Losing weight online: how to choose a truly effective marathon for weight loss

A pro­fes­sion­al nutri­tion­ist dis­pels myths about healthy eat­ing.

For most adults, los­ing weight has nev­er been easy. Los­ing weight always requires dili­gence, dis­ci­pline and patience, because los­ing weight does not hap­pen quick­ly. Lack of time to plan your diet, choose foods, stick to your work­out rou­tine, and loss of moti­va­tion are just the tip of the ice­berg. Con­sult­ing a nutri­tion­ist, par­tic­i­pat­ing in online weight loss marathons, or using spe­cial mobile apps for weight man­age­ment will help cope with these prob­lems.

Online weight loss is con­sid­ered an effec­tive and ver­sa­tile weight man­age­ment tool. Every­one can choose a for­mat that is con­ve­nient for them­selves: become a par­tic­i­pant in the marathon or sub­scribe to an online nutri­tion plan with recipes and shop­ping lists, use mobile appli­ca­tions with diet tem­plates to man­age their weight, or choose online sup­port from a nutri­tion­ist.

How to avoid running into scammers?

With the grow­ing demand for online weight loss ser­vices, there has been a rise in the num­ber of unqual­i­fied nutri­tion­ists and fit­ness experts who are spread­ing false infor­ma­tion about diets and food prod­ucts. These mis­con­cep­tions have become so pop­u­lar that almost every­one believes them. You’ve prob­a­bly heard that car­bo­hy­drates are unhealthy, desserts are only allowed before lunch, turmer­ic helps burn fat, gluten-free diets are a health­i­er choice, juice diets are effec­tive for weight loss, and dairy prod­ucts are unhealthy.

Anoth­er prob­lem is unre­al­is­tic weight loss adver­tis­ing cam­paigns. Some marathons and online weight loss ser­vices promise amaz­ing results using sim­ple and tempt­ing meth­ods. If the head­line is too good to be true, then the con­tent will prob­a­bly be like a fairy tale too. Here are just some of the false promis­es that have flood­ed the inter­net and social media:

Lose weight without dieting or exercising

Unfor­tu­nate­ly, it does­n’t work that way. To lose weight, you will have to adhere to a hypocaloric diet, that is, cre­ate a calo­rie deficit. And to main­tain mus­cle mass and skele­tal health, you’ll have to add exer­cise to your dai­ly rou­tine — this will make weight loss health­i­er.

You don’t have to watch what you eat to lose weight

Unfor­tu­nate­ly, if you want to stay healthy and ener­getic dur­ing and after los­ing weight, you will have to keep your diet bal­anced.

If you use this product you will lose weight forever

Anoth­er lie. There are no foods that we begin to lose weight by con­sum­ing.

You can lose 5 kilograms in 10 days

Always remem­ber that the opti­mal rate of weight loss is con­sid­ered to be a loss of 0.5–1.5 per­cent of weight per week.

This Meal Plan Works for Everyone

This is wrong. Peo­ple have dif­fer­ent ener­gy needs and lifestyles, and there is no one-size-fits-all meal plan or set of foods that will pro­duce the same results.

Losing weight is easy with this patch or cream

The only thing that pro­motes weight loss is a calo­rie deficit.

How­ev­er, there is no com­pelling rea­son to avoid using ded­i­cat­ed weight man­age­ment mobile apps or not being accom­pa­nied by a nutri­tion­ist. The process of los­ing weight can seem over­whelm­ing, espe­cial­ly if you’re going it alone. But you don’t have to solve all the prob­lems alone if you seek help from experts and pro­fes­sion­als in the field of nutri­tion and fit­ness. All you need is to show atten­tion and respon­si­bil­i­ty when choos­ing a spe­cial­ist or online ser­vice.

Online weight loss with a nutritionist or using apps: what to choose?

If per­son­al com­mu­ni­ca­tion and the help of a men­tor are impor­tant to you, then you can seek help from a nutri­tion­ist and receive advice from him by email or through instant mes­sen­gers and video calls. As a “pock­et nutri­tion­ist,” you can use a spe­cial mobile appli­ca­tion that offers a weight loss plan if you don’t see the need to be accom­pa­nied by an expert.

No boundaries

No mat­ter where you are, all you have to do is down­load a weight loss app to your smart­phone or sched­ule a con­sul­ta­tion with a nutri­tion spe­cial­ist to start your jour­ney to bet­ter shape. You no longer need to find time in your busy sched­ule for a per­son­al meet­ing with a spe­cial­ist.

A complex approach

Whether you receive advice from a nutri­tion­ist or use a mobile appli­ca­tion to track your diet, both for­mats allow you to adjust not only your diet, but also your phys­i­cal activ­i­ty, dai­ly rou­tine and oth­er para­me­ters that con­tribute to a com­plete trans­for­ma­tion of your body and lifestyle.

You will have a clear plan

Diet plans, which you can find in the app or get from a nutri­tion­ist, will make your dai­ly meal plan­ning eas­i­er. Most online meal plans include recipes, nutri­tion­al infor­ma­tion, and sam­ple menus for sev­er­al days. This makes diet­ing much eas­i­er and more con­ve­nient.

Individual approach and support

Work­ing with a nutri­tion­ist allows you to form new eat­ing habits tak­ing into account your pref­er­ences and lifestyle, and opti­mize your sleep and rest sched­ule. You always receive per­son­al­ized feed­back and sup­port, espe­cial­ly when you feel over­whelmed or ready to give up. Addi­tion­al­ly, being account­able to a men­tor will help you hold your­self account­able for your actions. Mobile apps that pro­vide meal plans are less per­son­al­ized, mak­ing them less effec­tive.

