Making the effort to lose weight can be one of the best decisions a person can make. Losing weight can do wonders for your health and for your self-image and self-esteem. Many people get caught up in a sedentary lifestyle, driving to work and eating whatever is around, even if it’s not the healthiest choice. Then, one day you notice that your pants won’t button. That’s when most people decide that it’s time to lose weight. But if you’ve never done it, or even thought about it before, how do you know what’s the right weight loss technique for you? Here we will look at the different types of products and supplements that are out there, allowing you to make an educated weight loss choice.
Meal Replacements Programs: Nutrisystem was the pioneer here, but now there are many competing companies that offer similar services. How this works is, you eat only pre-packaged, prepared meals delivered by the company as part of the program. This means that the company you’ve chosen takes complete control of your diet. You are only allowed to eat a finite amount of meals, and portions and calorie count are strictly controlled. Obviously, a weight loss program like this has big advantages and big disadvantages. While some people find it helpful to have their diet controlled in this manner, many people find the associated food costs and the inconvenience of not being able to go out for a meal to be frustrating. Also, reviews indicate that meal options can get repetitive and that sometimes meals are less than satisfying. If you know nothing about proper nutrition, this could be an OK place to start, since you can at least see what a healthy meal looks.
Trend Diets: It happens once every year or two; a diet book like the Atkins Diet, the Raw Food Diet, or the South Beach Diet comes along and makes everyone crazy. Usually, these diets call for drastic lifestyle changes like not eating bread or eating only raw foods. Then the backlash happens, with scientists racing to disprove these outlandish trend diets. The truth is, our bodies are all different, and they have different nutritional requirements. Usually, these drastic trend diets will lead to weight loss initially, but to keep the weight off, dieters need to stick with the program. If you don’t like meat, it’s easy to be a vegetarian, but if you are denying yourself at every meal, you may slip up easily. If you try one of these trend diets and find that you feel relatively comfortable with it, it may be a good fit for you, but, in general, these end up being “crash” diets that can do more harm than good.
Cleanse Programs: Recently, there has been a lot of press given to different internal cleansing systems. Strictly, these are not recommended weight loss methods. The validity of colon cleansing is still a contested area within the medical community. Definitely shop around to make sure that you’re getting a legitimate product. Mostly, a cleanse is recommended if you suffer from digestion problems or other internal complications, such as Irritable Bowl Syndrome. Cleanses also claim to help users feel healthier, have clearer skin, and sleep better, since many toxins have been eliminated from the system. However, as a weight loss method, cleansing could help you drop a few pounds, but it probably won’t get you the results that get noticed. There may be many reasons to cleanse, but exclusively to lose weight is not one of them.
Fat Burning Supplements: There are numerous all-natural herbal supplements out there that claim to raise a users metabolism and energy levels, resulting in enhanced workouts and lower appetite. When paired up with the suggested healthy diet and a reasonable exercise routine, these metabolic enhancers can certainly benefit anyone looking to lose weight. Many users report seeing greater results doing the same exercise and diet routine using a supplement, than they saw doing these diet and exercise routines alone. However, be wary of diet pills that promise big weight loss with no diet or exercise. These “lose weight while you sleep” pills are ineffective at best, and potentially dangerous (if they contain banned or unregulated ingredients) at worst. Make sure that you’re not just getting a caffeine pill that will make you feel jittery and not very hungry, but that can also be unhealthy.
Exercise Equipment And DVD’s: Can you picture yourself getting on that Ab-Flex every day? How much you will benefit from these patented exercise routines really depends on what your personality type is. Some people will be more likely to exercise once they have bought a specific piece of equipment for that purpose, but many people will allow these machines and videos to gather dust after using them only once or twice. If you have your eye on a complicated exercise machine and have never worked out with equipment before, you may want to try a gym trial membership and see if you can get an instructor to give you some basic instruction. Many of the more complex machines advertised on infomercials are much better for professional trainers and bodybuilders who already have very established routines. Similarly, exercise DVD’s can be great, especially if you’re a novice exerciser, but you still need to actually watch them. Some people find that watching these DVD’s and doing the routines is easier with a friend or two for support.
Support Groups And Group Gyms: Like with Nutrisystem and meal replacement, Weight Watchers has really drawn up the blueprint for these kinds of groups. Usually, the members of the group have instructions to follow (the Weight Watchers point system, for example) but a big part of the program is that you are doing it with a group, and usually members commit to certain weight loss goals. Again, how successful you are with a support group model program will likely depend on your personality type. If you are more independent, this may not be for you, but if you enjoy group activities and have the time to commit to meetings, this could be the right choice for you.