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Find an Effective Healthy Weight Loss Plan in Steps

Being overweight is a risk factor for many chronic diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, osteoarthritis, and certain cancers. It also has detrimental effects on self-esteem and confidence. Because of this, many are going into weight loss programs. Aside from spending some amount, your hearlth may also be at risk. Thus, it is important that you gather as much information as you can before you start any weight loss plan.

Check out the website link at the end of this article. It contains a lot of articles about weight reduction and many weight loss plans. Below are steps you can use as guide in evaluating the program you may like to use: 1. Check What Weight Loss Programs Are Available. a.

Use the Internet to search for available weight loss programs. b. Ask your friends what experiences they had with whatever weight loss program they have already taken. c. The FTC report (Red Flag Bogus Weight Loss Claims) was released to help the public identify products that use fraudulent weight loss claims in their advertisement.

Following are the seven warnings of the report. Use this list in discounting programs that have these characteristics. i.

Products that claim you can lose two or more pounds per week without dieting and exercise. ii. Products that claim you can eat whatever you want and however much you want with no limits. iii.

Products that claim your weight loss will be permanent even after you stop using the product. iv. Products that claim they will block absorption of calories or fat and lead to substantial weight loss.

v. Products that claim you can safely lose more than three pounds a week for more than four weeks at a time. vi.

Products that claim all users will lose substantial weight. No product can work for everyone. vii. Products that are worn on the body or rubbed on the skin will cause substantial weight loss. 2. Find out about Cost a.

Obtain a detailed price breakdown of the program to include any weekly, monthly or annual membership or program fees. If you are considering a program that provides food, ask for the average cost for a month's meals as well as additional food you must buy at the store. 3.

Ask About Food and Exercise a. Determine details about what foods the program uses and the number of calories you will be eating every day. Determine if the program encourages increased physical activity like exercise. Any weight reduction plan that promises permanent weight loss without changing how you eat or increasing your physical activity is a scam.

b. A healthy weight-loss program will encourage you to follow the government's Nutrition Guidelines for Americans, which includes at least five daily servings of fruits and vegetables, grains, lean meats and low-fat or non-fat dairy. 4. Ask About the Qualification of Staff a. Ask if the program includes assistance from staff or counselors.

If it does, be sure to ask about their training and credentials. Ask about what you can expect from them such as what type of help you'll receive (one-on-one or group support). Make sure to determine how often counseling or group support will be provided.

5. Make sure that enough calories are provided a. Avoid any plan that encourages a drastic decrease in caloric intake.

You will do best when you reduce your usual calorie intake and/or increase the number of burned calories by about 500 calories every day. You probably will not be able to cut or burn more than 1,000 calories a day than you are used to without feeling weak or overly-hungry. b. A diet of 1,500 calories or less should be followed only with the approval of your doctor. No one should follow a diet containing 1,200 calories or less unless under medical supervision.

c. A calorie deficit of 500 calories a day allows you to lose about one pound each week; 1,000 calories cut each day will lead to a two pound weekly weight loss. Losing more than two pounds a week is not recommended. 6.

Ask About Possible Side Effects a. Be sure to ask about any potential side effects or risks that a weight loss plan may pose. 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? b.

Check with your doctor before you take weight-loss pills, even if they are over the counter. Dietary supplements should also be reviewed with your doctor as he/she is aware of all medications you take and potential interactions. c. Never participate in a weight-loss program that promotes questionable activities such as fasting, purging, or over-using laxatives. d.

Consult with your doctor before deciding on a weight loss plan. 7. Ask for References a.

Lastly, ask for contact information of three persons who had already taken the program. Call them up to ask their experience with the plan. What results did they have? How much weight did they lose and how long have they kept off all or part of their weight? Armed with this information you should be better equipped to avoid anyone touting empty promises or those that can't sustain long term results. Important: Make sure you research on weight loss programs by reading articles about the subject. The website link below is a good starting point.

Copyright (c) 2008 Larry Argente.

Researching and writing about health topics to help others live healthier lives are Larry Argente's present work. As a first step in searching for all available weight reduction programs, head to the website link below. The website also contains many informative weight loss articles that can help you better evaluate your best weight loss options: => http://weightlossreferenceguide.com/

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