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Choosing a safe and successful weight loss program
By Lisa Jones
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Choosing a safe and successful weight loss program

News stories, particularly at this time of year, are filled with advice and information about weight loss. Someone is always touting the newest, best, most effective way to lose five pounds this week, or get rid of stubborn belly fat without any effort. With all of the hype, just remember, BUYER BEWARE!

For the most part, there are no shortcuts to weight loss – no easy way out. It all truly comes down to expending more calories than you bring in. Within these parameters, however, there are options and lots of room for personalizing your efforts to fit your lifestyle and personality.

Some people are able to just make up their mind to lose weight and do it, on their own with no specialized program. Often they will count calories and make an effort to step up their level of activity. If this works for you, that’s great, but many of us can’t find long-term success with that approach, and we need to seek outside support or assistance.

Here are a few things to consider when choosing a safe and successful weight loss program:

  1. Is it based on good healthy habits?
    Any program that promises quick, easy and sustained weight loss should be considered suspect. When attempting any healthy weight loss plan, you can expect to lose – at most – one-half to two pounds a week. Some weeks you’ll lose more and some weeks less, depending upon many factors. Weight loss is not usually a smooth path downward.
  2. Is it focused on changing your lifestyle?
    Losing weight, they say, is the easy part. Maintaining it is the real challenge. Any weight management program should stress the importance of changing your lifestyle, not just altering your diet for the short term in an effort to lose weight. Healthy weight loss/maintenance is a way of life.
  3. Is it sustainable?
    It may be easy to deprive yourself of all of your favorite foods for a few weeks if you only have a small amount of weight to lose. If you are trying to lose a more significant amount of weight, however, you need to be able to work in some of your favorites, in moderation of course, so you don’t feel like you’re completely missing out. Feeling deprived often leads to frustration and giving up.
  4. Does it fit my personality and lifestyle?
    Some people do well with packaged meals and a set, regimented menu in order to stay on track and focused. Others like experimenting with new healthy recipes and having flexibility to make good choices within the framework of an eating plan. Time and experimentation will usually reveal which approach works best for you.
  5. Does it provide support?
    Weight loss – particularly when you have a great deal of weight to lose – can be difficult at times. It’s important to find a plan that offers you education and support when you need it. Having a listening ear, or the support of a group of people who are going through the same process can be invaluable. You don’t need to go through it alone.
  6. Is exercise a component of the program?
    Many commercial weight loss programs recommend exercise as part of a healthy weight loss effort. Being active is always a smart idea, whether or not you are trying to lose weight. It can also help speed up your metabolism and aid in the overall effort to burn fat.

Learn more.

Mercy Weight Loss & Nutrition Center offers a free weight loss consultation to anyone interested in learning more about your options and our products and services. Call (515) 358-9435 or visit us online at weightloss to schedule your free consultation!

Weight management options at Mercy Weight Loss & Nutrition Center

Getting to a healthy weight doesn’t just mean better health, it means a better life. In order to achieve your goals, and maintain your progress, it takes support and encouragement. Mercy Weight Loss & Nutrition Center is here for you.

With a complete array of services from diet modification and exercise, to a medically-supervised meal replacement program, and minimally-invasive bariatric surgery, Mercy has the experts to guide you every step of the way. Mercy Weight Loss & Nutrition Center services include:

  • Bariatric Surgery – minimally-invasive surgery performed at Mercy Medical Center – West Lakes
  • Individually-focused nutrition sessions with registered, licensed dietitians
  • OPTIFAST® – a meal replacement program for those looking to lose 50 pounds or more
  • OPTITRIM® – a meal replacement program for those looking to lose 50 pounds or less
  • “4 Weeks to a Healthier You,” a healthy lifestyle introduction
  • FREE “Live Healthy, Cook Healthy, Be Healthy” classes


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