Are you one of those people for whom stepping on a scale is a cringe-worthy event? If so, it might be time for you to spring into action and lose those extra kilos. In this article, you’ll find several resources to help you reach and maintain a healthy weight.
For the past few years, you’ve been carrying extra weight and feeling frustrated and guilty about it. Sound familiar? Rest assured, you are not alone.
Losing weight is one thing; keeping it off is another. The strategy to reach your dream body is actually quite simple: reduce the calories you intake through your diet and increase your level of physical activity to burn more, while still making sure you are meeting your nutritional needs. Easier said than done, right? Indeed, losing weight is a complex process that involves several interrelated elements, such as lifestyle, habits, beliefs, motivation and self-esteem.
Here is some information about some of the resources that are available to those who want to lose weight. Please consult a health professional for more information on the options presented (and not presented) in this document.
Using the services of a nutrition specialist
In Québec, there are two titles to designate individuals who have a university degree in nutrition: dieticians and nutritionists. These health professionals are known as experts in nutrition and food. Thanks to their studies, they have rich scientific knowledge and skills that allow them to advise and guide people towards a diet that is adapted to their specific situation and needs.
If you meet someone who claims to be a nutrition specialist, ask her or him to tell you about their training. In addition, ask about their years of experience, the problems they encounter the most, the types of services they offer and their fees. It is important to choose a competent professional with recognized training, who you trust and with whom you feel comfortable. Undertaking a weight-loss process with such a professional will undoubtedly be effective and beneficial for you.
Professional services usually involve costs, but some people can get them for free; for example, individuals with diabetes. If you wish to obtain information about services offered near you, whether they are free or not, contact your CLSC or a health professional, such as your pharmacist.
Structured weight-loss programs
Commercial weight-loss programs (ex: Weight Watchers or Minçavi) offer a wide range of services designed for people who want to lose weight. They generally focus on the concept of “eating better”, without restricting calories too excessively, and on maintaining the fun of eating. Books, recipes, tools and products of all kinds are available to help you reach your goals. Through these programs, it is also possible to attend regular group meetings and/or consultations with a nutrition specialist. It is also possible to sign up for an online program if it is impossible for you to go to meetings or if the program you are interested in is not available in your area. Visit these programs’ websites to learn more about their services.
There are costs associated with this type of service. It is important to note that several of these programs have been proven to work and are known as effective ways to get back into shape and return to a healthy weight.
Some meal substitutes that are available at the pharmacy are specifically designed for weight loss. Many people enjoy them as part of their diet; combined with healthy eating habits and an exercise program, they can help them reach a healthy weight. These products come in different forms:
- nutritional drinks;
Meal substitutes are generally considered well balanced since they contain the nutrients usually found in a complete meal. They contain less sugar and fat than most regular meals, which translates into reduced calories and promotes weight loss. They are therefore ideal as a snack or to complement a healthy diet. Your pharmacist can give you more information on the various meal substitutes that are designed for weight loss. On their websites, the makers of these products often offer a large array of tips and tools to help you lose weight.
Books and websites
There are thousands of books and websites on weight loss out there. Consulting them can allow you to learn about this topic and apply the various concepts they put forth to your life. This is an inexpensive process that can be highly beneficial… but be careful; the weight-loss industry is highly sought-after and lucrative. Don’t fall into the trap laid out by the many advertisements you’ll come across online, and don’t be fooled by false information. You must definitely use your better judgement and check, if needed, the veracity of the information you find.
When the time comes for you to choose a method or resources to help you with your weight-loss process, be wary of those that:
- are very expensive;
- claim they will make you lose weight very quickly;
- claim to be “effortless”;
- are offered by individuals who don’t have solid training in nutrition.
Don’t forget that there is no such thing as a miracle diet. Whichever strategy you choose, you will undoubtedly have to make efforts. Success will depend on your commitment and your willingness to keep going with the new eating habits you will have adopted. This should not be a temporary process, but rather a long-term change.
You CAN win the fight against unwanted kilos. But, as is often the case when going into battle, the best way to conquer the enemy is to join forces with solid allies. If you seek out trustworthy health professionals who know everything there is to know about weight loss, victory will be yours!