Whether you’re looking to lose a few pounds or a lot of pounds, it’s hard to know where to start.
And the overwhelming variety of options isn’t any help. Maybe you’ve tried various dieting techniques in the past with little success or at least not lasting success. Since losing weight can be a long, difficult process, many people turn to commercial or professional weight loss programs for assistance and accountability. Each program promises amazing results and each has its own set of rules to follow.
The truth is, almost any program can work. Whether it works is up to you. Will the program motivate you to make the necessary diet and exercise changes needed for lasting weight loss?
With this in mind, choose your program carefully. As you make your decision, consider the following.
– Elizabeth Berg
Start with Your Doctor
Before beginning a weight-loss program, it’s smart to schedule an appointment with your physician to assess your current health condition and to discuss safe and effective weight loss for your situation. Certain health conditions may make diet and exercise more challenging but still worth the effort. Running your plan by a health professional, while it may keep you from getting started right this second, will help protect you along the way to weight loss.
Make Sure It’s Safe
As you consider your options, find a program that’s safe. If a diet program is based on a drastic cut in calories for quick weight loss, be wary. Too few calories can backfire. Women should never eat fewer than 1,200 calories a day and men, no less than 1,500. A safe diet will still require your recommended daily amounts of protein, vitamins, and minerals.
Remember also that safe weight loss is slow and steady, unless obesity or a health condition causes your doctor to prescribe otherwise. Aim to lose half a pound to two pounds a week. During the first few weeks you may lose more, but this weight is mainly water weight, and you won’t continue losing weight at the same pace that you do at the beginning.
Ask Questions Upfront
When you find a program that seems legit, get detailed information about how the program works. Most programs aren’t free. Do you have the funds to complete the program? Find out about the fees, when they’re due, and whether there are additional costs for foods or supplements.
Accountability and tracking progress are tools for weight loss success. Does the program have qualified, educated, and knowledgeable staff? Do they offer ongoing guidance and support? Are they friendly and encouraging?
Weight loss won’t happen unless you’re motivated to stick with the program. Are the food choices reasonable for you? Will you be able to complete the necessary amount of exercise? Can you adopt the program’s healthy habits for lasting weight loss?
Get facts about the success of the program. Find out what results you can expect, what others’ experiences have been with the program, and any negative side effects are associated with the program.
While a program may promise great results, it’s not truly effective and will be a waste of time and money unless the results can be maintained long term. Is there a plan to keep the weight off? Will they coach you how to make the lifestyle changes (diet, exercise, stress management) necessary for permanent weight loss?
If a weight-loss program seems too good to be true, it very well could be. Scratch that. It probably is.
Don’t be lured in by false claims about weight loss such as the following:
– Eat all your favorite foods and still lose weight!
– No dieting or exercise required!
– Lose 10 pounds in 10 days!
Other clues a program shouldn’t be trusted include small print or unrealistic before-and-after pictures.
Talk with your friends and coworkers about what’s worked for them. Narrow your options down to several programs and then weigh the pros and cons for each. Choose the one you feel most confident you can stick with and go for it!
If you live in the Gilbert area, treat yourself right by calling or emailing today to get started on an exercise program that will change your life for the best.
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