Recent statistics show that one out of three people are trying to lose weight. People chose to lose weight for a wide variety of reasons. But the two most popular reasons are to look better and have more energy. Although these are good reasons to work on losing those extra pounds, I would still say that improving your health or maintaining it is the best and most important reason to lose weight.

If you’re looking for an effective weight loss program to help you reach your weight loss goals you’ll be interested in this article. There are many weight loss products and services out there, and you can easily get lost in the maze of choices and end up with a disappointing program. To help you in your search, I have listed four of the most important things to look for in a weight loss program:

1. Well-structured exercise routines. Regular exercise is a crucial component of successful weight loss and perhaps the best predictor of weight maintenance. Exercise makes it possible to create a calorie deficit as well as use up excess calories that otherwise would be stored as fat. Therefore, no weight loss program will truly be beneficial without a well-structured exercise routine. The two most popular types of exercises for the purpose of weight loss are aerobic exercises and resistance exercises. Most fitness plans use a combination of these two types of exercises.

2. Healthy food plans. It goes without saying that healthy eating is important if you are trying to lose weight, since your weight is largely determined by the number of calories that you take in each day minus what your body uses. If you are a typical 21st century individual, your diet is comprised of mostly of high-calorie, nutrient-deficient processed foods, and your physical activity is very minimal. This means that you’re loading yourself up with a lot of calories and use only very little, causing a steady weight gain. In order for a weight loss program to be effective, it will need to include a diet plan that helps you cut calories by promoting low-calorie, nutrient-rich foods, including whole grains, lean meats, low-fat dairy and plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables.

3. Realistic and sustainable methods. There are a lot of programs out there that can help you lose weight; but a lot of them employ strategies that are very restrictive and would be impossible to maintain for the rest of your life. These restrictive approaches to weight loss may seem very promising, but most people who use them never really finish the whole program because of overwhelm and discouragement and many even gain weight back after quitting. It’s important that you look for a weight loss program that you know you can do for the rest of your life. As a basic rule, don’t choose a program that totally restricts you from eating certain types of food or requires you to do punishing, unrealistic workout regimens.

4. Safety. No one wants to achieve their ideal weight but end up with other health problems as a result. Rapid weight loss can lead to serious consequences that include malnutrition, formation of gallstones, fatigue, and a general feeling of ill-health. According to experts, losing 1 to 2 lbs. per week is a sensible and safe rate of weight loss. Additionally, programs that don’t require you to purchase any pills or supplements are generally safer compared to others that do. Real food is best.

Featured photo credit:  Girl trying dress in looking in mirror cheerful and happy via Shutterstock

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