Choosing a Weight-Loss Program (Heart Health)
Some people feel comfortable losing weight on their own, while others like the support of a structured weight-loss program. If you decide to join a program, here are some questions to ask beforehand.
Does the program provide counseling to help you change your eating and activity habits?
The program should teach you how to permanently change your bad
habits, including a lack of physical activity, that have contributed to weight gain.
Does the staff include qualified health professionals, such as nutritionists, registered dietitians, doctors, nurses, psychologists, and exercise physiologists?
Qualified professionals can help you lose weight safely and successfully. You need to be evaluated by a physician if you have any health problems, take or plan to take any medicine, or plan to lose more than 15 or 20 pounds. If your weight-control plan uses a very low-calorie diet (a special liquid formula that replaces all food for one to four months), you will also need an exam and follow-up visits by a doctor.
Does the program offer training on how to deal with times when you may feel stressed and slip back into old habits?
The program should provide long-term strategies for preventing and coping with possible weight problems in the future. These strategies might include setting up a support system and a regular physical activity routine.
Before you start a weight-loss plan, always consult your physician. He or she can offer you advice on choosing the best plan for you.