With so many different diet plans out there, it can be hard to know which one to choose. While some may seem more promising than others, it’s best to stick with tried-and-true techniques rather than taking chances on new methods. Follow these six tips for selecting the best diet plan to ensure you get started on the right foot.
Understand your needs
This might sound like a no-brainer, but knowing what you’re trying to accomplish by changing your diet is a key part of selecting an appropriate plan. Are you trying to lose weight, gain muscle or both? A good place to start is by learning more about your body composition and understanding your weight goals—after all, it doesn’t make sense to eat healthy if you don’t also know how much weight you want (or need) to lose.
Know your options
Before you select a diet plan, it’s essential to know what your choices are. Of course, there are hundreds of different meal plans and ways to lose weight out there—but they all can be placed into one of three main categories: 1) healthy eating plans; 2) no-deprivation diets; and 3) low-calorie diets.
Get rid of misconceptions
The first step in selecting a diet plan is understanding what you’re up against. One of the biggest misconceptions about weight loss is that we need to cut down on bad foods, or simply eat less food all together. The truth is far more complex, and requires us to understand our own bodies and preferences—especially with regard to food. Once you grasp what does and doesn’t work for your body, it will be easier to find a diet plan that will work as well.
Remember it takes time
As with anything else in life, you won’t lose weight overnight. Losing weight takes time and effort. Be patient, and never try to rush or force results—they will come on their own time, usually when you least expect it. You can only do your part to be healthy: eating a healthy diet (balanced between protein, carbs and fats), exercising regularly and not drinking too much alcohol.
Work with a health professional if needed
You can do all your research and still not come up with a viable diet plan that works well for you. If you’re struggling to lose weight or have other health issues, it’s worth working with a nutritionist or dietician who can help put together a program that fits your needs and your lifestyle. And if cost is an issue, do some research and learn about possible funding options. Some insurance plans cover nutritional counseling when recommended by a doctor.
Don’t give up, keep trying!
You might feel like you’ve tried every diet out there, and all that’s left is to resign yourself to a lifetime of misery. Don’t give up! There are still plenty of diet options available, and if you don’t find one that works for you now, keep trying different diets until you do. Whatever weight-loss plan you select, stick with it long enough to give it a fair shot.