Weight loss can be a lot of work, with very slow rewards. The only way to effectively lose weight is to burn more calories each day that you take in. This usually is best achieved with a combination of exercise and calorie-restrictive dieting.
According to nutrition.gov, the most healthy weight loss programs include having a realistic and reasonable weight loss goal, a nutritious and reduced-calorie diet plan, plenty of exercise, preferably a combination of weight resistance and cardio, and a behavior change plan. This change plan will help you to stay on track and eventually meet your goals.
Good weight loss programs are organized and run by professionals. These professionals should be able to tell you what the program includes. You can ask about any classes or counseling that they may offer that can help you retrain yourself with better and healthier habits, and if they have a plan that will help you keep the weight off after you’ve lost it.
The people running the program should also be willing to share with you any credentials they may have, such as formal education, certifications or experience that gives them the authority to run a weight loss program. It’s also important to be aware of the risks of any weight loss program, the costs and fees, as well as the typical results of program participants in the past.
What to Watch For
There are many weight loss programs that are simply scams. They overpromise and under deliver. If you are critical of weight loss programs, you will be less likely to waste your time and money on ineffective programs.
In general, if it seems too good to be true, it is. Specifically, programs or treatments that claim you will be able to lose weight without making any lifestyle changes such as diet and exercise are generally false. Others say that you will be able to target specific “problem areas” and lose weight in only those areas. Unfortunately, those programs are not likely to deliver great results, either.
Also, be wary of any sales copy that’s littered with asterisks, footnotes and very small print. It may be an attempt to avoid legal action when the program doesn’t pan out. Before and after photos with very dramatic results also shouldn’t be trusted at face value. Those often include a footnote that states, in very small print, “Results not typical.”