Atkins, Weight Watchers, Paleo, low-carb, no-carb, juicing, cleansing… there are countless weight loss programs out there. So many in fact that choosing the right one can be a difficult and daunting task.
One such program is TOPS, or Taking Off Pounds Sensibly, Club, Inc. The weight loss program started in Milwaukee in 1948. It combines group support with discussion, nutrition education and personal accountability. While there is no specific diet plan in TOPS, the program advocates for healthy living plans designed to fit individual lifestyles.
“People are really getting into the dieting fads. They go for these diets and its not that the diet didn’t work… but as soon as they stop the diet that weight comes right back," TOPS Outreach Assistant Alyssa McNamee says. The issue that she sees happen most often is that people fail to practice moderation and are instead purging themselves of the things they enjoy to eat during the course of their diets.
With TOPS, she says, "you’re in a group with other people who are striving for the same thing that you are. They understand your frustrations, they understand your fears about it and they’re there to help you along the way.”
Despite what most people are conditioned to think, true health isn't a certain pants size or even how much you weigh. Each body is different, having its own nutritional needs and exercise exertion levels. Even though TOPS can provide the tools, McNamee says the emphasis on personal accountability is key to truly maintaining a healthier living.
"That's really when you see the changes is when people are taking responsibility for their actions and deciding that (they're) ready for this kind of change," she says.