Mirror mirror on the wall, how I wish my flab to fall? After trying out various fad diets, tasteless liquid potions, body breaking gym workouts, ready to use internet diet charts; your weight loss efforts have not made any impact on weighing scale. So now, you have finally decided to take help of a dietitian for reducing your excess flab Sounds familiar?
Consider these points before zeroing down on your choice of a program - weight loss centre, professional dietitian, fitness spa or naturopathy which is going to impact your lifestyle and overall health.
- Avoid crash programs. Losing 10 kg in a month is not going to make you look and feel any better. You will end up losing lots of lean body mass muscles, water, & bone tissue. What's more, this weight is going to boomerang once you are 'off 'this diet.
- Ask for Credentials of your Dietitian/ Nutritionist - just as we ensure about our doctors / other healthcare givers, find about the degree, clinical experience and expertise of your dietitian. Do not hesitate to ask about the testimonials, diet plans, nutritional supplements or gadgets, follow up schedules etc. Dietitians are not magicians, who can make your flab vanish in a short time. Do not believe exaggerated promises.
- Set a realistic goal. This depends on your age, body frame, underlying conditions, physical limitations and maintainable weight. Reaching ideal weight may not always be possible but even 10-15% of weight loss is going to make substantial difference to your fitness level.
- Go in for a customized diet plan. All of us have different genetic make up, medical problems, digestion issues, religious beliefs, food choices etc. A diet program has to consider these aspects and build a program around it.
- Accept the lifestyle changes which are sustainable and feasible for a long time. Eating boiled spinach, vegetable juice, over- rated expensive super foods, health shakes can be physically, emotionally and financially draining. Make your limitations clear at the beginning of program, so that you can be offered alternate choices. Remember there's always a choice.
- Emphasize on reducing body fat than numbers on weighing scale. Reducing body fat will give you leaner and slimmer look that you want while too much loss of lean body mass will end up with brittle bones, tired & saggy skin, pallor, excess hair loss etc.
- Lastly, believe in yourself and put in your efforts for making the weight loss program successful. Make a small note of deviations/ cheat foods, add more steps in your daily walking or workouts, learn about healthy food choices when you are dining out or travelling, learn about portion sizes etc
Going from flab to fab is a journey which should and must change your lifestyle permanently. Only then it will be a truly successful program.