If you want to shed a few pounds (or even a few sizes), there has never been such a wide variety of proven and healthy weight loss plans to choose from. The key is to find the one that is just right for you. Here are a few questions to consider during your search.

Ask yourself:

1. How much time do you have to devote to your weight loss program? If family or work commitments keep you running even into the evenings, it may be difficult for you to commit to weekly weigh-ins and weight loss meetings. If that’s the case, you might want to look into a diet program that is administered primarily online. These programs often cater to people with busy lifestyles. You can track your progress and read emails and online newsletters on your own time. In many cases, you can also share successes with other program participants at your leisure in online forums.

2. How much money do you want to spend? Online programs are often less expensive than weight loss programs that require physical meeting space. Another tip: If you are pinching pennies, your best bet will be to look into those programs that allow you to create your own meals, rather than purchasing pre-packaged meals. You may even find that you save money when you begin your diet because you’ll be spending less money on groceries, though you will likely be spending more on fresh fruits and vegetables.

3. On a scale of 1 to 10, how much willpower do you have? An online weight loss program is likely going to take more self-discipline than another type of program. If you need the extra boost, you may enjoy the accountability that comes with reporting to meetings and talking with the mentors who lead these meetings.

4. How do you feel about the idea of a weekly weigh-in? If shyness or embarrassment about your current weight will stop you from wanting to participate in meetings, you may be nervous before attending those local weight loss meetings. A little of this may actually be constructive, as it can help you stay on track with your diet. And the mentors at the weight loss meetings are often very skilled and experienced at handling these types of issues. You will likely find an atmosphere that is welcoming and put in place to help you, not to embarrass you. Still, if you have serious misgivings about going to such meetings, you might want to get started with your weight loss efforts online at first. You can always switch to a local weight loss program as you progress toward your goal.

5. Do you have any friends who would like to participate in your weight loss efforts with you? A diet buddy can help a lot with your long term weight loss efforts (adding both accountability and a shoulder to lean on) so put your heads together and see what kind of diet program would best suit the both of you.

The first thing to consider in any weight loss program that you choose is whether the program is safe and allows you to lose weight in a healthy way. Make sure that you are eating a healthy, balanced diet and that you drink plenty of water. Any weight loss plan that you choose should also reward safe exercise along with eating right.

Reaching your weight loss goal is an amazing feeling. Choose a weight loss program that will allow you to enjoy the journey as much as possible.