- Diet & Weight Loss
What Diet is Best for You? Things You Should Consider Before Choosing a Diet Plan
What is the Best Diet?
That's a question everyone seems to be asking-- what diet is the best diet? Which ones are scams, and which ones will finally bring success? The answer is simple: there are no best diets. Or actually, all of them are the best (as long as they're healthy).
The trick is finding the best diet for you.
Everyone is different. We all have different bodies. One person may try a diet and find the weight just falls off, while another person on the same diet may experience frequent stalling. Furthermore, you have to take lifestyle and preferences into account-- a diet that requires a lot of meal preparation is not going to work for a busy person who reads a recipe wondering what a skillet is and if she can just use her frying pan instead.
Now that you're ready to get serious, it's time to consider what diet is best for you-- what fits your needs and your lifestyle, so that you can increase your chances of success. Here's a guide to help point you in the right direction.
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Diets for People Who Hate Cooking
Maybe cooking isn't your thing; maybe you're too busy to get home and make a proper meal, or you just don't like to cook. That doesn't mean you can't still eat a well-balanced diet. Instead of spending your money on restaurants, take-out or surviving on things like rice cakes and diet bars, consider joining a diet program that provides food for you, such as Jenny Craig or Nutrisystem or Medifast. When you join these programs, they do the cooking for you: they balance your calories and deliver your pre-packaged meals to you.
If you would rather not join a program, you don't need to become a member. Pre-packaged diet meals can be found at your local supermarket: Healthy Choice, Lean Cuisine, Smart Ones and Weight Watchers. From breakfast to dessert, you can have a balanced day without ever going any further than your microwave.
Diet for People Who Love to Cook
Some people love to cook-- so much so that all those homemade delicacies and treats can really pile up the pounds. Your love of culinary adventures doesn't mean you can't ever be thin-- in fact, if you love to cook, you're ahead of the game. You don't have to deprive yourself from eating home-cooked meals; you just need to re-learn how to put them together.
It is a simple matter of learning how to cook healthier. Give your old favorite recipes a makeover-- replace the ground sausage and chop meat with lean ground turkey. Switch from white rice to brown rice. Instead of loading your cupcakes with sugar, try substituting some mashed fruit or veggies to add sweetness.
Once you start learning new techniques in the kitchen, making a healthy meal will come completely natural to you, and you will be able to do it in your sleep.
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Diets for Meat Lovers
You want to lose weight, but you just don't want to give up your steaks, your bacon, your butter and salad dressings. Well, believe it or not, there are diets out there for you. Diets usually known as "low carb" diets will allow for a little more meat and fat intake than normal diets.
There is a sacrifice with these diets, however: they usually require restriction on things like bread, rice, potatoes and even fruit. Sometimes those restrictions can be severe. Still, if you're willing to limit your carb servings, and stick mainly with whole grain products, it can allow you to enjoy a little more meat and fat.
Best of all, fat is very satiating, and a lot of people on low-carb diets report their hunger cravings decrease significantly as long as they're adhering to it.
Atkins- The Most Famous Low-Carb Diet
Dr. Atkins caused a real splash in the diet industry with his low-carbohydrate revolution. Though this diet plan has many critics, it also has many satisfied customers.
Don't count out the carbs-- the key to a healthy diet is balance, moderation and healthy choices. You can do that just as easily eating carbs as you can do it limiting them.
Diet for Carb Lovers
Carbohydrates have really gotten a bad reputation over the years thanks to the popularity of low-carb diets and slurs from negative ad campaigns. The truth is, you need carbohydrates; they are a major food group. And if you are a carb lover, and wanted to cry when they told you losing weight meant giving up bread and pasta-- fear not. You do not have to give up carbs!
All things in moderation-- that's the key. Look for diets that limit "simple" carbs, like white flour and white rice products. Instead, opt for diet plans that encourage "complex" carbohydrates, or carbs in the form of vegetables, whole grains and legumes. Have your pasta-- just have it as a side dish instead of a main course; and opt for wheat pasta instead of white flour pasta. Include a big salad and a lean, grilled chicken breast, and you have the makings of a great, healthy meal-- carbs and all!
Diets for People Who Have Trouble Tracking Calories
One of the biggest problem for most dieters is keeping track of accurate portion sizes, calories, fat, carbohydrates and all the other things you should be keeping track of on a daily basis. Often when people stall, or gain a little weight back, they're genuinely stumped as to what the problem is-- and the culprit is usually poor tracking. You add the food, but forget the latte you had after lunch. You remember you had chicken for lunch, but not that you technically had two servings instead of one.
There are some diets that are specifically made to help keep track of what you're eating so that you can continue to make sensible choices. Weight Watchers PointsPlus is a diet plan designed to help you keep track with their simple point system.
Some websites have been aiming to help people with tracking as well, free of charge. Try Fitday.com or Sparkspeople.com if you're looking to get digitally organized with your meal plan. Another great reason to try these websites is the support you can get from your fellow dieters.
Diet for Health-Conscious People
For some of us, it's not about fitting into a bikini next summer-- it's all about health. After all, without health, what good is anything else? Another thing to consider is that, if you do take care of your health first and foremost by eating a balanced, nutritionally dense diet, then weight loss and looking good just naturally follows. It's a win-win situation!
If health is your biggest concern, then most of your calories should come from fresh foods-- primarily fruits and vegetables. Fruits and vegetables have a lot of nutrients and can really help to jump-start your metabolism. The closer to nature they are, the better they are for you. In fact, it's better to eat raw, blanched or lightly steamed fresh veggies than it is to eat those that have been processed and canned, or those boiled to death.
Grab some vegetarian diet books next time you go shopping to ensure a variety of recipes that include lots and lots of greens-- and reds, and yellows, and purples. Basically, if you eat a rainbow of fresh produce every day, you know you're doing okay.
Juice Your Way To Health
When you juice, you get the best of all the nutrients of the plants. If you don't like eating a lot of salads or taking time to cook in the evenings, just have a couple of cups of juice per day instead to ensure you're getting your nutrition.
Diets for People Who Need Help
For some people, dieting just isn't easy. No matter how you track, or what plan you follow, it just doesn't help you with the cravings, or with weight loss stalls and plateaus. Everyone's metabolism is different, and some people just need a boost.
There are a number of supplements out there for dieters who need that little push. Nutritional supplements that boost metabolism or suppress appetite can sometimes be the push you need to get you over the edge and help you along to success. A lot of those products are available over the counter.
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On Your Way To a New, Healthy You
Remember that the goal of your diet is not just losing weight, but to lose weight and become a healthier, happier person with more energy, who feels great and will live a good, long life. As such, always be careful when starting any diet. Consult your doctor, discuss your options and get a check up to make sure that a certain diet won't harm you.
Also remember that any healthy diet will work-- as long as you are working it. They can't work if you're 'cheating' or not following the program. They can't work if they confuse you, or if you're just unhappy eating things you don't like. That's why it's so important when picking a plan to pick one that meets your needs. It should meet not only your body's needs, but your food preferences and your lifestyle.
Picking the right one can really put you on the road to success. Good luck!