Each year, especially just before summertime, millions of people start looking for a weight loss program that will help them get quick and lasting results. Many of you will start with nutrition, which is a good place to start. Eating healthier will give you more energy and help you drop water weight quickly, which will motivate you to start an exercise regimen. If you’re looking for a healthy weight loss program, here are four basic tips to help you make a choice.
1. Ask your doctor
It is always advisable to first talk to your primary doctor before starting any new weight loss program. They will know your personal and family health history enough to help you narrow down your choices. For those of you with underlying medical conditions or if you have reached a stand-still in your weight loss efforts, a physician-directed program may be what you need. Your primary doctor can help you find the right clinic or physician. Even if you don’t need physician assistance, your primary doctor should be able to provide you with a list of good programs and supplements.
2. Consider your needs
Not every program will work for every person. For example, a low-fat diet may work for your sister but will actually make you gain weight. Take into consideration your success and failures with previous programs and diets, as well as your motivation level. On a scale of 1 to 10, determine how likely you will be to follow through with your personal program. Make sure the program you choose is one where your motivation level is above a 7. Choose a program that will fit into your budget, too. Some programs will require a membership fee, supplements, and special organic foods that can be costly.
3. Look for safe and effective programs
If your doctor does not have a list of good programs, it will be left up to you to find the ones that aren’t scams. Check into who started the program and who is backing it. If they are promising “miracle supplements” and quick fixes, this likely is not going to be an effective program. Instead, go for the one that looks at the long-term effects and big picture results. Healthy weight loss will take time and effort. There is no miracle pill that will melt the weight off for you.
4. Know your nutritional limitations and options
If you have allergies or food sensitivities, be sure to take this into consideration when looking for a specific nutritional regimen. Someone with diabetes, for example, will not likely do well on a very low-calorie diet only.
Most importantly, remember that healthy living is a lifestyle choice and should not be a quick fix. It will be hard in the beginning to get used to the changes, but it will get easier with time, and the results will be well worth the effort.