How to Choose a Weight Loss Program
Choosing a weight loss program may be a difficult task. You
may not know what to look for in a weight loss program or
what questions to ask. This information can help you make an
informed decision about joining a program.
and Safe Weight Loss Programs
Experts agree that the best way to reach a healthy weight is
to follow a sensible eating plan and engage in regular
physical activity. Weight loss programs should encourage
healthy behaviours that help you lose weight and that you
can maintain over time. Safe and effective weight loss
programs should include:
Healthy eating plans that reduce calories but do not
rule out specific foods or food groups
Regular physical activity and/or exercise instruction
Tips on healthy behaviour changes that also consider
your cultural needs
Slow and steady weight loss of up to 1 kg
week and (weight loss
may be faster at the start of a program)
A plan to keep the weight off after you have lost it
About the Weight Loss Program
Gather as much information as you can before deciding to
join a program. Providers of weight loss programs should be
able to answer these questions:
What does the weight loss program consist of?
What are the staff qualifications?
Does the product or program carry any risks?
How much does the program costs?
What results do participants typically have?
What does the
weight loss program consist of?
Does the program offer individual counselling and/or
Do you have to follow a specific meal plan or keep food
Do you have to purchase special food, drugs, or
Does the program encourage you to be physically active,
follow a specific physical activity plan, or provide
Does the program provide information on how to make
positive and healthy behaviour changes?
Is the program sensitive to your lifestyle and cultural
Does the product
or program carry any risks?
Are there risks related to following the program's
eating or exercise plans?
Are there risks related to using recommended drugs or
Do participants talk with a medical professional?
Does a medical professional oversee the program?
Will the program providers work with your personal
health care provider if you have a medical condition or
are taking prescribed medications?
How much does
the program cost?
What is the total cost of the program?
Are there recurring costs such as weekly attendance
fees, costs of food and supplement purchases, etc?
Are there additional fees for a follow-up program or to
re-enter the program for follow-up after you lose
Are there additional fees for medical tests?
What results do
participants typically have?
Source: NIH Weight Control Information Network