Weight Loss Programs And The Questions To Ask Before Choosing An Option

Posted on: 22 February 2022

Which one of the many weight loss programs is the right choice for you? According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), between 2013 and 2016 over 49 percent of adults reported trying to lose weight within the past year. If you're one of the many Americans who are ready to make a change, take a look at these questions to ask before choosing a program.

What Does Your Medical Provider Have To Say?

Consult your doctor before you select a weight management or weight loss program. Every person has individual weight loss, activity, nutritional, and health needs. While one program may have worked well for your best friend, your health history may mean that another option would better fit your needs. Your doctor, nurse practitioner, or another provider can review your medical history, assess your weight loss needs and goals, and guide your program search.

What Programs Have You Tried In The Past?

Is this your second, third, fourth, or more attempt at weight loss? It's common for some adults to try more than a few weight loss management programs before they find one that can help them succeed. Even though you may not have seen results from another program, you shouldn't give up on your weight loss goals.

List the programs or diets you've tried in the past. Think about what did and didn't work for each one—and include what you liked or disliked, the difficulty level required to follow the program, convenience, food choices, your emotional state and wellbeing, the economic impact of the program, and how much support the program provided (in-person or virtual). 

Do You Prefer A Self-Guided Program?

More specifically, do you need an actual human being to guide you through the program—or would you rather manage your weight loss on your own? Some programs require participants to attend individual or group meetings or to interact regularly with a dietician, wellness coach, or similar weight loss professional. Other options allow the participant to guide their own weight loss journey through the use of an app or similar virtual program.

If you need a high level of support, prefer a social environment, or want to share this process with others who have similar needs or goals, an in-person or meeting-based program is an option to seriously explore. But if you're independent, motivated to succeed, and don't enjoy or don't have time for in-person sessions, counseling, or support groups, a self-guided program is a better choice.

If you have questions about weight loss programs, ask your healthcare provider.