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Choosing a Diet Should Balance Needs with Wants

Updated on October 30, 2012

One of the most important things that you can do if you want to stick with a diet is to choose the right diet. Of course, there are many different diets to choose from so it can seem impossible to figure out which one is the right one for you. Luckily it’s not impossible at all. In fact, choosing the right diet can be relatively simple. You need to look at two things when choosing a diet: what are your needs and what are your wants?

Choosing a Diet that Meets your Needs

The most important part of choosing a diet is to figure out what your needs are. What types of things do you need in your diet that you aren’t currently getting? What types of health problems do you have that could be improved with the right diet? What type of cooking skills do you have and how much time do you have for cooking each week? What other things must be taken into consideration (such as allergies that you have). Choosing a diet starts with identifying these needs.

To identify the needs that you have for a diet, ask yourself the following questions:

·      What do you know that you need to do as part of a healthy diet? For the most part, we already know some of the things that we need to do to get started with choosing a healthy diet. Maybe you eat junk food all of the time so you know that a healthy diet is going to require that you cut back on that. Maybe you know that you are a very lazy person and that part of a healthy diet is going to have to include exercise. Ask yourself this question first and see what you already know. Make a list of these needs.

·      What type of health problems do you have? How do they affect your needs when it comes to choosing a diet? There are two categories to look at here. First, you should look at the health problems that you have which can be at least partially resolved by diet. Second, you need to look at how your health problems may limit any diet that you choose. Sometimes these things go hand in hand. For example, if you have diabetes then you will need to choose a diet that is right for helping to resolve the diabetes. However, you won’t be able to choose a diet that includes zero sugar because there will be times when you need sugar as a result of your health condition. If you aren’t entirely sure what health issues you’re dealing with, go get a physical and discuss the results with your doctor.

·      How much time do you have to devote to your diet? There are some diets that require a lot of attention. They ask you to keep logs of your daily food intake, to prepare meals that may require a lot of time to make and other things that are time consuming. Ask yourself realistically what your needs and restrictions are when it comes to the time you have for your diet. If you don’t have time to do these things then you will need to choose a diet that is less time-consuming, perhaps one that is based on eating prepared meals that are delivered to your door.

Choosing a Diet that Satisfies your Wants

It’s very important for you to be able to meet the needs that you have with a diet. However, your needs are not the only factor. You also have desires when it comes to a diet. If you choose a diet that doesn’t acknowledge these desires then it’s going to be hard to stick with your diet. For example, if you want a diet that offers a wide variety of food options but choose one that doesn’t just because it meets your needs then you probably won’t stick with the diet for long.

Questions to ask yourself about your wants when it comes to a diet:

·      Do you want to do this alone or with a group? Some weight loss plans involve the aid of online or in person support groups. Others are done by the individual alone. Figure out which one you want to narrow down your options when choosing a diet.

·      Do you have specific desires when it comes to your diet? For example, do you want to make sure that you can still eat red meat sometimes? Alternatively, do you want to be a vegetarian? Choose a diet that meets your dietary wants.

·      How much variety do you need in your meals? Knowing what you want when it comes to the amount of variety you have to choose from and the rigidity of your diet can greatly assist you in choosing the right diet plan for you.

·      How many meals per day do you want to eat? Some people are very comfortable eating three meals per day. Other people really need to snack on smaller meals throughout the day. One major goal when choosing a diet is to choose one that really works for you so think about your wants in this area.

·      Do you want to lose weight? Figure out what your goal is for this diet. Are you try to lose weight? Are you trying to gain muscle? Knowing what your specific goals are for dieting will help you to guide the direction of choosing the right diet.

Ask yourself all of these questions. Make a list of all of the needs and wants that you uncover for yourself. Once you have that list, you will be able to look through the many different diets out there to select the right one. You can get a referral from a doctor or friends based on what you’re looking for. Alternatively, you can research options on your own and use your list as a checklist for selecting the right diet. Remember that if the diet that you choose isn’t perfect for you, it’s still a stepping stone. You’ll use it to gain more information about your needs and wants so that you can select a better diet the next time around.


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  • artrush73 profile image

    artrush73 7 years ago

    The picture of food makes me hungry already :)