By Diana Sanchez, Staff Writer
Photo by Ola Mishchenko on Unsplash
Concerned that you won’t be able to stick to your diet? Find out how what you can do to help get - and keep - yourself on the right track!
It’s so easy to feel motivated and ready to get started when you first embark on a new diet plan, but it’s all too easy to lose steam. Naturally, you want to make sure you’re on the right diet for you because you want this to be the last time you find yourself in a position where you have to lose weight. So what makes a diet the right diet for you? Read on to find out.
1. Make sure that the diet you pick is not too restrictive.
It’s very hard to stick to a diet when you constantly feel like you are being deprived. If you are considering a diet that is taking away all of the food that you love, you probably want to reconsider. Yes, being on a diet means that you will be making necessary dietary changes, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t still be able to enjoy foods you love - in moderation.
You also don’t want to pick a diet that severely restricts the number of calories you can eat. You should never eat less than 1,200 calories but this number isn’t ideal for everyone. To find out exactly how many calories you should be eating, calculate your BMR. BMR stands for basic metabolic rate, and it refers to the number of calories your body requires at rest. That is to say, your BMR is the number of calories your body needs to keep your body functioning if you were to do nothing but lay in bed all day.
You should never eat below your BMR, although you can certainly eat more if you are very active throughout the day. Check out what your BMR rate is here.
2. Don’t think of your diet as a temporary change.
If you want lasting weight loss results, you really have to think of your diet as a stepping stone to a healthier lifestyle. The time you spend on your chosen diet should be focused on learning new, healthy habits that you can continue to implement once you’ve reached your goal weight and have transitioned to maintaining.
This is why extreme fad diets don’t work- they work temporarily while you’re on them, but they’re not sustainable. They do not teach you healthier eating strategies, or help you to shift to a healthier mindset, and that is why fad dieters have rebound weight gain, again and again - no matter how much weight they’ve lost.
3. Pick a diet that fits your food preferences.
The best diet for you also has a lot to do with what you want to eat. Are you vegetarian? Vegan? A carbivore? Okay, just kidding with the last one, but I definitely feel like one some days!
To give you some perspective, I’m going to share a story with you. This is NOT a diet story, but it is relevant: When I first became pregnant a few years ago, I was so determined to eat healthier than ever before. So I woke up early one Saturday morning, grabbed my Trader Joe’s re-usable bag, and drove to the store. Once there, I confidently threw everything I thought I should be eating into my cart, like veggies, and fruits, and salmon, and chicken… You get the picture. The thing is, I’ve never been crazy about salmon. I was definitely experiencing food aversions in my first trimester, and combining that with the fact that I’d never really liked salmon in the first place, well, you can imagine how well it went when I got around to making salmon for dinner later that week. I definitely had pizza for dinner every night for about a week after that.
The point is, you should never force yourself to pick a diet plan filled with foods you don’t actually want to eat. I started off with great intentions but failed to make realistic plans that I could actually follow through with. I learned that the hard way, so you don’t have to! If you pick a diet filled with foods you don’t like, you will definitely find a million reasons to quit. Don’t set yourself up for failure. The important thing is to gradually adopt new, healthier behaviors. As long as you’re doing that, you will see lasting results. I guarantee it.
And on that note, I will share that I ended up gaining a whopping 40 pounds from that pregnancy. Losing all that weight was TOUGH, and I can tell you that I tried all of the diets in the process. And I do mean all of them. (At least, it felt like I did.) I will be exploring and breaking down exactly what different diets require (and providing FREE meal ideas) on this blog so stay tuned!
What’s the worst fad diet you’ve tried? What’s been your most successful diet? Please share, I’d love to hear your thoughts!