Monday, July 09, 2007

How to Choose a Weight Loss Program

So let's say you have decided you want to try to lose some weight and that you've also decided that you'd like some help - who should you call?

Unfortunately I know of no country that regulates the weight loss industry. I say unfortunately because literally for centuries, weight loss scams and snake oil salesmen have been commonplace.

Some programs have celebrity endorsements - of course that doesn't mean that the celebrity has used the program or products. Just last week Rachel Hunter, new spokesperson for Slimfast admitted to Newsweek that she'd never even tried any and in fact the closest she could come to saying that she might try their product (though certainly her weight does not carry with it much in the way of medical risk) was this statement,

"I'm kind of more than willing to try their product."
Currently I'm working on a short set of questions to ask when considering a weight loss program based on some simple truths and principles regarding weight loss. As soon as they're done, I'll post them up here, but until then, there's a very extensive checklist/fill in the blanks document published by the FTC which you can print out and bring with you to any weight loss program you consider.

Some for sures:
  1. Don't join a program that makes you pay up front and doesn't offer refunds
  2. Don't join a program that makes you sign a contract or guarantees your weight loss
  3. Don't join a program that requires the purchase of products of supplements
  4. Don't join a program that has you eating fewer than 1,200 calories daily
  5. Don't join a program that can't explain their success rates through a maintenance period.
To print up the FTC's checklist, click here.