If your health care provider tells you that you should lose weight and you want to find a weight-loss program to help you, look for one that is based on regular physical activity and an eating plan that is balanced, healthy, and easy to follow.
Choosing a Safe and Successful Weight-loss Program
Choosing a weight-loss program may be a difficult task. You may not know what to look for in a weight-loss program or what questions to ask. This fact sheet can help you talk to your health care professional about weight loss and get the best information before choosing a program.
Talk With Your Health Care Professional
You may want to talk with your doctor or other health care professional about controlling your weight before you decide on a weight-loss program. Doctors do not always address issues such as healthy eating, physical activity, and weight management during general office visits. It is important for you to start the discussion in order to get the information you need. Even if you feel uncomfortable talking about your weight with your doctor, remember that he or she is there to help you improve your health. Here are some tips:
Find out as much as you can about your health needs before joining a weight-loss program. Here are some questions you might want to ask your health care professional:
About Your Weight
About Weight Loss
About Nutrition and Physical Activity
A Responsible & Safe Weight Loss Program
If your health care provider tells you that you should lose weight and you want to find a weight-loss program to help you, look for one that is based on regular physical activity and an eating plan that is balanced, healthy, and easy to follow. Weight-loss programs should encourage healthy behaviors that help you lose weight and that you can stick with every day. Safe and effective weight-loss programs should include:
• Healthy eating plans that reduce calories but do not forbid specific foods or food groups.
• Tips to increase moderate-intensity physical activity.
• Tips on healthy habits that also keep your cultural needs in mind, such as lower-fat versions of your favorite foods.
• Slow and steady weight loss. Depending on your starting weight, experts recommend losing weight at a rate of 1/2 to 2 pounds per week. Weight loss may be faster at the start of a program.
• Medical care if you are planning to lose weight by following a special formula diet, such as a very low-calorie diet (a program that requires careful monitoring from a doctor).
• A plan to keep the weight off after you have lost it.
Get Familiar With the Program
Gather as much information as you can before deciding to join a program. Professionals working for weight-loss programs should be able to answer the questions listed below.
What does the weight-loss program consist of?
What are the staff qualifications?
Does the product or program carry any risks?
How much does the program cost?
What results do participants typically have?
The above information has been obtained from National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK)