Diet plans are a topic that comes up over and over in everyday life. Go to the store and there are shelves filled with diet products. Visit the health food store and you’ll find tablets that promise to help you ‘melt fat away’. Pick up a magazine and read articles on various amazing and revolutionary diet plans:
• How to drop a dress size in a month!
• How celebrities keep their bikini bodies!
• Forget carbs and shrink your rear!
Weight loss is big business and everyone is trying to get their slice of the dieting pie!
The one thing to understand about diet plans is that just about all of them will work.
The cabbage soup diet works – if you stick to it, you will lose weight. The latest detox diet, whether it be lemon, fruit juice or clear soup will definitely work and your waistline will shrink. A low carb diet will absolutely have you showing lighter on the scales. Any diet plan that encourages you to eat very few calories will work as long as you stick with it.
And there lies the spanner just waiting to drop into your diet cogs!
The secret to any diet, whether it is a fad diet plan or a sensible eating approach is that you absolutely must stick with it. 6 days of no carbs then a bread roll binge will not produce the results that you are looking for. Neither will 3 weeks of cabbage soup followed by 3 weeks of binge eating at the buffet to make up for your feelings of deprivation!
To help you get the best benefits from the diet of your choice, here are 5 Essential Tips For Your Diet Plan in no particular order:
1. Keep yourself hydrated. Drinking water is one of the best things you can do to aid your weight loss efforts and almost every diet plan will recommend that you drink plenty. Generally 6 to 8 glasses per day is recommended. It is important to remember that this is the recommended amount under normal circumstances. If you live in a particularly hot climate and sweat a lot you will need to drink more water. If you are breastfeeding or exercising heavily you should definitely up your intake of H2O!
It’s also important to remember that a recommendation to drink water normally means exactly that – drink water. It doesn’t mean drink coffee or diet soda or milk. All of these should be consumed on top of the required water consumption. Your kidneys will thank you!
2. Never skip a meal. You might not think that eating breakfast is that important. Perhaps you are a shift worker and you end up regularly skipping meals. Regular meals help your body to maintain its fuel and avoid highs and lows in blood sugar levels. Drastic changes to blood sugar can cause you to binge on unhealthy foods when your body starts to crave energy.
Space out your meals appropriately and plan snacks so you are eating something every few hours or so. Throwing some snacks in your bag like a muesli bar or some nuts can be good for those days when you get too busy and realize you’ve skipped lunch again.
3. Eat plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables. We were meant to eat lots of fruit and vegetables. Why else would they be packaged up so conveniently? Getting an appropriate amount of vitamins from fruit and vegetables will help your body maintain healthy functions. Fruit and vegetables contain lots of fiber which is necessary for maintaining a healthy body weight too.
4. Avoid fad diets. Sometimes the advice to avoid fad diets can be as controversial as the diets themselves! You need to really consider how healthy the diet plan is that you are considering. Will it damage your health while helping you to lose weight? Research a little to see if there have been bad reports about your chosen diet plan before you take the plunge and commit.
5. Be realistic. Consider what your chances are of sticking to a low carb diet permanently. Will you manage it for 6 weeks and then go right back to eating how you were before? How about that 60 day fruit juice fast? You are probably better off considering a balanced diet with a small amount of moderate exercise than a very difficult diet that will be hard for you to stick with. The best diets are those that allow you to maintain a similar eating pattern once you go off them. Anything too extreme seems to be very hard to work into your post-diet lifestyle.
Sticking with a diet plan is almost one hundred percent a mental challenge. Be patient. There are a few physical things you might have to contend with (such as a headache from caffeine withdrawal) but generally you will be battling ingrained habits and your own thoughts. This is the main reason why group meeting for weight loss are so popular.
A diet plan that encourages you to modify your habits and your thoughts has the best chance of giving you the weight loss results you are after.