Weight Control

There are thousands of companies hoping to capitalize on people looking for a way to lose weight. The practices and advice given by these companies and organizations can vary tremendously. Some offer twelve-step programs or highly restrictive diets, while others attempt to educate dieters on their nutritional needs and how to make intelligent food choices. These programs are often conducted in group settings. Some programs can be wonderful in their ability to provide emotional support and counseling, and are excellent sources of information. Other programs are pure marketing schemes that are aimed more at making money than serving people.

Good vs. bad weight loss plans
How do you choose the best program for you? It depends on your particular needs. First of all, whatever program you choose, it should be safe. Most programs focus on a 1000 to 1500 calorie diet. Any less this can be dangerous, and you should avoid diet programs suggesting lower caloric intake, unless you are under direct medical supervision. If someone is carrying extra pounds, it has taken some time to gain that weight, and it should take some time to shed it. Your program should focus on making slow, lasting changes—not quick, dramatic ones that can be unhealthy and impermanent. Don’t believe any claims that you will lose weight effortlessly. Fad diets are difficult to implement as lasting eating patterns, and rarely provide permanent weight loss.

Ask questions
When searching for a weight loss program, be sure to ask questions. They can be expensive and provide little return on investment. You should find out how many people the program retains as long-term clients, what their follow up programs are like, if balanced diet choices and exercise are stressed, the costs involved, their credentials, and the health risks involved. Also, be wary of programs that require you to purchase special supplements or food products produced and labeled under their own brand. And remember: the only proven way to lose weight is through reducing your caloric intake, eating a proper diet comprised of a variety of whole foods and lean protein sources, and committing to regular exercise.