Losing Weight with Outside Help
If you've been trying to motivate yourself to eat well and exercise,
but aren't having a lot of luck, maybe it's time to think
about getting help from an outside source. There are a lot
of ways to do this.
just telling someone else you're trying to change the way
you eat can help you make the changes you need to make. Better
yet, find a friend who also wants to eat well and maintain
a healthy weight, and start your program together. Peer pressure
has its value, and the two of you (or three or whatever number
you choose to work with) can devise a way to support each
excellent approach to take is to visit a nutritionist or dietitian.
These professionals can evaluate your current way of eating
and suggest what kinds of changes you need to make. They may
be able to point out some simple changes that aren't even
they can help you to find an eating and exercise plan that
works well for your lifestyle. They can tell you how big your
portions should be, whether you might do better eating several
small meals a day rather than three larger ones and other
want to do something more structured and join an actual program.
The American Dietetic Association (ADA) describes the best
way to lose weight:
small changes over time
a variety of foods
what you eat over several days
all types of foods, but don't overdo it
interested in joining a structured group, make sure it adheres
to the ADA's guidelines.
Watchers® has a reputation for being one of the more reliable,
successful weight loss programs because it promotes the same
moderate approach as the ADA. Foods receive a point value,
and participants are "allowed" to eat all kinds of foods as
long as their point total stays within a certain range. Group
meetings and peer support are another important aspect of
Weight Watchers®. Those weekly "weigh-ins" provide strong
incentive to keep weight down. Weight Watchers® also emphasizes
the importance of exercise.
to watch out for is that the point system makes it easier
to have an unbalanced diet. It's possible to eat nothing but
dairy products every day, for example, as long as you stay
within the point range.
weight loss program you consider should have the same moderate
approach that you find in programs like Weight Watchers®.
Out for Fraudulent Claims
looking into weight loss programs, be sure to avoid the ones
that use words like "breakthrough, miraculous, guaranteed,
secret, exotic," etc. Remember, if it sounds too good to be
true, it probably is. And certainly don't be fooled by claims
that special gadgets, such as earrings or bracelets, can help
you lose weight.
evaluating a weight loss program, ask the following kinds
are the health risks of this diet?
have actual data that prove this program works?
percentage of your customers keep the weight off?
are the costs for membership, food, supplements, maintenance
if I drop out? Do I get a refund?
have a maintenance program? Does it cost extra?
kind of professional supervision is provided? What are the
credentials of these professionals?
are the program's requirements? Are there special menus or
food, counseling visits or exercise programs?
investigating potential programs, be sure to listen to your
intuition. Don't let your desire to lose weight cloud your
good judgment. If you're trying to talk yourself into believing
you're doing the right thing, something about the program
may not be right for you.
Food and Drug Administration, December 2001