Losing Weight - Selecting a Weight Loss Program

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Some people are able to lose weight on their own while others prefer the support of a structured weight loss program.
If you feel a structured program is best for you, following are items to take into consideration before joining a program:
  • Eating habits.
    A good program should teach you how to permanently change eating habits and lifestyle factors, such as a lack of physical activity that may be contributing to the weight gain.
    The program should take into account your food likes and dislikes.
  • Program staff.
    Find out if the staff is comprised of qualified counselors and health professionals such as a nutritionist, dietitian, doctor, fitness specialist, etc.
    Prior to initiating one, be sure to visit your physician for a checkup.
    Discuss your weight loss goals and any ramifications associated with the program and current medications.
  • Long-term strategies.
    It is best to find a program that provides long-term strategies for dealing with weight problems, such as how to deal with times you feel stressed and slip back into old eating habits.
    This might include things like setting up a support system and establishing an exercise routine.
When meeting with representatives from them, consider asking the following questions:
  • How can you help me change my eating habits and personal habits?
  • Are food choices flexible?
  • Are these goals set by the client and the health professional?
  • What percentage of those that begin the program complete the program?
  • What is the average weight loss among those that complete it?
  • What, if any, are potential side effects?
  • What is included in the cost of the program?
Be wary of programs touting quick results.
These may result in rapid weight loss but may not teach you the necessary techniques for achieving long-term results.
Keeping your goals modest and losing weight slowly increases your chance of keeping the weight off.
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