I guess I have heard one too many radio ads or seen one too many banner ads on weight loss, so excuse my rant. There is so much information being sent to people who are hopeful that there is a quick cure for weight gain. Unfortunately, there is not and through my several decades of dieting, there seems to be one reliable way for permanent weight loss and that is to work at it every day. But, that is a topic for another post. Today, I wanted to share with you from my own experience the five red flags you should look for in any weight loss program.
Weight Loss Red Flag 1: Crazy claims, such as 40 lbs in 40 days.
There are two sides to this red flag. First, if it was that easy, everyone would be running to take part in the miracle drug or program. Secondly, anyone can lose dramatic weight, however the trick is keeping it off. Evidence suggests that long-term weight loss is most successful when people take it off at a rate of roughly 1 to 2 pounds per week. Anything more than that and your weight tends to come back with a vengeance!
Weight Loss Red Flag 2: Have to purchase their prepared meals and snacks
If a weight loss center is attempting to get you to buy prepared meals that will allow you to lose weight, think twice about signing up for their program. Though prepared meals have a place in our society, they tend to limit our ability to adhere to a lifestyle that is sustainable for the long term. For example, if you have a program that has a meal already prepared for you that just needs to be reheated, you lose the opportunity and experience necessary to prepare your own healthy foods on a more long-term basis. When you move away from the meal plan, your weight starts to slowly creep back.
Weight Loss Red Flag 3: Supplements required
All of the nutrients we need can be found in whole foods. Granted there are times when supplements are needed, but only after a registered dietician or nutrition has carefully evaluated your diet and found areas where you could improve upon your nutritional needs. That being said, always explore ways you can satisfy your nutritional needs through whole foods first. This benefits you in two ways. First, you understand what and how much you are putting in your body. Secondly, supplements are expensive and by learning how to eat well naturally, you may in turn be saving money!
Weight Loss Red Flag 4: No exercise required
So can you lose weight without exercise? Absolutely! Is it sustainable? Absolutely not! Our bodies were built to move. The fact that technology has freed us from this burden does not mean we should embrace non-movement. Research has proven that regular physical activity can improve everything from your cholesterol levels to your sex life. If that’s not motivation, I don’t know what is!
Weight Loss Red Flag 5: You can go it alone.
It is very rare that when embarking on a lifestyle change you can make these changes by yourself. It is important to have a support network that you can learn from and model yourself after. Especially, in the early stages of change, it is critical to surround yourself with those that have been successful with weight loss or makes the lifestyle choices you want to make. Surround yourself with those like-minded individuals.
Please keep an eye out for these red flags. As always, I welcome your feedback and look forward to reading your comments.