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With all the weight loss programs and diet plans out in the market and posted in the internet, one often wonders, "Is there an easy way to lose weight, one that every 'idiots' can achieve success with?"

Counting calories, reading labels, exercising for at least 150 minutes a week, keeping food journals, and everything else may all sound overwhelming to everyone who has tried various ways to shed excess pounds and failed. In this day and age when almost everything comes to us in a click, we often want something to be as easy and foolproof as reading books like "Losing Weight for Dummies."

Many authors and entrepreneurs are still out there preying on people to fall into these traps in desperation, and we often forget that these have their own negative consequences.

If you have heard of the "Idiot Proof Diet," also known as "Fat Loss 4 Idiots," then you may have been attracted by its claims that eating low fat foods, low carb diets and low calorie foods does not work, and that there is an easier way to lose weight.

This weight loss program, which was created by a California-based company (Internet Made Simple) is based on a book published in 2007 called Neris and India's Idiot Proof Diet. The authors designed a diet plan that allowed them to eat foods that fit into their daily lifestyle without making them feel that they were on a diet.

The creators claim that the secret to weight loss is not in the type of foods you eat, but in "calorie shifting," which means rotating one's eating patterns to trick the body's metabolism to burn all the calories you consume. It is "idiot proof" because you only have to subscribe to the website's "online diet generator" to get a "customized diet," without having to count calories, create meal plans or read labels.

Their diet generator makes an 11-day meal plan based on your own food choices, with no calorie limits, after which you can eat whatever you like for three days.

Then you use the diet generator again to create a new plan. Be warned though, that the food options available from a list of 46 choices are quite limited and the meals generated can be bizarre (for example, cheese sticks and cottage cheese for Meal 1).

One registered dietitian believes that people who use this diet plan are at risk of nutrient deficiency and very transient weight loss because the diet is not based on nutritional content, but solely on calorie and carbohydrate content.

If you want a simple and fool-proof way to lose weight and maintain health, the best advice that medical professionals will give is probably not going to have a registered trademark.

Here are some easy and practical tips from the experts:

  • Instead of eliminating certain foods, add healthy foods to your diet to replace the unhealthy ones. For example, instead of eating donuts, eat grapes, apples and cherries.

  • Instead of thinking of sweaty workouts in the gym, walk your dog in the park regularly or go biking with your friend.

  • If you love ice cream, switch to the low fat or sugar-free version. If you like pizza, go for toppings like veggies and low-fat cheese.

  • Always drink a lot of water, especially around meal times to keep yourself hydrated and full.

  • When eating meals out, share portions with a friend or family member instead of eating a whole meal.

  • Use smaller plates, bowls, cups and even spoons to enjoy your favorite foods without overeating.

  • Keep track of your eating habits by writing a food journal. It will help you see for yourself where you are weak at and how you are improving in your food choices - providing you write down everything you eat accurately. Experts believe this is one of the most important ways to achieve progress in any weight loss program.

Finally, no matter what weight loss program you follow, the only principle that works in losing weight is this: In order to lose weight, you must burn more calories than you eat. To maintain a healthy weight, practice healthful eating and do regular physical activity and you are more likely keep the weight off for a long time.

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