There are most likely very few people who have not tried a diet at one point or another in their lives. In fact, millions of people worldwide start diets every week. This is no surprise, as in the United States alone, 55% of the people are overweight.
The key to losing weight is to establish a diet intake of fewer calories than the amount of calories we expend in any given day. This requires a healthy nutritious diet balanced with a certain amount of physical activity. There are three different weight loss program types available and they consist of the do-it-yourself program, the non-clinical program and the clinical program.
If you decide on the do-it-yourself program, you are basically in charge of yourself. You make your own decisions, devise your own meal plans and develop your own exercise program. This requires research on foods and healthy eating. This knowledge can be acquired through books, online or from videos. You must also enter into some physical activity program, which can be done at home through video instruction, a walking program, an aerobic class or some other exercise class. The do-it-yourself program can involve group support from others in the same situation as you, such as Overeaters Anonymous. The support group is there strictly for support and does not involve any diet or activity planning. This type of program works best for individuals who need the back up and support to continue a diet plan, but don’t require advice on nutrition and exercise.
The non-clinical program involves weight loss chains owned either privately or commercially. These would include Weight Watchers, Jenny Craig and LA Weight Loss. With this type of weight loss program, you usually have a counselor, who will meet with you on a regular basis, for support and weigh-ins. You will be given healthy eating plans based on your personal information, and advised on regular physical activity. Although a dietician devises the eating plans, the counselors are usually not licensed health professionals, but previous program subscribers. They often push you to buy their supplements, nutrition bars or prepackaged meals. If you choose this plan it is important to check with your doctor regarding the contents of any of these items. You should be cautious of any program that encourages quick weight loss fast and lacks physical activity plans. These will not establish healthy or long-term goals. This program is best suited for the individual who needs the constant one-on-one personal support to keep them on track, and advice on diet, nutrition and exercise.
The clinical weight loss programs are directly supervised by licensed health care providers and take place in a health care setting. They offer nutrition education, medical care, physical activity and behavior change therapy. They may also offer prescription weight loss drugs, very low calorie diets and weight loss surgery options for the morbidly overweight clients. These options are used for those who have a genetic weight problem or those whose health is compromised due to their weight.
Whatever weight loss plans you may choose, it is important to consult a physician before you start. Always be aware of the hidden costs involved with supplements or packaged foods, and know what ingredients are contained in them. In situations of great obesity, weight loss under a doctor’s supervision is best. And remember weight loss doesn’t end when you reach your desired weight. You will need to change your life and eating habits to maintain a nutritious diet plan combined with regular physical activity. This will prevent a reoccurrence of tipping the scales in the wrong direction again.