When it comes to finding the best diet for weight loss, there’s definitely no shortage of plans to choose from.
If you’ve tried Keto, Paleo, Cambridge, and Atkins, not to mention counting calories, counting macros, intermittent fasting, or flexitarian, then you’ll probably feel like there’s a new diet or healthy eating regimen on the scene every week.
You’ll also know that the hard part is making any diet work in the long-term. Even if diets aren’t that restrictive and you do manage to lose weight, if they don’t ultimately fit with your lifestyle, you’ll never stick with them.
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Being realistic in your approach to a new diet is the only way to avoid the never-ending yo-yo cycle of weight loss and weight gain. Slimming down, only to put the weight back on as soon as you stop the diet, only makes you miserable in the process.
Instead, the secret to lasting weight loss is to find a diet that works for you. One that becomes your everyday way of eating, that you can incorporate into your life permanently.
Only you can say what’s best for yourself, but before you dive into any new diet, there are a few key questions you should ask to make sure this one will be the one that finally sticks.
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Avoid the heartache of another diet that doesn’t work with these top tips.
- Keep your diet motivation in mind
Be clear on what’s motivating you from the start and you’ll be more likely to find the right diet for you. For instance, do you want to fit into your old clothes, or do you want to get stronger, or do you need more energy to run around with your kids?
A low-calorie, extreme weight loss plan won’t help if you want to build muscle, so think about your diet goals and it’ll be much easier to find a diet that helps you meet them.
- Keep a food diary before you diet
Keep a food diary for two weeks to a month and take a long, hard look at your current eating habits to see what your weight loss obstacles are.
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You don’t have to be a professional nutritionist to see where those extra pounds are creeping in: For instance, is snacking what’s hurting you? Or is it too much take out, or eating from your kids’ plates? Maybe it’s weekend blowouts or regularly eating at your favorite restaurants?
No matter how excited you are, to begin with, sooner or later your initial feelings of diet motivation wear off and it will all be down to you. With that in mind, it’s important to make sure any diet has a way to deal with your blocks when they happen. If it doesn’t, then what will you do yourself to overcome them?
- Choose a diet that gives the type of progress you want
Do you want to focus on short-term wins that will keep you motivated, or are you happy to lose weight slowly but more steadily? Can you stick with something long-term with less drastic changes or do you need a short sharp shock that’ll get faster results to get you going?
- Choose the right diet for your lifestyle
Look at your habits and lifestyle to decide what diet’s the best fit for you: Will you need to do a lot of food prep? What about eating out at restaurants? Will you need to cook elaborate meals every night? Does it require you need to do a lot of time-consuming meal planning? Do you need to buy a lot of fancy and expensive ingredients, equipment, or supplements? Will you need to weigh food and assess nutrition for everything you eat when you live life permanently on the go?
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This isn’t about finding a diet that doesn’t alter your current lifestyle at all; no successful weight loss plan can promise that. But it is about deciding what you can realistically stick to in the long-term, and how you will deal with obstacles when they do arise.