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How To Select A Diet That Works – Achieving Long term Weight Loss

Posted on | July 2, 2011 | Comments Off on How To Select A Diet That Works – Achieving Long term Weight Loss

Whether you are a first time dieter, who is daunted and bewildered by the formidable task of that lies in front of you, or you’re a veteran who has fallen off the wagon recently, weary and frustrated with yo yo dieting and the anguish it brings, take heart.  Here are a some weight loss tips on selecting a diet that is right for you, and that by design will help you stick to your diet and transform it into a healthy lifestyle.

* Avoid fad diets, and quick weight loss programs

* Choose a proven weight loss diet plan that is affordable

* Avoid complicated and time consuming meal preparation

* Choose a diet plan that is fully adaptable to your schedule

* Select a diet that can be adapted to your family/ social life

* Choose a balanced diet that has variety

* Select a diet that ensures a daily calorie reduction

* Choose a diet that provides enough daily energy

* Don’t rely solely upon diet aids such meal replacements

* Educate yourself about basic nutrition and the foods you eat    

Avoid imbalanced mono food diets, and rapid weight loss schemes involving starvation diets, unsafe amounts of exercise, or a potentially dangerous combination of the two, because these approaches are un-natural and cannot be sustained by anyone.  If you do plan to undertake a short, reasonable weight loss plan that aggressively restricts daily caloric intake and involves moderately heavy to heavy exercise, consult your physician and a fitness specialist.  Additionally, you should have a strategy in advance to help you transition to a more sustainable diet and exercise routine, in order to ensure long term weight control, once you have met your weight loss goal.  Weight loss methods that promote gradual and sustained weight loss offer the best hope of providing life long weight control.

 Choose a proven weight loss diet program, from among the many that are available, Weight-Watchers, Jenny Craig, Curves (for women only,)  the Atkins Diet, the South Beach Diet, the Slim Fast Diet, Dr. Dean Ornish, and Macrobiotics to name several, or alternatively, develop your own diet plan from sound research on popular proven strategies that you’ve read up on in health, nutrition, and fitness journals.  Groups like Weight-Watchers and Jenny Craig, provide peer support and regular instruction, that can be helpful to individuals who need it, provided they also have the time and funds to join and participate on a regular basis.  Diet guides and books can provide similar instructional support and inspiration, if the diet or plan is explained clearly, and provided the basis and benefits of the diet or plan are factual, and presented in a motivational way.  

 Choose a diet plan that is affordable, if you join a group with weekly or monthly meeting dues, their program may also involve diet menus that require specially prepared foods, sold to you by that group.  Make sure that the total cost for belonging to the group is well within your budget.  If you plan to use meal replacements or significantly change your normal grocery list to more diet friendly foods, calculate the added cost to your grocery budget.  If the estimated cost is too great, try to find more affordable, equally effective substitutes for  meal replacements and groceries your diet will require.

 Avoid the pitfall of buying special diet foods in bulk, until you are sure they continue to be palatable and well tolerated by your body, week in and week out.  You may have to experiment with food selections within the diet you have selected first, in order to arrive at a balanced and palatable rotation of meals that you enjoy eating.

 During your diet research, resist the claims of diet industry marketers trying to persuade dieters that their product is exclusive and produces magical or vastly superior results.  Their companies may, (or may not,) have a good product or plan, but in many cases less costly alternatives can be found that will yield the same or similar dietary results as the more highly commercialized diets or plans.

 Avoid complicated and time consuming meal preparation, budget any additional time that is needed outside of your present daily schedule to plan, shop for, and prepare meals and meal replacements that you intend to include in your new diet carefully.  Avoid allotting so much time and energy to these activities that they become a burden on you, or unworkable, day in and day out.

