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Weight Loss Programs in the GTA

Rajitha Sivakumaran
Ready to start a weight loss program but aren't sure what's the best option for you? We look at the possible treatment options and where to find them in the GTA.

lose-weight Imagine this: on the kitchen counter sits a masterpiece, a beautiful work of art - a red velvet cupcake topped with swirls of perfectly crafted cream cheese and a bright red cherry. Having one is pleasurable, having a dozen has consequences, and with the holiday season just around the corner, we can expect our cravings to surge uncontrollably. The penalty we pay is this: weight loss gets added to our list of resolutions for the coming year and people, hoping for quick results, resort to diet pills, surgery or worse. But remember, slow and steady wins the race.

Healthy Diet + Daily Exercise = Ideal Weight

This is the best and most natural formula for weight loss and there is nothing esoteric about it. If it is known to all, why don’t we follow it? Sometimes twenty-four hours are not enough to go to work, take care of the kids, prepare a meal that is both tasty and healthy and go for a half-hour jog. Enter weight loss programs, perfectly catered for the busy, modern adult. They boast guaranteed weight loss with their supportive group meetings, healthy meal delivery services and customized plans for lifestyle changes, all of which working holistically can help you re-invent yourself in no time at all. But what’s the catch?

The Catch

According to the Dietitians of Canada, weight loss programs are not regulated, so meticulous research must be done to find the right one for you. For example, beware of institutions that claim to help you lose more than 2 pounds per week or dietary restrictions that severely reduces your daily calorie intake. Needless to say, these result in serious long-term repercussions. An excellent online resource is the EatRight Ontario webpage, sponsored by the Ontario government and operated by the Dietitians of Canada. They offer a comprehensive guide to distinguishing the good, the bad and the ugly of the weight loss program industry. For additional help, consult online reviews done by people who have participated in big-brand weight loss programs, such as those done by Consumer Affairs. You may be surprised to hear what these participants have to say about the big names.

Where should I go in the GTA?

The GTA (Greater Toronto Area), particularly the southern part of Ontario, is home to many well-known weight loss programs, like Jenny Craig, Herbal Magic and Weight Watchers. A simple Google map search reveals these weight loss spots, but how do you choose the perfect one for you? First, know thyself! Now understand that weight loss programs abide by the phrase “variety is the spice of life”. There are many types and you need to do homework before committing to one. Here some of the research is done for you.

Do you want to achieve your weight loss goals from the comfort of your home? Try the new Beyond the Scales program by Weight Watchers. There are no dietary restrictions and exercise is incorporated into the regiment. This is perfect for those who want to enjoy life through their taste buds and still maintain the perfect weight. Online tools, apps and a points system are used to aid your weight loss journey. exercise Sometimes points are not the perfect motivator and an app is not as influential as a person. If you have the mind control of a tantrum-throwing toddler, you may want to go for programs that hold weekly meetings, such as Jenny Craig, where a consultant can give you the push that you need.

If you are a busy adult with no time to think about what you eat, consider a meal delivery service. Fuel Foods is a meal delivery service in Toronto (with free shipping), operated by health professionals. To spice the pot even more, their foods are free from antibiotics, hormones, gluten and dairy and their meal plans include vegan and Halal items. Have a look at their website for all the delicious meals they offer.

If you don’t hold solid food in high regard, consider a shake supplement program, where meals are partially replaced with delicious smoothies. Fit Food, another Toronto-based food delivery system, offers the 25-day Life Changer, a gourmet meal plan where you can lose eight to twenty pounds in less than a month. Only their breakfast consists of a smoothie; the remainder of meals and snacks (and even dessert) is made of wholesome solid foods.

The Bernstein Diet & Health Clinics, with many locations scattered across southern Ontario, may be the place if you want in-person support from nurses and doctors with no exercise requirement. No diet pills, appetite suppressants or surgical procedures are used. Instead, the company uses “real grocery store foods” and vitamin and mineral supplements. Their guarantee is a loss of 10 lbs per month or free service until the 10 lbs are lost. Their webpage also states that 98.7% of their clients lost weight in their program, which sounds like a very promising number!

Although the price tag on these services seems weighty (no pun intended!), consider this: First, this is an investment for your health, so if you can afford it, do it! Second, this will keep you away from grocery stores and consequently you don’t need to resist the temptation to grab a bag of chips. Third, the kitchen stays clean and will only require an occasional dusting. Whether you decide to pursue a weight loss program or not, remember that the natural way is the better way, so choose a program that fits with your own natural rhythm, incorporating a diet that won’t make you miserable and at least a little bit of exercise.
Rajitha Sivakumaran December 22, 2015

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