Which diet is best? 5 Tips for choosing a weight-loss plan that works for you
- 2 Minutes Read
You want to lose weight, but which diet is best? Here's how to sort through the countless weight-loss diets available.
Let's face it. There is no single best weight-loss diet. If that were the case, we would all be following the same plan. Any eating plan that results in eating fewer calories than you burn will cause weight loss. However, what you eat is vital for meeting nutrient needs and promoting health. Some diets are better than others at helping you achieve all of those goals.
If a diet eliminates your favorite foods, it can be challenging to follow. You may even find that when your favorite foods are off-limits, you crave them even more. If you thrive on variety, a diet limited to a narrow list of foods can become too monotonous to maintain. Also, restricting food variety could result in inadequate vitamin or mineral intake.
If you spend hours shopping, meal planning, and cooking for a diet, it will be harder to sustain if you are too busy juggling work, family, and other commitments.
If you value family meals or dining with friends, a plan that doesn't allow you to eat the same foods as others may leave you feeling left out and deprived.
If a diet plan requires expensive ingredients, supplements, or exclusive meals to order, and you are on a budget, it won't be a good fit for you. Don't let cost be a barrier to meeting your goals. Healthy eating can be affordable.
As a consumer, use a "buyer beware" mindset when you consider which diet to follow. Weight loss is big business, and safety may or may not be a part of the equation. If you need help deciding what type of weight-loss plan is best for you, ask your healthcare provider or dietitian for guidance. We recommend a gradual rate of weight-loss, from 1-2 pounds a week, for example. Make sure a diet plan is in sync with your current medical conditions and your age. The same is true for essential nutrient and calorie requirements. Choose an eating plan that supports your needs and conditions, and always check with your doctor to be certain.
While you may choose a plan to meet your initial weight loss goals, at some point, you will need a plan to follow for the long term. Choose one that encourages affordable, accessible, and acceptable healthy food choices just right for you. If the weight-loss plan does not help you learn about nutritious food choices and portion control, you might regain weight once you are off the diet. Weight loss is only half of the journey. Keeping the weight off is just as important as the initial weight loss. Try to keep the long view in mind when choosing a plan. The best weight-loss diet may not be a "diet" at all, but rather a sustainable lifestyle.
Does a plan promise weight loss without exercise? Offer a quick fix? Rely more on testimonials than evidence? Promote expensive supplements? These are all red flags. Trust your instincts. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Here are some trusted resources to help you overlook the hype, and find which diet is best for you:
Regardless of the diet type you choose, logging food intake with MyNetDiary will help you discover how your food choices affect your nutrient intake and weight. We offer:
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Adapted from original content by Kathy Isacks, MPS, RDN, CDCES.Weight Loss->Diets