Weight Loss Plans: How can I Choose the Right Weight Loss Plan for Me?
When it comes to losing weight and staying fit, there’s usually no shortage of advice. Websites, magazines and numerous advertisements all promise they can provide the ultimate solution to help you lose your weight for good. But with so many weight loss or popular dieting options on ready display, how do YOU discover which nutritional plan, weight loss diet and accompanying exercise regimen might be best for you? Here are some basic TIPS for how you can choose – or discover – the right weight loss plan.
Consult with an Expert Nutritionist working in conjunction with Your GP to Lose Weight
Having Expert Guidance is Especially Important if You’re Currently Obese or suffering from Medical Conditions such as Diabetes
Before starting any weight loss program, it is best to talk to your GP and a Dietician or other Nutritional expert.
Why is getting Medical advise before embarking on a weight loss plan so important?
- ASSESS: Your GP and Dietician can help you assess whether any existing medical problems are contributing to your weight gain or obesity (for example, thyroid levels are often low in women over 40 – but there is a debate amongst medical practioners as to what levels ARE actually low versus normal and whether or not you need thyroid stimulating medications for hypothydroidism)
- DETERMINE: Your GP – along with some quality internet research on the common side effects of medications – can also help you determine if any of the medications you’re currently taking are impacting your weight. Perhaps your GP could suggest an alternative medication that is still effective for you but has less propensity towards having you gain weight
- RULE OUT: to rule out factors that might make a particular weight loss plan (or a popular diet) a BAD or unworkable option for you as an individual
- GUIDANCE: to get guidance on what certain weight loss programs may be right for you as an individual, as well as refer you to a weight loss support group (having a supportive environment can help a lot for many people).
- INJURY PREVENTION: if you’re very overweight, out of shape or morbidly obese, some forms of exercise might be detrimental for your joints and ligaments. You don’t want to start exercising and have to stop due to injury. So consult with an Exercise Physiologist (or a seasoned Physiotherapist) rather than a gereral trainer to get started – so that you can minimise your risks of injury.
Consider your Lifestyle & Personal Needs about Eating, Exercising and Weight Loss to get Fit
Just as it is with body contouring plastic surgery, there is NO one-size-fits-all weight loss program.
Since every individual is unique, a weight loss consultant or medical professional will ideally advise a customised weight loss plan for each person. Some people who are already active but just over-consume calories (or who have a sluggish metabolism) may be able to shed a lot of weight from changing their nutritional intake behaviours alone. Others who eat healthily but never exercise, may respond well to building walking and strength-building exercises into their daily routine.
Yet for some of us, a combination of eating a proper diet – along with portion control – and more exercise – may simply have ZERO effect on changing our overall body weight or BMI.
Therefore, if you want to lose weight, you and your weight loss support team should take into account several important factors that contribute to your health and BMI. These include:
- stress and how it impacts your eating
- food preferences
- eating patterns throughout a day
- how you might use food to reward and/or console yourself after either a bad day or sad event
- weight loss goals – how realistic they are
- past success or past weight loss attempts that did not result in weight loss, and how these past efforts impacted your psychological or emotional view of losing weight
Before starting any weight loss plan, it may help to think about these factors:
- Your experience with past diets. Take time to assess your past diets whether you like or dislike them, whether you are able to adhere to the diet, or whether it work or didn’t work for you. What parts of a certain eating regime really worked for your lifestyle and day-to-day activities?
- Personal preferences. Do you like to diet on your own – or do you prefer to aim to lose weight with friends or weight loss support groups? Does dieting or exercising together with a friend (or group) help motivate you to lose weight, or do you find it discouraging?
- Your time and budget. Do the activities of weight loss programs interfere with your daily routine? Does the cost of such a program fit your budget? Usually, weight loss programs require you to purchase prepared meals or supplements, or to visit medical facilities or attend support meetings that may make use of your time and budget. The upside is that usually you’ll save on buying other foods so the net effect on your budget may be less than you think; but in modern times, it IS usually a bit more expensive to eat better (and good gyms aren’t cheap either). So look at it like an investment, however, in you fitness, health and body shape.
Choose a Safe and Effective Weight Loss Plan or Program – Don’t Go Radical unless your GP says it’s a “must do” to get you into shape before Bariatric Surgery or to get Diabetes under control
A wide array of weight loss regimens that can promise you “rapid” or “dramatic” weight loss can often be very tempting. However, a slow and steady weight loss of 0.5 kilos to 1 kilo (up to 2 kilos) per week is typically a safer recommendation by experts who know that rapid weight changes are often short-lived.  Your optimal weight loss plan should also include the right amount and type of nutrients, according to your individual body chemistry needs and genetics.
