Lose weight! Doctor's orders! The pressure was now on you to address those "unhealthy" 15-20 pounds that had amassed in your post-athletic years and into middle age. Perhaps your weight during those years had waffled up and down, the up cycles corresponding to the amount of ice cream you ate during the week. You had never felt the need to involve yourself in a weight loss program. You did have friends, family, and acquaintances who had participated in formal programs such as Weight Watchers, Jenny Craig, etc. while some others got involved with "diet of the day" programs focusing on low-fat, low-carb, high-carb, low-protein, high-protein, pill and formula supplements, body wrapping, etc. The list goes on. Referrals from your inner circle probably surprised you. For many, the programs worked. They lost weight. But, for the vast majority, they either quickly gained the weight back or hit a weight-loss "plateau" short of their goal, not able to lose any more. For another large group, the first program they tried didn't work, so they jumped from program to program. In many cases, they found none that worked. Why is that? All these programs promised success in their promos.
Perhaps applying a "common sense" approach might be the way to go. Simply stated, every human being is different. We all have different chemistries, metabolisms, body types, fitness levels, ages, physical attributes, abilities/disabilities, etc. It would logically follow that any program that would lead to successful and sustained weight loss for an individual would be a customized nutrition and fitness program based upon the body type of that individual. For example, a nutrition and fitness plan for a tall, lean woman would more than likely be inappropriate for a short, mildly obese man.
Nutrition and fitness professionals strongly recommend starting with a detailed understanding of your body type. Identifying and understanding your Somatotype body type is the important first step. The three Somatotype body types are ectomorph, mesomorph, and endomorph. An ectomorphic person would be tall and thin, with a narrow body, thin arms and legs, little body fat, and wiry muscles. A mesomorphic person would be strongly built, with broad muscular chest and shoulders, and little body fat. An endomorphic person is generally stocky, with a large round body, a short thick neck, and a tendency to store body fat. Being honest with oneself is important in this step. While we might like to be ectomorphic or mesomorphic, reality might have us identified as endomorphic.
The second step in developing a customized weight loss plan is to objectively determine your fitness level. So many variables can come into play here. Some people have a good feel for their fitness level. Others perhaps haven't "worked out" in years, if ever. Nutrition and fitness experts recommend visiting a fitness center and getting an honest appraisal of your fitness level from a professional.
Once your body type and fitness levels are determined, individualized nutrition and fitness programs can be developed, with the advice and counsel from nutrition and fitness professionals, which will target weight and fat loss while maintaining your general health.
Summarizing, there is no "one" weight loss program that will work for every person. Health, nutrition, and fitness specialists agree that it's important to let "common sense" be your guide to healthy weight loss. You are different from your neighbor. A majority of the professionals agree that in order to achieve measurable and sustained weight loss, a program customized to your body type will present the best chance for success.