How To Choose The Right Diet For You
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Originally Posted On: https://www.consumervoice.org/articles/how-to-choose-the-right-diet-for-you
So, you’re ready to take that first step towards a healthier life but you aren’t sure where to begin. A quick google search for “diet” brings up millions of results, and you’re left even more lost than when you started. From Atkins to Intermittent Fasting and more, a new diet pops up every day leaving you to try and figure out which is the right one for you.
When it comes to choosing the right diet, the best one is always going to be the one that sticks. Too many people get caught up looking for the diet that will provide instant results, not realising that as soon as you can’t keep it up anymore you end up sliding right back to where you originally were.
Picking a diet isn’t easy, but by keeping a few simple tips in mind you can ultimately find the perfect option for you that offers long-term, lasting results and leads you to feeling healthier and happier each day.
But How Do You Define Diet?
Sadly the word diet has come to have a pretty negative connotation associated with it, as most people, and the media, use it to mean something other than what it is. Unlike the popular definition, a diet doesn’t have to mean restricting what you eat or depriving yourself in order to lose weight. Instead, a diet is simply what you eat during a day and when you eat it.
Setting up the perfect diet for you should mean re-evaluating what, and when, you eat and playing around with that until you feel your best. It could mean swapping out sweet treats for healthier options, but it could also mean eating more protein, lowering your carb intake, or spreading out your meals to certain times of the day.
The word diet doesn’t need to be a negative one, and if you want to be successful then you need to re-shape the way you approach the word. If you think of a diet as only eating dry salads for the rest of your life, you’re probably not going to want to stick with it for very long. But, if you think about switching out your potato chips for some pita and hummus during lunch then it will seem a lot more doable.
What Does Your Budget Actually Look Like?
For those who need more structure when it comes to making changes in their lives, you likely are considering a specific diet plan instead of just creating your own changes. If you fall into this category, then the first thing you need to evaluate is just how much money you are able, and willing, to spend.
Some diet plans can actually save you money, such as Intermittent Fasting, since you are eating fewer meals per day and can focus on making healthier choices at specific times instead of trying to shop for 6 meals per day. Other diet plans like NutriSystem are much more expensive, as they are designed to supply you with all of your meals each day. Everything is prepped and pre-made for you, so all that is left for you to do is warm it up and enjoy it.
Sitting down and figuring out your budget will be a big first step in narrowing down what is going to work for you, versus what will end up being a burden on your bank account.
Not Enough Time In A Day
Life is hectic – you somehow need to get everything on your to-do list accomplished while also being able to make time for yourself. Most days you crawl into bed at night and go over everything you weren’t able to get done, making yourself a bigger to-do list for the next day. If this sounds like you, then you’re going to need a diet that fits into your schedule and not something that is going to add more to your plate.
Meal prepping is a very popular way of dieting, and if you have a certain day of the week that offers more free time than others, you can use that as a way to prepare all of your meals for the upcoming week. By cooking in large batches, you can then portion everything into reusable containers and save time going forward by only needing to reheat your food.
KISS Your Bad Habits Goodbye
Developed by the US Navy back in the 60s, KISS is an acronym for Keep It Simple, Stupid, and it applies heavily when choosing the right diet for you. We’ve all seen those diets that have more rules than a prison, and the list of what you can’t eat is longer than most kids Christmas wish lists. The more complicated your diet plan is, the more likely it is that you’re going to get sick of it pretty quickly making it pointless and ineffective. This is why the best diets are the ones that are simple, straightforward, and require as little effort as possible.
Only eating foods that are green is going to make grocery shopping a nightmare, and you’re likely to end up with a handful of deficiencies along the way. Instead, keep it simple and start having a side salad with dinner instead of the usual starchy component like rice or potatoes. Creating a fasting schedule where you eat normal on some days, skip other days, and reduce calories in between is going to get you confused, but if you simply don’t eat after 7pm every day then everything is simple and easy to follow.
Identify the things you want to change and then find a simple solution to help you achieve them. And, don’t expect to be able to change everything at once. Start with one thing and make it a habit, then add in a second change. Slow and steady is going to mean better results, and a happier, healthier you.
Trust A Professional
Your body is unique, and while all humans require similar nutrients and vitamins in order to function properly we all have varying levels, deficiencies, and even allergies. If you want to truly be successful with your diet then one of the most important things you can do is to sit down with your doctor, or a health professional, and find out where your body may be out of whack.
Blood tests can help reveal if your glucose levels are too high, what your cholesterol looks like, and whether or not you’re getting enough of each vitamin daily. This then maps out where major changes need to take place, such as lowering your sugar intake or reducing how much salt you consume.
A health professional can also assess your weight and see what a normal range for your height and shape are. Armed with this, suggestions and recommendations can be made, as well as personalized meal plans and even targeted exercises.
The real key to success is consistency, so always keep that in mind as you wade through the various options. Yo-yo dieting, where you do it, stop, start again, stop, etc, can actually harm your body over time, so it is much more important to look for long-term results rather than quick ones. Not only that, but you want to make sure you are being healthy and safe, avoiding drastic dietary measures such as not eating enough or taking unknown supplements you ordered online.
Diets don’t need to be focused around weight loss, and instead the goal should always be creating a healthier and happier version of yourself. Each step you take is bringing you closer to changing your lifestyle, not being a specific size, and you need to enjoy the change in order to want it and make it stick. The right diet, combined with daily physical activity, will ultimately give you the results you want, so be patient and enjoy the journey.
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