Weight loss programs are created with the purpose of helping you lose those extra pounds effectively. The main reason why people follow these programs is that they want to introduce discipline to their lifestyle, and weight loss plans pose as guidance that navigates you to remain on the right path. That said, it’s also important to be cautious because a majority of weight loss programs don’t provide results you want to accomplish and can be quite detrimental to your health. To avoid unfortunate scenarios and to lose weight successfully, you have to know how to choose a proper plan, and this article will help you with that.
Where to Start?
If you enter “weight loss program” on Google, you will find hundreds of results about different plans you can follow. Although different structure-wise, all of them promise miraculous weight loss, improved health, the body of your dreams, and so on. The revolution of various weight loss programs also moved to social media where you can see photos and statuses that people publish in a bid to document their weight loss. There’s a growing body of evidence these plans are far from successful. For instance, the Annals of Interior Medicine published results of the study which found that only 2 out of 32 major commercial weight loss programs were successful. In fact, a vast majority of individuals who adhered to these plans weren’t able to achieve long-term weight loss according to the International Business Times.
If you want to lose weight to have the body of your dreams, decrease risk of numerous diseases, and to become healthier, you should start by consulting your doctor first. The healthcare provider can give you useful tips and instructions how to lose weight successfully as well as what foods to eat and avoid. This is particularly important if you are obese or have a lot of weight to lose. Your doctor can advise you about the ideal time to start with vigorous activities that are an important part of workouts. It’s needless to mention that people who take medications or suffer from some chronic illness should consult their healthcare provider first.
What to look for in a Weight Loss Program?
Yes, a full array of these plans is available nowadays, and you might feel confused. How to differentiate the good from the bad? The safe and efficient program will primarily focus on your health and promotion of a healthy lifestyle. These programs teach you about the importance of adhering to healthier choices, rather than proposing quick fixes. Below, you can see guidelines set by the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseasesregarding the characteristics that tell you the plan is safe and efficient:
- It should keep the weight off in the long run
- Slow and steady weight loss goals of losing between ½ to 2 pounds per week
- Consistent feedback, monitoring, and support
- Adequate guidance on how to develop healthier eating and physical activity habits
That’s not all; a safe weight loss program should also have the following properties:
- It should encourage you to consult your doctor prior starting
- The program should be offered and created by professionals, a registered dietitian, an exercise specialist, etc.
- It should help you adopt dieting and exercising habits that fit your lifestyle
- Long-term results
- Encourages users to set realistic and achievable goals
Weight loss program that is successful and safe isn’t too restrictive or limiting regarding food. It advises you to limit or avoid intake of unhealthy, heavily processed, and foods that have no nutritional value, but it doesn’t encourage you to stop consuming food groups with a variety of health benefits. If the weight loss program promotes consumption of some specific foods only, it’s not successful or safe. It’s also important to ensure that a specific program also proposes different workouts that will help you get in the shape faster.
Online Weight Loss Programs
Everything’s online nowadays, and there are numerous plans you can order this way as well. Unfortunately, there are many scams that you should be aware of. Here’s what to look for in a weight loss program that is offered online:
- Structured and weekly lessons tailed to your personal goals
- Social support through chat rooms, online meetings, bulletin boards
- Self-monitoring of eating and fitness activities via devices such as fitness trackers, phones, online journals
- Regular feedback from a counselor regarding diet, physical activity
- Regular update about results and progress via email, phone, text messages
Questions to Ask
With a variety of weight loss programs to choose from, you have the responsibility to ensure you opt for the one that will benefit you the most. Ideally, you should take multiple plans into consideration and ask certain questions to make sure you’re dealing with a safe program. Here are some questions you should ask professionals who’re promoting it or yourself as a sort of navigation towards things you have to find out before making a final decision:
- Are there any risks linked to a program?
- Do I have to buy some special products or supplements?
- Do I have to follow a specific meal plan or just have to keep a food journal?
- Does the program feature a plan that will help me keep weight off in long-term?
- How much weight does an average person lose weekly or monthly?
- Is program created and conducted by professionals?
- What foods I should or shouldn’t eat?
- What type of certifications the program has?
- When do I get a feedback and in what form?
- Will the program help me be more active?
Before you decide what weight loss program to follow, you should feel free to research first and ask crucial questions that will help you determine whether it’s safe or not. Bear in mind that a safe (and effective) plan focuses on healthy lifestyle and helps you have long-term results. Don’t fall for quick fixes or scams that are widespread on the internet.