Want to lose weight – and keep it off? Here are the top 10 things you should look for in a diet program, courtesy of Dr. Yoni Freedhoff, author of The Diet Fix.
1. It’s specific to your lifestyle
The program is not a one-size-fits-all diet and has individualized nutritional, exercise and behavioural components.
2. The data comes from a reliable source
Nutritional advice is provided by a physician or a registered dietitian.
3. It requires long-term dedication
Exercise is encouraged and physical activity is promoted as a program you will increase gradually, rather than something to plunge into at a rapid, injury-inducing pace.
4. The diet program doesn’t promise a quick fix
Reasonable weight-loss goals are set, encouraging a loss of three pounds a week at most, and the program does not promise, “guarantee” or imply dramatic, rapid weight loss as an outcome.
5. They don’t ask for a large payment upfront
The program doesn’t require large sums of money at the start or make clients sign contracts for expensive, long-term programs without the option of at least partial refunds (which should be discussed before enrolling).
6. The daily amount of calories allowed is sustainable
The program does not promote diets with less than 800 calories a day; if less than 1,200 calories a day is recommended, the program should be supervised by a physician.
7. It does not push you to buy products
The program does not require the use or purchase of any products, supplements, vitamins or injections.
8. The program doesn’t promise targeted fat loss (which isn’t possible!)
The program does not make outlandish claims: for instance, that you will lose only fat or that the plan is able to “target” problem areas.
9. It helps you keep up your progress after success
The program has an established maintenance program available as an option.
10. They are transparent about statistics
The program provides you with statistics that include the percentage of clients who drop out, the average percentage of weight loss and the average weight loss sustained following completion of the maintenance program.