What's the Best Diet for You?

Finding the best diet may be a lot easier than you think. But before we jump into a diet, we need to successfully define the term, diet. If you look around our world today, the word “diet” is usually associated with diet sodas, diet plans and diet pills. Therefore, it would be very easy to come to the conclusion that a diet is a one-time or temporary measure to “get back into shape”. This would be the wrong philosophy to have when you’re looking for the best diet.

Diet, as defined by Webster’s Dictionary, is a “manner of living”. What do you eat day-in and day-out? That’s your diet. The majority of western civilization has adopted some very poor dietary habits, leading to a severe obesity problem across much of modern society. The diet industry has fed on this problem and makes billions of dollars from millions of people every year. And unfortunately these short-term diet plans usually fail to bring about long-term solutions.

So what’s the best diet? It’s the one that you can adopt forever. Wow…”forever” seems like a long time (you think). Well, that’s one of the biggest dividends when you adopt healthy long-term habits: a longer life…hence, a longer “forever”. So, as you evaluate all of the diet plans out there look at the ones that you can do for the long-term. Here are a few questions for thought to help you pick the best diet for you:

  • Do you have to buy their food or weight loss products?
    If the answer is “yes” than this may not be the best diet for you. Many diet plans out there require that you buy their food products (Example: Nutrisystem & Slimfast). What happens at the end of the 30-day meal plan? You’ll likely celebrate your weight loss and then slide back into what’s comfortable – your old habits. If you have to buy something from the diet company…what happens when you stop? Keep this in mind when searching for the best diet for you. These diets are effective because their foods usually restrict you to 1200-1500 calories per day. If your Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR) is 2500 calories, this diet plan can help you lose over 10 pounds in a month. That’s great…but then what? Short-term diets deliver short-term results
  • Does the diet plan eliminate your favorite foods?
    If the diet plan you’re evaluating doesn’t allow you to eat the foods that you like, the chances of you sticking with it for the long-haul are not very good. If you like pasta and breads and you’re not a big fan of meats and cheeses than the South Beach and Atkins plans may not be the best diet for you. Many people have successfully lost a lot of weight using these diet plans, but if they want to keep the weight off they have to change their long-term habits When choosing the best diet for you, make sure that you look at the types of foods that make up the diet plan and if these are foods that you want to make part of your daily routine for the foreseeable future.
  • How do you evaluate your performance / compliance with the diet plan?
    Most diet plans use the good old-fashioned bathroom scale to gauge your performance and that’s fine. But what happens if you skip a milkshake, planned-meal or eat some carbs on a carb-free diet? Or what happens when you reach the end? Then the answer becomes unclear. I think the diet plans that allow for some flexibility of lifestyle are the best diet for the long-term. Plans like Weight Watcher’s point system allow you to save up points for your favorite foods or special occasions, as long as you stay on track for the week. It also gives you some bonus points for high-fiber foods. Plans like these are the best diet plan for most of us, as they steer our long-term habits towards moderation and better foods. Plans like this are flexible, yet restrictive enough to be very effective…for the short-term and the long-term!

As you evaluate all of the diet products out there, choose what makes the most sense for you. The best diet for you may or may not be the one that worked for your best friend or spouse. If you do choose a diet plan that focuses on the short-term, be sure to have a plan for the long-term, as well. Counting calories with a food log and accounting for the calories burned through exercise is a great long-term solution and follow-up plan for the short-term diets out there. After just a few weeks of maintaining this log, you’ll quickly see the benefit of exercise and discover which foods are worth their calories…and which are not. Best of luck in whatever diet you choose!!

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