Searching for a diet plan is kind of like visiting a department. You’re presented with hundreds, if not thousands, of options, choices or variations, and yet none of them seem to be the right kind of diet plan for you. Eventually, after hours of searching, you grow tired. Some of you may renew the search another day, some of you may abandon it all together, and some of you might just settle for the option that seems decent enough.
Then you’ll use it for a few weeks, find out it’s not so decent after all and wind up back where you started. If you’ve just read the scenario we outlined above and can relate, welcome to the club because you are most certainly not alone.
Why Do Diet Plans Fail?
Thousands upon thousands of people have experienced the mild annoyance and great displeasure of a failed diet plan. While there are several reasons for this, the most common one is quite simple: you’ve picked the wrong one. Taking on a diet plan that doesn’t suit you and your lifestyle will lead boredom, deviation and total abandonment shortly thereafter. Let’s take Simone Biles and Kate Moss for example.
Would you expect an Olympic athlete and a super model to swap diets and still meet their respective goals? Probably not. The same goes for every single man and woman out there who need to lose weight. So how do we go about picking the right diet plans?
Think About Your Personal Needs
As mentioned earlier, there is no one diet plan that will work for every person who gives it a go. Truly, finding an effective diet plan that you can implement in the long term is all about finding one that suits your lifestyle, weight loss goals and preferences. Knowing these three things from the get-go should make finding a suitable diet plan much easier and give you a higher percentage of success as well.
Things to consider could be as simple as whether you prefer dieting on your own or having a support system to lean on since some diet plans come with a community aspect or an online coach. Other things to consider would be your current health condition. For example, a person with diabetes has to be extra careful with the kind of diet plans he or she tries.
Do you have cultural or religious requirements to take into consideration? Even your budget plays a big role in the kind of diet plan you select. Some diet plans could be more expensive than others but actually have a similar and cheaper alternative. Keeping your personal needs in mind helps you narrow down the search quickly as well.
Learn from Past Mistakes
If you’ve already tried your fair share of diets in the past and still haven’t found the one that works for you, it’s time to sit down and spend some time pinpointing what it was about those plans that didn’t working for you.
Think about what you did and didn’t like about the plan, whether or not you were able to follow the diet and whether or not lost any weight during the diet plan. Other things to consider are how the meal plans made you feel both physically and emotionally. For example, did you feel energetic or did you feel relatively week? Was your mood stable or did you experience crankiness.
If you aren’t sure about how it affected you mentally, you can ask the people close to you if they noticed any significant changes during the time that you were on a particular diet plan.
Make Sure It’s Safe
It’s so easy to buy into fad diets, especially when they make promises of rapid or dramatic weight loss. After all, it appears to be in our nature as humans to want the easy solution, no matter how impractical or unrealistic it seems.
The fact remains, however, that choosing a diet plan with a slow and steady approach to weight loss is much easier to stick to and, more importantly, more maintainable. That isn’t to say that all rapid weight loss situations are unsafe.
Low calorie diets or diet plans with a quick start phase can be safe so long as it is accompanied with medical supervision or regular monitoring. Generally speaking, however, choosing a diet plan with a slower and easier to maintain pace are the safer ones.
When considering the safety and effectivity of a diet plan, check for flexibility, balance, activity and likeability. For example, when it comes to flexibility, does the diet plan forbid certain foods or food groups or does it allow you to eat from a variety of foods and balances out the ratio of all food groups?
In terms of balance, does the diet plan allow you to adjust the meals depending on your individual situation or caloric needs? Does the diet plan allow you to remain active or does it prohibit too much physical exertion? Do you event like the food or meals that come with the diet plan? These are all important questions to ask yourself when you’re picking between diet plans.
Get Your Doctor Involved
We know, we know. Many of us would rather not visit the doctor’s office, but listen, there’s a valid reason why weight loss professionals, creators of diet plans, and even weight loss supplement companies recommend seeing a doctor before you start a weight loss regimen. The reason is this: your doctor knows you and your medical history best.
Your doctor can best help you pick a plan that fits your physical needs and weight loss goals as whole including the type of exercise you should be getting. This is especially important for people who have had a complicated medical history or are on medications as certain diets could have a negative effect on you.
When you go to see your physician, make sure to be completely honest about what diet you intend to try as well as any of the crash or fad diets you have tried in the past. Your doctor can use this information to help you determine what kind of diet is best for you and that will have the most positive effects on your overall health.
Remember, it isn’t just losing weight that’s important, but staying healthy while you do it. Many fad diets can actually be a detriment to us because they rob us of the day to day nutrients our bodies need.