The statistics about weight-loss diets are not good. Around 90% of people who experience a huge weight loss put all that weight back on.
Often, people who diet are doing so from a place of low self-esteem, fear, and panic. They choose a diet that works for a colleague or one that promises the biggest weight loss in the shortest amount of time.
Diets are not a quick fix, they are a lifestyle change. There are a lot of considerations to think about before embarking on one. And if you set those intentions, you could enjoy a healthier, longer, and fuller life.
You could be in the 10% of people that lose weight for good.
Here are all the factors you need to think about before choosing one of the many weight-loss diets out there.
1. Consult Your Doctor or Nutritionist
Those who are starting a diet to lose 10Ibs or less likely do not need to consult a doctor.
But if your weight loss goals include losing over 30Ibs and/or you are obese, it is always a good idea to talk to a healthcare professional first. There may be underlying health conditions you need to take into consideration.
And, they may be able to offer advice or guidance that makes weight loss so much easier for you.
2. Have a Clear End Goal to Work Towards
What is the difference between these two goals?
- I am going to travel someday
- I am going to travel to Italy for two weeks in June which leaves six months to save and plan the trip
The second goal is an example of a SMART goal, which anyone starting weight-loss diets should have.
It is not enough to want to “lose weight.” You need to know your goal weight, when you hope to achieve this weight, and how you are going to do it.
There are a lot of factors surrounding weight loss so it should be a moveable date and it should be realistic. You need to give yourself the opportunity to start again if you mess up.
Weight loss is not only for weddings and vacations, it is a lifelong commitment.
3. Still Consume All Macros and Micros
No matter what your weight-loss goals are, you should still be consuming all the macro and micronutrients you need to live.
Becoming nutrient deficient to lose weight like using a credit card to pay off another credit card debt. You might have paid off one debt but you are now in debt somewhere else!
If you need a reminder, macronutrients are the big three: carbohydrates, protein, and fat. There are lots of micronutrients including calcium, iron, zinc, and all your vitamins and minerals.
Many weight-loss diets are low carb and high in sources of protein. If that works for you, great! But no good weight-loss diet removes whole food groups.
This is why diets like the cabbage soup diet or grapefruit diet will almost always fail.
4. Make Healthy and Easy Swaps
Weight-loss diets work when you make healthy eating into a natural habit. It is difficult to form brand new habits, but it is much easier to replace unhealthy choices like-for-like with healthy ones.
Instead of storing white flour with gluten, buy cassava flour instead. Swap full-fat dairy milk to oat milk and salt to tasty herbs and spices.
Here are some other simple healthy food swaps:
- Chips and salsa = pitta bread and hummus
- Snickers and Mars bars = dark chocolate
- Salted peanuts = almonds, hazelnuts, and walnuts
There are many more! Make a list of all the foods you need to reduce in your diet and research which are the most calorific. Then, think of an alternative you can replace it with.
This does not mean you will never eat a Snickers bar ever again. But temporary deprivation, in this case, will lead to a better quality of life later on.
5. Consider Many Types of Diets and Lifestyles
Choosing the actual diet is, of course, one of the biggest factors when considering weight-loss diets.
You need to make sure whatever diet you choose is one you can continue some version of once you reach your weight loss goals.
Here are some types of diets that scientists have proven to be great diets:
- Meditteranean diet
- Whole food/clean eating diet
- Vegan diet
- Paleo diet
- Gluten-free diet
A paleo diet would not work for a vegetarian. And a vegan diet would not work for someone who loves to cook meat. Choose a diet that is as close as possible to the kinds of foods you want to spend the rest of your life eating.
That way, you are more likely to stick to it and keep the weight off.
Meal plans are fantastic if you can afford them and lead a busy lifestyle. But what happens when you reach your goal? Do you stay on a meal plan forever?
Likely not, but you could sign up for a prepared meal kit service like Blue Apron. This would help you transition from a meal plan diet to a lifestyle diet.
6. Prepare in Advance
Preparation is key for any big life change. Before you start, donate any foods that do not align with your new diet to a food bank. Fill your cupboards only with food that is part of the diet to limit temptation.
Practice recipes before the “official” start date of your diet. Plan a daily meal schedule at the start of the week so you know the types of food you will eat at certain times of the day.
Thinking, “what should I make for my dinner?” at three in the afternoon is dangerous territory.
7. Find a Diet Buddy or Support Group
Last but not least, following a weight-loss diet is always easier if you have a dieting buddy. You do not have to follow the same diet plan, but having an accountability partner and motivator is invaluable for support.
And if you cannot find anyone in your family or friendship circle, join a Facebook group or look for hashtags on Instagram.
Weight-Loss Diets for a Healthier You
Weight-loss diets are not a quick fix for unhealthy living. The only way you will lose your excess weight for good is by caring for yourself and making a lifelong commitment to healthy eating.
You will slip up from time to time. No one is perfect. But in the end, you will be able to enjoy more experiences and have a better quality of life.
Browse our online magazine for some more healthy lifestyle tips!