Today’s media bombards us with health and nutritional companies claiming their diet plan is the best. Some claim weight loss can be achieved in several weeks, some involve taking expensive potions and some tell you to avoid or minimise particular food groups. So which of all these diets actually work?
To answer this question, one must first decide exactly what they would like to achieve from their diet?
Is it weight loss, fitness, longevity, beauty, extra energy or just overall health and wellbeing?
The word diet, which by definition describes the kinds of food a person habitually consumes, automatically makes us think of a somewhat restricted or regimented eating plan. This imposition of feeling restricted can sometimes set us up for failure before we start, no matter what our ‘dieting’ goals were to begin with.
From raw food diets, low carbohydrate diets, low fat diets and low protein diets, through to more specific diets such as the ‘Dukan Diet’ and the ‘Atkins Diet’, the list of ‘diets’ available to the general public that claim they work is endless, with more and more diet fads being promoted regularly.
A much healthier way to address your health goals via your eating habits is to develop a nutritional plan that includes the foods that are going to help you achieve your goals.
Nutritionists, personal trainers, dieticians and even your GP can guide you as to what sort of nutritional plan may best suit your goals and lifestyle.
A nutritional plan alone will not help you achieve your health or weight loss goals.
Working conditions, sleeping habits, excercise and lifestyle choices not only affect our ability to stick to diets but can also vary the effectiveness of these eating plans.
Consider these following points when you’re deciding which diet will work for you
- Your work conditions:
Does your work environment restrict your ability to adhere to your ‘diet’? Do you have limited time slots allowed for eating? Do you have access to a fridge or microwave? Does that vending machine in the office lobby pose just too much temptation when you need that 3 o’clock pick-me-up?
- Your sleep patterns:
Getting a good nights sleep plays a vital role in how well your diet will work. A poor night’s sleep not only effects your body’s metabolism, it also makes you feel tired… making you more inclined to have sugar cravings and over eat due to ‘lack of energy’ rather than due to hunger.
- Exercise Routine:
Diets work much more effectively if adopted along side a sensible, regular exercise routine. Exercising regularly helps not only burn calories but also boosts your metabolism and helps your digestion.
- Access To Nutritional Food:
Be sure that you have easy access to the nutritional requirements of the diet you have chosen. For example, do you have easy access to nutrition bars or diet shakes that are included in the diet. Does your local health food store stock any supplements you may need. Is the suggested diet financially realistic for your current economic situation?
- Structure And Routine:
Take into consideration the current structure of your work life and personal life. Work out which time slots your are able to invest regularly into your diet plan. This includes preparing your shopping list, shopping, preparing food and exercising.
- Don’t Rely On Willpower And Motivation Alone:
Let’s face it, most of us would rather eat a slice of lemon cheese cake than a few rice crackers with cottage cheese and just about all of us would rather lay in our warm bed than getting up for a morning run. People who make these choices do just that.
They are making a lifestyle choice based on an outcome they want to achieve.
Next time that vending machine starts luring you in, ask yourself –
Is that chocolate bar going to get me to my goals?
You don’t need will power. You just need to make sure your actions are consistant with your goals.