If you are in the market for a good weight-loss program, then you've probably seen the thousands of different options available. Should you buy an off-the-shelf weight loss program? Or is it better to develop your own program? If this is your first time attempting to lose weight through diet and exercise, you might want to consider selecting a program that has already been fully arranged. If you are having a hard time getting results on different programs, or are an athlete interested in taking your training to the next step... consider adding your own "tweaks" to achieve your specific goal.
Regardless of whether you purchase your weight loss program or develop your own... your program should have certain basics. Any good program should start with realistic and incremental goals. Be patient and aim for weight loss that is gradual - the weight will be more likely to stay off. Your maximum weekly weight loss should be no more than 2 pounds. Any more than that and you'll be losing muscle mass instead of fat. An important goal of your weight loss program should include methods for maintaining muscle tone and strength while losing weight.
If you are purchasing a program, spend some time researching the credentials of those who developed the program. This may help you determine if the particular program is really a good fit for you. Many of these programs take place in weight loss or fitness centers. These types of programs are a great opportunity for you to meet people who have the same goals as you do. This support system can be essential for keeping your motivation levels up.
Choose a program that fits your goals. Are you looking to develop the lean look of a marathoner? Or, are you interested in building muscle mass? Your new program should include the specific exercises (as well as a detailed explanation of the exercises) that fit the goal you are trying to achieve. Your goal will also determine what your menu plan will look like. Whether or not your diet will be more carbohydrate-based or protein-based, your diet must include a variety of different foods to satisfy your daily nutritional needs. Stay far away from diets that focus on only one food (e.g., the grapefruit diet, the cabbage soup diet, etc).
Make certain that your plan complements your lifestyle. Do the workouts wear you out so much that you're too fatigued at work? Does the diet plan require foods that are too difficult for you to get? How much time will you have to spend on the plan? Will you have to attend meetings? Are you able to keep all the commitments you make to your workout buddy?
An ideal plan should also be focused on increasing your knowledge of fitness and nutrition. Losing weight can improve your appearance but more importantly, it enhances your health and gives you longevity. You'll want to learn the most optimal way to feed yourself, as well as the optimal way to strengthen your body. The exercise and nutritional plan you use for losing weight will not be the same as the exercise and diet plan you use to maintain your weight. Working and learning to develop good habits at this point in time will pay huge dividends for the rest of your life.