The Boston Medical Center indicates that approximately 45 million Americans diet each year and spend $33 billion on weight-loss products in their pursuit of a trimmer, fitter body. Most likely, you or someone you know has pursued weight loss based on a rigorous or structured meal plan. Choosing a diet meal plan is critical to losing weight and keeping it off long term.
HOW TO PICK THE BEST WEIGHT LOSS MEAL PLAN FOR YOU
There are hundreds of weight loss meal plans and philosophies that you can follow. Sometimes, having this many options is more overwhelming than liberating! There are some basic meal plan characteristics that you should keep your eye out for when picking a diet philosophy that best suits you. These factors could help you eliminate diet meal plans that may not lead you to successful, long term weight loss:
- Manageability: One of the most important factors of any weight loss program is manageability. If you can’t follow a program, how can you expect to lose weight? Make sure your weight loss program gives you all the essential nutrients, enough calories to sustain your energy levels, and realistic goals.
- Research-based: Make sure that the meal plan you choose is based on research or doctor recommendations. Many diet meal plans have no grounds in science or doctoral studies. These meal plans should not be depended on or trusted for weight loss success.
- Level of long term success: When in doubt, ask the trainer, doctor, or whoever invented the weight loss philosophy to give you information regarding the rate of long term success.
- Balance: Do your research ahead of time to determine your personal views on eating healthy. Most likely, you will want a diet that has a healthy balance of all food groups, fats and sugars included. A balanced meal plan will assure that you’re getting all of your essential nutrients.
- Flexibility: Lastly, find a weight loss meal plan that allows for a little flexibility. If you go too long without your favorite food, you may binge and then, ultimately, suffer from a large bout of guilt. Avoid this “crash and burn” cycle and, instead, find a weight loss meal plan that allows you to have a cookie or some French fries every once in a while.
Dieting is an individual journey. Ultimately the best diet meal plan for you will be one that is geared towards your particular goals and tastes. Pick a plan that works best for you to guarantee success in the long run.