When it comes to weight loss strategies, you will find that you have a number of options to choose from. The most basic choice is to decide whether to pay for a professional weight loss program or try to create your own. Both are going to take preparation and dedication, long term successful weight loss never comes from a pill or a gimmick diet.
Getting started with a weight loss program means that you have to look at yourself and decide what your goal or goals will be. If you just want to drop 3-8 pounds so that you can get into that special dress you will be okay with a plan that concentrates on quick (but probably not permanent) weight loss. If you have a goal of losing a lot of weight and, more importantly, keeping it off forever, you will want to look at plans that address your lifestyle and will help you make plans to change bad habits. Just changing a few of the things that you eat regularly probably won’t get you to that long term goal, it will require more effort and planning.
Paying for a weight loss plan means that you have already made a financial commitment, now you need to make the personal commitment needed. There are some very good paid programs, such as Weight Watchers, that are designed to help you share the ups and downs of weight loss with others who are doing the same thing. Usually meetings will be held in convenient locations and they are quite social by nature. There is no desire to shame anyone, the goal is to help everyone overcome whatever obstacles that have arisen and encourage them for their success. Other weight loss programs that have meetings may have exercise sessions as well as meal planning and some consulting. Some people don’t feel comfortable working out in front of others, you need to decide how much public contact you can handle.
One of the most important pieces of a paid weight loss plan is that you are offered a professionally prepared plan, often customized for you. Most of the session leaders or trainers have experience with weight loss problems and they can give you suggestions and guidance at various times. Many plans offer specialized services to help you with problems or issues that you may have, such as physical limitations or dietary restrictions. Another benefit is that you can customize your weight loss plan and program to your needs. If you were allergic to milk, you can figure that into your weight loss program.
Most of the time, the only drawback to paying to join a weight loss program or a weight reduction strategy is the cost. You need to determine if you can afford to pay for the program and, if you decide to join, if you will follow through.
If you decide that you want to create and follow your own program you should have no problem finding resources. There are numerous websites and publications that will give you information and even meal plans to get started. Some respected medical groups such as the Mayo Clinic have their own diet programs that you can follow free of charge. There are also websites dedicated to assorted, proven diet plans like the Mediterranean diet and the DASH plan.
All of the successful diet plans stress the need to add an exercise program to your daily routine. While a smart diet, like DASH, will help you lose weight, your results are better and more permanent when you incorporate some physical activity. Most health professionals recommend 150 minutes per week of exercise. You can break this up into five 30 minute sessions, there is no need to work out for two and a half hours at one time.
These are just a few ideas for you to consider if you are trying to decide which route to take with a diet plan. Remember to set your goals and keep track of them. You want to have the success of meeting those goals. You will look great and feel even better when you have.