For some people a formal weight loss program isn’t necessary. They can summon the willpower, do the research and carry out the needed actions independently. Others will benefit from support, guidance and a helping hand.
When seeking out that weight loss program there are a number of important questions the second type will want answered.
The most essential, and therefore the first question is: What are the facts about diet, exercise and weight loss? There are dozens of fad diets, special exercise regimens and all manner of junk science surrounding the subject.
It won’t be easy for those not trained in science to sort the wheat from the chaff, to sort fact from fiction. But anyone with common sense and some persistence can fairly quickly find one or more sources of reliable information. Scientific studies don’t stand in isolation, they either support or contradict others. When you find a number, from serious sources, that agree there’s good reason to give them some credence.
Similarly, it will be important to find knowledgeable and experienced people at the gym and nutritionist that help you along. Most people can distinguish between people who are trying to give wise counsel and those who just want to sell you something that may or may not have any value. People deserve to be paid for their services, but offering something worthwhile is fundamental.
Once you find a gym and/or nutritionist that can offer you good guidance and moral support, you’ll get added benefits. Such people can help remind you, when the going gets tough, of why you chose to make the effort in the first place. It’s difficult to adhere to a long term program when the progress is slow.
Any wise diet and exercise program needs be oriented toward lifestyle changes that will help you lose the weight and keep it off, and keep you healthy and fit. Counseling provided by fitness and nutrition professionals can help you do that. They can help you unlearn bad habits and learn better ones, and encourage you to stick with them.
You’ll need to monitor your progress, so you need to ask where and what are the tests and tools to do that. You’ll need food charts for measuring calories and types of nutrients. You’ll need a BMI calculator and other tools.
Some of those tools are as simple and inexpensive as a scale, a flexible tape measure and a mirror. Others may be a heart rate or pulse monitor, a device that measures body fat percentage and other things that often accompany a treadmill.
You’ll want to judge any program by how many people have actually found success using it, of course. But beware the hype. A few unsolicited opinions from people you don’t know won’t tell the whole story. Find out how many finished, and how much they lost, and whether there were any downsides or side effects.
It’s your health. That’s worth doing some homework to find the right weight loss program for you.