More people are struggling with overweight than ever before. There has been a lot of media attention on the epidemic of obesity in this country and a lot more information of the dangers of being overweight. This has led many people to sincerely seek an effective way to lose weight and keep it off. Unfortunately, there are so many diets being presented to the public that it can be difficult for people to decide the best way to go about losing weight. Choosing an ineffective one will result in discouragement and a loss of motivation. Choosing a dangerous one could be even worse. Here are some questions to ask yourself as you begin to compare weight loss programs.
Does It Follow Scientific Truths?
When you begin to compare weight loss programs, the first thing you need to determine is if the program is based on scientific fact. One red flag is a diet that purports to have figured out something the scientific community hasn’t discovered yet. While there is a lot of ongoing research into weight loss and new discoveries are being made, they aren’t being made by authors, supplement manufacturers or diet pill companies.
The most basic scientific truth about weight loss is the mathematics of it. In order to lose weight, you must take in fewer calories than you use. Period. A pound of fat equals 3500 calories. If you take in 3500 calories less than you use, you will lose one pound. You can achieve this in two ways: you can eat fewer calories or burn more of them. A combination of the two is best. The math of weight loss can’t be changed. There are many ways to aid burning calories or eating and absorbing fewer of them, however, and that is where different diet and exercise programs come in.
Does It Promise to Be Effortless?
If so, move on. Research over. Losing weight can be difficult or less difficult, but it isn’t mindless or effortless. You will have to watch what you eat in some way. You will have to make some lifestyle changes. You can lose weight on a pill by killing your appetite, but the weight loss will be very temporary and will usually result in gaining back more weight than you started with. It might have been effortless, but it was also pointless. When you compare weight loss programs, immediately discard any diet that says you’ll lose weight without even trying.
Does It Promise to Be Very Fast?
Have you ever had a really bad stomach virus? If so, you probably lost a significant amount of weight in a very short time. You probably also put it back on in record time. Yes, you can lose a good amount of weight very quickly. No, you will not keep it off. As you begin to compare weight loss programs, you may think that losing ten pounds in three days might be temporary, but would be a very motivating kick-start to your “real” diet. This is an understandable temptation, but resist. Most of these programs either use dangerous pills or advocate a very unhealthy eating plan. You may lose that ten pounds in three days, but your health will suffer and you’ll gain it all back almost immediately. That’s not all that motivating, after all. An safe, and very effective, weight loss program will be realistic, promising no more than 2-3 pounds lost per week.
Is It A Part-Time Job?
Weight loss may be somewhat difficult, but it isn’t very complicated. When you compare weight loss programs, pay attention to how much work is involved in following each diet. If it requires its own office supplies, an advanced calculator or a paid assistant, forget it. That’s not a diet, it’s a part-time job. Any diet that takes hours per day to track and journal is going to discourage you very quickly. Keep it simple and you’ll stick with it.
By considering these things as you compare weight loss programs, you’ll better your chances of choosing one that will help you reach your weight loss goals.
Photo Credit: TheBusyBrain
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