Want to join a weight loss group to help shift those stubborn pounds? There are several things you need to consider before signing up. Do not be afraid to ask a weight loss group questions about the Program/s they offer. If you don't ask about the group or the Program you may find yourself disappointed in the results [or lack of].
Once you have finished researching the weight loss group you will be able to make an informed decision on whether the group is right for you. Do not feel pressured to make this decision straight away, if need be look into other weight loss groups to ensure that you chose one that will cater to your needs.
1. What are the staff qualifications?
With companies such as Weight Watchers, leaders are lifetime members [meaning that they have reached goal weight and maintained]. They also receive training to keep up-to-date with the latest information. Larger companies usually follow a program designed by health professionals, who have researched the most effective weight-loss strategies. Some staff may have other training, certificates or experience that can help you in your weight loss efforts
2. What is involved with the Program?
You want to lose the weight healthily, meaning no fad dieting. Healthy eating plans need to reduce calories but not rule out specific food groups or require you to eat one particular food [think cabbage soup diet]. They should also encourage eating plenty of healthy food such as fruits and vegetables and recommend that takeaway and fatty foods be limited - not cut out completely. Some weight loss groups, like Jenny Craig, have there own meals pre-packed for your convenience. Others, like Weight Watchers, offer food products but they are not essential to follow the program.
In addition to a healthy eating plan, the Program should include an exercise plan to help your weight loss efforts. The World Health Organization recommends 30 minutes exercise a minimum of three days a week. Does the program should offer a plan for exercise beginners, if you have never exercised before you will need to start slowly. The Program should provide recommendations for all levels of fitness.
3. What kind of weight loss can you expect to lose on the Program?
It is important to remember that for permanent, safe weight loss doctors recommend that you lose between 1-2 pounds per week. It is possible that you may lose slightly more than this in the first few weeks of the program, but this loss should slow down. If the group is promising mass weight loss in a short time period it is most likely an unhealthy weight loss or a scam. If in doubt consult your medical provider.
4. How much does the Program cost?
This is to help identify any hidden costs. Typically you will find that there is a once off joining fee and probably a weekly meeting fee. If meals are provided is the cost included or is it extra. You need to decide how much you are willing to spend and whether the services provided are reflected fairly in the cost.
5. What kind of Successes is Typical of Participants?
There is no point in joining a group if participants have no results. It would be a waste of your time and money if the Program offered was not successful. With larger weight loss companies you are probably more aware of participant success stories; you need to be careful of smaller groups. Inquire about how much the average participant lose and how long they have maintained their weight. You can also ask the group for references in relation to the Program they are offering you if you are unsure.