You’ve decided you want to lose 10 pounds–or 40 pounds–or more. The first thing you may be tempted to do is search online or in magazines for quick weight loss diets or diet aids. You may decide to ask a friend or co-worker for their weight-loss tips. Instead, advises Mayoclinic.com, first talk to your health-care provider.
Your health-care provider will be able to advise you if you have any medical conditions that warrant specific types of diet plans or if there are any necessary precautions to follow with physical activity. He can also be your ally in your weight loss goals, from helping you to establish realistic long and short-term goals to recommending diet and exercise plans, nutritionists or dietitians.
Although losing weight is often about improving how you look, at least one other goal should be kept in mind, too–obtaining and maintaining good health. The pathway to both of these goals is to follow a nutritious, balanced calorie-reduced diet plan and increase physical activity levels.
Both the American Heart Association and Mayoclinic.com recommend short-term weight loss goals of 1 to 2 pounds per week.
Fad diets and diet aids beckon to those who wish to lose weight. Americans are especially susceptible to get-thin-quick ideas because we like fast results. Many fad diets do not provide adequate, balanced nutrition for the short-term, and certainly not for long-term use. Over-the-counter diet aids are not regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in the same way prescription medications are. The diet aids may or may not contain the ingredients listed on the packaging–and may, in fact, contain more or different ingredients than advertised.
The plan you devise for weight loss should not be considered a “diet,” which has come to mean in our society a calorie-reduced eating plan of short-term length. Instead, consider the plan to be a lifestyle change, one that you can sustain for life. This lifestyle change will promote both weight loss and improved health.