Weight Loss Programs & Diets

by Hao-YiBSc. Human Nutritional Sciences
Fitness Attendant with Recreation Services, University of Manitoba

The New Year brings new resolutions. Everyone has different goals and aspirations, and for some, losing weight is their goal for 2018. If you’re seeking out help in losing weight, that is great! But there are a few things to be aware of. The biggest is that “weight loss” industry is not regulated in Canada, meaning there are programs and diets out there which may be ineffective or even dangerous for your health.

Here are five red flags that may indicate a weight loss program or diet may not be healthy and safe for you include:

  1. Huge promises about fast weight loss of more than 1kg or 2lbs a week, where the diet severely restricts your caloric intake. This can be dangerous to your health, and can be unsustainable, leading to “yo-yo dieting”.
  2. Does not encourage healthy lifestyle changes and makes you dep endent on their companies products. Your weight loss should not be dependent on some Super Special Fit Formula X.
  3. Promotes untested or unproven weight loss aids, such as herbs, fat burners, and other supplements. If it sounds too good to be true, it very may well be. We’ll be covering more of this in future blogs.
  4. Requires signing up for a long, expensive contract, or uses sales tactics such as getting a special price if you sign up right away.
  5. Does not offer support or follow up during and after weight loss, and doesn’t consider your medical history, diet preferences, culture/religious practices, or fitness level.
A healthy weight loss program of any kind should not have you losing anything more than 2lbs a week (0.5-1 lb is recommended) and should incorporate healthier food options such as lean meats, fruits and vegetables, and whole grains. Including exercise and taking your dietary preferences into consideration are good signs too!  

Whenever considering a weight loss program or diet, ask yourself if you would enjoy following this program or diet, how long you’ll realistically stay with it, and if it fits your lifestyle! A Registered Dietitian can help you with any diet specific questions you may have!