There are literally thousands of diet food plans to choose from, whether you are ready for one or not. You may find one while reading your favorite magazine or while watching your favorite television show. You might find one while you are wandering around on the internet. You might even have one emailed to you by a well meaning friend, whether you asked for it or not. Or you may find yourself being handed a diet food plan from your doctor, especially if he is not happy with all of your test results and numbers. But if you are not careful about the kind of diet that you are starting, you will have zero success and may even cause yourself to gain weight in the long run.
There are several criteria that any diet should meet for the best results. It should be convenient and easy to follow based on your own personal lifestyle and needs. It should take into account any special food needs or beliefs. It should take into account the ever-changing needs of your body- from start to finish. It should be safe and effective and have foods from all food groups represented. Finally, any diet plan that is based on a fad diet should be passed by as they are typically unsafe and ineffective.
Before Starting a Diet Food Plan
Before starting a diet food plan, no matter how highly recommended it is from the blogs or other sources, no matter how many times it is said to be “safe”, it is important to discuss the plan as well as your health and weight loss needs with your doctor. You should discuss the realistic goals that you should set for yourself. From the doctor’s point of view, it will not necessarily be about the weight, although the food plan may be based on getting you to a set weight in the future. Instead, the diet may look to accomplish more important tasks such as lowering the blood pressure, the cholesterol or the blood sugar readings. The doctor may refer you to a nutritionist or dietician so that you can find the right diet plan to get back to better health.
Diet Food Plans Based on Lifestyle and Personal Food Needs
A diet food plan that has you cooking from scratch every day of the week or sets unreasonable times to be eating every meal is not going to work if you never cook at home or you are out on the run most of the day. You have to be realistic with yourself so that you can make the choices that will help you come up with the right diet plan. For instance, if you are flying out the door every morning, then you need to find a plan that allows for breakfasts that take mere seconds to plan and make or for trips through the drive through window at the local fast food place- thankfully, there are healthy food choices at most of these places now. If you have the time to cook the foods for the coming week, then do so, freeze them in individual serving sizes and thaw them as needed.
Personal food needs can be difficult in some diet plans- for instance, not all food plans are written with the vegan or the vegetarian in mind. Many of them do not consider the lactose intolerant or those with any other type of food allergy. It is important then that the food plan be carefully considered. Look for one with a little more flexibility so that you can substitute foods that you do not like or cannot eat, no matter what the reason might be.
Diet Food Plan: No Passport Needed
Being adventurous when choosing foods is one thing; having to virtually scour the town for a single ingredient is another. Any diet that has you pulling out a dictionary or asking a grocer for an explanation of what it is and how to use it may not be the plan for you. That goes for diet plans that use expensive ingredients or spices that may drive your menu out of your family’s budget. It is better to be able to incorporate foods that the entire family will eat into your food plan rather than trying to make two meals or worse, trying to get your family to eat foods they have never heard of or may just never develop a taste for.
If you are a foodie and want to give new foods a try as part of a diet plan, then opt for smaller versions of those dishes and have a standby on hand in case the meal gets away from you.
Diet Food Plan: Plateau and Beyond
Once you start losing weight on the diet food plan, you may find yourself needing to adjust the number of calories that you are taking in, especially if you are not exercising at all or are not exercising as much as you could. The calorie count you start with will only remain the right calorie count for a while- if you don’t lower how much you are eating or increase the amount you are moving, your weight loss will stall. The right diet plan will make small adjustments as you move from week to week.