If you talk to most people about their goals or what they would change about themselves, they would answer in regard to their health. And it’s no wonder, as nearly 74% of Americans are either overweight or obese.
Most of our jobs and lifestyles are relatively sedentary. When paired with unhealthy diets, it’s almost impossible not to gain weight.
Fortunately, there are things we can do to take back our health. By starting a diet and implementing a workout plan, you can improve your health, lose weight, and prolong your life.
However, every year, millions of people start a diet and, eventually, abandon it. How can you keep this from happening?
We’re here to help. Keep reading for the top eight factors to consider to make sure you choose a diet that’s effective and sustainable.
1. Is It Healthy?
Most importantly, when starting a diet, you must make sure you’re working to improve your health, not sabotage it. While crash diets can be staggeringly effective, they can be equally unhealthy for you.
Sure, who wouldn’t want to lose as much weight as possible, as quickly as possible? The problem is, your body can’t handle extreme weight fluctuations. When you lose weight too quickly, several things happen:
- It shocks your system
- Your metabolism slams on the brakes
- It becomes easy to put the weight back on (and sometimes more)
Ideally, you should only aim to lose one to two pounds per week. Your body struggles to keep up with anything more.
Furthermore, extreme diets can leave you malnourished, which can lead to a multitude of negative side effects. These include chronic fatigue, physical weakness, irritability, inability to focus, and more.
2. Is It Sustainable?
Aside from looking out for your health, you must also make sure you think about longevity when starting a diet. This, of course, applies to being healthy.
However, the sustainability of your diet also depends on the diet restrictions and your personality. For example, some types of diets are incredibly limiting. They may call for no carbs, a diet of only fruits and vegetables, etc.
If you are someone who enjoys food that tastes good or gets bored easily, these diets might not work for you. The success of any diet demands consistency and commitment. Make sure the diet you choose is something you can stick with long enough to see the results.
3. Does It Fit Your Lifestyle?
When looking at different types of diets, you must also make sure it suits your lifestyle. For example, if you are an avid hunter and love to eat meat, choosing a vegetarian or vegan diet probably isn’t the right choice. Alternatively, if you’re a vegetarian or vegan, choosing a diet, like the Paleo diet, that relies heavily on animal fats and proteins won’t work.
Additionally, think about convenience. If the diet you choose hinges on your ability to home-cook every meal, make sure you have the time to do so. Otherwise, if you’re too busy, find a diet plan that offers a meal delivery service to make your life easier.
Choosing a diet that doesn’t fit your lifestyle will make it far too easy to abandon it.
4. Is It Effective?
Of course, when starting a diet, you must consider its efficacy. Will it help you achieve your weight loss goals? What other goals are you hoping to achieve?
We recommend finding diet reviews from other people online. See what they have to say about their results and overall experience with the diet. Now, remember, just because a diet strategy is effective, it doesn’t mean it’s the right one for you.
5. Does the Diet Mesh with Your Health and Fitness Goals?
We discussed earlier the importance of starting a diet that suits your lifestyle, this includes your health and fitness goals. Diet and exercise often go hand-in-hand. Your fitness goals will most likely benefit from a strategy that incorporates both.
Therefore, you must think about performance and long-term results when choosing a diet. For example, if you’re a bodybuilder, powerlifter, or Olympic weightlifter trying to burn off some extra fat, you must ensure your diet contains plenty of sources of protein.
Additionally, if performance is a top priority, steer clear of low-carb/no-carb diets. Carbohydrates are your body’s preferred source of energy. Limiting your carbs can substantially hinder your performance.
6. Should You Seek Professional Advice?
Next, consider if you need to talk to a professional. This could mean talking to a medical dietitian or hiring a nutrition coach. Ultimately, it depends on your body type, your weight loss goals, and any other contributing factors that will affect your health.
Working with these professionals is essential for understanding how the body works, how you burn and use calories, and how your body reacts to different types of nutrients.
