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A Responsible and Safe Weight-Loss Program A responsible and safe weight-loss program should be able to document for you the five following features 1 The diet should be safe It should include all of the Recommended Daily Allowances RDAs for vitamins minerals and protein The weight-loss diet should be low in calories energy only not in essential foodstuffs 2 The weight-loss program should be directed towards a slow steady weight loss unless your doctor feels your health condition would benefit from more rapid weight loss Expect to lose only about a pound a week after the first week or two With many calorie-restricted diets there is an initial rapid weight loss during the first I to 2 weeks but this loss is largely fluid The initial rapid loss of fluid also is regained rapidly when you return to a normal-calorie diet Thus a reasonable goal of weight loss must be expected 3 If you plan to lose more than 15 to 20 pounds have any health problems or take medication on a regular basis your doctor should evaluate you before beginning your weight-loss program A physician should be able to advise you on the need for weight loss the appropriateness of the weight-loss program and a sensible goal of weight loss for you 4 Your program should include plans for weight maintenance after the weight loss phase is over It is of little benefit to lose a large amount of weight only to regain it Weight maintenance is the most difficult part of controlling weight and is not consistently implemented in weight-loss programs The program you select should include help in permanently changing your dietary habits and level of physical activity to alter a lifestyle that may have contributed to weight gain in the past Dietary Guidelines These guidelines should be followed on a daily basis Fat intake from all sources should
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