How to Choose the Right Weight Loss Program for You

There’s no one-size-fits-all weight loss program.
crop kid weighing on scale

There’s no one-size-fits-all weight loss program. It’s important you find the right one for your lifestyle and needs. Here are some things to consider when looking for a weight loss program.

1. Talking with Your Doctor

When you’re considering starting a weight loss program, it’s important to talk with your doctor. You should discuss any medications or supplements you might need, how many calories you should get daily and diet and exercise routines. Weight loss is a medical process and your doctor can support you through your program and help you lose weight healthily. This is especially important if you have a weight-related illness, plan to lose a large amount of weight or are considering a very low-calorie diet plan.

2. Setting Your Goals

Look for a program that helps you meet long-term results. Consider whether you want to set your own goals or have someone help you set them. Think about what kinds of food limitations you might need and discuss these with a doctor or counselor. Check about maintenance programs to keep the weight off after you achieve your goals.

3. Considering Medical Programs

While diet and exercise are usually the first steps to weight loss, medical programs exist and can be helpful. Many weight loss medications, like acarbose, are administered if the patient has a health problem like type 2 diabetes, but you do usually have a choice whether you take a weight loss medication or not. For example, if your doctor suggests acarbose, ask what is acarbose and how does it work? If it doesn’t sound right for you, there are other options. Also consider programs that offer stress management, ongoing feedback and lifestyle counseling.

4. Knowing What to Avoid

While there are many helpful weight loss programs available, there are scams out there you need to watch out for. Watch out for results that seem too good to be true and guarantees that don’t really make sense. These can include unrealistic before and after pictures, losing weight without dieting or exercising, or losing an unrealistically large amount of weight in an unrealistically short amount of time. Additionally, while medications can be helpful for certain weight loss programs, be wary of programs that claim their drug is all you need to lose weight.

As with any program that can impact your health, discuss your options with your doctor at the beginning and if you make any adjustments over time. If a program isn’t working for you, there are always other options to try.

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