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The Weight Loss Centre

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.

 

Responsible 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

Ask Questions 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 group classes?

  • Do you have to follow a specific meal plan or keep food records?

  • Do you have to purchase special food, drugs, or supplements?

  • Does the program encourage you to be physically active, follow a specific physical activity plan, or provide exercise instruction?

  • Does the program provide information on how to make positive and healthy behaviour changes?

  • Is the program sensitive to your lifestyle and cultural needs?

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 supplements?

  • 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 weight?

  • Are there additional fees for medical tests?

What results do participants typically have?

  • How much weight does an average participant lose and how long have they kept off all or part of their weight?

  • Can the program provide references?

 Source: NIH Weight Control Information Network

 
 
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