It seems like everyone is looking for the best diet. How can you choose the right one?
A diet — or better yet, a plan to eat better, should be a way to learn skills to feed yourself well for the rest of your life.
When determining whether a diet is a good choice for you, ask these questions:
- Is this a plan to change your eating habits for a lifetime or a “quick fix” to lose pounds and then go back to “eating normally?”
Permanent weight loss and good health are both based on a well-balanced diet. Using tricks to drop pounds and then expecting them to stay away when you resume your regular (and most likely less than healthy) eating pattern is unreasonable and will set you up for disappointment and dangerous yo-yoing of your weight. Choose a diet plan which trains you to eat healthfully for life.
- Does it revolve around a “miracle” food or supplement?
There are no magic potions, pills or foods to maintaining a healthy weight. Good health comes from eating a variety of fruits, vegetables, grains and low-fat protein.
- Is the plan filled with “nevers”?
You can never have carbs, sweets, bread, cheese, etc. Deprivation will make you less likely to stick to the plan. Choose a plan that allows you to deal with the occasional treat, slice of pizza or whatever you fancy. Unless you have a food allergy, avoiding whole categories of foods is not productive.
- Does it mention the word “starvation”?
A healthy eating plan allows you to eat lots of food - good food with lots of fiber which forces your body to work to digest it. Getting your metabolism fired up to burn calories and fat is the key. Starving your body will cause your metabolism to slow down, setting you up for failure when you resume eating normally.
- Does it promise weight loss without exercise?
Again, getting your metabolism fired up is they key - so if you aren’t moving your body it isn’t going to work long-term.
- Does it rely on pre-packaged, processed foods?
Unless you plan to eat these meals for the rest of your life, you aren’t learning how to feed yourself well.