With so many diets and 85927592457 news and articles on “the best” diet, it’s hard to effectively find a diet that actually works for us. I’m talking about lifestyle diet more so than weight loss diets.
First and foremost I think the clarification of diet is important. Diet is more a way of life and a constant list of decisions that determine your general pattern of food choices.
So which diet is actually best? There’s the standard american diet (that one’s not quite the best), the paleo/primal diet, the mediterranean diet, low carb diet, low-fat diet, gluten-free diet, and so many more!
While I’m not writing this to tell you which is best, I will give you the same criteria I use to evaluate and implement my lifestyle and diet plan. You can use these to also support you in your lifestyle diet plan.
It’s important to start here. People are motivated to do things based on the value they attach to them. If you’re considering different diets, it’s important to note what your priorities are. These are some good questions to ask yourself.
1. Am I doing this strictly for weight loss?
2. Am I doing this for health reasons?
3. Am I choosing this diet because it fits my lifestyle best?
4. What are MY pros and cons to each one of the diets I’m thinking through?
5. How long is my planned diet planned for?
Each of these questions will help you make the best decision for your life and general lifestyle.
Give yourself room
Okay, the way I see it, regardless of what overall diet you choose to follow, it’s okay if you don’t follow it to the T! In fact, studies show that diets that are too strict are often broken the fastest because they’re the hardest to stick to!
Rewarding yourself with a treat of some sort or breaking your diet for a meal or a day isn’t going to break your entire diet. Remember we’re talking lifestyle so one day or one meal isn’t going to completely mess you up (you will however love your little cheat!).
If you’re anything like me, I like to stick to the newest and the latest research.
Now, that can be terribly overwhelming with the different kinds of data out there! However, websites such as SmartBrief.com offer electronic newsletters that show quick snippets and summaries of the newest and latest data in nutrition.They get e-mailed to my inbox and it keeps me in the loop with the latest studies in nutrition without having to read all the jargon and scientific reports.
Staying knowledgeable (if this is important to you) will help you stick to your diet better and keep you going strong.
Back up your diet lifestyle with daily decisions
When you choose the diet plan that works for you and your priorities, it’s important you start backing it up with your decisions. Here are some tips to help you stick to that plan (remember a diet lifestyle plan is generally long term).
- Donate, throw out, or give away the things in your pantry that do not support your lifestyle diet plan.
- While it is good to break your diet or treat yourself to a “cheat” (whatever that means with the diet you choose) if you cheat all the time, in reality you’re not really following any diet!
- Make sure your shopping list also supports your lifestyle diet plan. Remember it is much easier to eat the type of food you want to eat when you’re not constantly tempted by looking into the pantry and having to fight all the urges and cravings.
I understand that regardless which diet you’re following right now, choosing any other diet as a lifestyle change or simply getting better at the one you’re currently following will take some effort, work, and a whole lot of discipline.
Take heart, sometimes changing your ways can seem really difficult, but if you start by slowly replacing some meals, with the preferred ones or choosing to add one serving of something will help you slowly change your diet.
Lastly… Don’t get discouraged
If you’re planning on changing your overall diet, or have been trying to for a while, do not get discouraged. Find small ways that will help you stay accountable to yourself and brush up on your knowledge regarding this diet.
For me, when I notice myself slipping entirely from my diet I go back to thinking why I even chose that one to begin with. While my reasons are entirely health reasons, looking over some of the data that backs up my plan really helps me stay strong in my diet plan.
You don’t have to be perfect! Over time, you’ll either improve your plan, re-evaluate your plan, or change your diet plan. At least you can feel good about even choosing to take responsability for your life, your diet, and your decisions!