Weight loss is one of the most controversial topics out there with a huge amount of conflicting arguments making it harder to choose the best weight plan for you. The world spends billions of dollars every year on weight loss plans and products, but the only thing we can be sure of is there is no one-size-fits-all solution. There are so many options to choose from and not all of them are safe and credible ways to lose weight for the long-term.
I’ve been on the quest for the perfect weight loss plan for years. I’m diabetic, have PCOS and struggle with IBS. My dietary needs are interesting to say the least. After speaking to a dietician and healthcare providers I now have a plan that suits my individual needs but before today I’ve explored the weight loss plan world extensively and with varying results.
To help you find the right weight loss plan for you which leads to a genuine lifestyle change, here are some of the key questions you should be asking before you settle on a program, be it a slimming club or just a new (to you) way of eating.
Does it Change the Way You Think?
For long-term success, the diet needs to address the way you think about food and should instil new healthy habits and thinking patterns. It’s not enough to pick a plan you can stick with for the short-term if you have no intention of changing your lifestyle.
Is it Safe?
Any diet regime needs to be approved by a healthcare professional. If the diet plan doesn’t recommend that you check with your doctor before you start the plan or ask you for certain health statistics it may not be a safe program. Companies such as resultplan.com tailor their diet plan to you based on essential information about your current lifestyle and your goals.
Is it Credible?
Check if the diet has been approved by professionals such as registered dieticians, fitness professionals, nurses, doctors or psychologists. This is a good indicator of the quality of the diet plan.
Does it Offer Flexibility?
If a plan is too rigid and doesn’t offer you variety or make allowances for your lifestyle and dietary habits, it’s unlikely to suit you in the long run. A diet and exercise regime which is too strict will set you up for failure.
Does it Have Realistic Outcomes?
Be very wary of incredible claims such as “lose 30lbs in 3 weeks” or similar. In fact, any weight loss above 1-2lbs per week is not realistic and will not be sustainable. It’s also important to avoid diet plans which promote pills which will melt fat; these simply don’t exist.
Does it Encourage Accountability?
To ensure you establish healthy habits that you can maintain you need to be involved in the tracking of your calorie intake and exercise. If a 3rd party is responsible for keeping you on track, you won’t have learned anything you can take forward into a new lifestyle.
Does the Diet Provide Nutrition?
Diets which remove entire food groups are generally not recommended as you may be missing out on essential nutrients. On the other hand, avoid diets which suggest eating large quantities of a few foods as this will be too restrictive.
Does it Recommend Regular Exercise?
Diets are most effective when combined with regular exercise; remaining physically active is key to ensuring the weight stays off. Exercise is key to a healthy lifestyle and balanced mental health, regardless of trying to shift pounds. Make exercise a part of your life, not just a way to lose weight.
Can You Stick with the Plan for the Long-term?
Whatever diet plan you choose, the key principles of it need to be things you can maintain for the rest of your life. If you can’t realistically imagine yourself doing this, keep looking.
Choose the Best Weight Loss Plan
At the end of the day it is important to choose the best weight loss plan for you but to make sure that if you are looking to lose weight or simply to eat a more balanced diet that you look carefully into any new regime, especially if, like me, you have any health conditions to take into consideration. Happy (healthy) eating!