When choosing among weight loss programs, the key to selecting the right one is to find a program that is sustainable. Instead of opting for crash diets or the next fad, find a plan that gives you the tools necessary to stay on the path to better health indefinitely.
Avoid Severe Restriction
Although everyone is different, any type of severe restriction is the major reason people do not reach their goals on various weight loss plans. One form of restriction is eating at a major calorie deficit, such as a very-low calorie diet (VLCD). VLCDs can be helpful in rare situations when weight loss is being monitored by a physician and the person is in a life-threatening situation. Otherwise you should choose a diet that is designed to help you lose no more than 1-2% of your weight each week. Another form of severe restriction can be eliminating macronutrients, such as carbs. There are some advantages to being more mindful of your carbohydrate intake, but eating little or no carbs indefinitely is not sustainable for most people.
More Emphasis On Diet
Both diet and exercise are important for weight loss, but most of the emphasis should be placed on improving your diet rather than exercise. Most of the calories you burn each day occur because of basic metabolic functions to sustain life. Although exercise has many other advantages beyond weight loss, the average session does not burn many calories. Depending on your age, weight, and intensity level, you may burn up to 1,000 calories during a workout. If you have not placed enough focus on eating a better quality diet and staying within your calorie limit, it is easy to see how it can become impossible to consistently burn off those calories with exercise alone.
Encourage Multiple Types of Exercise
A good weight loss program should include various forms of exercise. Typically when you need to lose weight, there is a major emphasis placed on cardio, which can lead people to spend countless hours on the treadmill or stationary bike. Cardio is great for weight loss and cardiovascular fitness, but is not the only road to weight loss and cardio is not always the best choice. There should be strong emphasis on strength training, especially for long-term weight loss. With strength training comes increased metabolism, so over time, you may not need to remain in a substantial caloric deficit to keep losing weight or it will be easier to maintain your weight once you reach your goal.
With many weight loss programs available, it is difficult to select one option. Choose the option that gives you the most flexibility and helps you acquire tools that you can use for sustained weight loss.