These Diets Get You Skinnier Than Your Doctor Ever Could

scaleYou know who wants you to lose weight? Your doctor. You know who will actually get you to lose weight? Weight Watchers, or Jenny Craig, or any of those commercial diet programs. Working with a doctor-led program costs you more and doesn't even work as well as one of those out-of-the-box programs, according to a new study by Birmingham University.

Surprise, right? You would think a weight-loss program designed just for you by your doctor would work better. But this actually confirms everything I've ever learned about motivating people to make changes in their lives. It's not about expert information -- it's all about getting the right tools to make those changes. And that's what those commercial programs do best.


You could learn all about lipids and metabolism and nutrition and exactly how much you need to lose and how many calories you can cut from your diet without starving, but what are you going to do with that information? When the donuts come knocking, when you're too tired for the gym, it all just sort of turns into an annoying muddle in your brain, right?

You need someone to create a menu for you -- and maybe even make the meals themselves. You need a support group of peers to cheer you on. You need to work with someone who has also struggled with their weight, who really gets what your roadblocks are. For-profit diet programs understand you in ways your doctor may not.

Not that doctors don't also provide some of these tools. It just seems like when a business depends on people losing weight in order to make money, they kind of get it down to a science. So that's great news for people who want to shed a few pounds but can't afford regular counseling with their doctor. Obviously you want to keep your doctor in the loop to make sure your program is safe and healthy. But it's helpful to know the cheaper route is also the most effective one.

Have you tried both working with a doctor and using a program to lose weight? Which worked better for you?


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