The Best Weight Loss Programs
Once you’ve decided to lose weight, it can be difficult to decide how – there are so many programs out there.
Evaluating the weight loss programs and choosing one that fits your life is an important first step in getting fit.
If you’re not sure if you need to lose weight, try a simple Body Mass Index calculator to see if you are considered overweight.
If your BMI is 25 or greater, you need to lose fat for optimum health and fitness.
Once you’ve decided to lose weight, you have many options on how to do it.
If you’re thinking about a weight loss program, the first thing to consider is whether you need one. Not everyone wants or needs a structured program to lose weight, especially if you only have a few pounds to lose.
If you have 20 or more pounds to lose, you may want more structure to “kick start” your fitness plan. Just remember, even the best weight loss programs fail in the end unless you also develop ongoing exercise and healthy eating strategies.
The information below will help you choose the best program for YOU. Knowing your options and asking the right questions will greatly increase your likelihood of success.
Types of Weight Loss Programs
Any effort to lose weight by yourself, with a friend, or with a group of like-minded others fits in the “do-it-yourself” category. Women using a do-it-yourself program rely on their judgment, group support, and sources such as nutrition books and websites for advice.
These programs may or may not be commercially operated, such as through a weight-loss chain. These programs use counselors (who usually are not healthcare providers but may have some training) to provide services to you. Some programs require participants to use the program’s food or supplements.
With this type of program, services are provided in a health-care setting, such as a hospital, by licensed health professionals. Clinical programs may offer you services such as nutrition education, medical care, behavior change therapy, and exercise classes.
If you have medical problems, or if you are severely overweight, the best programs for you are those run by trained health professionals.
These professionals are more likely to monitor you for possible side effects of weight loss and to talk to your doctor when necessary. They can also offer options such as very low-calorie diets, prescription weight loss drugs, and surgery with the proper supervision.
Which Program is Right for You?
It’s important to choose the weight loss program that best fits your individual needs and lifestyle. If you decide you’d like a structured weight loss program, here are some key questions to ask in making your decision.
What does their program emphasize? Avoid extreme diets or any program that eliminates any food group. If there are drugs, gadgets, or gimmicks involved, run out the door.
Can you have your favorite foods (in moderation)? If you can’t, then avoid it. You won’t stick to a program if you can’t eat what you like.
What are the costs? Are there extra fees for supplements or pre-packaged foods? They shouldn’t be mandatory. If it’s too costly, don’t do it. The best weight loss programs do not break the bank.
Do you have a role in setting your weight loss goal? You should have a primary role and your lifestyle should be taken into consideration.
Is it convenient for you? Are the business hours good for you? You won’t go if they aren’t.
Does it have a behavior component? The best weight loss programs offer education that considers how you handle food and how to make behavior changes related to food.
What are the backgrounds and experiences of the staff? Will they work with your health care provider if you have a medical condition or are taking prescribed medications? Make sure you’re comfortable that you’re dealing with professionals.
Don’t go with any program unless you are completely comfortable with all aspects of it. If you’re not quite satisfied, keep looking, because there are tons of options out there — including some great online personalized programs.
By knowing yourself and doing some homework, you’re much more likely to succeed at losing weight!