We recommend seeking a professional to help you with your diet if you’re new to working out, dieting, have health concerns, or simply looking for an edge.
7. Is It Affordable?
Before starting a diet, make sure it’s something you can afford. Not all diets are expensive, but not all diets are affordable either. However, there are ways to compromise.
For example, if you choose a diet meal delivery service, you don’t have to rely on the service for every single meal. Consider replicating some of their meals on your own or sticking with the basics when cooking for yourself.
However, simple isn’t always cheap either. While fruits and vegetables are inexpensive, a diet heavy in meat can get quite pricy.
8. Does It Address Your Unique Circumstances?
Finally, consider any personal circumstances that might affect the efficacy of a diet. For example, someone with hypothyroidism may have more difficulty losing weight than others.
Someone who’s experimented with various crash diets might also have trouble losing weight. As noted earlier, extreme diets can destroy your metabolism, making your body more reluctant to drop weight in the future.
Lastly, think about any other medical conditions you have. While no-carb diets might not be the best for some people, they are incredibly beneficial for people with diabetes.
Planning on Starting a Diet?
We understand the importance of losing weight and getting fit. However, hold back on starting a diet until you’ve done your homework. Make sure the weight loss strategy is ideal for your unique circumstances, budget, and fitness goals.
And if you’re looking for some great dishes, check out some of our available meals. We have a wide variety of meals that are suitable for anyone looking to eat right. And for more information and dieting tips, look through the rest of our blog before you go.
- **1. Health Goals and Needs: Before you begin, clearly define your health goals. Are you aiming for weight loss, muscle gain, improved energy levels, or managing a specific health condition? Your goals will dictate the type of diet that aligns with your needs.
- **2. Diet Type: Research various diet options and choose one that suits your lifestyle and preferences. Whether it’s Mediterranean, Keto, Vegan, or others, ensure it aligns with your health goals and dietary restrictions.
- **3. Nutritional Adequacy: Ensure your chosen diet provides all the necessary nutrients, including vitamins, minerals, protein, healthy fats, and carbohydrates. Avoid diets that severely restrict food groups unless under medical supervision.
- **4. Portion Control and Calories: Be mindful of portion sizes and caloric intake. Balancing the calories you consume with those you burn is fundamental for weight management and overall health.
- **5. Meal Planning: Plan your meals and snacks in advance to prevent impulsive choices. This can help you make healthier choices and avoid unnecessary temptations.
- **6. Food Availability and Accessibility: Consider the availability of foods required by your chosen diet. Are they easily accessible in your area? Will you need to prepare meals at home more often?
- **7. Social and Cultural Factors: Take into account how your diet may impact social interactions and cultural practices. Communicate your dietary choices with friends and family to foster understanding and support.
- **8. Sustainability: Opt for a diet that you can maintain in the long run. Extreme restrictions often lead to short-term success followed by relapse.
- **9. Physical Activity: Incorporate regular exercise into your plan. Physical activity complements a healthy diet and supports overall well-being.
- **10. Professional Guidance: If you have specific health conditions or unique dietary requirements, consult a healthcare professional or registered dietitian for personalized advice.
- **11. Mindset and Emotional Well-being: Consider your relationship with food and how your emotions influence eating habits. Cultivate a positive mindset to navigate challenges and setbacks.
Starting a diet is more than just changing what you eat; it’s about making informed choices that align with your goals and overall well-being. By carefully considering these factors and planning accordingly, you set yourself up for a successful and sustainable dietary journey.
In conclusion, choosing a diet is a personal and complex decision that requires careful consideration of various factors. These factors include individual health goals, dietary restrictions or preferences, cultural and ethical beliefs, and lifestyle. It’s essential to consult with healthcare professionals or registered dietitians to develop a diet plan that aligns with your specific needs and goals. Additionally, sustainable and long-term dietary changes tend to be more effective than short-term fad diets. Ultimately, the key to success in choosing a diet lies in finding a balanced and sustainable approach that supports overall health and well-being while considering individual circumstances and objectives.