There are a lot of ways to lose weight. The problem, however, is not so much about how to lose weight but how to keep it off. By making significant lifestyle and dietary changes, you can pave the way to real and lasting weight loss.
Weight loss programs are classified into two main types: clinical and non-clinical. It is important to know what these programs offer and what to expect from them in order for you to choose a program that best suits your needs.
In a clinical weight loss program, the plans provided to you are done by one, or a team of health care professionals. It is usually done in a clinic or hospital. A clinical weight loss program may involve physical activity, nutrition education or behavioral change therapy. In some clinical programs, prescription drugs or surgical procedures may be offered as well.
Your doctor may prescribe you prescription drugs if you have a BMI (body mass index) of 27 or more. These prescription drugs should be incorporated with the overall plan that involves long term lifestyle and eating changes. Weight loss drugs can only be prescribed by a licensed health care practitioner. Taking non-prescribed obesity drugs can be dangerous to your health.
In the case of extreme obesity, a bariatric surgery may be recommended. Also known as gastrointestinal surgery, this allows patients with a BMI of 40 or more to achieve weight goals more quickly. It also enables you to maintain your ideal weight when coupled with regular exercise and a healthy eating plan. Despite the benefit of bariatric surgery, however, not everyone can undergo this procedure as it entails huge risks. Surgical operations may also cause gallstones and slow down the absorption of nutrients in the body.
On the other hand, a non-clinical program is more accessible to dieters as it is available through various channels such as a book or a website; through a counselor or through weight loss products. Non-clinical programs may require you to follow a specific food plan and/or take supplements. You may also be encouraged to take part in interactions with various groups sharing the same cause as well.
With so many non-clinical programs available, it is important to choose a program that gives the safest and most effective features. When selecting a non-clinical program, make sure that books and websites are authored by or reviewed by a registered dietitian or a licensed health care practitioner. Your counselors should also have education, training and experience as well as certification to lead counseling sessions. More importantly, your non-clinical weight loss program should incorporate both regular physical activity and a sensible eating plan.
Some non-clinical diet programs may also be expensive, so you might want to find out first the duration for the program to run as well as the costs to maintain it. For your convenience, go for a weight loss program that gives you a wider selection of foods and easy preparation as well. Keep in mind that weight loss is not about scrimping on, or avoiding certain food groups but it is about eating the right kinds of food at the right amounts and at the right time.
Both clinical and non-clinical weight loss programs come with risks, which is why it is always best to talk to your doctor before getting into any diet program.