My mom used to have a saying that she used all the time. She'd say "Don't throw the baby out with the bath water". I'll admit that for a long time my only reaction was "Huh?" But, to my credit, I finally did get it.
She was telling me to be careful that I don't choose a solution that's worse than the problem.
How to lose weight in a healthy way is a perfect example of what my mom was talking about. The weight loss industry is huge, billions of dollars at play every year in this country alone, and most of the programs and products out there are pure baloney or they are sold with no regard to the needs of the person who needs help.
I don't make a secret of the fact I struggled with my weight all of my life. I was a fat kid and anytime I wasn't being very active I was a fat young adult and continued to battle the bulge until my early 40's. I won't make the cliché statement that I tried everything, but I will say I tried just about everything, including expensive stuff that made huge promises and didn't deliver. I even saw some of those products on the wrong end of the news on occasion.
There isn't a one size fits all way to lose weight and 'fast' is not how to lose weight in a healthy way. So here are my tips to choosing a healthy way to lose weight and avoid being scammed by bogus products and programs:
Tip #1: Think Dosage
We are not all the same. If you have ever gone to the hospital and put under anesthesia you know they weigh you to figure out how much la-la juice is needed to knock you out. That's because every body is different and how much is needed to keep you sedated will depend on how much of you there is. Healthy weight loss is like that. Whatever method you choose should involve portions relative to your weight and activity level.
One of those products I tried years ago gave me a pamphlet telling me to limit my calories to 1200 a day. It didn't factor in whether I was a 150 pound housewife trying to lose 10 pounds or a retired linebacker trying to lose 100 pounds. News Flash: Just about anyone is going to lose weight on 1200 calories a day!
In my case I was a 250 pound guy who was very active and 1200 calories was starvation rations and less than half of what I really needed each day. Eating that little daily was almost a guarantee that I'd fail because I'd be super hungry all the time and there was no way for me to get all the nutrition I needed which would cause a whole other set of problems.
One of the biggest obstacles to weight loss is not getting enough to eat. Weird factoid but true.
That's the first sign that the method is flawed and if the program or product you are considering does not take into account how big or active you are then choose another program that does.
Tip #2: Don't Get Suckered by "Fast"
We all like 'fast'. We're in a hurry and we want immediate results from anything we do. Fast, however, is not how you lose weight in a healthy way. You will probably see immediate results if you make a healthy change in your habits but keep in mind that you didn't gain the weight in a few weeks and you won't lose it that quickly either.
So claims of fast weight loss, or huge amounts of weight, should put you on alert that there is more marketing than healthy nutrition and advice going on.
Tip #3: Get A Baseline Evaluation
Most weight loss products and programs are sold without considering who will be using them. Before you start you should get an evaluation and figure out your BMI, or Body Mass Index, and figure out your minimum daily calorie requirements. You should also factor in any medical conditions or other health risks. Not having that information is like trying to plan a trip without having a starting point: No way to figure out how much gas you'll need, how many hours a day you'll need to drive or if you need to plan on reserving hotel rooms.
Choose a product or program that comes with help figuring out just how much weight you really need to lose. Getting sold on a product that promises that you'll lose 10, 20 or 30 pounds is a bad idea unless you really have that much weight to lose. That help may come in the way of written instructions, online training or a personal coach to help you map out a plan.
A healthy program will take into account who you are, where you are starting from and help you map out a plan that makes sense for you. Avoid the ones that suggest the same plan will work for everyone.
Tip# 4: After The Party
Mark Twain once said it was easy to stop smoking...he had done it a thousand times. Ironically, it turns out (speaking from my experience as a reformed fat person and as a weight loss coach) that losing weight is actually the easy part. Keeping it off is the hard part! Any program you consider should include instructions and support for the long haul.
Depending on your personal goals your weight loss journey may only take a few weeks or months. If you don't have a maintenance plan in place you are almost guaranteed to gain that weight back quickly.
Avoid any program that doesn't have a maintenance plan for after you reach your goal.
Keep these four things in mind as you decide on how you are going to lose weight in a healthy way:
Get enough calories and nutrition for your size and activity Don't fall for promises of 'fast' or huge weight loss Get an accurate evaluation before you start Have a maintenance plan to keep the weight off
These four steps will promote healthy weight loss and keep you from getting scammed by bogus weight loss products or programs.