Try:An online program
"Stepping on a scale or talking about my weight in front of other people is intimidating and embarrassing, " says Amber. "It's not for everyone." Research backs her up. In a recent study, people who went online to share weight loss stories and find encouragement and information said that the convenience and relative anonymity of the Internet made online programs uniquely valuable. "Online, I don't feel I'm being judged by people looking at me, " Amber says.
Where to go
SparkPeople.com's one-stop site provides personalized meal and fitness plans, recipes and videos. Popular features include a directory of nutritional information, weight trackers and groups called "SparkTeams" organized around a variety of topics, including how to break out of a plateau or lose weight as a vegetarian.
"You can access what you need at home or work at any time of day, online or by mobile, " says Karen Spencer, 52, of Hercules, CA, who lost 105 pounds using videos of exercise demos and the SparkPeople tool for tracking calorie intake. The 24/7 availability is particularly useful for instant help or encouragement: Post on the site's Panic!Button forum and you receive immediate advice. Sharing on the Woo-Hoo! Button board garners cheers for a success. You can also choose to make your profile anonymous or public.