There’s probably no area more saturated with hype and misinformation than the weight loss industry. More than half of Americans try to lose weight every year, providing diet book publishers, manufacturers of diet pills and supplements, weight-loss clinics and a wide range of other companies with more than 60 billion dollars every year. Unfortunately, most of those dollars will be spent in vain, since the vast majority of dieters will get all their weight back, plus a little more. There are safe, effective ways to lose weight available, but finding the best diet for you can be extremely difficult. Here are some tips to finding the best diet for you.
Choose One You Can Stick To
There are plenty of diets available, but experts agree that the best diet for you is the one you can follow without problems. If you feel hungry all the time, suffer from side effects related to restricting specific types of food, or feel like you’re being deprived, you’re not going to lose any weight. Look for healthy programs with solid nutritional backing that don’t promise too much. A good diet won’t recommend losing more than a pound or two per week and won’t cut out major food groups.
Ideally, a good plan will also include an exercise component, have been created by someone whose credentials you can check out and will include at least small amounts of favorite foods. You should also choose only plans that have an option for maintenance to keep weight from coming back. Avoid any diet plan that relies heavily on supplements, even safe diet pills, since these can be expensive and are designed to be used only for a short period of time.
Consider Your Eating Style
Different people eat in different ways, and that affects the diets that will work best for them. For instance, while some people do well eating many times per day, others struggle to get more than one or two meals in, either due to schedule or natural inclination. If you fall into this camp, a diet that recommends six tiny meals isn’t going to work well for you. Think about whether a plan accommodates the way you travel and how often you dine out, as well as the other people in your family. Be wary of plans that will require you to significantly change the way you cook and the amount of time you spend on food. They can be very hard to stick to.
Look for Realistic Activity Levels
Everyone should engage in at least a little exercise every day, but it can be hard to spring into action. The best diet plan for your situation is one that only asks you to move a little more than you have been, at least at first. If you’re looking at a diet that asks you to spend multiple hours at the gym, there’s a good chance that you won’t be able to keep it up. If you’re already quite active, you may have trouble with a plan that uses a lower level of activity. Think seriously about your existing habits and don’t assume that you’re going to be able to make huge changes overnight.
Think About the Long-Term
Dieting for just a few weeks is a great way to gain all your weight back and more. Look for a plan that you feel like you can live with in the long term. You should be willing to live with the diet’s maintenance plan every day for years to come. Otherwise, you may find yourself struggling with the same weight all over again.
Think About Your Lifestyle
Many diets ask you to eat unusual types or quantities of food. These can have a big effect on your budget, the amount of time you need to spend in the kitchen, or your travel time. If a diet wants you to rely heavily on food that’s expensive or hard to get, there’s a good chance it’s not going to work well for you in the long run. Better diets will offer tasty recipes that don’t take too long to cook and don’t revolve around exotic foods.
Weight Loss Speed
Everyone wants to lose weight as quickly as possible, but diets that promise high losses in a short period of time are usually a bad idea. This weight is often just water, and it comes back as soon as you rehydrate properly. A good diet will offer an average loss of no more than eight pounds per month. Some low carbohydrate diets have a faster initial loss, but this soon plateaus on any well-balanced plan. Avoid any diet that promises more dramatic results; it could cause you to regain and it might damage your health in the long term.
Think About Habit Changes
While the right diet for you is one that fits in with your existing lifestyle, that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t expect to make changes. A good diet will help you avoid feeling like you’re deprived while helping you change your worst habits. You should choose a plan that will help you recognize your problem behaviors, such as emotional eating, excessive drinking, a sedentary lifestyle or poor shopping habits. You should be able to change these habits slowly and without major disruption. More gradual changes are more likely to stick.
If you’re looking at a diet plan that forbids you from eating all your favorite foods, you’re probably looking at the wrong diet for you. By denying yourself all the foods you love, you’re increasing the risk of a craving followed by a binge. While you may need to identify and avoid trigger foods that encourage long stretches of bad eating, you’ll probably be happier and healthier in the long run if you allow small portions of your favorites on occasion. Just make sure that you examine your habits and choose a plan that allows you to treat yourself sensibly.
Avoid Product-Heavy Plans
A healthy weight loss plan shouldn’t rely on supplements or other extra products as the center of its effectiveness. If the diet doesn’t provide all the basic nutrients you need through food, there’s a good chance that it’s not properly balanced. It’s an especially good idea to avoid plans that rely heavily on even safe diet pills, special drinks and foods, or regular cleanses. At best, these are expensive and can be hard to keep on hand. At worst, they can hurt your health and won’t help you lose much weight.
It’s a good idea to think about the way you change your habits when you choose the best diet for you. Some people do best on very strongly-structured plans that have a lot of obvious rules. Other people prefer a flexible plan that adapts to their lifestyle. If you pick a diet that includes a variety of healthy food, it doesn’t matter which style you prefer.
Get Enough Food
Many people assume that since eating more can produce weight gain, eating less is always a good idea. Restricting your calories too much, however, can produce serious problems. It’s a good idea for women to stick to eating at least 1,200 calories, while men should eat at least 1,500 on average. Too little food causes your body to slow down. It reduces your weight loss and can make you irritable and depressed. Look for a plan that provides enough energy to keep you going.
Authored by: Jordan Pete
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