Preparing nutritious meals from fresh unprocessed food sources is always a great way to eat healthier and help control your weight, but for those with limited time in their personal schedules, a balance needs to struck.  Preparing some meals, more than one at a time, and freezing them in advance can be a net time saver.  You should  also consider including a greater mix of ready to eat foods such as fruits, vegetable snacks, nuts and quickly prepared fresh foods such as salads into your diet, which will help you manage the overall time required for meal preparation.

 Choose a diet plan that is fully adaptable to your schedule, this includes any exercise component that you have chosen to include, or is required by the diet plan you have selected.  If you travel, or have to eat out for business routinely, or are otherwise very active socially, you will have to factor in how you will make travel and business meeting substitutions, as needed, for exercise and meal planning, in order keep on track up with your diet plan.  The more consistent you are with your diet, the more success you will have losing and keeping unwanted pounds off, choose a plan you can realistically implement and improvise for, on any given day in your typical schedule. 

Select a diet that can be adapted to your family/ social life, there are some very good reasons that you should consider this point carefully.  To begin with, if the other people sharing your living quarters, can adopt some or all of the new food and meal choices you will be making, this may accomplish three things.  If you already eat your meals together, you can save on duplication of grocery items and the some or all of the time required for meal preparation.  You will also remove some of the temptation that results when you see others eating less healthy food choices at meal time and while socializing at home.  If this is not feasible, you will at the very least, have to consider carefully how you will navigate the situation and maintain your diet under those circumstances.

 The same goes for restaurant selections that you make when socializing with friends and family members. Where possible, lobby at decision time, for restaurant choices with wider menu variety, that will allow you to eat more healthy and help you better adhere to your diet.  This may require some online nutritional data searches for the menu items you would like to order at any of the given restaurant choices your group is considering.  You may also utilize portion reduction and menu substitutions to help maintain your diet requirements, when eating out.  This is also a common strategy for folks with food allergies, and metabolic disorders such as diabetes, when they are eating out.

 Choose a balanced diet that has variety, for two important reasons, you will be far less likely to be tempted to stray from your diet, because you tired of eating the “same old, same old,” and because variety will help ensure you are getting balanced nutrition.  Many commercial diet programs such as Jenny Craig and Weight-Watchers offer a variety of pre-prepared meals, specifically to address these issues.  This also allows the programmers of these diet programs to organize meal plans that limits the total calories a dieter will consume daily.

 Select a diet that ensures a daily calorie reduction, this is the key to all diets.  Without limiting the total number of calories that a person consumes on a consistent daily basis, losing weight is extremely difficult on average.  The only other methods of losing weight are exercise or vigorous activity, and increasing your resting metabolic rate, each of which have limitations in their effectiveness, when calorie intake is left unchecked.   This is also relates to the reason behind the alarming obesity epidemic in America.  Most Americans do not get enough exercise or calorie burning activity and as they age the resting metabolism slows.  As a result the extra calories accumulate as fat.

 Choose a diet that provides enough daily energy, if you don’t do this, it follows that you eventually begin to overeat foods rich in carbohydrates for a quick energy boost.  Carbohydrates are known to be stored as body fat more rapidly than protein and fats (i.e., as a food group) are burned more slowly than carbohydrates.  Additionally, you will eventually lose interest in the diet due to chronic fatigue and lack of interest, or inability to exercise and maintain an active lifestyle.

 Don’t rely solely upon diet aids such meal replacements, for the same reasons that you should choose a diet that has variety (see above.)

 Educate yourself about basic nutrition and the foods you eat, this is perhaps the most important thing you can do for your health, and controlling your weight.  Learn more about the recommended balance between protein, carbohydrates and fats and what the calorie value is for any given quantity you consume.  The nutrition labels on foods are an important aid in educating yourself about nutrition values of the foods contained in your daily diet.  The internet is a good source for food nutrition tables that will provide this information for the majority of foods we eat.  Moreover, many restaurant chains have websites that post nutrition tables for the items they serve on their menus. 

Written by JJ Haugh All Rights Reserved