Want to lose weight in 2019 but aren’t sure how? You’re certainly not alone! With everyone you know being on a new year’s health kick and recommending the latest plan, diet, fad…it’s a confusing place to find yourself.
First of all, lets address the problems with what “everyone else” is doing! There is no single diet plan that works for everyone. The best diet for you is the one that you stick to for the long-term. It’s the weight loss plan that fits your lifestyle and is easy for you to follow.
Lose the negative association to the word “diet”
A diet merely means all of the food consumed by a person. It doesn’t mean “to restrict yourself in order to lose weight” like the media like to portray. Negative associations like making certain foods off-limits can really backfire. Create new positive associations by linking eating nourishing foods to feeling good and having more energy.
Learn from other nutritional plans even if you don’t follow them
Of course, there are very extreme plans that involve eating on certain foods…that’s not what we’re talking about here. Think of the popular plans that have run the course for a while, paleo, keto, low carb, plant based, the list goes on. Each one contains common values that you can take away to build a sustainable nutrition plan that you can live with.
- Each plan asks you to increase your intake of whole nutrient dense foods. Just by ditching the junk food, you are taking positive steps forward. Very rarely you come across plans that encourage you to eat more junk food!
- Whichever plan you look at gets you to focus on what you’re eating and makes you pay attention to what quality of food you are putting into your body. Ultimately it is the extra attention which you pay to your diet that will help you to lose weight in the long term.
- The better quality of food that you consume increases your satiety which helps to minimise the need to eat less optimal foods.
Don’t leave food out of your diet unnecessarily
Some plans call for you to go gluten-free, dairy-free, sugar-free, caffeine-free – everything that is vaguely nice…free (you get the jist!). You don’t necessarily have to drop these foods from your diet, however, it’s always wise to listen to your body. When you eat something that your body disagrees with, it bites back with unpleasant symptoms—sometimes immediately.
In addition to relying on indications like weight loss, be mindful of important signs such as energy levels, mood, appetite, normal bodily functions (regular bowel movements and sleep, for example), to see whether a particular diet is working for you.
If you feel miserable after eating lactose, you know to limit dairy products. If you don’t feel good on a low-carb diet after a while, maybe you should rethink it. Some of us have adapted to accept discomfort as being normal and that’s not always the case. Track how you feel in a food diary for at least a week to spot any patterns in your behaviours and adjust as necessary.
Does it call for you to be a hermit?
Is your diet one that can only be followed if you dedicate all your time to preparing your intricate meals? Is socializing difficult to do because of all your restrictions? Although you may be able to follow this for a short period of time, eventually the need to be with others will take over.
Find a way of eating that doesn’t just suit you, but also your family, and allows you the flexibility to still enjoy eating meals out with others.
What is your budget?
Another important factor to consider is your budget. There are healthy diet and exercise plans that will fit every budget, but if your plan includes a gym membership, new equipment, specialty ingredients or supplements, it might also come with a hefty price tag.
Restocking your pantry to make way for a revamped eating plan can cost a fortune if you try to do it all at once, and it could be difficult to maintain. Keep that in mind and make healthy food and beverage choices that fit your budget. Review your food budget and estimate your weekly or monthly food expenses and check if that budget is sustainable. Be realistic, this is the key for long-term success. If needed, explore cheaper alternatives to minimize any financial stress.
The Right Diet Is the One That Keeps You Healthy, Happy, and On-Track
In the process of choosing the best diet for you, try to ignore the claims and advertisements and celebrity endorsements. Focus on your own physical, emotional and lifestyle considerations to find a plan that helps you reach your weight loss goal.