness program. "I went from 250 to 200 in August. That was my goal weight. I am now making some new goals, and hope to be about 180-185 by the time January rolls around. I am competing in a half marathon then.”
Dan Pearce, who also opted for an online routine, explains, “What I liked best about the program is that it was designed specifically for me based upon my needs, health conditions and dietary likes and dislikes….I've been on several other diets throughout my life, and this one worked because you eat real food that you prepare, no packages or shakes. I just learned how to prepare the food right and eat the right-size portions.”
Online programs can offer both a fitness routine and a dietary program rolled into one, often proving less costly than subscribing to a diet program such as Jenny Craig, and purchasing a separate gym membership as well.
Sarah Norris and Andrew Applegate are also online fitness converts. According to Andrew, who has lost 45 pounds so far, “What I like best …is the personal interaction with a real professional personal trainer. My [trainer] has been the key to my success. Having someone who knows what he is talking about as well as someone who keeps modifying your routine helps keeps you interested and engaged.”
And Sarah adds, “I've tried Weight Watchers, Curves, eDiets, and others….My trainer was very invested in my success, and not just in weight loss, but in overall health and fitness…..I got all of the benefits of a real-life trainer and dietician, all in the comfort of my own home.”
In an age where face-to-face personal trainers charge as much as $60 per hour and more, and dieticians’ fees can run up to a few hundred dollars per month, being able to invest in your health without breaking the bank -- not to mention losing weight at your own pace -- goes a long way.
-- Tara Taghizadeh