So you’ve decided it’s time to lose some weight. Maybe it’s a little, maybe it’s a lot. One thing’s for sure: you need to make a change and you are not sure where to start.
There are literally thousands of weight loss tools and programs available, not to mention fad diets, supplements, workout plans, body wraps, smoothies with super powers, juicing… it’s extremely overwhelming. Altru’s Weight Management team provides rules to follow and information on programs they recommend to help you make the right choice.
Four Rules to Follow:
1. Involve Your Doctor
It is important to consult your primary care provider before starting a new weight loss plan. Considering your health picture and weight loss goals, your doctor can provide recommendations on plans that will be safe for you to start.
“A discussion with your primary care provider is essential for you to reach your health and fitness goals,” advises Ann Mason, FNP. “Weight gain can be multifactoral, sometimes caused by more than just sedentary lifestyle and excess calories. Consider discussing other causes of weight gain with your primary care provider, such as certain medication, sleep apnea and hormone imbalances, as these will require different interventions.”
2. Consider Your Personality
If you are an introvert, a group program might not work for you. Individual appointments can get you started on the right track and help educate you about food and exercise options based on your needs.
On the other hand, if you know you need accountability, a structured program with weekly check-ins is a good option. “Group classes provide a supportive environment where participants are able to share challenges and successes,” states health and wellness specialist Rachel Aure. “Participants learn from each other and support one another as they work towards similar lifestyle goals. Belonging to a group adds accountability, which can help you stay focused and motivated.“
3. Be Reasonable
If a plan or diet sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Or, it might not be safe. “If a diet eliminates an entire food group, it may be putting you at risk for nutritional deficiencies,” cautions registered dietitian Jennifer Haugen. “Or, it may involve eating a lot of a certain food, which can be unhealthy. If you are trying to determine if a diet is a good pick, evaluate if it is sustainable long term; often times, fad diets are not.”
If you are confused if something is a fad diet or a healthy diet, work with a trained professional to determine which plan is best for you.
4. Think About The Past
If you’ve tried a plan in the past, what worked well and what didn’t? Did you make excuses not to work out? Was the diet plan too hard to follow? Take these things into consideration as you start your new weight loss journey.
Altru offers different options for those looking to lose weight and get healthy. Each program looks at your overall health and guides you to healthy choices that fit your individual needs. But, it’s not one size fits all. See where you might fit best based on these guidelines and recommendations.
Nutrition and Fitness Coaching might be right for you if:
- You prefer individual appointments
- You want expert advice to get you started, and follow-up along the way
- You have specific dietary requirements
- You are new to exercise, or your activity is limited due to a medical condition or injury
If you want expert advice to get you started on the right path, coaching might be the right pick for you. You can work with a dietitian to review your specific needs and develop meal plans, and get exercise advice tailored to you specifically. Or, you can choose nutrition coaching and skip fitness, or vice versa. You guide the content and support you receive, which is a great benefit for those with more specific goals in mind.
Medical Weight Loss and Lifestyle Change Program might be right for you if:
- You want a structured program with support and education
- You are motivated by being around others with similar goals
- You have medical conditions that might require medical monitoring during weight loss
- You would like to lose around 10 percent of your body weight
This program offers a comprehensive approach to weight loss with nutrition and fitness education and medical monitoring. It includes classwork as well as individual follow up and offers long term monitoring and support. It also incorporates a structured meal plan with meal replacement products during the first 12 weeks of the program.
Weight Loss Surgery might be right for you if:
- You have a BMI of 35 – 39.9 (Check your BMI here)
- You are over the age of 18
- You have health problems such as diabetes, hypertension or sleep apnea
- You have a BMI over 40, but don’t have other obesity related health issues
- You have not succeeded in losing weight with other measures, such as diet and exercise
Weight loss surgery, such as LAP-BAND®, is an option for severely obese adults who have failed to lose weight with conservative measures such as diets, exercise or medications. Individuals who choose to have surgery for weight loss must commit to significant changes in their diet and lifestyle for the rest of their lives. “Surgery is not the easy way out,” states weight loss surgery physician assistant Shellie Wright. “Surgery is a tool to help with lifestyle change. Successful weight loss after surgery is less likely without changes in diet, exercise and eating behaviors.”
It is important to understand that this life-changing decision must be carefully considered by you and your provider.
Altru’s Weight Management Program offers solutions for weight loss, weight management and lifestyle change at any level. Our providers, dietitians and exercise specialists offer comprehensive options to fit your needs. Each journey begins with a consultation and health assessment, which will guide you to the right program for you.
To start your journey, contact the Weight Management Program Coordinator at 701.780.6729 or firstname.lastname@example.org.