With countless weight loss plans on the market, it can be impossible to determine which one is right for your needs. Although any plan will help you lose weight if you can stick with the plan, there are some features you should consider to be the most important in any plan you choose.
Some people want the mindlessness of a structured diet and exercise program, but having comprehensive knowledge about nutrition and fitness will make it easier to apply lifestyle changes throughout your life. For example, information on nutrition labels and weighing/measuring food will be essential to keeping your portions under control. Understanding more about what food does for your body can be beneficial to people who had dysfunctional eating patterns in the past and who may be susceptible to falling into old patterns, such as viewing certain foods as bad. Knowing more about different aspects of fitness will help you realize that progress is more than the numbers on the scale, and when the scale is not moving, it does not mean you are not losing body fat.
One challenge with some weight loss programs is there is not enough variety in food and exercise, which can cause you to become bored. Some programs will give you a specific calorie limit or a limit on grams of macronutrients, but they may give you a list of foods that fit into these limits. For example, if you are supposed to eat 100g of carbohydrates, this could be specified amounts of brown rice, white rice, sweet potatoes, or bread. This makes it easier to mix and match your meals and keep them interesting. Similarly, there may be versatility in the recommended exercise, such as a list of varying levels of light, moderate, or intense exercises for a specific time with examples of what constitutes different intensity levels.
Most exercise plans incorporate realistic expectations by giving you an option for a periodic cheat meal and a rest day. Although it is never advisable to have a cheat day since it is easy to undo your entire caloric deficit in one day, a cheat meal can be included. Realistic plans understand there will be special events you want to celebrate or you will become tired of eating a certain way. Similarly, there may be a rest day and an active rest day scheduled into your exercise plan for the week. This reduces injury and burn-out, especially when you are new to regular exercise. Most people who successfully lose weight and keep it off will not adhere to a strict eating and exercise schedule the whole time.
There is no specific weight loss plan that will guarantee you will be successful, but there are some factors that might increase your chances of adherence. Plans that give you the most knowledge and versatility are good at making weight loss feel less like an impossible feat.
For more information on weight loss plans, contact a weight loss center.