Are you ready to start a weight loss program? You've thought about taking the next step for months or even years—and now you're finally ready to make some serious changes. But you're not sure exactly what to expect. Before you start a program, take a look at what you need to know about healthy weight loss, plan selection, and your options.
How Much Weight Should You Lose?
You need to go into a new plan or program with realistic, healthy expectations for weight loss in mind. Not only should these expectations include the number of pounds or inches you want to lose, but they should also include a time frame. Don't expect to hit your target weight days or weeks into a program. This type of speedy weight loss isn't healthy or realistic. Instead, you need to set goals that you can reasonably achieve while maintaining or improving your overall health.
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), you may find more success losing one to two pounds a week. Even though this may not seem like a lot, over time the losses will add up and help you to achieve a healthy weight and an equally healthy lifestyle. The CDC notes that modest losses of 5–10 percent (of the person's total starting weight) can help to lower cholesterol, blood sugar, and blood pressure levels.
If you're not sure how much weight you need to lose or what a 5–10 percent body weight loss means for you, talk to a professional. Your medical provider and a weight loss specialist can help you to better understand realistic weight loss goals, assess your needs, and provide you with a full picture of what weight loss may mean for your health.
Which Program Is Right for You?
Now that you know more about setting weight loss goals, you're ready to start a journey towards your new healthy lifestyle. But you're still not sure which route is the right choice. Now what? Instead of crash diets or trendy plans, select a stable, well-researched program that has proven results.
Start with your medical provider. Your doctor, nurse, or another practitioner can help you to get a better picture of the available options. They can also direct you to programs that meet your individual healthcare and weight loss needs. Your medical provider can also keep track of your health (including monitoring existing conditions such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, or type 2 diabetes) as you progress through a program. This can help you to stay healthy as you lose weight.
Contact your health care provider to learn more about weight loss.