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Article by Sylvie Martin

How to choose the right weight-loss program?

Updated on 28 February 2024.

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Slimming programChoosing the right weight-loss program can make a significant difference to your long-term weight-loss success.

Making the decision to reorganize your diet and shed those extra pounds takes courage, dedication, time and effort, but it’s entirely doable.

Before embarking on a weight-loss program, it’s a good idea to consult a health professional. This is imperative if you suffer from serious weight-related health problems.

It’s also a good idea to surround yourself with friends and family for psychological support. As well as boosting your willpower and motivation, they can be a great help when you’re faced with the unexpected or your results are slow in coming.

Here are the basic rules for choosing the right weight-loss program.

First and foremost, get informed

There are so many weight-loss options available. There are countless methods with different concepts and approaches.

There’s no shortage of sources of inspiration: a book, a magazine, a specialized center, a nutrition professional….

Everyone can find the inspiration they need.

What’s more, the Internet is an excellent source of information. Find out as much as you can, and try to narrow down your options to those that fit in with your lifestyle, your state of health, and your social and professional commitments.

Once you’ve drawn up your shortlist, ask yourself the following questions:

Does this weight-loss program fit into your daily routine?

weight-loss-program-integrates-with-your-dailyThe first thing to bear in mind is that you need to choose a program that is achievable.

In other words, a plan you can respect and stick to.

For example, if you love pasta, you wouldn’t be able to succeed on a low-carb diet.

You also need to consider your commitments and responsibilities.

A good program should leave you free time to take care of your children and family. It should also not interfere with your work.

So choose a program that fits easily into your schedule and doesn’t deprive you of your favorite foods.

What’s the calorie limit?

program-for-loss-and-caloriesMany programs, including detox cures, impose a sometimes drastic limit on the number of calories to be consumed per day.

Too few calories can lead to physical and mental exhaustion.

Another disadvantage of these restrictive cures is that they activate what’s known as starvation mode, which represents your body’s defensive mode.

Weight fluctuations (loss or gain) result from the ratio of calories ingested to those consumed.

To lose weight, you must try to create a caloric deficit.

Many people have claimed to have succeeded by adopting the 500 rule, which involves consuming 500 calories a day. This restriction results in a weight loss of 0.5kg per week.

However, this rule is difficult to apply to everyone.

Taking active people as an example, 500 calories a day won’t cover their daily energy expenditure and could easily lead to a critical lack of energy and exhaustion.

It should be remembered that normal calorie requirements differ according to the sex and age of each person.

As a general rule, this requirement is between 1,700 and 2,500 calories a day, and obviously the 500 limit is a long way off.

It’s a good idea to enlist the help of a nutritionist or dietician to determine the exact amount of calories you need to consume that won’t interfere with the proper functioning of your body.

What types of food are included?

A good weight-loss program should always include :

  • Vegetables ;
  • Fruits; Whole grains
  • Whole grains;
  • Lean proteins;
  • Low-fat or fat-free dairy products;
  • Occasional snacks.

Never exclude an entire food group.
On the other hand, you should always ask yourself whether this is feasible for you.

Could you eat these foods, not just for a week or a month, but for the rest of your life?

If the diet isn’t varied enough, you won’t be able to stick to it.

The most important thing is to try to avoid so-called unhealthy foods such as fried foods, processed foods or foods very high in fat.

It’s always worth remembering that hydration is a prerequisite for good health.

You don’t have to follow the 8 x 25cl glasses a day rule to the letter.

Instead, make sure you drink enough water until your urine runs clear. Clear urine is the sign of a well-hydrated body.

A final word of advice: opt for a flexible weight-loss program.

Drastic rules can lead to weight loss, but only temporarily.

The risk of the yo-yo effect and regaining lost weight is very real.

You should also opt for a plan that allows you to cheat by giving you a day off when you have free access to the dishes you want and other forbidden delights.

This practice stimulates willpower and has a positive effect on motivation.

Treat yourself occasionally, but don’t overdo it!

Does this weight-loss program involve physical activity?

weight-loss-and-physical-activity-programBeware of any weight-loss program that promises you wonders without any effort on your part.

If you want to lose weight, you have to sweat, that’s a fact!

A good program must include physical activity.

In addition to burning more calories, exercise has a host of health benefits.

It improves mood, regulates blood cholesterol levels and considerably reduces the risk of chronic diseases (cardiovascular, osteoporosis, diabetes, etc.).

According to several health authorities, 2.5 hours of regular physical activity a week is a reasonable target for staying healthy.

Is it expensive?

A weight-loss program can have costs, and sometimes hidden ones too.

Well-known diet formulas are available for a one-off fee or a monthly subscription.

Other plans introduce their own meal replacements.

Others impose their own dietary supplements…

And then there are the plans that are simply based on what’s available at your local grocery store.

It’s up to you to decide which of these plans to choose.

But make sure you weigh up all the costs before choosing your weight-loss program.

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