Why should a weight loss or a weight management programme be a prescription?
This question is best answered if you consider what happens when you are ill. Normally you arrange a consultation with a specialist or your Doctor, and he or she will prescribe certain drugs and/or treatments. Having taken that advice, you get your prescription filled and take the required medication in the right dose, at the right time of day, for the specified length of time. Your Doctor will also tell you to take that prescription and to finish the course of medication even if you start to feel better beforehand.
To get the results you want, you have to take the required steps in the right dose for the prescribed length of time. If you do not finish the course, or miss a dose you will not get the results you are after.
A weight loss prescription needs to be an individual prescription and appropriate for you and only you. We are all very different, in age, weight, gender as well as having a wide variety of lifestyles, health issues, fitness levels, and previous experiences of trying to lose weight, all of which will alter the prescription.
Research now shows that just a 10 percent reduction in your body weight can reduce your health risks and improve any current medical conditions considerably.
The great news is that adults who are of "normal" weight and are physically active have a 20 - 30 percent reduced risk of premature death and up to 50 percent reduced risk of developing the major chronic diseases.
It is very easy today when looking at slimming and diets that are on the market to be taken in with the hype that we read and see around us. Don't be tempted by the increasing number of "quick fix" options that are currently flooding the market.
Many of these quick fixes offer quick and totally unrealistic weight loss promises. Losing weight will never be quick, our bodies are designed to defend our weight.
Many of these weight loss programs offer a novel approach to weight loss and can appear to be fun and motivating, even down to having all your meals prepared for you. If they are ineffective in helping you to permanently lose the pounds then not only is it a good opportunity lost, but will have also cost you money and time. These experiences can leave you feeling down and discouraged.
So how can you tell the dieting fact from fiction? Below are some simple things to help you spot the fiction.
The weight loss program promises to solve your weight problems without you having to change your lifestyle in any way.
The program promises rapid weight loss of more than two pounds of body fat a week.
It recommends the magical fat burning effects of foods, or hidden ingredients in foods
The diet promotes the avoidance or severe limitation of an entire food group.
The weight loss program promotes eating mainly one type of food.
It provides all your meals for you.
If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. It is easy to over complicate things; ultimately it comes down to the simple equation of energy balance. Energy intake versus energy output.
Energy intake is what we put into our body in the form of food and drink. Energy output comes from calories burned by our metabolism and our activity. When these two are in balance, our weight remains stable.
When we consume more calories than we burn, or use, we gain weight; and when we take in less calories than we use, we lose weight.
Everyone has different lifestyles, appetites, family experiences, food preferences, activity levels, types of stress, relationship with food, health problems and levels of knowledge about food.
Life events such as having a baby, a new job, retiring, emotional upsets or illness will also have a major impact.
The reality is that it only takes a tiny imbalance to make a huge difference. Eating just one extra chocolate biscuit, say one hundred calories each day, could lead to a weight gain of five kilograms, that is just over ten pounds in a year.