Disadvantages of mobile applications

If you want to opt for a mobile appli­ca­tion, then con­sid­er sev­er­al dis­ad­van­tages of using them:

Recommendations from apps may not be suitable for you

Many apps are cre­at­ed by devel­op­ers who are not nutri­tion and fit­ness experts. There­fore, the infor­ma­tion in the appli­ca­tion may be inac­cu­rate or based on non-sci­en­tif­ic data.

The app may encourage extreme diets

Some weight loss apps may sug­gest that users diet too strict­ly or exer­cise too much. This can lead to nutri­tion­al defi­cien­cies, dehy­dra­tion and injury. Instead of mak­ing your life eas­i­er, such rec­om­men­da­tions can only com­pli­cate the entire weight loss process.

Online weight loss marathons

Online marathons are becom­ing increas­ing­ly pop­u­lar on social media. And this is not sur­pris­ing — a sense of com­pe­ti­tion, a charge of moti­va­tion for the best result and a valu­able prize help to over­come many chal­lenges. The promise of quick results is anoth­er attrac­tive aspect of online marathons. Peo­ple tend to look for quick ways to lose weight in order to achieve the desired shape for vaca­tions, hol­i­days, wed­dings and oth­er impor­tant events.

On the oth­er hand, the orga­niz­ers of some marathons often pro­mote unsafe weight loss meth­ods, such as inter­mit­tent fast­ing, the keto diet, detox diets, and los­ing weight with juices. There­fore, you should weigh the pros and cons before tak­ing part in an online weight loss marathon:


Powerful motivation and support of like-minded people

There is plen­ty of research on the ben­e­fits of con­nect­ing with like-mind­ed work­out and weight loss peo­ple. One study found that exer­cise is social­ly con­ta­gious: that is, we are inspired by the lifestyle we see in oth­ers. At the same time, you can ben­e­fit from peer sup­port for weight loss, which is a key com­po­nent of any suc­cess­ful weight loss and man­age­ment plan.

New knowledge about nutrition

By par­tic­i­pat­ing in the online marathon, you can learn more infor­ma­tion about nutri­tion and fit­ness. When gain­ing new knowl­edge about a healthy lifestyle, a bal­anced diet and exer­cise, it is impor­tant to under­stand where the infor­ma­tion comes from and whether it is tru­ly reli­able. Before par­tic­i­pat­ing in the marathon, check the com­pe­tence of its orga­niz­ers in the field of nutri­tion, fit­ness or med­i­cine.

Track your progress

Online marathons usu­al­ly involve join­ing closed groups on social net­works, fol­low­ing an exer­cise plan and keep­ing a food diary. Keep­ing a food diary is an excel­lent strat­e­gy for chang­ing your eat­ing behav­ior for the bet­ter. Chart­ing our eat­ing and exer­cise habits (along with sleep and emo­tions) can pro­vide insight into both progress and poten­tial plateaus.


Extreme weight loss

All online marathons last sev­er­al weeks, usu­al­ly from two to eight. With­in such strict lim­its, par­tic­i­pants may adhere to too strict dietary restric­tions in order to lose weight as quick­ly as pos­si­ble. Extreme weight loss pro­duces quick results that trick the par­tic­i­pant into believ­ing that it will always be this way. But this often means loss of flu­id and mus­cle, not excess fat. Return­ing to your usu­al diet after com­plet­ing a marathon in 95 per­cent of cas­es leads to restora­tion of your pre­vi­ous weight.

Excessive attention to numbers

For par­tic­i­pants in online marathons, the main indi­ca­tor of the result is the loss of a cer­tain num­ber of kilo­grams. Instead of focus­ing on slow but steady weight loss and chang­ing eat­ing habits, they are only con­cerned with the num­ber on the scale. Focus­ing only on weight loss results in less weight loss suc­cess than focus­ing on health. For exam­ple, if we go to the gym, work out on the machine for the sug­gest­ed 30 min­utes, eat the planned sal­ad and do not notice rapid weight loss, chances are high that we will quit the race before we are even halfway through.

Lack of competence among organizers

The high pop­u­lar­i­ty of online weight loss marathons has led to the fact that they began to be orga­nized not only by fit­ness experts, but also by sim­ple blog­gers with a large audi­ence who do not have suf­fi­cient knowl­edge in nutri­tion and fit­ness. Do you want to get sus­tain­able weight loss results, change your eat­ing habits, make fit­ness a part of your life and get pro­fes­sion­al sup­port from cura­tors? Then, before pay­ing for par­tic­i­pa­tion, care­ful­ly study the marathon pro­gram, read the reviews of oth­er par­tic­i­pants and deter­mine how com­pe­tent the orga­niz­er and his team are in mat­ters of health, nutri­tion and fit­ness.

Before you start any weight loss pro­gram, ask your­self 2 ques­tions:

  • How long can you stick to your cho­sen plan and new habits?
  • Can you stick to this plan while on vaca­tion, or will you give in to the call of the brown­ie?

If you answered no to the sec­ond ques­tion, and you have dif­fi­cul­ties with the first, then you should choose a dif­fer­ent plan or for­mat for online weight loss.

If you real­ly want to lose weight and keep it off, you will have to change your eat­ing habits and lifestyle. Oth­er­wise, there is a risk that you will gain weight again after you fin­ish los­ing weight. Con­sis­ten­cy is key to suc­cess­ful­ly achiev­ing your fit­ness goals, and a diet tai­lored to your lifestyle will help you stay on track no mat­ter what.

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