Choosing a weight loss program or diet is an important decision and it should be approached with careful thought.
You should do research by reading about the diet or weight loss program before actually committing yourself to it. You may wish to ask others who have tried the plan what they thought of it and if they experienced long-term success. All diets have pros and cons you will need to consider for yourself.
Your mission is to find a program that already meets your weight loss goals and eating preferences, or, that you can modify to your own tastes without affecting its effectiveness.
Be Cautious with Your Budget
Choosing a weight loss program is just like making any other purchase: You'll probably need to shop around a while before you make a choice.
Finding the right weight loss program or diet for you is often a matter of trial-and-error. It's better not to invest too much money into a plan until you have tried it for some time.
For example, don't go to the book store and buy every South Beach cookbook if you don't know what the diet is actually like on a day-to-day basis. If a pre-packaged meal diet offers a two-week plan or a "dinners only" trial plan, by all means, you should purchase that first before buying a monthly or annual membership.
Ask the Right Questions
When comparing various weight loss programs, there are many important questions you should ask, such as:
* Are there any fees?
* Do I have to pay for (and am I expected to use) any special food or supplements?
* Do you give refunds if I am not satisfied?
* Are there any health risks to this program?
* Do you offer maintenance support?
* What kind of professional supervision is there?
Does the Diet Measure Up?
You should also ask for details about how many calories will be consumed daily. For diets under 1,500 calories, the Federal Trade Commission recommends that you check with your healthcare provider to ensure the plan meets your nutritional needs. It is unsafe to consume fewer than 1,200 calories a day unless you are directed to do so by your doctor and kept under medical supervision.
Healthful diets will also include lean meats (or other protein sources for vegetarians) and low-fat dairy products. You should be wary of any weight loss program that cuts out entire food groups.
Exercise is an important part of long-term weight loss success. That's why any reputable weight loss plan should recommend that its participants take part in regular, moderate physical activity.
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