According to statistics, more than 65% of United States adults are obese or overweight, and many of them try to get rid of the extra pounds through various different types of weight loss programs. When looking for the most effective weight loss program, it’s important to do a bit of research and know exactly what to look for. In this article, we are going to give you some tips on what to look for when choosing the right weight loss plan/program for your particular needs.
- Gradual, Steady Weight Loss
Programs which promise drastic weight loss can be appealing, but the extra pounds usually come right back on. Moreover, such programs can be very harmful to your overall health. An effective weight loss plan should be directed toward slow and steady weight loss; that is unless your health care provider feels that your health condition can benefit from a more drastic weight loss. That said, it’s important to note that losing the excess weight slowly, but steadily makes it much more likely you’ll succeed over the long haul. You should expect to lose about one pound per week, after the 1st or 2nd week; this is because with many of the calorie restricted weight loss programs, there’s usually the initial quick weight loss during the 1st one or two weeks, but the weight loss is largely fluids, and not fat. When you start eating normally, the pounds will actually creep back. Therefore, weight loss experts recommend a gradual and steady weight loss of about one or two pounds each week for a more effective and safe weight loss.
- Variety and Flexibility
A weight loss plan should offer variety and flexibility. It should not only enable you to enjoy a wide variety of foods, but it should also give you flexibility to eat out when attending social events, and even when on vacation. Look for a program which includes foods from all the major food groups, where no entire food group is off limits. One such program is Nutrisystem. With Nutrisystem you get to enjoy a variety of meals, which the company sends to your home, making it really easy to lose weight, as you don’t have to countr calories or cook. The have special deals all year around. A healthy weight loss program should essentially include: fruits and vegetables, lean protein sources, whole grains, low fat dairy products, nuts and seeds. It should also include foods which you can easily find at the local grocery store. This basically ensures that the program will be well rounded, more practical and easy to follow.
Plans which direct you to consume large quantities of specific foods which drastically cut calories, may result in serious nutritional problems. Effective and safe weight loss programs don’t require such drastic measures, they instead should contain a proper balance of macronutrients and micronutrients, along with the appropriate amount of calories for your particular situation. They should also be in line with your nutritional needs, unique body type, and fitness goals. This makes them much easier and simple to follow, in addition to being safe for most users.
- Physical Activity
Research studies show that regular physical activity is key to a healthy weight loss, although exercise alone won’t cause weight loss. This is because physical activity increases the muscle mass, which in turn helps burn calories and the fat stores much faster.
Physical activity also boosts your mood, boosts the metabolism and even helps counteract emotional eating. The type of weight loss program you pick should encourage you to engage in the appropriate levels of physical activity. Any plan that says you do not need to exercise, or discourages it, is not a healthy plan, and should be avoided.
A sustainable weight loss program should include solid plans for weight maintenance after the actual weight loss phase is over. It’s of little benefit to lose the excess weight, only for you to regain it. The program you choose should include assistance in permanently changing your eating habits and the level of physical activity, to altering your lifestyle which might have contributed to the weight gain. It should also have long term plans on how to deal with future challenges.
- Red Flags
Some of the red flags to look out for when choosing a weight loss plan/program include, but not limited to;
- Restricts users to less than 700 calories a day.
- Makes ridiculous claims like; “you will will lose 20 pounds a week.”
- Forces you to purchase their foods or supplements instead of showing you how to make better food choices from the local grocery store.