Diets to avoid:
- Avoid weight loss plans or diets that direct you to eat large food quantities of a certain type of food
- Avoid unrealistic weight loss plans that severely restrict what you can eat in any given period of time
- Avoid weight loss plans or diets that require you to completely REMOVE certain food groups from your day to day, especially abruptly. These diets might be fine for healthy individuals or over a short period of time, but they may also result in nutritional problems or place excess stress on your internal organs – for example, a high protein may impact your kidney health if it’s followed for a long period of time – especially if you have a pre-existing kidney (renal) disorder.
(For more information, try reading some of the research on these fad diets, such as: Am J Kidney Dis. 2004, Dec;44(6):950-62. High-protein diets: potential effects on the kidney in renal health and disease. Friedman AN1. and other references listed below.)
Choose a Flexible Weight Loss Program
It may help if you look for a weight loss plan that is NOT extreme and maintains flexibility and choice in what you eat. It should ideally be balanced across the day, NOT designed to deprive you of certain food groups (unless you’ve been confirmed as being allergic to certain foods such as a diagnosed gluten intolerance condition).
The best weight loss plans include those that allow you to eat various foods from ALL of the major food groups, as well as being able to purchase these in your local grocery store rather than through some distribution chain. Be sure to also choose a full program that includes individually-appropriate (or physio approved) physical activities and exercises that can help you boost your weight loss – AND keep your endorphins properly elevated to help keep you on track.
The Skinny On Weight Loss and Weight Loss Plans – Be Healthy
Successful weight loss – and staying physically fit over the longer term – require an ongoing commitment to making healthy lifestyle changes in your diet, exercise and even sleeping habits. (If you sleep poorly or lack sleep, or live a very stressful lifestyle, you may end up eating more AND gaining more weight than if you had proper sleep and a good work-life balance.
If you want to know more about the medical professionals that can help you determine the best weight loss plans for you, that will suit your preferences, body type, and goals, visit the New Body Specialists website for a listing of the Bariatric Specialists and other weight loss support groups.
If you’re getting ready for body contouring surgery and need to lose weight before your operation, please send us an enquiry form below, so that our team can aim to assist you in finding the support you need to prepare for your body surgery.
Read the Diet & Nutritional Disclaimers: Every Person is Different and Your Results will Be Unique.
Whatever weight loss plan you follow, you may not lose weight under the same timeline as others because so many factors are involved, so be sure you take into account that results vary from person to person.
Remember that everyone’s weight loss is unique. So try not to compare your body, eating regime or weight changes to those of other people, even if they’re on a similar weight-loss or diet plan. Instead, seek professional advice and opt for a customised plan, and give yourself credit for what you ARE accomplishing. Remember that long-term weight loss is usually best when slow and steady, and accompanied by lifestyle changes that support a healthier, fitter and lower BMI outcome.
And don’t forget to stay hydrated by drinking enough water – without enough water (H2O) in your system, despite your best weight loss eating plans, your body may not actually release the excess kilos!
References and further Reading on Health and Wellness and Diets
- Health and Wellness for Life. Human Kinetics. pp. 112–. ISBN 978-0-7360-6850-5. Human Kinetics; Human Kinetics (Organization) (2010).
- Dietary protein intake and renal function Published online 2005 Sep 20. doi: 10.1186/1743-7075-2-25 PMCID: PMC1262767 William F Martin, Lawrence E Armstrong, and Nancy R Rodriguez; Nutr Metab (Lond). 2005; 2: 25.
- High-protein diets: potential effects on the kidney in renal health and disease. Friedman AN1. and other references listed below.); Am J Kidney Dis. 2004, Dec;44(6):950-62.
About Dr Barnett: Dr Geoff Barnett is a highly-experienced, renowned Plastic & Reconstructive Australian Surgeon who is based primarily in Hawthorn (Melbourne, Victoria). He is our team’s leading Body Lift Specialist and also performs other types of facial rejuvenation and body shaping plastic surgeries. He performs body lift and rejuvenation surgeries on men and women and operates in accredited hospitals in Melbourne, with highly experienced Anesthetists and a top surgical support team.
Dr Geoff Barnett and his elite surgical support team treat numerous patients who have turned their lives around after weight loss. To review Before & After Photos of Body Lift patients or discuss your options, please arrange for an initial consultation with Dr Geoff Barnett (or ask to speak with his Nurse) by submitting a confidential Enquiry Form.