The act of going on a diet usually has many implications and beliefs attached. In our society, this term ”diet” generally means a plan with a beginning and an end. For some, it is some form of a punishment and deprivation. While others think of it as a road leading up to some big event, such as a wedding. And for most, it is expected to be a time that will be difficult, requiring utmost discipline and sacrifice.
The truth is, after all the hard work, discipline, sacrifice and restrictions, most diets fail miserably. If a diet is too restrictive (which most of the times they are), people tend to stop midway and never get back on–putting back on every pound they lost (and then maybe some extra too!).
A diet plan that is based on sound scientific research by qualified professionals such as dietitians, doctors or nutrition educators can be very successful in helping people who are determined to succeed at their weight-loss goals. A realistic plan can help teach the basics of healthy food choices, portion control, menu planning and much more. It can also provide structure, support, and motivation to those people who feel lost or disorganized. Some diets even eliminate assumptions and confusion by providing daily meal plans, recipes, and shopping lists.
Cutting calories is the key to all weight loss plans! But many people like to have “rules” to follow, that help them to stay on track, which is what makes specific weight-loss plans so fascinating. Whether you choose to lose weight by following a low-carb diet plan, a low-fat plan, or by eating all foods in moderation, the plan you choose is all about your individual preference and how your body responds to it. The utmost success is not how much or how fast you lose the weight, but whether or not you are able to maintain the loss.
- Why am I starting this weight loss journey? Am I just thinking to lose weight or am I really excited about it?
- What are all those things that could slow me down, stand in my way or stop me from reaching my end goal?
- What is my end goal? Do I just want to lose weight as soon as possible or I want to lose weight and then keep it off forever?
- What are my current eating habits and will they be compatible with my new food choices?
- Am I prepared to eat differently from my friends and family at social gatherings and functions?
- What happens if I start a diet and it rules out completely my current eating habits?
- If I am eating out at a restaurant, am I ready to leave food on my plate if the portion is too big?
- Will I be completely honest with myself?
- Will I be able to accept the things I can’t change, like the way people act, joke or speak about my weight loss plans?
- Will I continue monitoring myself and not let old habits creep back in even if I have reached my ideal weight?
- Will the lifestyle of my friends and family affect my weight loss efforts?
- Is the diet I am planning to follow, promising a quick fix or can I expect weight loss at a reasonable rate?
- Can I stay on this plan for a long period of time without getting bored and feeling restrictive or deprived?
Take Home Message
No matter what path you take, I wish you great success in attaining your weight-loss goals. If one path doesn’t get you where you want to go, figure out the reasons and choose another. If you feel you need more guidance, consult with your doctor or reach out to a registered dietitian or wellness coach.